Amsterdam's most famous flea market was once an area bordered by the Leper and Peat canals that often took the brunt of an overflowing Amstel River and therefore housed only the poorest of Jews. In 1893 it became the daily market for the surrounding neighborhood—a necessity, since Jews were not allowed to own shops at the time. It became a meeting place whose chaos of wooden carts and general vibrancy disappeared along with the Jewish population during World War II.
And yet it still provides a colorful glimpse into Amsterdam's particular brand of pragmatic sales techniques. Its stalls filled with clothes, bongs, discarded electronics, and mountains of Euro knickknacks can be a battle—although sometimes a worthwhile one—to negotiate.
Waterlooplein, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1011, Netherlands