IJ-Hallen: Treasure Hunting at Europe’s Largest Flea Market

Noorderlicht

A few weeks ago C and I took a ferry to Noord to check out IJ-Hallen, the largest flea market in Europe.

glass float

To get there, we rode our bikes to Central Station and then took the free ferry to Noord. It’s about a five-minute ride across the River t’IJ.

lighthouse ship

submarine

Much of Noord is made up of repurposed shipping containers, old industrial warehouses converted into event spaces and more. There are hints of the city’s industrial and nautical past everywhere.

old photos

Octopus

The flea market takes place every month. Virtually everything is for sale there, from fur coats to records to baby clothes to broken electronics and other weird tchotchkes. As long as it’s used, it’s fair game.

record player

bols

bird cage

Normally IJ-Hallen spans two massive warehouses, with outside stalls in the large space between the two buildings. On the day we were there only one hall was open, and it still took us the entire day to make our way through the aisles.

lampshade

heat lamps

diable poster

tv console

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there was plenty of well-loved MCM furniture, ’60s toys and other oddities to look at. We came home with a few records.

fur coats

mcm chairs

bikini poster

The area is also home to a handful of waterfront restaurants and spacious beer gardens. After spending all afternoon on our feet we headed over to the Oedipus Brewery for some refreshments.

Oedipus

If you’re in the Netherlands it’s definitely worth making a trip to IJ-Hallen. You can see their schedule here. And if you’re not, you can always follow their super-interesting Instagram and Facebook pages.

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