A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Perhaps you have already heard of the Saturday market in Leiden. Other blogs mention this perk of the city and trust me, without even realising it, the Saturday Market will slowly begin to grow on you! I hope that by the end of this article, you will have understood why going to the market is the right thing to do on Saturday morning!
But let’s start with when and where. The “banks” of the Oude Rijn are dotted with countless stalls every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 am until roughly 5 pm. I know that many of us are not exactly early birds, but I would recommend you going at around noon to get the best and widest variety of products. You can always check here the market opening hours!
Now that you know that basics, let’s dive into the specifics!
-The quality of the products is way better than the ones you buy at a supermarket. Always fresh and different products and, especially, all in one place. From groceries to fish, from diary products to cheese etc.
-You find products like fresh salmon or octopus that you cannot often buy at a standard supermarket. Not even Albert Heijn can help you out there!
-It is way cheaper than the standard supermarkets and, you know, money really matters for students. There are a couple of stalls which sell baskets of different vegetables for only 1 euro. You will spot them easily since a crowd of students gathers around them to get the best fruits and vegetables! The same applies to pastries. Get muffins, almond or apple pastries, biscuits and much more. Indulge yourself with little treats for a very little price.
-It is more sustainable. Supermarkets have this very annoying tendency to wrap everything in plastic while here it is more rare to find each single cucumber in layers and layers of plastic. Bring your own tote bag of course for groceries and do not forget a separate bag for bread either. The staff is very helpful and understands that you want to use your own bag! It is also more sustainable because some of the products are locally produced and do not involve transportation! Herrings are perhaps the best example: local product with sustainable CO2 emissions!
-If you miss your country, well the market is the place where to go and have a taste of it. For, together with local products you can find different delicatessen from around the world. Italian, Greek, Turkish you name it!
Finally, even if you do not want to shop your groceries, the market is still a cheap and sustainable alternative to Lipsius’ canteen, at least on Wednesdays and Saturdays. For, you can find delicious meals for cheap prices. If you are in love with herrings, you can get a sandwich for 2.50€ or a broodje falafel for 3.50€ and much much more. You just have to go around, choose your favourite stalls and the Market will soon become your favourite Saturday habit in Leiden.
Would you like to add something? Leave a comment below!