There are many places in and around the city to get your retail fix – with different areas offering different shopping experiences. Here’s I amsterdam’s guide to the best places to hit the shops in Amsterdam.
The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes)
Located in the heart of the city’s historic canal district, this area of nine narrow streetscalled the Negen Straatjes was constructed during the 17th century. The Nine Streets intersect the main canals between the Leidsestraat and the Jordaan district, and are dotted with great restaurants, cafés, art galleries, jewellers, boutiques and vintage stores. With an exceptional array of styles, trends and prices, this area is truly a shopper’s paradise.
Upscale designers and labels
Head to the museum district for luxury shopping at its best. The P.C. Hooftstraat is Amsterdam’s most exclusive shopping street, featuring brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, DKNY, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more within a few short block. Continue down the Van Baerlestraat for brands like Vanilia, Gant and Miss Sixty. Famous Dutch designers like lingerie guru Marlies Dekkers have shops on the Cornelis Schuytstraat.
Department stores and shopping centres
Looming over Dam Square and home to a broad selection of high-end brands, De Bijenkorf is one of Amsterdam’s best-known department stores. Situated in an impressive historic building just behind Dam Square, Magna Plaza is a collection of shops, ranging from Mango to Sissy Boy. Also on the Kalverstraat, De Kalvertoren shopping centre is home to 45 shops.
The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat
The two main shopping streets in Amsterdam’s city centre are the Kalverstraat and the Leidsestraat. Of the two, the Leidsestraat has the more exclusive shops like Filippa K, Karen Millen, Paul Warmer and Shoebaloo. The Kalverstraat is home to all the shops you would expect to find in a large European city like H&M, Mexx, Zara and Esprit.
Art & antiques in the Spiegelkwartier
Following the construction of the Rijksmuseum in 1900, the Spiegelkwartier emerged as Amsterdam’s centre for antiques and art. More than 70 antique shops and galleries in this area boast impressive collections of paintings, ceramics, glass, jewellery, furniture, tribal and Asian collectibles. Whether centuries old or completely modern, you’re bound to find something here that strikes your fancy.
The Haarlemmerdijk is a long, trendy shopping street, stretching from east to west towards Amsterdam Central Station. It is a lively strip where you will find everything from shoes, independent labels and second-hand clothes to specialty food products, interior design items and Dutch collectables.
The Utrechtsestraat is a little slice of retail heaven at the eastern edge of Amsterdam’s canal belt. Beginning at Frederiksplein in the south and heading all the way up to Rembrandtplein in the north, this charming street is chock-full of trendy concept stores, fashion boutiques, interior design stores and one of the best record stores in Amsterdam, Concerto, which takes up five adjoining properties along the street. All that shopping is hungry work, so don’t forget to stop off at one of the many cafes and restaurants dotted amongst the beautiful stores.
Less crowded than other shopping areas, the Beethovenstraat is a broad street offering fashion, perfumeries and upscale patisseries. Located in Amsterdam’s swanky Zuid district, it’s the perfect place to shop for luxury items at a more leisurely pace.
Batavia Stad Amsterdam
This out-of-town lakeside fashion outlet mall in the nearby city of Lelystad is home to more than 250 fashion brands, cafés and restaurants. Bargain hunters flock here from around the country to seek out big brands and discounted goods, with 30-70% discount on items from prestigious Dutch and international designers, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Nike, Lacoste, Replay, Supertrash, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein Jeans, Denham, Guess and many more. Visitors from outside the EU can benefit from even more savings by shopping Tax Free. A shuttle bus runs directly from Amsterdam city centre to Batavia Stad, departing from the pick-up point in front of the Victoria Plaza Hotel (in front of Central Station). The bus leaves at 10:00 and returns at 16:00; return tickets cost €15 per person.