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Since a few weeks I rediscovered Waterlooplein as being one of the nicest squares in all of Amsterdam. I’ve been living at Waterlooplein for a little while now, and I haven’t been bored for a second. Unfortunately, the square has become more of a tourist attraction than the local hotspot it deserves to be.
As soon as I open my eyes I see the lively spectacle of the market outside my window. I love sitting in my windowsill, watching people strut around the stands, eating chips and drinking coffee. But I also love being outside, searching for bargains at the stands with secondhand pottery, furniture, clothes, CDs, DVDs and other vintage stuff you never knew you needed until you see them.
Personally I have a weak spot for the leather dresses, over-the-top party clothes in all the wrong fluorescent colours and fur coats, but if you’re more a hip, ska, punk or goth type, you’ll also love the market. Whether you’re a gangster, a dj, a rockstar or you just need a new bike, there’s always something you’ll like.
When you’re done strolling around the market, or you’re just not in the mood for searching the piles of clothes, there’s still enough around the market to keep you busy. Get some coffee at the Coffee Company. If you befriend one of the baristas they’ll give you free coffee forever. If you’re hungry, grab a bagel at the Bagels & Beans. Get a nice panino or pasta at the tiny Italian bar in the Jodenbreestraat, where takeout is way cheaper than eating in. The owner seems kind of grumpy, but I always tell myself it’s just his Italian swag. Fancy some soup? At Soup en Zo they have all the soup you crave. A little more expensive, but also very tasty is the big organic supermarket, where you can get your groceries or just an organic sandwich.
And as if that isn’t enough, there’s a new charity store. Buy a nice secondhand garment, and a percentage of your money will go to anti-aids campaigns and researches. Upstairs, you can get a free aids-test and condoms.
The square is easy to reach by subway; all the subways from Central Station pass by Waterlooplein. Also by foot and bicycle the square is easy to reach. When you like to walk, the nicest route is the one from Dam square through the Damstraat. Don’t go when it rains, because the market vendors might take a day off and the market could be empty.
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