Waterlooplein is the oldest flea market of Amsterdam but also in the Netherlands. It was established one hundred and thirty-one years ago, and hosts nowadays 300 hundred stalls which operate six days a week.
The Waterlooplein Flea market is traditionally the oldest market of Amsterdam, but paradoxically, during the last ten years, it has been connected with the youth culture. That explain why visitors can mainly buy here trendy t-shirts, old military uniforms, Che Guevara posters, cheap canned spray paints for the graffiti, objects from underdeveloped countries of Africa and Asia, old books, video’s and DVD’s, electronics, curiosa, and of course… a lot of garbage.
Visitors with a bit of know-how will quickly notice that antiques related merchants merely represent 25% of all sellers. And most of them only have some kind of bric-a-brac on retail or fake antiques (the typical engraved sperm-whale teeth, sailing objects in “copper”, retro prints, etc)
If you are not in the mood of digging your hands in dirty boxes, haggling for crappy stuff or in a bit of a hurry, just dodge the Waterlooplein flea market and dedicate your time to other venues like the IJ-Hallen flea market, or other antiques and vintage shops around the city.
Antiquing Tip Of The Day
For big markets, arrive the night before and stay the day after. That way, you can get a good night’s sleep, rise early to start shopping, and have a home base to drop off the goods throughout the day.
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