At last, you are in Amsterdam, the city that has more canals than Venice itself, when you start to wonder what to buy in Amsterdam for your friends and family. Which shops are just overpriced tourist bait and which are a bargain for the inquisitive visitor? Where do you buy cheese and where is the famous Flower Market?
This Amsterdam souvenir shopping guide has got you covered! We’ll break down the best places to buy the must-haves without being ripped off; discover the best neighborhoods for boutique shopping and the quirkiest stores you will want to visit! Ready? Let’s go!Psss… good to know before you go shopping: shops in The Netherlands generally work until 18:00 at the latest. Thursday is a long shopping day which means the stores are open until a whopping 21:00.
What to Buy in Amsterdam: 5 Classic Dutch Souvenirs to Take Home
Tulip bulbs: How can you leave the city without choosing a bag of tulip bulbs from the famous floating Flower Market? Despite being one of the most touristic spots in the city, this is still the best place to get your pick of flowers as long, as you’re not looking for a real bouquet. If you’re looking to bring tulip bulbs back home or maybe buy a beautiful wooden tulip that will bloom for an eternity, that’s the place. And the reason why I say it’s not the best place for real flower is because only 2 shops consistently stock bouquets. But the prices are good!
If you are planning to buy bulbs, keep the seasonality in mind. Don’t buy the bulbs in the spring, instead consider buying them after midsummer. August to September is the optimal time to buy tulip bulbs!
But what if you’re visiting Amsterdam in the spring and you really want some tulip bulbs?! You can order better quality tulip bulbs during your visit to Keukenhof. Keukenhof is a seasonal flower garden open from mid-March to mid-May. They take orders for tulip bulbs on the spot and ship them to your address once the bulbs are ready and in good condition in the autumn. So everyone wins: you don’t have to stuff them in the luggage and they’ll arrive at your doorstep to remind you of your lovely Amsterdam getaway!
Cheese: How can you say no to bringing back cheese from The Netherlands? Some of the most popular cheeses are Gouda, Edam and my favorite Old Amsterdam.
While there are many cheese tasting shops in the city center, they often have higher prices compared to grocery stores. Check out the local Albert Heijn aka AH, Lidl or Aldi. Or do your shopping at Albert Cuypstraat where you can buy a set of 3 Gouda cheese at a competitive price. You will be way better off than buying them at Schiphol Airport. Can you tell I love this market yet?
Stroopwafels: Those delicious signature Dutch syrup waffles are hard to miss and really easy to find. And guess what, you can find the originals at… you guessed it, Albert Cuyp. But you don’t have to search for them specifically as they are literally everywhere. You can buy stroopwafels at every grocery store.
It doesn’t matter whether you get the cheapest ones from the bottom shelf at the AH or the posh ones with fancy marshmallow toppings at van Wonderen: they will be delicious just the same. Word to the wise: make sure they don’t crumble in your suitcase by buying a tin box set or just wrapping them in soft material.
Wooden clog shoes or “klompen”: while the best place to buy them would be on a day trip to Zaandaam or the Dutch windmills, some shops stock the clog shoes in Amsterdam as well. Those characteristically Dutch wooden shoes were made for farmers and tenants that had to deal with the wet weather of the Netherlands. The shoes worn with thick socks would allow them to keep warm. You will see many fake clog shoes that are soft and basically function like house slippers. Clog shoes are something you will likely never use after purchase so buying mini clog shoes in form of keychains might be a better option.
Magnets & postcards: What could be nicer than sending your friends a postcard from foreign lands? Or picking the prettiest row of Dutch houses to adorn your collector friend’s fridge?
If you’re looking for the cutest kitchen magnets and the pretties postcards, don’t buy them at the souvenir shops or the Flower Market. Instead, head over to Albert Cuypstraat where the locals do their shopping. The souvenirs are a bargain compared to the central areas. If you’re in a rush and don’t have time for the market, stop by any of the Primera stores that sell stationery and other small stuff. They have a good range of postcards as well.
Amsterdam merchandise: If you’re looking for some good old t-shirts that say “Amsterdam” or an Amsterdam umbrella, you won’t have any issues finding them in souvenir shops that plague the city center. Not the most original choice, however sometimes you just gotta do the deed. Amsterdam’s Primark also holds a themed Amsterdam merchandise collection which includes everything from clothing to suitcases for those who are short on baggage or a change of clothes. While wearing a bag that says “Amsterdam” on it will make you stand out like a sore thumb, sometimes it just can’t be helped… Just keep this in mind: it’s all made in China. Besides, I’m not decided on which is the lesser evil: an annoying souvenir shop or a megacorporation like Primark.
BONUS: Dutch Snacks: If you’re into your snacks, you might want to try the Dutch pepernoten or kruidnoten. The Dutch are also famous for eating the so-called drop which is licorice. Granted, it’s an acquired taste, so it’s not for everyone! Those are easy to get at any grocery store.
Unusual Things to Buy in Amsterdam
These Amsterdam souvenirs are a bit less obvious but will make a perfect reminder of your time in this vibrant city.
Bike seat covers: If you haven’t noticed, Amsterdam is crazy about bikes. Biking is part of a daily routine, a lifestyle that is characteristic of the Dutch. And taking care of your bike, making it your own, is something the locals just love doing! Show a little love to your two-wheeled companion by getting a beautiful bike seat cover.
Where to buy:
HEMA at Nieuwendijk 174-176, 1012 MT Amsterdam
Recycle Fietsen at Hannie Dankbaarpassage 27, Amsterdam
Free Wheely Amsterdam at Buitenveldertselaan 32, 1081 AA Amsterdam
Black Bikes Rembrandtplein, Reguliersbreestraat 41, 1017 CM Amsterdam
Amsterdam Gumshoe in Hudsons Bay: this is a real treat for the fashion-conscious. The Amsterdam Gumshoe was created in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam as a mindful fashion project. The sole of this sneaker is a beautiful map outline of the Amsterdam city center but it’s made out of recycled gum. The pink rubber soles are a real beauty and turn this shoe into a sentimental piece that will remind you of your trip! Not only are the sneakers eco-friendly, but they perfectly reflect the spirit of the city. It’s such an Amsterdammer thing to do together with ridding the canals off of plastic and reducing pollution.
Bols Jennever: A bottle of Dutch Jennever will make a great gift for those friends who love trying alcohol from different corners of the world. While this type of alcohol is not as well known as others, it is from Jennever that gin was made. Today Jennever makes a great base for mixing great cocktails, which you can taste for yourself at the House of Bols before buying a bottle of Bols as a souvenir!
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: Inspired by the dollhouse on display in the Rijksmuseum, Jessie wrote this haunting novel set in 17th-century Amsterdam. The story of Petronella Oortman, her marriage, and life in the canal city will draw you in. People either love it or hate it. If you are curious, head over to the American Book Center or one of my other top Amsterdam bookstores to discover this and other books set in The Netherlands.
Van Gogh merchandise: if you love art by Van Gogh, you will be happy to know that you don’t need to execute a heist to be able to enjoy his works long after your trip. If you are running low on luggage space, you can buy a Samsonite suitcase from the limited Van Gogh x Samsonite collection, inspired by his Almond Blossom painting.
For more affordable day-to-day items check out the collaboration of Vans and the Van Gogh museum; as well as the main collection of clothing, stationery, and calendars in the museum. All of these items are available at the Van Gogh museum gift shop or online store.
Delft pottery: is a signature style that you won’t be able to lay your hands on elsewhere. From Delft tiles to chopping boards, to tealight holders: there is a Delftware item for every budget. Aside from going to Delft to discover the city where these pottery methods were created, you can buy Delftware in several places in Amsterdam.
The Rijksmuseum has several delftware items in the museum shop which include a fountain-style flower vase, cups and saucers, and more.
You can also buy Delftware in the Munttoren next to the Flower market. It can get quite crowded since it’s a prime spot at the end of the Kalverstraat shopping street. If you would rather have a more authentic and relaxed shopping experience, go to the corner of Prinsengracht and Spiegelgracht where you will find a fantastic antique shop “Kramer Kunst & Antiek”. The shop stocks various Old Delft Blue items including classic Delft tiles which will make the perfect souvenir.
Bag from the Museum of Bags and Purses: Did you know that the cozy Tassenmuseum is one of the world’s top 10 fashion museums? Those who enjoy tracing the progress of fashion throughout the ages will really enjoy visiting its gift shop. After exploring the main exhibit you will undoubtedly be ready to make an addition to your wardrobe. The shop stocks interesting designs of bags, purses, and clutches and will entice you to go on an enjoyable shopping spree.
Where to Shop in Amsterdam by District
Shopping in Amsterdam Center
- The main shops in Amsterdam stretch from Nieuwendijk to Kalverstraat. These two streets stretch from Amsterdam Central Station past the Dam Square to the Flower Market. If you are looking for mass market stores such as H&M, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Douglas, and others, you will find them here.
Highlights: the big HEMA store at Nieuwendijk 174 – 176; Søstrene Grene at Nieuwendijk 219 which is a Scandinavian interior, DIY & crafts store.
- Flower Market next to Muntplein is one of the city’s most touristic and busy spots.
- Staalstraat next to metro station Waterlooplein has several interesting vintage shops, cozy cafes and curious souvenirs. Highlights: Droog, 1953 Retro & Chic, and the Amsterdam Duck Store mentioned below.
- Leidsestraat is another busy shopping street filled with upper mid-range stores such as Shoebaloo, Arket, COS, Karen Millen and Ted Baker. Highlight: Eichholtz Delicatessen which is stacked full with American candy.
- For some shopping antiques & art head over to Nieuwe Spiegelstraat which is filled with jewelry and antique stores, art dealerships, and the occasional cafe. Highlights: Kramer Kunst & Antiek, Episode Vintage.
Vintage Shopping in Jordaan
- The Nine Streets area or “De 9 Straatjes” is well-known for its one of a kind boutiques. The area spans the 9 streets situated between the canals Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, and Herengracht. These little streets are peppered with shops carrying vintage, handmade and unique designs. Shopping in this area isn’t cheap but it is quite superior when it comes to quality and experience. Highlights: coffee & cake at cafe Pluk or the adjacent Ree 7 on Hartenstraat. When it comes to shops, go for whatever draws your eye, such as the Anouk Beerents store which sells antique mirrors.
- If you are a fan of the market experience, don’t miss Noordermarkt. From second-hand clothing to fresh vegetables, delicious oysters and an abundance of cheese, this weekly market is going to be a delightful surprise. Open on Saturday, from 9:00 to 16:00.
Discover the Contrasts of De Pijp
De Pijp is a great area known for its variety of cafes. While there are shops all around the neighborhood, the main reason to shop in De Pijp is to visit the Albert Cuypmarkt. This open-air market spans the whole of Albert Cuypstraat. You can find anything here: from fresh vegetables and fish to souvenirs, suitcases, clothing, and much more. For those who are hungry, do not worry. There are plenty of stroopwafels, cheese, poffertjes and fresh pitas with hummus and olives.
Indulge in the Luxury Shops in the Museum quarter
Located between the vibrant De Pijp and the quiet but upbeat Oud-West, the area next to the Museum quarter offers many opportunities for shopping at the top of your budget.
Most big brands have stores in walking distance from the Vondelpark. You will find Chanel, Armani, Chopard and other big names at Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat which is parallel to the park. Many other stores can be found on both sides of the Van Baerlestraat.
Shop the Trendy and Hipster Oud-West
We’re moving away from the Amsterdam city center to the lovely Oud-West. It is the area where people live and go about their lives, and that, of course, includes shopping! As a starting point, discover the shops along Kinkerstraat. The neighborhood also has food markets close to the Foodhallen. Highlight: spacious Hoogstins Bookstore which stocks many accessories for readers, such as fantastic pens, leather bags, bamboo reusable cups, Amsterdam posters, and other fun gifts.
12 Must-Visit Stores Filled With The Best Curiosities
1. Buy Stunning Stationery from Royal Suppliers at De Posthumuswinkel
In business since 1865, this incredibly atmospheric store will take care of all your stationery needs. Head here to enjoy one of the oldest Amsterdam shops, filled to the brim with handcrafted goods that will lighten your wallet and brighten your day.
De Posthumus offers personalized stamps, letterheads, and envelopes with monograms. For those of you who are into your hobbies, replenish your scrapbooking supplies and choose rubber stamps from an amazing collection of quotes and images, pick up a quill and a calligraphy set and choose luxe quality notebooks.
In 1920 De Posthumus joined the Court supplier’s board of Queen Wilhelmina. Approved by the royal family, it certainly is worth your time.
Where: St. Luciënsteeg 23-25, 1012 PM Amsterdam
When: Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 to 17:30, Saturday from 11:00 to 17:30.
2. Buy a Cuddly Miffy Toy at the Nijntje Store
Miffy The Rabbit, originally known as Nijntje, is a children’s book character created by the Dutch writer and artist Dick Bruna. There is a lovely Miffy museum in Utrecht but if you’re looking for a kids souvenir, check their Amsterdam shop.
Where: Scheldestraat 61, 1078 GH Amsterdam
When: Monday from 13:00 to 18:00, Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00, Sunda from 12:00 to 17:00.
3. Giggle at the Most Ridiculous Condoms at Condomerie
In close proximity to The Red Light District, the Condomerie is one of those unique Amsterdam shops that you can’t just walk past without at least sparing it a glance. Its’ colorful vitrine gathers many spectators and tourists. While the goods may not be that special, if your idea of Amsterdam fun is, well… FUN, then do yourself a favor and stop by. With its’ giant selection of condoms, it will surely offer interesting souvenirs and at least a picture. So jump in to admire the crazy window display and get your friends a little memento from Amsterdam that would be in line with the carefree spirit of the Red Light District.
Where: Warmoesstraat 141, 1012 JB Amsterdam
When: Monday from 11:00 to 21:00, Tuesday from 11:00 to 18:00, Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 to 21:00, Sunday from 13:00 to 18:00.
4. Shop Delftware at Kramer Kunst & Antiek
Kramer Kunst & Antiek is a treasure trove for the antiquities hunter. It’s not a thrift store, and so the prices reflect the age and meaning behind the items. You will easily recognize it by the black beams and the eye-catching windows on the corner of Prinsengracht and Nieuwe Spiegelstraat: the store is filled with Delftware, lamps, paintings, china, and the kinds of eccentric finds that you can’t plan for.
Where: Prinsengracht 807, 1017 KA Amsterdam
When: Monday from 11:00 to 18:00, Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00, Sunday from 13:00 to 18:00
5. Purchase Cigars in the Historical Art Deco P.G.C. Hajenius
Established in 1826 in the very center 3 minutes away from Dam square, P.G.C. Hajenius offers a wide range of tobacco from all over the world, including their own personal cigar brand. During its long history, the store catered to the traders coming in and out of the city as well as to royalty all around Europe. The store is also a part of the court supplier list, earning the loyalty of tobacco lovers from all over Europe for the variety and quality they offer. Aside from that, the store also hosts Cigar Smoking Tournaments and tastings.
Stop by even if you’re not a smoker. The store is also known for its’ beautiful art deco interior which will make you feel like you stepped into a gentleman’s club. This atmosphere has reminded me of Mycroft Holmes’ favorite club and if that’s not a recommendation, then I don’t know what is!
Where: Rokin 96, 1012 KZ Amsterdam
When: Monday from 12:00 to 18:00, Tuesday – Saturday from 9:30 to 18:00, Sunday from 12:00 to 17:00.
6. Get Interior Decor Inspiration at Anna + Nina
Anna + Nina is my go-to store for interior inspiration and decor. From tableware to storage, the items they select are always unique and designer. The details make this shop worthy of a visit: there are many cool prints, pillow cases, unique cutlery, and dainty jewelry.
Where: there are currently 3 Anna + Nina stores in Amsterdam. They are located at Kloveniersburgwal 44, Gerard Doustraat 94 and Reguliersgracht 85.
When: Monday from 12:00 to 18:00, Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, Saturday from 11:00 to 18:00 and Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00 (the one on Reguliersgracht closes at 17:00 on Sundays).
7. Shop English Books in The American Book Center
The ABC is a 3-floor bookstore filled to the brim with English-only books, magazines, art catalogs and more. You will likely come across it yourself as it’s right on Spui square next to Waterstones. This square is right next to the huge shopping street Kalverstraat but the square is quite calm. After you’re done perusing books, check out the multiple cafes surrounding the area. If in doubt, check out the Esprit cafe next to the store, it’s really cute and a crowd favorite.
A book reader myself, I often stop by to see what’s new. The staff recommendations in this store are on point. The store has a well balanced selection: you will find the newest releases as well as hidden gems you definitely did not hear about. While the first floor is dedicated to art, fashion and design, the second one (my personal favorite) has a huge Fantasy, Crime, YA and Historical Fiction section. The third floor is home to a huge Fiction section as well as books on Business, Personal Development and more. There is now a cafe on the second floor as well where you can get a cup of coffee and chill with a book.
Where: Spui 12, 1012 XA Amsterdam
When: Monday from 12:00 to 20:00, Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00, Sunday from 11:00 to 18:30.
8. Wed and Walk in the Het is Liefde Store
If you’re visiting Amsterdam with your special someone definitely do not miss this shop. This party slash wedding-themed store is one of the quirkiest shops Amsterdam has to offer. But, cuteness alert, it actually has a pop-up wedding chapel hidden in the back! By appointment only, these guys will organize a small personalized ceremony and take a picture to commemorate the occasion.
If you’ve always wanted to wear an over the top dress like in that episode of Friends where Monika, Rachel, and Phoebe eat popcorn in their wedding dresses, then this is going to be an absolute blast. The best thing about this? It’s not legally binding so the magic works just till next morning. You can choose from a variety of wedding dresses and tuxedos – from puffy princess dresses to top hats. And if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll have a time of their lives! The ceremony costs 75 euro and must be booked in advance here but they also do their best to accommodate impromptu requests, so this could be your lucky day. So adorable.
Where: Het is Liefde Wed and Walk at 1e van der Helststraat 13, 1073 AB Amsterdam
When: Shop is open Wednesday – Friday from 11:00 to 18:00, Saturday 11:00 to 17:00 // Weddings by appointment only
9. Shop Funny Rubber Ducks at the Amsterdam Duck Store
The simple fact that someone in Amsterdam makes a living out of selling rubber bath ducks restores my faith in humankind. And also makes my eyes roll, just a tiny bit. Overpriced? Uh, probably. Meant for crazy collectors? Not necessarily, although the fantastic duck designs that the store offers is probably the reason for its marvelous success. Do you want a Harry Potter duck? Darth Vader duck? Danaerys Stormborn duck? You name it, they got it.
Where: Amsterdam Duck Store – Oude Leliestraat 16 – 1015 AW Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Duck Store – Staalstraat 10, 1011 JL, Amsterdam.
When: Open from 10:30 – 18:00 hours every day
10. Buy a Set of Juggling Balls at the Circus Shop
This tiny circus shop is located right opposite from the Amsterdam Duck Store. Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or just curious to see where professional performers get their equipment, you will really enjoy this visit. From juggling to acrobatics, diabolo and card tricks, there is a little something for everyone.
Where: Staalstraat 3, 1011JJ Amsterdam
When: Tuesday – Saturday from 12:00 to 17:30
11. Experience Homeware Heaven at Dille & Kamille
Dille & Kamille is an utter dream of a store. If you love shopping for kitchen utensils, homeware, stationery, and even food, you’re going to have a blast. You will find anything from dried flowers to candles and dozens of varieties of tea, children’s toys and more.
Where: Nieuwendijk 16-18, 1012 MK Amsterdam
When: Monday from 11:00 to 18:00, Tuesday to Saturday from 0:30 to 18:00, Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00.
12. Shop Retro & Vintage Clothing at 1953 Retro & Chic
Amsterdam is a great city for a vintage shopping spree. There are many vintage stores throughout the city, and one such store is a cute little shop called 1953 Chic, in close proximity to the Duck Shop. Some items are second-hand and some are vintage.
Where: Staalstraat 2, 1011 JL Amsterdam