As the busiest market in Holland and the biggest of its kind in Europe, the Albert Cuypmarkt offers everything one might expect from a market and more. Food, clothing, gadgets, bikes, traditional ethnic goods, you name it. The market is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market can close a bit earlier in winter and when the weather is very bad. But a little rain doesn’t stop them, so no worries!
You can find the Albert Cuyp in ‘De Pijp’ a vibrant part of the city that is also known under the name ‘Latin Quarter’. It is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city. Since the building of the neighbourhood, in the 19th century, it soon became very popular with students and artists. People started using the name Quartier Latin, from the academic neighbourhood in Paris where students and artists lived. The small streets of De Pijp remind one of the Quartier Latin in Paris as well.
De Pijp is now a very international part of Amsterdam. There live people from over 144 different countries. This makes it a very popular part of town. The diversity has made its way to the market, the stores and the restaurants. Besides the market, you find lots of small concept stores, barista bars and small restaurants. This gives the market and the neighbourhood its lively character! There is no place in the Netherlands with such a varied cuisine. Roam around and meet tourists and locals that are enjoying this part of town.
History of the Albert Cuyp
The market started around 1904. At the market all kinds of salesmen just gathered in an unorganized way to sell their wares. In the 20th century this unorganized mess caused lots of chaos in the city. This forced the city council to take action and change the rules a bit. The market changed in one that was only held on Saturdays, but this soon changed into a 6-days-a-week market.
The salesmen at the market had a difficult live. They had to get up before dawn. When they arrived at the market, a police officer would blow a whistle. This was the sign for the salesmen to run to the best spots. If you had claimed your spot, it was yours for the rest of the day. The competition was huge and some people would sabotage others. But in difficult times they would stick together and help each other out.
During World War II Jewish people were no longer allowed at the market. This had a huge impact, since a third of the salesmen was Jewish. Hardly any of them returned at the market. This left a deep scar at the Albert Cuyp. But in the sixties and seventies the market started blooming again. Salesmen came from all over the world which made the market more colourful. The exotic products made the rich people of Amsterdam come to the Albert Cuyp for their groceries.
The Albert Cuyp has had its ups and downs but it still stands, stronger than ever. The diversity is what makes this market so special. Everybody comes here, whether they are young or old, rich or poor, Dutch or foreign. It creates a wonderful atmosphere where everybody feels welcome. This is what makes it the busiest market of the country.
The Amsterdam Spirit
The Albert Cuyp is the place where you can experience the true Amsterdam spirit. There is no other place where you can enjoy the Amsterdam humour and friendliness. The market is full of real ‘Amsterdammers’, even when it is filled with tourists you can still feel the local personality shine through. The people in De Pijp are very friendly, helpful and hospitable. The diversity is great. All the different nationalities give the neighbourhood a great ambiance. In a way De Pijp really is a reflection of the whole city.
What can you buy at the market?
The market is full of stalls where you can buy various items. Are you looking for clothing or a new pair of shoes? You can find it at the Albert Cuyp. There are stalls with sweaters, jeans, scarfs and underwear. For a nice new outfit you can go to the stalls of Vaags, Van Hilten Kleding or Carnaby Street. For sportswear you should go to Sportshop Peter Jan.
Of course you can find lots of food at the market as well. Your mouth will start to water as soon as you approach Chris’ Olives or Popal Oliva. At Ron’s Notenbar you can buy all sorts of nuts. And De Peperbol sells the best herbs and spices and tea. And when you’re in The Netherlands it’s impossible to be at any market and not taste and buy some cheese. There are lots of cheese sellers on the Albert Cuyp. Pay a visit to Bart Kaas, Daalder Kaas, Johan Kaas or Say Cheese.
Would you rather have a healthy snack or meal? Go and get you some veggies at De Versmarkt or Easy Dicer. And Van Hilten Sap makes amazing smoothies. Fancy a juice? Go to Sappies & Shakes. Greg Monsieur serves the best grilled sandwiches in the city and obviously you should try a fresh stroopwafel at any of the stroopwafel stands. You can buy all the kinds of food you can dream of, like fish, fries, crisps, ice cream, chocolate, waffles and chicken.
But there’s even more. This market is not just about food and clothing. You can even buy electronics and phone cases. And of course there are stalls with lots of nice souvenirs. Pick up some nice trinkets and souvenirs for yourself or for your family and friends back home. How about a T-shirt or cap with a text or image that is printed on the fabric right in front of you? Everything is possible at the Albert Cuyp Market.
Find your way to the Albert Cuyp
The Albert Cuyp Market is easily accessible. Just ride the tram like the locals do. It’s one of the fastest ways of transportation in the city. There are quite a few trams that will bring you from Amsterdam Central Station to the market. You can take tram 4 and get out at Stadhouderskade. After a walk of only 50 meters you have arrived at your destination. You can also take tram 16 or 24. You have to get off the tram at Albertcuypstraat. You can also ride the bus. Take bus 356 and get out at the Van Woustraat.
What else should you do in The Pijp?
The Albert Cuyp Market is open from Monday till Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. It would be wise to be there on time because there’s so much to see you can easily spend your whole day there. But don’t leave when it’s five o’clock! De Pijp is a great neighbourhood to spend some more time. Go and find the statue of André Hazes, famous singer who was born and raised in De Pijp. Or have some coffee in one of the many nice cafés.
There are also lots and lots of great restaurants in De Pijp. The population of the neighbourhood is very diverse and this resulted in a big variety of restaurants. Have a bite to eat at De Tulp if you like food with an Asian twist. Are you a real carnivore? Go to Cannibale Royale or Café Carbon. Are you a vegetarian? Than Mana Mana is the perfect spot for you. For some great Japanese food you should pay EN a visit. This is a real hotspot for authentic Japanese food and amazing sake.
The list of great restaurants is way too long. But by now you probably understand that in De Pijp you can eat whatever you like, from Italian to Asian, from simple fries to haute cuisine, from tapas to seafood, and from meat to veggies. The locals as well as tourists love to eat out in one of the many restaurants after visiting the Albert Cuyp Market. So if you want to get a taste of the Amsterdam life you really should stay in De Pijp after the market closes.