Some good food you won't find elsewhere:
-kroepoek (Indonesian-ish shrimp chips... soo addictive and so cheap)
-sambal badjak (a really spicy Indonesian dip... absolutely delicious for dipping, for putting in/on/with just about anything)
-jenever (pronounced: "yen-ay-ver" with the accent on the "ay"): Dutch gin
This is a large shop in an industrial site. It has a very large selection of cardmaking and scrapbooking materials and the prices afre good. The people (it is a family run shop) are very friendly. They have a loyalty card which costs 7.50 euros but gives 10% off all purchases. They regularly give classes and demonstrations of card making. There is a coffee area with free tea and coffee and a place for husbands to sit while their wives are shopping!
What to pay: the prices range
I would hate to even guess at how many pairs of wooden shoes and pieces of Delft that are taken home each year. However there are some other great items that people often miss that are not only Dutch, but unique, and a bit more useful.
What to buy: I would hate to even guess at how many pairs of wooden shoes and pieces of Delft that are taken home each year. However there are some other great items that people often miss that are not only Dutch, but unique, and a bit more useful.
CHEESE is a great gift for the person who doesn’t care for dust collectors. However don’t buy that stuff in the gift shops! That stuff is for the tourists. Go to one of the many cheese shops or markets OR visit Alkmaar on a Friday and buy from one of the locals there. The piece of cheese shown was only 5 euros. Of course you do need to check with your local country’s customs about bringing in food items. For Americans at this time, the rule is you can bring in any hard cheese (no brie and such), as long it has not been opened.
If you visit during Queens Day, you may come across a drink called ‘ORANGE BITTER’, however finding this stuff any other time of year, is like trying to find an Easter egg in July! However, I have found one place that stocks it! In the large mall, behind the palace in Dam Square you will find a liquor store in the basement. Here you can buy a bottle from 8 to 11 euros.
Another item not written about is the BOLS GENEVER in the Delft bottle. While the bottle isn’t the best Delft I’ve seen, it is attractive and once the contents have been used it can be used as a nice vase or even for olive oil. For those of you who don’t know what Genever is… http://www.bols.com and click on the pop down menu for Genever. I found this item at a local liquor store in the Jordaan district for 24 euros.
Local shops and markets can also offer some nice items, you won’t find elsewhere. While hard to get to with out a car, the village of De Rijp is the home for many craftsmen. Also in Alkmaar during the weighing of the cheese on Fridays you can find booths of local HANDMADE CRAFTS. Starting at price of about 5 euros
Personally, I like to read books and a lot! Of course it is possible to find books in English and other languages here in The Netherlands, but if you're looking for some particular type of books you'll need more than just a local bookstore.
The American Book Center stores are located in 3 cities: The Hague, Amsterdam, and Leuven (Belgium). In general, books in the Netherlands are expensive, you'll pay at least 1,5 times more than you would pay for the same book in the US. But, if you're student and have your valid ID with you, you'll get 10% discount.
In The Hague the second floor has the bargain section where you can find second hand book. It may take you a while looking for what you want but if you're patient enough you can find some real good book for a very low price. Once I managed to find a book by Paul Theroux for only 3 Euro!
Next to wooden shoes Delft is one of the most common souvenirs. However it's buyer beware.
The Netherlands does not have a law requiring items be labeled with place of origin. Where in other counties you would see the "Made in China" here is just would say anything, or just say "Holland" on the bottom.
There is much written on the subject of Delft on the internet and too little space here to cover the entire subject. So I'll just touch on the high points.
Delft is the name of town and style not a brand. There are several places that make 'real' delft. Real Delft will be signed, and will come with certificate of authenticity.
The quickest ways to tell are price and quality. Real Delft is NOT CHEAP! Real Delft is hand painted with a fair amount of detail, fake will be poorly painted or have a transfer design (fired in decal). Price is your fastest guide. A very small piece of real Delft will cost at least $20.00.
Oh yes one last thing, real Delftware can have other colors than blue. However, it even costs more.
Buy what you like, but know what you are buying.
What to pay: On the average:
Fake Delftware will cost between 1euro to 20 euro.
Real Delftware will cost 25euro to hundreds of euro
For those little odd things you wish you would have brought with you.
For me it was a few extra blank CDs, a shopping bag, travel coffee mug, and such. While I haven't found anything that resembles a Wal-mart, this little store does carry a nice variety of items.
It appears to be a fairly good size chain store, having locations in many of the towns I've visited. The stock does appear to differ depending on location. Such as the one pictured is located between Central station and Dam square carries souvenirs and the one in Amsterveen offered more housewares. No matter which location, great little place to find those little things you didn't pack.
What to buy: If you are going to be doing much shopping, I would defiantly suggest their little canvas shopping bag. Offers a flat bottom for standing, strong enough to handle most anything, and most of all has a zipper closure across top.
While we pack, repack, check and double check.. sometimes we simply miss something. Not to mention when the weather, takes on a mind of it's own, and you end up having the wrong clothing.
I found this chain to be wonderful. Their prices appeared to be fair, and that the carried a nice verity of styles and sizes.
I've seen this chain in several towns. The one pictured, is on the main road between Central station and Dam Square.
the Dutch call 'em clogs or klompen....don't go to a shop, go to the many markets around the country..or even Amsterdam, where I got mine...then discovered, they where halve the price in Arnhem:-(( a good Idea to buy them is at a Garden Center
and they soooooooo compfy, and with socks, surprisingly warm, well of course..wood breath!
What to buy: wooden shoes, but we also bought dutch dairyfood is... very yummy
The wooden shoes!
Hmmm I bet it is not so comfortable to walk with, neither the sound and noise when it touch the ground! LOL
and they don't exist anymore, I mean no one use them, but it was a day *history* when Dutch people use to walk with hee hee!
now it is just tradition and typical local thing, tourists and visitors adore it, they just love to buy souvenires like this!
so make sure you buy ones, it is so Dutch!
While walking with Mirjam in the streets of Rotterdam we noticed the famous shop H&M
Then Mirjam told me all about her passion with Rochelle *Geisha_Girl* in shopping in this shop LOL
so I took a funny picture of Mirjam standing next to the H&M with a sad look, as she was saying, Oooopppppsss shall I go without Geisha!!!
This shoppingmall has about 50 shops. From clothing shops till bookshops, restaurants en two department stores. (V&D and The Bijenkorf, they are very popular in The Netherlands) There is for everybody a lot to shop. It’s located in the heart of Breda. The Barones gets in a week 110.000 visitors, so it’s a very popular mall in this area. From the train it is a 15 minute walk to this mall.
What to pay: As much as you want.
In the heart of Breda, you’ll find a new shopping area called ‘t Sas. The shop are exclusive and elegant. The atmosphere is great. There are several shops. They sell antique, cosmetics, flowers, juwerly, homedecoration and much more. There are also several restaurants and bars. It is a very nice place to shop, and one you don’t want to miss! Have fun.
What to buy: The Dutch have been wearing clogs since about the 13th century. A well made pair of clogs is actually surprisingly comfortable. Clog-lovers enthuse about how the wood allows the footwear to breathe, making clogs cool in summer and warm in winter. Tourists usually buy clogs with cute little pictures on them and use them to decorate their home so that everyone knows they have been to Holland.
What to buy: Unlike champagne, gouda is not a protected name, which means that most of the gouda cheese sold all over the world has never been anywhere near Gouda, a Dutch city northeast of Rotterdam. Anyway, even in Gouda most of the cheese nowadays is produced industrially, with vast vats stirring the milk and removing the whey. It’s increasingly difficult to find farm-produced gouda. After it has been made, the cheese is stored to allow ripening. Depending on the length of storage – from a couple of weeks to a few months – it is marketed as young gouda or old gouda. A really old gouda will bring tears to your eyes.
I don't know why this is, but shoes in the Netherlands are much cheaper than in the UK. So much so that I now tend to buy all my shoes there when I visit a couple of times a year. Probably half the price of the UK.
I bought a great pair in a store called Cinderella, which I believe is a chain.
I'm going to stop now, before I become totally girly. I think it's already too late ;)
My son and grandmother shared a room at the Ambassade, where we were greeted by a very friendly and...more
This Hotel is the right place for romantic people who like its "old fashioned" style, the relaxed...more
It's great to see and witness that the hotel has a heated outdoor swimming pool, which you can use...more
see all Netherlands member meetings