Since many streets in the city center are closed to cars, shopping in Amsterdam is quite pleasant. You will still encounter busses, trams, taxis and bicycles though, so watch your step.
Amsterdam shops opening hours
In general, Amsterdam shops opening hours are from 9am to 6pm.
But there are shifts during the week. On Mondays many shops open an hour later at 10am. Have late night shopping on Thursday until 9pm but close earlier on Saturdays, at 5pm. On Sundays, even though many shops are closed, you can still find open shops in the city center, Kalverstraat, Damrak, Leidsestraat, and near the Noorderkerk.
Amsterdam shopping tour route
The Nieuwedijk and Kalverstraat pedestrian streets are together about 1.5 km long and full of shops. It is a pleasant idea to walk through it, enjoy your shopping and stop at a quality ice cream salon which is along the way.
The Nieuwedijk starts close to Central Station and leads to the Dam Square. It is occupied by shops dedicated to clothing, sportswear, music and gift shops with that special Amsterdam vibe. There is no car traffic but be prepared for a constant stream of tourists, students and locals.
On the other side of the Dam square Amsterdam shopping continues. You are now entering the Kalverstraat. More shoes, clothing, bags, gift shops, cards and perfume. Amongst that there is an occasional coffeeshop, fast food restaurant or ice cream salon. You will find that nearly all mainstream brand names have one or more stores on this road. You can also find Waterstones bookshop and the American Book Center here.
And for a quiet drink away from all these shops you can make a sidestep onto Spui, where you will find many cafes, bars and restaurants.
At the end of the Kalverstraat on the Muntplein, you will find all sorts of bulbs and flowers on the Flowermarket. The bulbs are ready for export, so you can enjoy them at home too.
If you cross the Muntplein and walk through the Regulier Breestraat, which consists of many restaurants, fast-food chains and gift shops, you'll end up on the Rembrandtplein.
Amsterdam luxury shopping
The Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, also called P.C. Hooftstraat, is where you can do some serious damage to your credit card. On this road in the Oud Zuid district, near the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk museum, you can find the haute couture boutiques: Cartier, Gucci, Edgar Vos, Tommy Hillfinger and the very impressive Oger shop. If you get overwhelmed you can go to the Vondelpark which is directly at the end of this road.
Amsterdam city pass
The Amsterdam city pass includes discounts to various shops, clubs and restaurants. It also includes entry to many interesting destinations. So you do not have to shop and wait for all the tickets. With one card you can enter most establishments immediately and with a discount.
Comparison of Amsterdam city passes and discount cards.
As every metropolis, Amsterdam has several different quarters - each of them with a special character. Shopping in Amsterdam streets also vary, depending on their placement in town. Many small shops, with their own importing contacts all over the world, make shopping in Amsterdam even more exciting. Furthermore, as the whole city center is not big, you may just walk through all the shopping streets of this city in just one or two days.
This part of the Amsterdam Canal district in the Old City is probably most interesting shopping area in town: the 9 small streets which are in fact three paralel streets led across the main canals of the city - from the Singel, through Herengracht and Keizersgracht to Prinsengracht. But with each crossing of the each canal the new name was given to each street section. So here we have the 9 Small Streets shopping paradise - in Dutch: De 9 Straatjes Area. These are: Reestraat, Hartenstraat, Gasthuismolensteeg, Berenstraat, Wolvenstraat, Oude Spiegelstraat, Rijnstraat, Huidenstraat, Wij de Heisteeg.
You may find lively and different Amsterdam markets, some of them have food and general goods, some are specialized in all kind of things you might be interested in - starting from organic food and antiques, ending on post stamps and art. All markets are within walking distance from the centre of the city. Check our page about markets in Amsterdam for a day of the week they are open, opening hours and more.
Famous Dutch designers of the past as Gerrit Rietveld and Willem Hendrik Gispen were hardly ever active in Amsterdam. It is only since 1980’s that Amsterdam became an important city for the design in the Netherlands. Dutch design, today recognized all over the world, was usually full of Calvinistic modesty and disciplined simplicity, simultaneously seeking for the sense of humor in the world surrounding us. Today, Dutch designer celebrities as Marcel Wanders and the architect guru and Pritzker Prize laureate Rem Koolhaas have their home base in Amsterdam. Their artistic works goes far away from the traditional Dutch sober and minimalist approach. A number of stores, which function also as galleries, propose the most recent objects created by Dutch designers. Most known are Droog Design, Moooi and The Frozen Fountain, but each year brings new interesting design venues.
Amsterdam is renowned as the most important modern and experimental art center in the North of Europe. Amsterdam art galleries present artists from all over the world, focussed on abstract and experimental art as well as photography. Interesting realistic paintings from so called New Dutch Realism movement, as well as realistic paintings from Italy, Spain, UK and the US are always on offer. Prices often are moderate, starting as low as €200 for a small painting or a print, but works of the well-known living artists tend to reach record prices.
Shopping in Amsterdam for Antiques happens mainly around Spiegelgracht and Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, a small street leading towards the center of the old city from the Rijksmuseum. Over 70 antique shops and fine art galleries are at this one street or its direct neighborhood called also Spiegelkwartier (Mirror Quarter). Even if you are not a collector yourself, a walk around this area may give you an opportunity to discover objects which will fascinate you with their beauty and their past. Dutch Old Master paintings are always well represented, but you will also see Delftware and ceramics, Oriental and African Art, as well as many shops with old clocks, pewter, instruments and furniture. Also it is worth to visit the Amsterdam antiques market and the annual event taking place the third week of November called Pan Amsterdam.
If you are a book lover, Amsterdam is your town. Amsterdam has wonderful bookshops with unique books from all over the world. Most of the Amsterdam bookshops are around or in proximity of the Spuiplein. Amsterdam shopping for books is also good around Leliegracht (five bookshops on one side of the not very long street). The biggest bookshop in Amsterdam – Scheltema (Koningsplein 20) has four big floors full of books, most of them in English.
Amsterdam being multicultural and tolerant city, which accepts many different lifestyles, has plenty of sex shops, mainly in the Red Light District and in its direct neighborhood, or around the Rembrandtplein. Several of them are uniquely addressed to gay or lesbian people.
Amsterdam shopping is great in department stores and shopping malls. They offer unique choice of products with imports from Asia, Latin America and Africa. The best choice is offered by De Bijenkorf (The Bee Hive) is directly at the Dam square. Except for one (Villa Arena), all department stores and shopping malls are within a short walking distance from the Dam square. You may compare their actual choice within couple of hours. Shopping in Amsterdam may save you time and effort. If you like your shopping indoors, or if it happens to be raining you can always visit one of the shopping malls in Amsterdam: Magna Plaza (on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, again near the Dam square) or the Kalvertoren (on the Kalverstraat).
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is a good place for shopping in Amsterdam. Commercial and communication centre called Schiphol Plaza adjoining to the airport has already several luggage, consumer electronics, bookshops and fashion shops which might be of your interest. Offering similar prices to the shops in town, the Plaza remains an interesting shopping opportunity because of its setting and the variety of merchandises. However you will find the real bargains since you have passed the passport controls and found yourself in the departure lounges of the airport. Amsterdam Airport duty free shops and their brand See Buy Fly are internationally recognized as one of the best.