Markets Of Amsterdam: IJ-Hallen

Everyone complains that Amsterdam is extremely expensive. In fact, it is not as long as you visit flea markets, flower markets and farmers’ markets.

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Shopping in Amsterdam may be not only affordable, but also colorful and lively as exploring local markets is a great way to clinch a bargain while picking up a few Dutch souvenirs for your friends and family back home.

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I had a chance to go to Ij-Hallen Market, one of the biggest in Europe where I had a chance to practice my Dutch when bargaining, try some local treats and of course do some decent shopping on the cheap! 

IjHallen

Address of market:

IJ-Hallen T.T.
Neveritaweg 15
1033 WB Amsterdam-Noord

When is it?

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The IJ-Hallen Vlooienmarkt is typically held the first weekend of the month and is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm. In order to follow the opening days of the market each month, feel free to check out IJ-Hallen’s calendar which is updated every two weeks.

How did you get there?

I cycled there on Sunday morning from Jan van Galenstraat. It took me exactly 24 minutes including the 2 minute ferry ride. The distance was 2,1 km.

Different ways to get to the market

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By car – from Ring Amsterdam (A10): exit Oostzaan towards S118.

By bus – from Amsterdam Central Station: take a bus 35, 91 or 94. Get off at Klaprozenweg (91, 94) or Ataturk (35). Walk approximately 5 minutes from the bus stop to the market.

By ferry – from the backside of Amsterdam Central Station: take the ferry service 906 towards NDSM-werf.

Walk 5 minutes from the ferry stop to the market.

 Entry Fee?

No. The entry to the flea market is €4,50 per adult and €2 for kids. The toilets cost 35 cents.

 Market details

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The market was extremely overcrowded with tourists, locals and expats. It was held inside the giant old shipbuilding which made it even more interesting to explore.

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Numerous stands were places outside as well due to a decent weather. The atmosphere was amazing. The sellers smiled back to me and recommended good quality products for a good price.

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Ij- Hallen is considered to be the biggest flea market in Europe. There are approximately 750 different stands so you can just imagine how huge it is.

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You can find here almost anything: used clothing, shoes, toys, tools, antiques, kitchen supplies, hidden treasures, and tons and tons of random junk. From local food to vintage clothes or fancy housewares, Ij-Hallen offers endless possibilities for anyone interested in soaking up the local culture in the most genuine manner and bargaining.

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 Most of the stuff people sell here is really cheap so if you do have an eye for a bargain you really cannot miss this. Most of the prices start from 50 cents and they get even lower towards the end of the day (even 50% – 80%). Just to give you an example of what you can get for what price:

  • Leather jacket – €2 – €10
  • Cereal bowl – €1
  • Perfumes – €10 – €15
  • Shoes – €2 – €20
  • Coats – €3 – €20
  • T-shirts – 50 cents – €3

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The Ij-Hallen market is held inside the giant old former ship building factory (NDSM). It is quite impressively and incredibly large warehouse which looks like an indoor village of artist studios. It is divided into halls  – the one of the left side and the right side. In between the two halls there is an open-air area with several stalls selling coffee and fast-food. There is some space between the stands so you can move from one seller to another smoothly.

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Who are the vendors? Mostly locals (Dutch people) in the middle age, but you can also see a lot of teenagers and young vendors (age 20-30).

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 Although the Ij-Hallen market is a bit overcrowded and being there more than 1 hour is very tiring, the vendors are extremely patient and friendly which makes your “treasure hunting” even more pleasant.

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One of the best features of this flea market, is that only private sellers are allowed to set up their stalls and sell their second hand products only, which turns the place into a real Aladdin’s Cave, where real treasures can be found. Thus, anyone willing to put into practice their trading skills or simply longing to get rid of their stuff is able to try their luck at IJ-hallen by simply logging into their website and booking a stand for around €30.

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There is no music at Ij-Hallen market and the place seems to be very loud.

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In between the two halls there is an open-air area with several stalls selling traditional Dutch treats and drinks such as fries (€3 per portion), home-made soup (€1.50 – €3), or the traditional poffertjes (€2.75 per portion).

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Besides some fast-food stalls, in the both halls you will find several stands selling specific gastronomic products, like: cheese from different countries, Spanish chorizo and serrano ham, fancy jams or exotic dressings.

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I spent €20 at Ij-Hallen market buying 1 Million fragrance by Paco Rabanne for €15 ( it usually costs around €50 in a store but I got it discounted as the bottle was a bit damaged), leather jacket for €2, a cereal bowl for €1 and a coffee cup for €2.

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I tried to speak Dutch as much as possible when asking for price.

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The vendors understood me with no problems and we had a short conversation when bargaining for different stuff. It was a great experience! When I asked for the price in Dutch, the vendors smiled and responded in Dutch immediately. They were willing to put the price down in most cases and have a nice chat with me.

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 I was surprised and shocked at the same time by the low prices offered at Ij-Hallen market and a good quality of products/ tools sold there. Towards the end of the day, you could simply buy some furniture and kitchen equipment for less than €1!

Top tips for Ij-Hallen visitors

#1 It is best to arrive early for the special scores. Depending on the time of the day you arrive, the long lines to access the site might be disheartening, since everyone has to go through a small and usually under-staffed ticket office.

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#2 If you happen to have the exact change, you can easily avoid the waiting time by handing the money to any of the staff members that usually walk up and down the lines in search of spare change.

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#3 Sometimes the sellers start to discount their stock at the end of the day so it is good to stay till 5 pm here.

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#4 If you are craving a different kind of fare than fast food and Dutch snacks, head outside the market to IJ-Kantine, bBrood, Pllek, or Cafe Noorderlicht for a home meal.

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Would you visit Ij-Hallen Market when in Amsterdam?

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About Agness

Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"


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51 Comments

  • Agness, IJ-Hallen really looks like a fun place to visit. To be honest I have never heard of a flea with an entrance fee and 4.50 euro would really hamper my excitement, but on a nice day I would totally love to explore the market and see what the Dutch used to wear or decorated their houses with. In that sense visiting a flea market always seems to become a cultural experience as well… ;) By the way, I really like your new coffee mug… :)

      • RE: Dennis, Hi, I am new to this etramping site and reading the comments. In Ventura, California, it costs $10 to enter. The flea market is every three months and large. Elsewhere, I have paid a similar entrance fee. So 4,50 euros seems cheap!

  • I love markets, and you have so much info here! The prices definitely seem affordable, which surprised seeing as how it’s in Amsterdam. If I ever make it there, I’ll definitely make a point to visit the markets! You scored some fabulous deals. :)

  • I like the coffee cup you bought :)
    I’ve never been to a market where you have to pay to enter, this is actually the first time I come across one.

  • I love flea markets! I could spend hours walking around them, the ones I’ve been to in Paris and London are some of my best places to pass a morning. When I settle down one day and get a permanent location I totally want to fill it with random stuff from flea markets.

  • Love markets like this, the pictures really bring it alive! Went to a really cool one in Buenos Aires last month…unfortunately didn’t buy much though as I’m leaving the continent tomorrow without much room for things!

  • What a great experience Agness!! And how fantastic that they were good about practicing Dutch with you. I am taking Spanish classes now and trying to speak more Spanish, but nearly everyone here also speaks English so when they hear me struggling in Spanish they (kindly) switch to English… but it’s not much help for my practice :) Hope you are enjoying your purchases!

  • You are such a cutie patootie Miss Agness. I love markets like this, also surprised they charge you to visit, even more that you have to pay to use the toilets. Is that a standard thing in Europe in general?
    Bargain for the jacket, you are my style guru and awesome job speaking the dutch. I am going to put myself through an intensive Italian course early 2015. You inspired me! :) Hope your week is rocking so far. xox

    • Unfortunately you have to pay for the toilet in most of big cities :-(, but not all of them. Poland’s free! :D!! Thank you sweetheart. You also inspire me!

  • Love this post! I can appreciate the detail you put in to this. In the spring, I’ll have to head up there. I’m not a big fan of crowds, but like you said, it’s probably better if you go early. And have you been to Pllek? Super cool place!

  • European cities seem to have some really interesting markets, and Amsterdam I’m sure would have lots of quirky places to check out.

  • The market looks so colorful and has such a range of items to choose from. The perfect place to spend an afternoon looking around. The food looks incredible as well!!

  • Looks great!! I’ve heard so many good things about it and I’ve been wanting to go, but the thing is, I’m not living in the Netherlands.
    Great that you tried to speak Dutch!

    Kun je al wat Nederlands lezen en praten?

  • Those are a bunch of good quality stuff at cheaper prices. Definitely, a must-try! Looks like you enjoyed the experience. :)

  • Looks great! I’m heading to Amsterdam in the spring, but sadly not at the right time to visit this market. Hopefully there will be some others open while I’m there!

    • There are more amazing markets (flower/flea/organic food) in Amsterdam. Let me know when you’re here and I can show you around.

  • The Ij-Hallen Market looks amazing. I love flea markets as I never know what great finds might be there. The downside when traveling is you have to get the stuff home which definitely impacts on how I shop. Wish we had one this big and diverse in Santa Fe.

  • I didn’t know you can speak Dutch! It always sounds like a halfway language between English and German haha. I love checking out flea markets although I almost never buy anything because I can’t think of any use for it haha. 4,50 euros seems a bit pricey as an entrance fee!

  • Good idea for expensive places. These days I will just be looking…I just don’t want to have to pack one more thing along anywhere anymore. Been there, done that! But its fun to look

  • Whoah. You’re really iving up to your promise, that it is possible to Travel (even Europe) by just 25 dollars a day.

    Keep inspiring your readers.

  • This is awesome! I don’t think they were open during the winter when I was there though. Perhaps another reason to revisit Amsterdam!

    The pictures of those fresh poffertjes is really making me salivate -_-“

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