Shopping Destination: Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Albert Cuyp Market is one of the oldest, largest and most popular street markets in the Netherlands. Most street markets in Amsterdam are weekend markets, but thankfully Albert Cuyp is closed only on Sunday, so make sure to add it in your itinerary.
Over a century year old and established in 1905, a collection of street traders and pushcarts congregated in the De Pijp district long which eventually developed into Albert Cuyp Market. It is now the largest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands. The market covers the entire Albert Cuypstraat, a mile long street with about 300 stalls on either side of the street.Aelbert Cuyp, a 17th century landscape painters of the Dutch Golden Age during the 17th century, would be happy to see the festivities at his namesake market.
The market is definitely worth checking out, selling a range of goods including fish, cheese, clothes, jewelry, fabrics, luggage, and flowers. You’ll also find typical Dutch treats like raw herring or warm, freshly made stroopwafels, more on that later. It’s a place to mingle with the locals and experience a different kind of shopping. The kind I absolutely love!!
The market gets very crowded especially on a sunny Saturday, we spent an hour strolling and munching some goodies. Although the prices among the cheapest in Amsterdam, I was not impressed with the quality of the products. It looked like everything was from Thailand and the likes. I guess locals shop here looking for a good bargain or for the everyday veg/fish shopping.
Visit between 9am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday, even though there was day light till much later most markets close by 5 pm.
Getting there is easy. It’s a short walk from the Museum square. Just walk towards Albert Cuypstraat between Ferdinand Bolstraat and Van Woustraat, in the De Pijp area of the Oud-Zuid district of the city. Or take the Tram, 16 or 24, Ferdinand Bolstraat or Albert Cuypstraat stop; or by tram No. 4, Stadhouderskade stop. Our landmark for the Tram stop was De Nederlandsche Bank Building.
Cheese is the cheapest here (by my experience) and you do get to taste before buying. I was very impressed with the collection of the fabric. The prints were unique and quality of fabric exceptional. Another thing that caught my eye was the variety of bicycle accessories. For obvious reasons they were highly in demand. There are also lots of cafés & restaurants in the by-lanes, have a coffee and enjoy people watching.
We had read that it’s a place where you will get all the “Must have Dutch Specialties”. We tasted a few and were not disappointed.
Home to Gouda, one of the world’s greatest cheeses, Holland also boasts some lesser known varieties that are most definitely worth appreciating. The herb flavored and smoked cheese caught my fancy. I loved the little tasting plates with bread, mustard spreads and crackers.
Another specialty originating from Gouda, is Stroopwafel. Two still-warm, freshly grilled thin waffles, spread with gooey caramel-like syrup in the middle. The owner, advised us to eat our stroopwafel immediately to get that melt-in-your-mouth feeling before the waffles begin to cool and harden. I found them too sweet for my taste. There was a chocolate option also, but I decided to skip it there were more things to try after-all.
As a herring newbie I should have order the broodje haring, where the fish is served on a bun but I decided to go full out. I had the raw fish, sliced served with chopped onions and pickles. I have been told that June- July the flavor of herring is stupendous; I guess that’s why I enjoyed even more.
You probably remember the conversation in Pulp Fiction about the French fries in Amsterdam, where they discuss that the most common condiment served with them is mayonnaise. Not only is that true, but French fries are an obsession in the Netherlands and it’s difficult to find a restaurant in Amsterdam that doesn’t serve them. When deciding what to eat, it’s hard to avoid these things, and you really wouldn’t want to anyway. My daughter loved them.