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A Maze of Clocks and Dolls: The Noordermarkt in Amsterdam

If you're like me and want to find a cultural, non-touristy experience in Amsterdam, you need to visit the Noordermarkt.

Amsterdam is, without a doubt, one of my favorite cities in the world. With a wide array of museum, towering houses on the canal (each entirely different from the next) savory and sweet street food, and an abundance of outdoor markets, what’s not to like? One of my close friends went to university there and just graduated this past spring (congrats Christina!!)

I’ve been to visit her three times and every time I do, she shows me something better than the last. In October, it was the Noordermarkt, and I haven’t been able to forget it.

The Organic Farmer’s Market

The Noordermarkt, also known as the Noorderkerkplein, is held in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. It was actually the first organic market ever in the Netherlands and was founded in 1987. The organic farmer’s market is hosted on Saturdays from 9:00 to 16:00 and sells classic Dutch cheeses, sweets, soups, pastries, fruits, vegetables, and everything in between.

Locals buzz around the stalls with their woven grocery bags (plastic bags are virtually non-existant in the Netherlands) and it was a bit of fun to just people-watch and observe their routine. Make sure you’re hungry before you visit the farmer’s market, because those smells will drive you crazy and it’s the perfect place to have breakfast or lunch (or both.)

Image result for noordermarkt farmer
Image result for noordermarkt farmer
A selection of delicious, freshly-baked breads.

The Flea Market

The flea market at Noorderkerplein is held on Mondays, from 9:00 to 13:00. Here you’ll find rare books, Asian antiques, statues, artwork, items of the occult, clothing, fabric sold by the meter, household kitsch, cannabis, and everything in between. They were so artfully arranged that it could’ve been a massive art exhibit.

Christina and I were there for hours, wandering through the labyrinth that was the Noordermarkt and trying to find furniture and other things for her new apartment. I bought a fair few things: a knock-off Gucci tracksuit, a vintage tin made for mints that I used to hold my pin collection, some artwork, and a necklace.

Even those four hours that the flea market is open would not be enough to see everything sold here. These are some of my favorite photos that I took there, just to give you an idea.

This is Christina, posing next to some adorable, vintage suitcases and a poster that reads, “I love Holland,” in Dutch.
I’m not sure I get the theme of this display, but I dig it.
This is the creepiest photo that I’ve ever taken.

The Poffertjes Pancake Stand

While Christina sifted through a maze of second-hand clocks, lamps, dolls, jewelry, and clothes, I set off to find a snack. I quickly came upon a stall with twenty people in line. It was clearly very popular.

Up front, two men (father and son) were using chopsticks to flip little balls of dough around, which reminded me of the way the Japanese make takoyaki. These balls of dough, called Poffertjes, were actually pancakes, and the pair of bakers dusted a handful of them with generous amounts of powdered sugar and butter. I only had them once, but I can still remember the warmth of the paper plate in my hand and those fluffy little balls of heaven.

Pffertjes Pancake Balls in Noordermarkt, Amsterdam

If you’re like me and want to find a cultural, non-touristy experience in Amsterdam, you need to visit the Noordermarkt. It is the single most delightful and intriguing marketed that I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring and it will be sure to keep you occupied. Let’s tie this up with a few more photos 🙂

Happy traveling!

1 comment on “A Maze of Clocks and Dolls: The Noordermarkt in Amsterdam

  1. Pingback: Amsterdam: the Adult Playground – Slow Boat Library

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