One of my favorite weekly rituals of living in the Hague is visiting the Haagse Markt. The Hague Market claims to be the largest market in Europe although it’s one of the best places to get a bit off the beaten path in the Hague, buy affordable fruits/veggies, eat street food, and shop for household goods. It’s one of my favorite places to bring guests. I’ll be discussing what to buy at the Haagse Markt, including the best street food stands.
Why visit the Hague market?
From the moment that you enter the Hague Market, you know that you’re somewhere different. Compared to the standard Dutch market, which can be quiet and subdued, the Hague Market is
As soon as you enter the Hague Market, you’re transported somewhere else. I have yet to put my finger on where, but it takes me back to my
Despite coming here regularly, it never feels tedious. The stalls are always changing with their produce always rotating to whatever is in
Highlights of the Hague Market
Browsing for oddities and random items
You really have no idea what you’ll find at the Hague Market. Whether it’s hijabs, discounted coats, random kitchen items, or random bike bits, you have no idea what you’ll find in the front part of the third aisle of the Hague Market. You’ll also find tailors within the market!
Stopping for snacks
One of the biggest joys of the Hague Market is sampling the snacks from all around the world. I include my favorite snacks from the Haagse Markt below, so you can easily find the best of the Hague Market!
Experiencing the madness of the produce sections
The produce section is one of the most well-known parts of the Hague market. Here, the vendors scream out the prices and the crowds walk around assessing whether the goods are worth the price.
You sometimes need to be quick about asking for something (pointing is okay if you’re not comfortable with Dutch) as people will cut in… This part of the market can feel claustrophobic at times, but it’s still fun.
The best street food at the Hague Market
Bara is sort of like a Surinamese
From the Dutch Caribbean, you’ll find empanadas. As you walk down the first aisle of the Haagse Markt, you’ll find my favorite stand for empanadas and pastei. These delicious filled pastries (vegetarian and meat) are served to-go although be sure to linger around the tables to enjoy the delicious salsa that makes it even more delicious.
You’ll find numerous spots in the Haagse Markt to snack on delicious and fresh Turkish food made in front of you. It’s never a good idea to come hungry here and a good Turkish pizza is always delicious.
Hidden in the back of aisle three near the poultry stands, you’ll find a Turkish baker serving up delicious burek, a common pastry that is served in Turkey and throughout the balkans. It’s a good hold over until you get a proper lunch.
Spicy peanut butter
In the first aisle of the Haagse Markt, you’ll find a stand that specialises in nuts and peanut butter. My favorite product from them sells fresh spicy peanut butter, which is an interesting combination. They often serve samples on bread, so just ask if you’re unsure.
The most popular stands claim to have the best
Tips for visiting the Hague Market
Cash is king
Some stalls take PIN (Dutch Maestro), but most are cash only. You’ll find an ATM next to one of the entrances to the Hague Market, but I find it better to take out cash on the way where the lines are shorter.
The end of the day is the best time
If you’re looking for good deals, be sure to head to the Hague Market around 3:30pm-4pm. This is when many vendors start closing up, so you might get a steal. Sometimes, it’s too much.
The bag situation is far from eco-friendly and everyone will try to give you a bag. I recommend bringing your own large reusable bag and/or backpack and putting the goods (carefully!) into your bag to avoid squishing anything. You can always reject the bags if you don’t want them, but having a large bag makes it far easier to shop.
Carefully select your goods and use them up quickly
One of the hardest things for me was learning how to fully inspect a number of veggies and fruits that I buy on a daily basis to tell if they’re good. The fruit from the Hague Market can not be as beautiful, but generally, it tastes fine. The issue is related to how much longer it will be until it’s good and/or how long you need to wait until it’s ripe.
I find that it’s best to use meat as well as produce from the Hague Market quickly as it doesn’t keep as long as items from Albert Heijn. Good old fashioned meal planning will do the trick and/or some creative cooking that focuses on what you have.
Some deals are too good to be true. I find that when someone is offering 10 avocados for 1 euros, it’s often because they’re already ripe and they won’t last much longer than a day… Be a bit skeptical and do some comparison shopping first!