One of the pleasures of living in the Netherlands is the prevalence of open air markets. Maastricht is no exception to this rule with not one, but four different options every week. More complete than the farmers’ market of Massachusetts, the markets here are more like a hybrid of flea and food markets with antiquing on Sundays. The main markets occur every week in Maastricht, but everyone should try to see all of them at least once.
Wednesday mornings are a great time to stroll down to the Markt square and do your weekly fresh food shopping. Local farmers, bakers, and butchers set up shop on the square to sell you whatever is currently in season. The food is fresh and I have found the prices to be comparable or better than the prices that the grocery store. Once you’ve finished shopping for food, you can browse the wide variety of clothing and fabric dealers that also set up during this market. Sewers, this is your one-stop shop. Finally there are flower and plant dealers who will help you keep your organic decor up to date with the season.
On Thursday you can find the small, but complete organic food market on Wycker Burgstraat which is the road between St. Servaas bridge and the the train station. There are a fruit and vegetable, a bread, and a cheese booth selling their wares. In November, the market was quite small, but it may be larger during the summer when more local organic foods are available.
Friday’s fish market is actually much the same as the weekly market on Wednesdays, but with a greater emphasis on seafood. The main seafood section of the market is on the Boschstraat side of Markt square and includes a wide range of herring, salmon, mussels, and more. I even saw a a few small lobsters. There are also more options for pre-cooked food and snacks at this market. The center of Markt square is dominated by fabric, clothing, produce, and flowers.
This market always seems to be overfilled with people. Perhaps because it is squished into a narrow strip of land between the two sides of Stationstraat or maybe it’s because this street gets a lot of traffic. But if you brave the crowd you can find a wide variety of interesting antiques: everything from Dutch pottery to African emphemra to old cameras to books (Dutch and occasionally English).
Need more? You can also check out markets throughout the Netherlands at Hollandse Markten (Dutch & English language).
This article was written for Maastrichtregion.com and can be read in the “To Live” section.