Best Places to Shop in Amsterdam, from Malls to Markets

In Amsterdam you can shop till you drop at one of the many shopping malls and shopping centers. This city offers something for everyone. From classic clothing stores to trendy high street. The best places to shop for upscale luxury and classic brands are the famous department stores the Bijenkorf and Maison de Bonneterie. For high streets brand the Kalverstraat is great. Here you can shop at all the large clothing chains you find in every city around the world. More special and a historic attraction on its own are the cozy Nine Streets, also known as "De Negen Straatjes". At the Nine Streets you will experience a totally different vibe. This is the favorite shopping area of Amsterdam yuppies and hipsters. It's home to trendy designer boutiques for men and woman. Don't miss the great cafes there for a coffee or lunch break. If you like to browse art galleries the Spiegelkwartier district is a must visit. So many small art galleries in even smaller streets crossing the channels all the way from the Prinsengracht to the Herengracht. For the ultimate Amsterdam experience it's fun to visit one of the many open air markets where the locals shop for their daily groceries.  The Albert Cuyp Market is by far the most famous one. This list displays the 10 best shopping centers that show the diverse shopping experience Amsterdam has to offer!


Old City Centre/Old Side

The Maison de Bonneterie's eye-catching, elegant exterior doesn't even begin to describe the luxury inside. The family-owned center is a complete shopping experience filled with fine fashion, home to brands such as G-Star, Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Scotch & Soda and Ralph Lauren. Book a personal shopper and shop till you drop. On the second level, the center offers a hair salon and spa, as well. After all that shopping, treat your feet to a pedicure. Spend a day at Maison de Bonneterie; you'll be living the good life. Numerous restaurants are located nearby, so you'll always have a place to grab a bite to eat when you're absolutely famished.

Central Canal Ring
Photo courtesy of Jessica Lipowski

If you've a green thumb or just admire those who do, you'll want to visit this extravagant 'floating' market, most of which actually occupies houseboats moored on the water. Cut flowers, bulbs, potted plants and the like are all available to beautify house and office, and even if you're traveling, you'll want to pick up a bouquet to brighten your room or at least snap a few photos. Souvenirs are also available from nearby vendors if you want to pick up a clog or two for the folks back home. Located between the Koningsplein and the Muntplein.

Central Canal Ring

The Nine Streets are just that: nine little streets and alleys in the heart of the historic canal district which, together, form a square-shaped shopping area stretching from the Singel to the Prinsengracht. They encompass: Reestraat, Hartenstraat, Gasthuis Molensteeg, Berenstraat, Wolvenstraat, Oude Spiegelstraat, Runstraat, Huidenstraat and Wijde Heisteeg. Brimming with charm, they are filled with speciality stores that purvey everything from vintage clothing and retro 1950s toasters to toothbrushes and candles galore. A wealth of coveted designer boutiques also congregate along here. It's ideal for present-hunting for others or treating yourself to a pair of unique new shoes. Dotted along the way are plenty of places to enjoy a cup of coffee, cake or a healthy lunch. Beats malls any day.

Old Center / Red Light District

Formerly a post office, this grand edifice was initially built in 1899. Its ornate interior and exterior provoked some ridicule when first built, but now, the grand structure is a familiar presence in the city. Nowadays, shopping and dining venues spread across four floors, and you'll find everything from a music superstore to clothing boutiques for men, women and children. Also included are shops for accessories, home interiors, cosmetics and toys. There are many health and beauty shops at the Magna Plaza like Toni & Guy and Obey Your Body. If you're looking for a Dutch souvenir the Typical Dutch store and the Cheese store are not to be missed.

Old Center / Red Light District

At the top of the Kalverstraat, by the Muntplein, this modern three-level shopping center is pretty much a one-stop shop for all your needs – whether it's a strong coffee, a deli treat, garden furniture, paint and, of course, clothes. Thirty brand stores located across three floors include America Today, H&M, Hugo Boss and the much loved Dutch department store Hema. Best of all is its café and brasserie at the top with great views across the center of Amsterdam. The entrance of Blue is a bit hidden on the top level and the menu is pretty straight forward but the view is something you will definitely remember!

Old Center / Red Light District

This narrow pedestrianised street runs between Dam square and the Muntplein (where the Kalvertoren shopping center can be found), and is probably Amsterdam's busiest commercial shopping area. Along here, you'll come across pop music stores, fashion stores and shoe stores; the Bodyshop and English-language bookstore, Waterstone's, are also along this stretch. If you feel your sugar levels plunge along with your bank account, head to Australian Homemade on the corner where the street meets Spui for delicious chocolate or ice cream. Or put your feet up with something more substantial on the Spui square where a local book market sets up every Friday and (from March to December) also the site of an art market on Sunday.

PC Hooftstraat
Photo courtesy of Jessica Lipowski

The PC Hooftstraat is one shopping street in Amsterdam that fashionistas will certainly not want to miss. Whether you're searching for a new outfit or just want to window shop, you must take a stroll down this internationally renowned street and soak in the stylish grandeur. The PC Hooftstraat is the most expensive shopping street in the Netherlands. You'll find top brands, such as Lacoste, Mulberry, Gucci, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Hermes and Tiffany & Co. The Museum Quarter is located nearby, so if you need a break, you are close to top Amsterdam attractions such as the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum. You'll also find delicious restaurants and cafes in the area.

Central Canal Ring

The Spiegelkwartier is the district between the Rijksmuseum and the Herengracht with the Spiegelstraat as its most important street. It's the number one art district in Amsterdam and a perfect place to shop for antiques and modern and classic art. Upscale shops line the streets, offering everything from sculpture and porcelain to high-quality furniture and other decorative goods. Many of the pieces are one-of-a-kind and make ideal mementos of time spent in the Netherlands. The Spiegelkwartier is known for the many art galleries there. When going into the galleries you sometimes feel as if in a museum. Dutch Masters from Karel Appel to Vermeer are there for you to see. After shopping at the Spiegelkwartier it's fun to go to Stach for wine and bites or to restaurant Red for a surf and turf with lobster and steak.

Albert Cuyp Market

The Albert Cuypmarkt is one of the most authentic markets in Amsterdam. Every morning at 8 am the market vendors start to unpack their fresh products, clothes and flowers for a new day at the Albert Cuyp. It's said to be one of the largest daily open-air markets in Europe. The Albert Cuyp market is open from Monday to Saturday and provides numerous shopping and food-tasting opportunities. This vibrant, colorful market is a destination of its own. A true attraction in Amsterdam! Locals like to go to the Albert Cuyp Market to buy their daily groceries like fresh produce, such as seafood, cheese, chicken and vegetables. Make sure to browse all the stalls. You'll find great bargains. Throughout the day, don't forget to taste international treats. Try typical Dutch foods, such as coroquesttes, stroopwafels, cheese and fresh herring. These foods make for a tasty mid-morning snack.

Old City Centre/Old Side

De Bijenkorf, a chain of high-end department stores, is definitely a Dutch favorite. The store in Amsterdam, which opened in 1870, was the first of De Bijenkorf's stores. The majestic building towers over Dam Square, ready to welcome shoppers. The name literally translates to the "beehive," which is fitting because the store is always buzzing. Shoppers can browse a wide range of brands from Mulberry and the Dutch brand Fred de la Bretoniere to Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger. De Bijenkorf also has a great travel department where you can buy luxury suitcases. The shoe department is shoe heaven for men and woman. Not to forget about the book and stationary floor. On the ground level of De Bijenkorf you find the luxury shop in shops of Gucci, Fendi and Mulberry.