Shopping in Amsterdam


Amsterdam is a shopping nirvana with a wide range of stores catering to different audiences, tastes and budgets. The only drawback is that most shops close by 6 in the evening. Shops are open till 9pm on Thursdays and on Sunday from 10 -17:00.

The commercial areas in Amsterdam are:

  • Nieuwedijk- Kalverstraat: the main shopping artery crammed with shops, big and small selling everything from books to clothes
  • Leidsestraat: another vibrant street which ends in the Leidseplein, a lively square to people watch once you're done with your shopping
  • PC Hooftstraat: home to some of the most expensive brands, this is the place to go to if you've got exclusive taste
  • The Nine streets is an interesting area to stroll through. It has a unique blend of shops you will not find elsewhere - there's the tooth brush shop, the candle shop, a shop that sells everything from the 1920's, another that sells only things from the 50's and 60's!

Super and Hypermarkets

  • Albert Heijn
  • Super de Boer
  • C1000
  • Jumbo
  • Lidl
  • Spar
  • Aldi


  • Bijenkorf Shopping Centre
  • V&D Shopping Centre
  • Hema
  • Magna Plaza Shopping Centre
  • Maison de Bonneterie
  • Amsterdam Diamond Centre

For the night owls, there are night shops (avondwinkels) that can be found in major cities, usually opening from 4pm to 1 or 2am. In general, shops shut a little earlier on Saturday.

Update 29/02/2008


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International bookshops
Both belonging to the same group, Van Der Velde Boeken:

Groningen, two shops: the main at Grote Markt has an underground floor just for english books, and on the first floor also used ones, dutch, english, and germans.
A fistful of french spanish and italian books also in A-Kerkhof, to be honest not so many.

Zwolle: It deserve a visit because there's a church who has been transformed in a very nice bookshop. Dutch books, of course, but english and german too. Just brand new books on sale. There is also a nice coffee bar.



Bookshops for English books
There are actually at least 6 English bookstores in Amsterdam (but they might also sell other languages):

* Waterstones of course, the #1 British book seller, with a large store covering 4 floors: Kalverstraat 152, 1012XE, Amsterdam, 1012

* The English Bookshop (also known as The New English Bookshop) is a smaller bookstore (not multi-storey!) but dedicated to English and International literature: Kalverstraat 223

* The Book Exchange (since 1978) is a second-hand bookshop operating over 3 floors with non-fiction, travel books, fiction, fantasy, psychology and politics: Kloveniersburgwal 58, 1012 CX Amsterdam

* Athenaeum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum sells international press and magazines but also has a section for English language books: Spui 14-16, Amsterdam

* The American Book Center (aka the ABC) has a huge selection of American and British titles over several floors. Address: Spui 12, 1012 XA Amsterdam (ABC has got branches in The Hague and Leidschendam)

* The last one is not 100% English, as it is Scheltema the biggest Dutch bookshop in Amsterdam. However, you will find an impressive section for English books: Rokin 9 (close to Dam Square), 1012 KK Amsterdam



Bookshop for French books
You will find French books at Le Temps Retrouvé in Amsterdam.
According to the website Petit Futé, the place has become the headquarters of the French and francophiles of the city and in the country.



Spanish Bookshop in Amsterdam
This is El rincón del libro, with Spanish books for adults and children.

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