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Public outdoor markets remain very much part of Dutch daily life

Most under-promoted tourist attraction

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

Dutch outdoor markets are a royal treat for numerous visitors to the Netherlands but one of the most neglected drawing cards in the arsenal of the country’s tourism promoters. While blog posts by visitors from abroad rave about visiting one or more of these outdoor markets in the Netherlands, the country’s tourism promoters do not get much beyond Alkmaar’s seasonal but famed cheese market.

Dutch immigrants may not blog about going to a market back home when visiting the Netherlands, it is a thing you just do, but generally love the sight, the sounds, the chatter, the smells, the entertainers, and the theatrics of a ‘standwerker’ giving a fascinating show of some household item he is giving away for just a few euros.

Visitors such as a blogger from Australia never mentioned a thing about Alkmaar but raved about one in Winterswijk, where she had the opportunity to walk around the many booths set up for market day in this quaint market square in the center of town. Although she was blogging about a relatively small market, she admits that she has never been to an outdoor market where they sell practically everything one can think of: meat, fish, food, flowers, pastry, garden art, cheese, jewelry and many, many other different things, all to tempt the shoppers.

Nearly overwhelmed by the assortment, she goes on to tell the world about what Winterwijk’s market all offered: bags of snacks, nuts of all kinds, both natural and in different flavors, trail mixes, crackers of all kinds and other things she could not identify because the labels were in “the local language.”

The colourful and richly illustrated, and far more extensive two-page feature article (order a copy), closes with the latest phenomena in Dutch markets:

The busiest of all Dutch outdoor markets is a fairly recent phenomena: a so-called Oranjemarkt on April 30, of which the one in Amsterdam pulls huge throngs of people. It is a vrije markt (free, gratis) too, which means that vendors pay no table or stall fees at all.