I love shopping when I go on holiday. As I am already treating myself to a few days away, I don’t see any reason not to continue this theme by stocking up on goodies to take back home with me – whether as mementos or gifts for my friends and family.
On top of this, I always find that visiting a new place allows me to discover different fashion trends and styles. Plus, there’s the chance to explore all the quirky markets that so often line the streets of bustling European cities – particularly Amsterdam.
So that your time shopping here is as efficient as possible, I have put together this guide to some of the best retail areas in the city. Don’t be surprised if the accommodation you book in Amsterdam is soon overrun with bags.
If you want to check out some of your favourite stores from back home, head to the area between Amsterdam’s train station and Leidseplein Square. This is where you’ll find an abundance of stores, selling everything from clothes to sporting goods.
The pedestrianised area of Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat is always packed with shoppers and tourists. However, it’s worth battling the crowds as you will be able to find everywhere you want to go with ease. There are also some great souvenir stores here if you’re looking for mementos.
If you don’t want to waste a single moment, make your way to the De Bijenkorf (The Beehive) at Dam Square, which is a huge department store packed with retail outlets.
If you’ve been saving and really want to treat yourself, head for Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat. This is Amsterdam’s premiere shopping street and is the place to come to find designer labels.
Among the high-end brands that have boutiques here are Chanel, Armani, Cartier, Hermes and Gucci. Enjoy strolling around them all, but don’t blow all your spending money at once!
I love visiting more quirky shopping areas when I visit a country for the first time as that way I know I am going to end up with something totally unique. You can also bag a total bargain by doing your research on some of the more unusual places to shop.
The Jordaan district is perfect for this. You will find it opposite The Anne Frank House and it’s easy to spot as it is where most of the well-preserved historic homes in Amsterdam are located. Simply strolling around here is a delight as you pass the hofjes – garden courtyards.
In recent years, Jordaan has become incredibly trendy and several quirky boutiques have sprung up. You can also visit chic cafes or pop into small art galleries while you’re in this part of the city.
There’s nowhere better to get a bargain than a market, and luckily Amsterdam has several. Perhaps the most famous is Waterlooplein in the old Jewish quarter, which is filled with an eclectic assortment of items, ranging from clothes and CDs to musical instruments and antiques.
If it’s raining, head instead to Jordaan and check out Antiekmarkt De Looier, which is an indoor antique market. This has been running for 30 years and there is very little the dealers who sell their wares here don’t know about antiques.
One place you must make certain to check out is Bloemenmarkt on the Singel Canal. This is the world’s only floating flower market and is a riot of colour and fragrance where you can buy a bunch of blooms, some bulbs or seeds.