Amsterdam’s main shopping areas are spread into five main regions throughout the city. The streets between the Brouwersgracht and the Leidsestraat, connecting the ring canals, and especially the area called The Nine Streets are particularly well known for shopping. The area offers quaint one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques allowing you to discover Dutch designers, art galleries, jewelers and gift shops. There are also plenty of great bars, cafes and restaurants in this area.
Shopping in Jordaan
To the west of the city centre is an area called the Jordaan, which is an former working-class district now trasnformed. Best explored on foot, it has long been an area popular with artists with many studios located in the area. The area is known for its narrow streets and the many traditional courtyards or hojfes. Also many of the better restaurants in the city are located here with numerous independent shops and boutiques which are a real treat to explore.
Dating from the 1880s the Waterlooplein flea market is worth exploring and is located behind the city’s Town Hall. An incredible array of cutting edge and original fashion goods are available from the many stalls including clothes, shoes, hats, accessories and leather goods. An interesting international section is where you can pick up everything from African crafts to Asian batiks as well as antiques, curios and books in many languages.
The world of fine art and antiques can be found in the Spiegelkwartier, an area around the Rijksmuseum. There is truly a huge variety antique shops here and also many art galleries. Specialities to look out for include Dutch delft blauw (ceramics), art deco pieces, modern art prints and water colours.
Amsterdam’s busiest daily market is The Albert Cuyp street market which has over 300 stalls and is the best place to pick up a bargain in the city. Stalls sell everything including fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheeses, confectionary, clothing and house hold goods. In fact you name it and it’s probably here, whether you’re interested in freshly caught herring, schmaltzy souvenirs, underwear galore, or even erotic chocolates. Closed on Sundays.
No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without seeing the famous floating flower market whose stalls are situated on houseboats in the Singel canal. Located between the Koningsplein and the Muntplein streets the market is the most colourful and fragrant place in the city and you can find all manner of flowers, bulbs (including tulips of course) and house plants like orchids for a fraction of the price in the UK.
Be sure to walk along Kalverstraat to find most of the leading department stores, and hit Leidsestraat and P.C. Hooftstraat to find dozens of slick boutiques and fashion shops showing the styles of some of Europe’s leading designers. Other areas that have considerable sway among shoppers include bustling Utrechtsestraat, and the blocks around Waterlooplein, near the Rembrandt House.
For one-stop shopping, don’t miss the trendy De Bijenkorf (the beehive) department store, which carries a whole slew of top labels, located in a beautiful building at Dam Square.
Droog Design on Staalstraat integrates the talents of a loose network of established and emerging designers into various projects. You can admire and purchase their products at the Droog@home store.
Some Gay Shopping?
For a gay gift to remember, check out Gays & Gadgets gay-theme cards and art. Pink Point (Keizersgracht at Westermarkt) is a gay and lesbian information kiosk near the Homomonument with tips and souvenirs.
A world center for leather clothing and equipment, Amsterdam has top-notch stores and services. Look first to the heart of the leather scene under the black-and-blue flags in Warmoesstraat. Mister B fine leather/rubber retail store, accessories, toys, piercing, tattooing, art. Black Body has everything from rubber socks to body bags, good prices on jeans, chaps, shirts, vests. Those looking for a leather outfit should check out Rob’s famous flagship store for custom-made items and accessories.