The capital of the Netherlands offers numerous neighborhoods packed with all types of shops, from small open-air markets selling souvenirs, second-hand objects and fresh produce to the most fashionable designer boutiques.
Typical Dutch products
If there's one thing you need to try in Amsterdam, it's the cheese! The Netherlands is renowned for its excellent cheese and the country produces 650 kilos per year.
Its best-known varieties of cheese include the world-famous Gouda, a mild cow’s milk cheese, followed by Edam, a tender circular cheese and Massdam, very similar to the typical Swiss cheese.
A diamond is forever
Amsterdam is also known as the City of Diamonds, as it specializes in this industry since the sixteenth century. Visitors can either buy loose diamonds or diamond-encrusted jewels.
In some of the most famous diamond cutting and polishing companies, tourists can watch how the professionals, considered the best in the world, work on the diamonds. One of the best-known is Coster Diamonds, where the guided tours are free and in English. The guide will lead you through the various processes of the diamond cutting.
Another good option is Gassan Diamonds, where you will learn about the history of the diamond industry in the Amsterdam. It also offers free tours. Gassan is located in the Old Town.
If you are close to Dam Square, you might prefer to visit Amsterdam Diamond Center, founded in the sixteenth century.
The typical clog from Holland is called “klomp” and is sold throughout the country. Amsterdam is full of workshops where these traditional clogs are made and painted yellow or red, among other colors.
During centuries, the Dutch population wore these wooden shoes daily. These were especially comfortable and useful for the wet and marshy land, since the enameled wood was waterproof.
Another great souvenir to purchase when shopping in Amsterdam would be tulips. The city is packed with stands selling tulip bulbs of all colors, which are also very easy to transport.
Works of art
The various art museums in Amsterdam sell beautiful original artwork and copies of paintings by the most-renowned Dutch artists.
The city of Delft in the south of the country is famous for its charming white and blue-colored ceramics, also sold in Amsterdam.
Main shopping areas
- Kalverstraat: Kalverstraat is Amsterdam’s most important shopping artery stretching for one kilometer. It houses over 150 shops.
- Leidsestraat: Located between Leidseplein and Koningsplein, Leidsestraat is one of the most picturesque and popular shopping streets in the city center.
- De Negen Straatjes (The New Streets): This group of small streets house a surprising variety of clothing brands, by both famous and alternative designers.
- Magna Plaza: An elegant shopping mall located in an impressive nineteenth century building.
- Albert Cuypmarkt: The largest open-air market in Amsterdam. It is packed with stands selling fruit, vegetables, clothing, accessories and electronic objects.
- Bloemenmarkt: The famous flower market in the city center where a great variety of plants, flowers and seeds are on sale.
- Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat: Situated in the Museum Quarter, this exclusive street is where some of the most high-end and exclusive boutiques are.
- Boerenmarkt: Farmer’s Market in English, its various stands offer fresh produce. It is open every Saturday morning.
- De Bijenkorf: This luxury department store has numerous prestigious brands, but it can be quite expensive..