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The neihbourhood of Jordaan and the streets around it contain many small boutiques selling items that cannot be found at the more commercial shopping streets. The shops specialise in more "alternative" and individual style clothing (often with a price tag to match, of course, but you might be pleasantly surprised as well), cool and funky designer furniture and other decorative items, jewellery, art, books, gift items, CDs and vinyls, antiques, tiles and mosaic, bicycles, second hand clothes etc.
There is also regular markets (eg food, second hand books) and you can find pretty flowers from one of the small flower shops along the canals. There is also a Tulip Museum selling bulbs.
Updated Apr 9, 2013
I think Amsterdam probably has the best selection of fridge magnets of anywhere I've visited. Possibly because there are so many 'iconic' symbols of the city, and the Netherlands: tulips, cheese, clogs, gables, window ladies, cannabis, windmills, works of art....
If you collect magnets you'll be spoilt for choice, and they make excellent, cheap souvenirs to take home for friends and family. Prices are very reasonable indeed, from one euro upwards.
You'll find them at every shop which sells souvenirs, on markets, in museum and site-specific shops.....
Written Apr 7, 2013
I always wanted to own an authentic Delftware piece, tin glazed. I decided to buy a tulip vase from one of the shops in the city that sells authentic pieces.
They had a lot of other nice things, but they were pricey. If you want the real deal, be prepared to pay for it.
My tulip vase is relatively small, round and it holds 7 tulips. I paid 280 Euros for it. It was the only souvenir that I really wanted to get from Amsterdam and I am very glad I had the chance to get it. It looks beautiful on the table!
What to buy: authentic Delftware pieces
What to pay: the cheapest piece starts at about $50 Euros and the prices go up to more than 2000 Euros. you can also buy a small Christmas ornament for about $40 Euros, but I decided to pass on it and stick to the tulip vase purchase only.
Updated Mar 22, 2012
This replaces an earlier store that featured lots of airplane models. There is a partial fuselage that can be visited and is fun for children. Not as much KLM merchandise as I had hoped for. Found a repro camera bag in old KLM livery that made me happy, however.
What to buy: Plane-related books, gifts, models and accessories.
What to pay: 10 Euros +
Written Feb 9, 2012
What to buy: Wooden tulips are one of the things I've bought during my trip to Amsterdam. The wooden tulips were available in many colours. I found a shop along Damrak, it's on the left side if you're walking towards the Central Station. This shop sold wooden tulips for a quite a reasonable price...1.50 euro per piece and 12.50 euro for 10 pieces. They look gorgeous arranged naturally in a white plain vase.
Other souvenir shops sell wooden tulips too. Prices are almost the same. However, avoid buying them at the airport...it's expensive.
Written Dec 25, 2011
Albert Heijn is a major supermarket chain with branches all over The Netherlands. In addittion to the larger stores there's also several smaller "convenience" shops branded as AH To Go.
These latter are ideal for picking up nibbly stuff for picnics, an alfreco lunch in the park or just to take back to your hotel for an inexpensive "rainy day" supper.
What to buy: The "To Go" shops have a range of ready-made things like salads, sandwiches, micro-wavable meals etc plus all the makings for the do-it-yourselfers such as freshly baked breads, cheese and delicatessen meats, fresh fruit and vegetables.
As well as the edibles they also stock a full range of drinkables of both the alcoholic and non varieties.
What to pay: Maybe not as cheap as buying from the markets etc but as a one-stop shop aren't hugely expensive.
Written Apr 7, 2011
Address: Several around the city.
What to buy: Schiphol Airport has 2 great flower shops in the Departure/Transit area. It is not too late! You can get some seriously great flowers (add water) for loved ones back home. Unlike cut flowers, they will not die and put you back in the dog house after 3 days. You can even get Tulips in bowls that you can grow in your house. Fantastic! Well priced and easy to transport. The bowls are ceramic with Dutch artwork and scenes. An excellent gift.
…And you can reserve Duty Free goods on-line before you arrive! Check out the website below!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Schiphol Airport
Once in a while someone asks for a camping shop in Amsterdam. Today i saw one and actually remembered it. Because its not the kind of shop i go to when i go shopping in Amsterdam.
Bever sells all kinds of camping gear, backpacks, gaz, clothing, pans, shoes,books you name it. If you have forgotten something this is the place to get it.
What to buy: Whatever you might need at that moment.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Stadhouderskade 4
This tiny shop behind the flower market sells all kinds of Christmas decorations all year round from the traditional to the modern. There are delft ornaments & wooden replicas of dutch houses. There is a countdown board to Christmas & worth a visit to get you in the Christmas spirit. Open 10am - 6pm daily
Update 2008 - Sadly this shop appears to have closed
What to buy: Christmas ornaments
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Singel 508-510
The best shopping areas are north (Nieuwendijk) and south (Kalverstr) of the Dam Square. Along these streets, there are clothing shops, shoe shops, cafes and souvenir shops. Some of my favourites were Hema, H&M, V&D, C&A, and Only.
Leidsestraat east is also a good street for shopping.
The Magna Plaza behind the Royal Palace (Dam Square) has 40 upmarket fashion, gift and jewelry shops.
The 9 Straatjes (Negen Straatjes) in the Western Canal are also popular for boutiques and vintage (Episode) shops. These shops are located from west to east in the lower Western Canal.
Updated Mar 3, 2011
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