Queen's Day `Vrijmarkt´ Print E-mail
Queen´s Day

The annual `Vrijmarkt´The annual ‘Vrijmarkt’

Starting at 6 am, and closely following the festivities of the previous night, the street markets open. Spread over almost all  districts in the city, the street markets offer excellent bargains on second-hand clothes, furniture and any trinket or treasurable trash you can  imagine. The combination of street markets and stalls, live musicians and performers and the aroma of roasted satés and Vietnamese spring rolls  create an extraordinary atmosphere.

The ‘Vrijmarkt’ (free market) started out as a children’s event but has over the years turned into a national sport. The Dutch love to trade, it is in their blood, although more a social occasion than a real commercial, the whole of Amsterdam transforms in to one big flea market. Owing to a holiday dispensation from the Dutch government, people do not need to pay taxes on their sales. Many people set  up stalls or blankets in parks, on sidewalks and even on the roads themselves (cars are banned in some streets). The items sold are traditionally old  rubbish, but for commercial traders this is also an extremely profitable day. ‘Prices are symbolic and the most important is having fun’ One of the  best places to absorb the traditional atmosphere of Queen’s Day is the city park, ‘Vondelpark’,  where commercial trading is not allowed. The free market here is a unique family event with children actively participating. Prices are symbolic and the most important is having fun.

 

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