square in the old centre dominated by a mediaeval city gate


Sunday market on the Nieuwmarkt with De Waag in the background

Nieuwmarkt is a square which is dominated by De Waag, once the city's eastern gateway. Today it is surrounded by historic buildings, over 20 cafés, restaurants and coffeeshops, a police station, a housing complex for the elderly, a small Dutch and large Chinese supermarket.

Daily market

At the foot of De Waag you will find every day a great fruit and vegetable stand, often a cheesemonger, sometimes a herring vendor, and usually also a flower stall.

On Saturdays there is an organic food market and on Sundays there is often a market for antiques and books a little 'alternative' branch of the Waterloopleinmarkt, which is closed on Sunday.

Bars and restaurants

De Waag was built in the 15th century and is surrounded by 17th and 18th century facades and many nice cafés and restaurants.

In summer the square is transformed into a big outdoor café where you can see all of colourful Amsterdam pass by. Lokaal 't Loosje is the undisputed favourite, at least for local residents.


Nieuwmarkt is located in the Old Centre of Amsterdam and is administratively part of the Centrum borough. The surrounding area is known as the Nieuwmarktbuurt (Nieuwmarkt district).

On the western side of Nieuwmarkt you have the Red Light District, connected by short, narrow streets. Northwest of the square, just behind the Waag, begins the Zeedijk.

How to get there?

directions_subway 51 53 54 Nieuwmarkt
local_parking Q-Park de Bijenkorf 

Nieuwmarkt is a very historic place. In former days, fish was brought in and traded here, while Amsterdam was still in direct contact with the sea at that time.


The square has emerged in 1614 when the canals around Sint Anthoniespoort (St Anthony Gate, now De Waag) were overvaulted. By urban expansion (construction of Lastage) the city boundaries shifted further to Montelbaanstoren and Oude Schans canal.

Sint Anthoniespoort then lost its defensive function and became a weighhouse. The square became a marketplace where fish and oriental products were sold, and corporal punishments were carried out in public.

Nieuwmarkt was in the former Jewish quarter. More than 25,000 Jews used to live between Centraal Station, Kloveniersburgwal, Waterlooplein, Valkenburgerstraat and Prins Hendrikkade. During World War II Nieuwmarkt was used by the Germans as a gathering place for the deportation of Jewish residents.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the square got its present appearance when it lost its function as parking space for cars.

Chinese street signs

The square is also adjacent to Chinatown. Since Nieuwmarktbuurt, especially on Zeedijk, has many Chinese residents and businesses, street signs in the area are in both in Dutch and Chinese characters.

nearby accommodation and restaurants
more impressions
de waag

De Waag

mediaeval city gate on Nieuwmarkt sq.

Old City Centre

Photo tour of Amsterdam's
oldest city part (7)



one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam


Johnny And The Gangsters Of Love

Rock and Roll Trio that occasionally pops up in the city with rock and roll performances from its car.

Nieuwmarkt/Lastage neighbourhood

Click on image to enlarge map


dragon dance during Chinese New Year on Warmoesstraat

oude kerk

De Oude Kerk

Amsterdam's oldest parish church from around 1300


Museum Het Rembrandthuis

museum for modern and contemporary art and design

jacob hooy

Jacob Hooy

herb and spice shop with historic interior


Lokaal 't Loosje

former waiting room for the horse-drawn tram