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Tips for Shopping: The Amsterdam Way

You’ve got to admit it – no matter how strange or how foreign the country you are visiting, shopping is and always will be one of the things you look forward to doing. There’s just something irresistible about being able to exercise your purchasing power and brandishing it just about anywhere. Unfortunately, there will probably be some places where you’d like to spend as much as you can, but there just aren’t enough stores. Sad life.

BUT: if one of these days you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, then you’re in huge luck. Amsterdam, home to rich Dutch cuisine, home to many options for extreme and outdoorsy adventures, is also home to so many centers that are perfect for shopping ‘til you drop. Here’s a list of shopping destinations you can visit the next time you see yourself strolling along the Amsterdam pavements. (Tip: get a piece of paper and a pen, and make some sort of checklist of these shopping centers.)

Top Shopping Destinations to Visit in Amsterdam

Magna Plaza

Imagine an old post office transformed into one of the city center’s destinations for shopping. That’s exactly the kind of mix you get when you head out to Magna Plaza. Located across the street from the Royal Palace and Dam Square, the Magna Plaza is absolutely majestic. That feeling of awe and amazement is something that will surely stay with you even when you’re inside. The Plaza is three floors’ worth of excellent finds, from clothing, to cosmetics, to souvenirs, down to your choice of Dutch cheese. It’s all there.

Next on the list is one of Amsterdam’s famous open-air markets, the Waterloopleinmarkt. This flea market, located on Waterlooplein, will easily be your best friend if you’re one of those types who like (or love) a good bargain. You don’t have to buy anything automatically. You can simply begin by breathing in the energy and the excitement that fills the air of the flea market, brought about by energetic vendors selling everything – bicycles, art, books, music, and so many other quirky knick-kancks.


Those who are passionate about art and all things antique will really find a home in Spiegelkwartier. Literally translating to Mirror Quarter, the area is a haven of more than seventy specialty shops. Looking for some good furniture? Or perhaps your passion is in admiring and collecting Oriental art? You’ve got nothing to worry about; Spiegelkwartier is bound to have exactly what you are looking for. The area is also conveniently located near a lot of museums (the Rijksmuseum, anyone?), so if you feel like you need a history lesson away from all the shopping then you’re all set.

If you’re the quirkier type of shopper and you prefer something a little less mainstream, then Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk is the perfect shopping destination for you. Here, you’ll find yourself literally surrounded by independent speciality shops and stores (don’t say you weren’t warned). There are even shops that offer environmentally-sensitive fashion finds. When you think you’re done shopping for the day, go cap the day off with a good movie at Amsterdam’s oldest cinema, The Movies, still located in the same area.

Albert Cuypmarkt

Let’s end this list with a shopping destination that also happens to be one of the biggest open-air markets in all of Europe: the Albert Cuypmarkt. (Try if you can wrap your head around the idea. If you can’t, that’s exactly how huge it is.) Apart from the usual open-air market finds, such as clothing, art, books, and other fabulous items, the market also offers a lot of fresh produce, as well as some international treats that you can try while getting around. Remember to try typical Dutch foods, such as kroketten, stroopwafels, cheese and fresh herring.
If there’s one word that’ll describe shopping in Amsterdam, it’s this: awesome. Have fun.


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