Up at 4am to catch our flight, our trip saw us take a taxi, plane, train and a boat to reach our destination, and it was worth every mile. Rows upon rows of sellers greet you across two huge ship yards and every stall has something different, unique or collectible. It's like what a car boot sale would be like in heaven, only better!
Anyway, here are a few photos from our trip, we didn't take that many as we were too busy haggling and having palpitations (in between fighting each other for squeak toys and clawing each other in a panic stricken frenzy)
|Bucket of legs anyone??|
We both came back with an excellent haul. If you fly, unless you pay to check a bag into the hold, you only have 12kg of hand luggage to play with. Individually, it's safe to say we more than managed to fulfill the maximum requirement! To give yourself the advantage of fitting more into your bag, take less! We packed clean underwear, face wipes and a toothbrush. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Our top tips for getting around the IJ Hallen flea market:
- Don't be suckered in to paying higher prices when you first enter. Immediately after paying your way through the entrance, there are stalls outside to ease you into the sheer size of the place. We found prices at these stalls were a lot higher than the stalls inside. Don't be afraid to pass up a purchase, there's PLENTY inside for less
- Beware of any pick pockets or thieves. There's not many, but at one point we did think we were being followed by someone with one of those chirpy bird whistles (you know the kind, men on street corners selling bandannas and sunglasses usually have them tucked away in their cake holes) it's a good distraction technique, you start looking around for an exotic bird, and they make off with your purse. Be vigilant!
- Keep ahead of yourself! It took us about 5 hours to get round every stall and then briefly back again to make sure we hadn't missed anything! Put your tat radar on and move fluidly but thoroughly! Your dream treasure is in there somewhere and you're not leaving without it!
- HAGGLE! From experience, it seems like the good British way to pay what people are asking and complain about it later, but you've come all this way and for what? To pay twice the worth for a battered old Jesus bust?! I don't think so. You're not in England now sweetheart, get haggling! The worst they could say is no, in which case, weigh it up. Do you really want it? Course you do! Get it bought, you're on holiday!
All information for the flea market can be found on the official IJ Hallen website HERE.
Be warned though, once you go tat, there's no turning back!
'Til next time treasure fiends,