I am a flea market aficionada. There are always treasures to be found among other people’s unwanted goods. I like the digging and the bargain hunt, I like the non-curated disorder of it all but, most of all, I love to look at objects and imagine their story, and how they have served someone else before arriving in my hands. There’s no place like the Ij-Hallen, in Amsterdam North, for a good hunt.
With 500 stalls, the Ij-Hallen is nothing less than the biggest flea market in Europe. It is a sensation, not only for the ones who buy but also for the ones selling: keep in mind that The Netherlands is the motherland of trade. You feel the early morning excitement filling up the air at the NDSM, as small groups of people arrive with their cars or cargo bikes full of everything you can imagine: clothes, furniture, books, trinkets, vinyl, and basically any object ever invented by man. It is also the only flea-market that I know of with paid entrance (5 euro) but, then again, you’re in for a party (see face in the picture). And, yeah baby, you’re going to score.
Finish the shopping enterprise with a beer at Noorderlicht, the hippie-looking cafe right next to Ij-Hallen. If it’s a Sunday there will be live music, and if it’s sunny as well, then the circle is round, and life is perfect.