Like every town with medieval heritage, Antwerp has a history of markets. Dokmarkt (Dock Market) is the latest addition. The City of Antwerp government has given a nine-year concession for a market at the Napoleonkaai, every Friday from 3PM until 8PM.
Dokmarkt aims at at customers not only wanting to buy groceries, but to have drinks and (finger)food there.
‘Experience’ is a marketing buzz word but it exists. You can see this evolution for yourself at Antwerp’s other markets.
The Exotische Markt (Exotic Market) on Saturday at Theaterplein used to aim at people wanting to buy ‘exotic’ food from France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Vietnam, Turkey and the very exotic Flemish Brabant.
Yes, you can buy Wes‘ Wafeltjes van ons Bomma (Granny’s Waffles) there. Wes will also bring his van to the Dokmarkt.
The world famous – in Belgium and the Netherlands – Vogelenmarkt (Birds’ Market) runs every Sunday from 8AM until 1PM. The City of Antwerp states this market is for flowers, antiques, clothes, jewels, live birds, hamsters and bunny rabbits. It’s also situated at Theaterplein, Oudevaartplaats and surroundings.
But you will also find food and drinks stands. The Vogelenmarkt is particularly popular with Dutch tourists. It starts at 8 in theory but in reality 9AM.
It’s my least favourite market. It’s too big and too much of a ‘thing to do without having to buy’. Still, it’s definitely worth a stroll.
Other weekly markets
There are other markets in central Antwerp. On Friday at the Vrijdagmarkt you can buy cheap furniture between 9AM en 1PM.
On Saturday there’s the Antiekmarkt (Antiques Market) at Lijnwaadmarkt between 9AM and 5PM. On Sunday there’s an Antiekmarkt at Sint-Jansvliet between 9AM and 5PM. That’s at the entry/exit of Saint Anne’s Pedestrian Tunnel.
On Sunday between 9AM and 4PM there’s the Biomarkt (Bio Market) for food with a ‘bio’ label at the Falconplein on the edge of the Schipperskwartier (Red Light District).
There are also monthly and yearly markets.