The Negen Straatjes, which translates to "Nine Little Streets" in English, is a quaint shopping area situated in the heart of Amsterdam. This quiet area is a boutique lover's haven. Just as the name implies, the Negen Straatjes is comprised of nine little streets: Reestraat, Hartenstraat, Gasthuismolensteeg, Berenstraat, Wolvenstraat, Oude Spiegelstraat, Runstraat, Huidenstraat and Wijde Heisteeg. The Singel forms the border to the East, while the Prinsengracht marks the western most point. The Negen Straatjes has it all: jewelry stores, shoe shops, fashion boutiques and more. With such variety, you're sure to locate at least a few great finds, either for the resort or formal night. Make sure to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee, a cold beer or delicious slice of apple pie at one of the cute cafes or pubs.
Post cards, letters and care packages are some of the best ways to keep in touch with loved ones back home while traveling. Just a short walk from Centraal Station and very close to Dam Square, you'll find the post office, filled with everything you may need. You can go right up to the counter to buy stamps if you already have your correspondence ready. Or you can browse the assortment of cards and postcards available. You can also purchase a box if you need to mail tasty treats or Dutch souvenirs. The post office has every size box, from small to large. If you have a day or two in Amsterdam, you can also buy an OV chip card, which is valid for the public transportation.
Did you forget your camera? Do you need a special accessory for your technology gadget? Perhaps you are simply looking for a good CD or DVD. Saturn, one of the largest electronics stores in Europe, has it all. The store is located on the Oosterdok Island, which is very convenient and within walking distance of the cruise passenger terminal. Walk in and ask for help, or take a look around. If you are debating between two products (or more), you can even ask to try the product out. When you're ready to buy, all products are ready for immediate use.
The Magna Plaza, located across the street from the Royal Palace and Dam Square, is absolutely stunning. That same feeling will carry over as you step inside. The archways add an extra element of luxury. The building, formerly the Amsterdam post office, is now home to three floors of shopping. Whatever you're looking for, Magna Plaza has a little bit of everything: jewelry, clothing, souvenirs, skin care and cosmetics. You can even purchase Dutch cheese to take home. When you cannot shop anymore, head to Grand Café Ovidius or The Views. Rejuvenate yourself with a refreshing beverage and light snack. After, you can always continue shopping.
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. It is a great place to find formal wear. 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.
You should never travel without a good book. Whether you are lying by the pool or getting ready for bed, it is nice to have something handy to read. If you forgot yours, or are just looking for something new, start your search at the American Book Center. The ABC is a book lover's heaven: three floors packed top to bottom with a variety of English books. From Sci-Fi and Manga to fashion, travel guides, magazines, children's novels, romance and history, as well as bargain buys, everyone in the family will surely find something at this family-run bookstore. Students receive 10 percent off with a valid ID, and if you are over the age of 55, you can receive 10 percent off on Mondays.
The Dam Apotheek, a small pharmacy that dates back to 1882, is located right next to Dam Square. As it is centrally located, it is the perfect place to drop by if you are searching for something for the cruise. They offer an assortment of items, including skin care products. If an item is not available over the counter, most pharmacies in the Netherlands require you to have a prescription from a Dutch doctor. For the best results, fill the order online in advance or send an email before you leave to see what you can arrange with the pharmacy. The Dam Apotheek does have a Web shop, offering you the ability to order products online.
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 such as DKNY, Calvin Klein and Diesel, perfect if you are looking for cruise formal wear. You can also shop for shoes, accessories, casual wear, bathing suits and beauty products. De Bijenkorf is truly a one-stop shop.
The HEMA is an inexpensive store that has just about everything. If you want to print your pictures, the HEMA offers a photo service. Purchase a notebook or journal, so you can jot down all your memories as you travel. Pick up some extra pens and pencils, while you're at it. If you're headed somewhere sunny, make sure to buy some sunscreen and a towel for the beach. Did you run out of make-up or are you looking for accessories to match a new outfit? The HEMA offers that, as well. You'll even find an assortment of affordable clothes, namely casual outfits, from baby to adult. There is an ATM if you need cash. On your way out, stop by the restaurant for a coffee or ice cream. The HEMA is truly a Dutch favorite, and it will soon be one of yours.
The Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street where you can easily spend a whole day. This area promises a fun day out. The street, which is lined with numerous stores such as V&D, Zara, H&M, Nike, Rituals and Lush, starts at Dam Square and winds its way to Muntplein. From clothing to shoes and toys to books, you'll find just about everything. The street is even home to one of Amsterdam's malls, the Kalvertoren. So whether you are searching for a new swimsuit or looking for resort wear, the Kalverstraat caters to every style and budget, both men and women. To top off the entire experience, the Kalverstraat is said to be over 600 years old, so you'll be strolling through a piece of history.