Local Heart, Global Soul

January 20, 2010

Landmarks in The Hague: The Haagse Markt…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is one of a series of posts on Landmarks in Den Haag (The Hague)

In these posts I hope to be your local guide and show you a little bit about my city: the history, tradition and  photos things and places that you will hopefully find interesting. This post is Part 1   in a small series about the Haagse Markt.

The Haagse Markt (the Hague Market) is the biggest outdoor Market not only in the Netherlands but also in Europe.

It was first established in the Prinsegracht area in the centre of Den Haag (The Hague) over many centuries and the importance of the Markt is still reflected in the street names of the Hague city center.

Street names like:”De Grote Markt “(Big Market) ” Grote Marktstraat” (Big Market street) “Varkensmarkt” (Pig Market) “Lange-en Korte Beestenmarkt” (two streets, one long and one short for the Animal Market) and “Groenmarkt” (Vegetable Market) are just some examples that show how important market trade was in Dutch life.
Fish markets and flower markets also had prominence in the Hague city center, around the Prinsegracht area.

In 1938 the Market was deemed to have outgrown the confined space of the city centre and to much initial consternation of market users, it was relocated to Herman Coster Street, which was at that time an undeveloped area outside the city limits.

Today this area is surrounded by suburbs but continues to be a wonderful place to visit and to buy a massive variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, household goods and many other items.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apparently the relocation of the Markt did not go smoothly for many people, as information of the move was not widespread, according to the dutch language  website for the Markt, passengers on the Monday morning of May 10, the first open Market day after the move, were stunned when the tram arrived to find the Prinsegracht silent and deserted. Here’s an excerpt (translated for you):

A Scheveningen fisherwoman arrived with a basket full of smoked herring on her lap, and loudly expressed surprise at the disappearance of the market. She was to deliver fish to her brother’s market stall. A gentleman who was reading the morning edition of The Motherland, asked the woman if she ever read a newspaper.”Yes sir, the Bode Church, which I read from front to back.” “Then you have missed that the market reopened today at Herman Coster Street”, he replied. “You had better take Line 11 (tram) to deliver your fish”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course with today’s communications, the internet and advance warning that local councils would be obligated to give months in advance, this kind of thing would be unlikely to happen again, and even with the initial hiccups in 1938, the new location and added space proved quickly to be a success and people got used to the new location which has remained exceedingly popular ever since.

Let have a short look around: Tiny mini pineapples…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Dates from Tunisia…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Turkish and Middle Eestern breads for sale…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fresh fruits and vegetables… ( the items in plastic containers are a set price per container, if you buy something in a bowl, (here the yellow or blue bowls) you will be able to see what you are getting and the contents will be tipped into a bag for you to take home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. I am so happy you will be giving us a tour and tell us about your city.I am ashamed to say I am quite clueless about your corner of the world, please teach me. First let me tell you I have a MARKET obsession. Wherever we travel,I have to find out if and where the market is. Yours is really something else;how I would love to be there. Thank you.

    Comment by Sage — January 20, 2010 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

    • Never too late to learn ! Obviously some places will photograph better in the summer months so I won’t try and take you everywhere right now, and my holidays are over for now so full-time work takes my time, but over time I hope to show you some of the lesser known parts of the city and some almost literally “hidden gems”. Watch this space !

      Comment by kiwidutch — January 21, 2010 @ 5:53 am | Reply

  2. You lucky thing! I wish we had a big outdoor market like this nearby. Is this year-round?

    Comment by blisterina — January 20, 2010 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

    • It’s certainly is year-round. Athough on the very very very coldest days of the year some traders did a whole day, a few others opted to stay in bed and others did a slightly shorter working day (I don’t blame them at all, standing all day at a stall outside in -10 C wouldn’t be fun, and I think the customers also didn’t linger, grab the necessities and head back home to the warm.) This winter is the first time in about 12 years we’ve had those kind of daytime temps though, today is a “balmy” 3 degrees so yes the Markt ran as usual yesterday and will again tomorrow.

      Comment by kiwidutch — January 21, 2010 @ 5:58 am | Reply

  3. I had the chance to recently visit the Haagse Markt. It was a great experience! I loved this melting pot ambiance. But I believe that your tag line: “Local heart, global soul” hits the nail! So I had to quote in my own blog post. I hope it is ok for you. Here the post: http://askan.biz/2015/08/09/haagse-markt-the-hague-netherlands/

    Comment by @askans — August 9, 2015 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

    • Thanks @askans, your post looks great too…
      … actually a lot of locals have their noses out of joint at the moment because the Haagse Markt is being modernised and (a) many people like the “old” feel and atmosphere better and (b) a lot of stalls have been rearranged and none of the regulars can find their usual favourite vendors… Himself is annoyed because of both at the moment.
      Me, I like the updated look, I think it will be better in winter for instance, but then again it’s been a while since I was there so I haven’t experienced it first hand (just from going past in the car).

      ps. I wanted to comment on your post but couldn’t find the comment box…under the map was the logical place I thought, but it wasn’t there ??

      Comment by kiwidutch — August 9, 2015 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

      • Thank you as well kiwidutch, especially for the update on what locals think about the market. You are right, there is no possibility to comment, I wanted to have the comments on Twitter, but maybe I will revise my approach.
        By the way I was also at Markthal in Rotterdam the next day. But even it being a great one, Haagse Markt felt more interesting.

        Comment by @askans — August 10, 2015 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

        • @askans,
          I think that a lot of the “protest” over the Markt was that the apparent lack of consultation with the vendors. Then I heard that some vendors were happy and others not, so maybe it’s also a case of “you can’t please everyone”, especially in such a large group.
          I’m on crutches and I think that the improved canopy /roof extensions I caught a glimpse of will make the walkways less slippery for me if I went in winter, and surely it would keep more of the merchandise out of direct sun in summer too? I’m not up to going there at the moment myself, but I will keep it in mind for later, then I can write an updated post about how the changes have affected the workings and atmosphere of the markt.
          First of course, the revamp has to be finished though…

          p.s. Thanks for confirming that it wasn’t possible to make a comment on your blog, I was wondering if I just was too stupid to find it 🙂

          Comment by kiwidutch — August 13, 2015 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  4. […] Landmarks in Den Haag (The Hague): The Haagse Markt… Part 2. Landmarks in The Hague: The Haagse Markt… […]

    Pingback by You Only Have A Hefty Supermarket Bill To Loose… | Local Heart, Global Soul — September 28, 2017 @ 1:01 am | Reply

  5. […] beat is strong. And to use a cliché: the Haagse Markt feels like a melting pot. Or as the blogger KiwiDutch perfectly expressed it: Local heart, global […]

    Pingback by Good vibrations - Haagse Markt, The Hague / Netherlands | Food & Farmers' Markets — December 23, 2018 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  6. Pleasant Den-Haag marketaa

    Comment by Stephen Oyedele — September 5, 2019 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

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