Amsterdam’s biggest flea market

I love me some old things, so I was delighted when one of my friends suggested a girls’ day out at the the IJ-Hallen flea market in Amsterdam Noord. 
Held in a huge warehouse in the old shipyards of the NDSM-Werf (or wharf), it has over 500 stalls selling second-hand items, making it the largest flea market in Amsterdam. The IJ-Hallen flea market is held on the first weekend of every month and costs €4 to get in. Sometimes, they will have a second market day focusing on certain kinds of goods; this March, it’s toys, miniatures, dolls and dollhouses. 
The IJ-Hallen is not nearly as atmospheric as, say, Les Puces de St-Ouen in Paris, but it has its own unique vibe being in a huge industrial complex where ships were once built.
Click “read more” for the full IJ-Hallen thrifting experience, plus our finds for the day!

As with most thrift shops and flea markets, majority of the items for sale are junk. Still, if you are diligent and have a keen eye, there are treasures to be found, ranging from the pretty… 
to the quirky… 
… to the simply nostalgic. 
I was in the market for a vintage wool coat in an interesting color or pattern. I found racks upon racks of winter coats for just €25 apiece, but I was not lucky that day. Check out how far above me the coats are hanging; this is a very typical short-person-in-Holland problem. 
Still, I was happy just rummaging and taking photographs.

As my designated pack mule, Marlon was the only guy in our group. I love how he not only indulges my love of old things, but has also come to appreciate them. For his time and patience spending a day thrifting with a gaggle of girls, he rewarded himself with a handful of funky old die-cast cars from the 1960s.

As for me, I fell in love with these vintage postcards featuring hand-tinted photographs of Zaandvoort and Scheveningen, the beaches closest to Amsterdam and the Hague. They were postmarked between 1903 and 1910, making them over a hundred years old.

I love it when I stumble upon something combines several of my many loves. In the case of these postcards, it’s the beach, vintage, paper and, on the back, beautiful cursive handwriting. 
Can you believe everyone used to write like this, back in the day?
We also picked up a couple of things for the home: a tiny crate to use as a magazine rack in our equally tiny toilet, and a vintage glass decanter, which is the kind of purchase that makes you feel very grown up.

And yes, my bathroom reading material is proudly Filipino!

Lovely comments:

  1. You have Rogue Philippines in Amsterdam? Astig!

  2. currystrumpet says:

    Just the occasional issue through the kindness of family and friends :)


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