How and where I found The Hague Market: the biggest open street market of Europe.
When I first moved to the Dutch city of The Hague from my home in Mexico almost 3 years ago, I thought I would have to say goodbye to one of God’s most beautiful and green creations: guacamole. Thanks to The Hague Market, however, that was not the case.
Guacamole makes the world go around.
What’s ‘The Hague Market’?
Turns out I did not have to concede a lot in the exotic fruit area. Besides having a couple of really good Mexican restaurants, The lovely political capital of The Netherlands, is home to one of the biggest open markets in Europe: ‘De Haagse Markt’.
The Hague Market (or ‘Open Market’ as called by the locals) is one of the biggest multicultural markets in Europe. During one of its four opening days, it has been known to host around 35,000 shoppers! The reasons why so many people visit the market vary. Three of them are fairly obvious when you spend a grey Zaterdag morning, in this colorful corner of The Hague.
What’s there to buy?
Exotic fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and freshly made stroopwafels.
I mean if for some strange reason the freshly made stroopwafels part didn’t do it for you…
The market has a wide variety of exotic fruits, vegetables and snacks many people find attractive. It’s one of the few places in The Hague, that I can find fresh, ripe and cheap avocados (€1 per kg)! This is to make my world-famous, critically acclaimed, guacamole. One can find Yucca, Dutch cheese, avocados and Greek olives, all in one place. And at cheap prices too!
If you’re more of a meat eater, you’ll be happy to find a lot of fresh butcher shops and fresh fish stores. As a man that works at one of the seafood shops puts it:
“On Tuesday we buy fish for Wednesday, and on Thursday we buy fish for Friday and Sturday. (…) Everything is fresh”.
And if the snack scene if more your thing, just head over to the market and delight yourself with a wide variety of snack shops: Dutch haring, fresh stroopwafels, corn in a cup, Turkish gözelme and baklava… You name it!
All you need! The ‘De Haagse Markt’ has.
Besides being a great and cheap place to do your groceries, the Open Market is home to all sorts of stores. Shops that sell: curtains, carpets, men’s and women’s clothing, flowers, cosmetics, candy, home utensils, antiques, bike replacement parts, electronics, phone accessories… the list of shops goes on!
The Hague Market experience: what’s happening there?
In the words of a good Dutch colleague of mine: “it feels like I’m in of those exotic, vibrant markets that I used to find in Peru. It doesn’t feel like I’m in The Netherlands.”
And right he is… When you step into ‘De Haagse Markt’ on a busy Saturday, you’re quickly surrounded by bright colors, exotic smells of fruits and flowers, talking crowds, the calls of salesmen/women and all of the life in the market. It gives you a very different experience than the one you get during your typical Albert Heijn or Jumbo grocery trip.
So if you’re up for a different grocery trip, visit one of Europe’s biggest multicultural open markets from 8:45 to 17:00 any given Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. And be sure to keep an eye out for those rare but always welcomed Open Sundays!
So have you been to The Hague market? What did you think of this Dutch street market?
Where is The Hague Market?
Location: Herman Costerstraat 2571 PJ.
Opening Days: Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday.
Hours: 8:45 to 17:00.