What is the Shopping Scene Like in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is one of the most renowned cities in Europe and is a tourist hotspot. Whether you’re looking for adventure, culture, foodie hotspots, architecture, art galleries, or shopping, the city has it all.
But what about shopping specifically? Amsterdam has some of the best shopping experiences in Europe, with its vibrant markets, chic boutiques, unique stores, modern malls and cozy canal-side shops. From high-end labels to vintage finds, here’s our guide to the shopping scene in Amsterdam.
The High-End Boutiques of the PC Hooftstraat
Situated within the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam is what is known as the “Luxury Mile’, or the PC Hooftstraat. Boasting some of the world’s most exclusive brands, this is one of the most expensive streets in Amsterdam. Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton are all listed here, while there’s also some delicious bakeries, florists and cafes.
Trendy Boutiques and Vintage Thrift Stores
When it comes to fashion, Amsterdam is full of quirky little boutiques and vintage thrift stores that stock one-of-a-kind items. For modern streetwear and designer labels, head to Nine Streets, where you can find boutique stores such as Amata, United Standard and Dr Collect. Meanwhile, the Reestraat area of Amsterdam’s trendy Jordaan quarter is packed with vintage thrift stores, such as 22&61 and Atelier Reestraat.
If you’re looking for unique items and souvenirs, then you must visit an Amsterdam market. The Albert Cuyp Market is a Dutch institution and has over 120 stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, herring and everything in between. There are also plenty of stalls selling souvenirs such as wooden clogs and tulip bulbs.
Another top local market is The Noordermarkt which takes place on Saturdays in the Jordaan. This vibrant food market is a great place to sample traditional Dutch foods such as raw herring and applepie. There’s also a flea market at Noordermarkt on Mondays selling antiques, books and vintage clothing.
Although Amsterdam is not known for its big department stores or shopping malls, there are still some great options for a more traditional shopping experience. The Magna Plaza Mall is a historically-listed shopping center close to Dam Square that stocks world-renowned brands such as Tiffany & Co. The Bijenkorf Shopping Center has seven stores located across Amsterdam selling mid-range brands, while the basement of their flagship store on Dam Square boasts designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Ermanno Scervino.
Unique Shopping Experiences
If you’re looking for some unusual shopping experiences in Amsterdam, then a visit to Droog is a must. Home to unique furniture and interior design pieces, this shop in the heart of the city offers an array of interesting items for your home. Alternatively, Chain Store Lab 111 stocks an array of contemporary goods from designers all over the world.
The Ultimate Shopping Experience
To make the most of your shopping experience in Amsterdam, don’t miss out on interesting areas such as the Utrechtsestraat and Nieuwmarkt Square. Here you can find affordable boutique stores and specialty shops that offer something completely different from the more mainstream outlets. Meanwhile, a stroll along the canals will give you an opportunity to explore the city’s numerous independent bookshops, art galleries and quirky souvenir shops.
From high-end fashion outlets to vintage finds, Amsterdam has something for everyone when it comes to shopping experiences. Whether you’re after luxury goods or a unique souvenir to take back home, the city has one of Europe’s best shopping scenes. For more information on Amsterdam’s retail options check out iAmsterdam – the official guide to Amsterdam from the City of Amsterdam.
An Insider’s Guide to Amsterdam: Beyond the Shopping Scene
If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, there’s so much more to explore beyond the city’s thriving shopping scene. As an insider, I can show you some hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences that will make your trip unforgettable.
Local Attractions: Exploring Amsterdam’s Hidden Gems
Instead of touring the overcrowded tourist hotspots, head to Amsterdam’s smaller and hidden attractions. The Begijnhof is a serene courtyard that was once home to the Catholic sisterhood. The peaceful garden and surrounding architecture offer visitors a glimpse into the city’s calm and spiritual side. Another must-visit spot is the Tropenmuseum, which encompasses the history and stories of the Dutch colonies in Indonesia, Suriname, and the Caribbean. Besides discovering fascinating cultural artifacts, you’ll learn about Dutch colonialism and the controversial legacy it has left behind.
Dining Spots: Discovering the Best Local Cuisine
There’s more to Dutch cuisine than just stroopwafels and bitterballen. Some must-try local dishes include bitterkoekjes, a hard almond cookie, and snert, a hearty Dutch pea soup. For a unique food experience, visit De Kas, located in a greenhouse in the heart of Amsterdam. The restaurant features a changing menu of fresh, seasonal produce grown in its vegetable garden. Another hot spot is Winkel 43, serving apple pie that’s baked fresh daily. Insider tip: ask for it with whipped cream.
Cultural Experiences: Exploring Amsterdam’s Vibrant Traditions
Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity is reflected in its music, art, and festivals. Visit the NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard turned cultural hotspot. Here, you’ll find art galleries, music venues, and street art installations. For an immersive cultural experience, head to the Dutch Costume Museum, where you can try on traditional Dutch clothing from different regions and periods. Not to be missed is Amsterdam Dance Event, one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals that takes over the city every October.
Local History: Tales from Amsterdam’s Past
To truly appreciate Amsterdam’s present, you must understand its past. Visit the Anne Frank House, where the young diarist hid with her family during the Nazi occupation. The poignant museum offers an insight into the horrors of the Holocaust and Anne’s hopes and dreams. Another historical landmark to visit is the Hortus Botanicus. Established in 1638 as a medicinal herb garden, it’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. The garden has a rich history and played a vital role in the development of modern medicine.
Off-the-Beaten-Path: Unique Experiences You Can’t Miss
The best way to experience Amsterdam is to explore it like a local. Rent a bike and cycle through the picturesque Jordaan neighborhood, stopping at the hidden courtyards and local bars. For a unique shopping experience, visit the Ten Katemarkt, where locals buy their groceries and clothes. The street market is less touristy than the popular Albert Cuyp Market and offers a glimpse into local life. To cap off your day, catch a film at the Eye Film Museum, located on the waterfront, the museum houses an extensive collection of Dutch and international films.
Experience Amsterdam like a local, and you’ll discover the city has so much more to offer than just the shopping scene. From hidden attractions to unique experiences, your trip to Amsterdam will be unforgettable.