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Europe’s Largest Market Hall Is In Amsterdam, So Why Does Nobody Know?

Katherine Notman Katherine Notman - Writer

Europe’s Largest Market Hall Is In Amsterdam, So Why Does Nobody Know?

This incredible building is opening its doors once again.

The colossal 40-hectare Food Centre Amsterdam has only ever been open to professionals working in the food industry. However, behind the scenes, this space has played a huge part in ensuring that we all get our fruit, vegetables, meat and fish for a long time, often without our knowledge.

Additionally, there’s a part of this site that barely anybody knows about, and that’s the previously abandoned Central Market Hall. This massive space measures 70 by 125 metres, but until now it hasn’t attracted the crowds that it should.

People did visit this space, but not to buy fruit and veg. It’s a reminder of Amsterdam’s past, dating back to 1934 when traders would buy and sell here, and people tended to visit to soak up all that history. It’s the largest market hall in Europe at 6000 square feet, but until now it wasn’t functioning as such.

Who knows how long this site would have remained empty if it weren’t for quartermasters Igor Sorko and Koen Vollaers, who have a variety of successful projects under their belts. Commissioned by Boei, they aim to restore this incredible historical site to its former glory.

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Now that these two are involved you can actually visit the market, and it’s not just an empty room! A few months ago those doors opened for the first time in a long time, with an incredible initiative promoting equality. People have been purchasing meals here, and some have purchased meals for others who have no money to spend. So, those who come to eat here receive the same food but pay what they can. This lovely sentiment really highlights the best qualities of Amsterdammers and it’s made our hearts feel all fuzzy.

Then a few local residents recently had the chance to see behind those doors that have been closed for so long, on a fairground-style train. As Het Parool explain it, there was no other way to get people into the building through the busy market full of forklifts and trucks without the tiny train, which just endears us even more to this project.

Those invited prepare dishes for over 100 people some nights, and the cooks are from a plethora of different countries and cultures, which means that the people eating here are from different countries and cultures. That means eating food you’ve never tried before, and if you’re anything like me then that’s a very exciting prospect!  Renovations will take years, but for now, you can read more about Amsterdam’s Central Market Hall and how to travel there here.

Read more: 8 Of The Most Amazing Markets To Visit In Amsterdam

Food & Drink