The main shopping streets in Amsterdam are Kalverstraat en Leidsestraat. They house all the major shops, but it tends to be busy, especially during the weekends. Leidsestraat is famous for its shoe shops.
The quality of Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat is going down fast though, as night shops, mobile phone companies, fast food restaurants and souvenir shops mingle with the fashion stores.
Enter Leidsestraat from Leidseplein. Enter Kalverstraat from Dam Square.
The nine streets have risen to stardom the last few years. The nine streets are all the narrow side streets of the canal ring, between Central Station and Leidseplein. The streets are lined with quirkey boutiques from everthing from second hand clothes to high end fashion. In between are loads of lunch rooms with street terraces (great for people watching) and bars for night life.
Where to find the best shops in Amsterdam?
Malls & Department stores
The most famous and ‘glamorous’ department store is on Dam Square. It’s called Bijenkorf. (‘Beehive’). Bijenkorf is the largest department store in Amsterdam. Chique in a Dutch way. It’s the Bloomingdale’s of Amsterdam.
Behind Dam square, behind the Queen’s Palace, there is a wonderful old building that once was the main post-office. The building now hosts three floors of some of the best shops. Buy brands like Mango, America Today, Gsus, Laundry Industry and Sissy Boy at Magna Plaza shoppingcenter.
At the other end of Kalverstraat, at the Munt square, is V&D. V&D is a classic Dutch chain of departement stores with outlets all over The Netherlands. In the old days, it was seen as a slightly posh shop, where the middle class would buy. On the ground floor, an excellent choice of sandwiches and freshly baked bread and pizza is available for take away. There is also a good buffet/restaurant with freshly fry stirred asian food, rich soups and large salads. With a nice balcony.
Across from V&D is the Kalvertoren Shopping Centre. Apart from (another) H&M and Mango you can find shops here of Levis, Diesel, Nike and Timberland. The big store in the basement is called Hema, the best shop for all Dutch people who adore this general goods store because of its basic but beautiful designed goods for a basic price.
Boutiques & Design
The ‘Nine Streets’ covers the entire area from the Dam square across all 4 canals, from Leidsestraat to the Brouwersgracht, until the Jordaan area. It entails a total nine small streets (hence the name Nine streets).
Famous for its vintage stores, second hand clothes shops, designer boutiques, cozy bars and trendy lunchrooms, the Nine Streets are a maze you enjoy getting lost in. More vintage and second hand clothes in Amsterdam are found on the local markets.
Located more to the East of the Center, near Rembrandtplein is the Utrechtsestraat, a long street that cannot be left out of this list. Great for window shopping. Between some authentic Dutch bars you will find lots of fashion, gourmet food, interior design and a good record shop.
True high-end classics are available at P.C.Hooftstraat, near Museum Square. Here’s where famous Dutch football players hang out with Holland’s high society. Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier all have stores here, together with Dutch designers Edgar Vos (clothes), Ad Donkers (shoes) and Fred Stoeltie (glasses). If you’re on a budget: these best shops are fun for window shopping too.
The Old South, just south of the Museum Quarter is not only a prestigious residential area, it also houses some of the best high end restaurants and shops. On Cornelis Schuytstraat for example you can get cool denims and Chanel, Lanvin and Pucci-vintage at Blue Blood Boutique at No 18.
Cashmere is to be foud on No 31. Boys make their way to Super One (No 19) and Ennu. Alright, one more then, a Dutch pride: Marlies Dekkers, our own lingerie queen at No 13…