How to shop for bargains in Amsterdam
True to its trading past, Amsterdam is the paradise for all shoppers, independently on what item they’re looking for. Huge department stores and crowded shopping streets, sparkling jewellery shops and vintage clothes stores, and finally, numerous markets selling authentic stuff dirt-cheaply. There is nothing that you won’t find in Amsterdam. The fact that the city is an assemblage of cultures makes your shopping tour even more exciting.
We won’t burden you with too many details about the places to shop in Amsterdam. Still, there is some information about the best spots that you may find useful.
The most famous shopping areas in Amsterdam
There are several areas and streets that are usually referred to as the main shopping districts of Amsterdam.
The Nine Little Streets (De Negen Straatjes)
The Nine Streets is the area that is perfect if you want to add some historic charm to your shopping spree. It is formed by the nine streets that intersect the famous historic canals, the Herengracht, the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht, between the Jordaan area and the Leidsestraat. Quaint cafes and restaurants, boutiques, vintage stores, bookshops and other places of interest are waiting for every treasure-hunter.
Hotels near the Nine Streets:
Continue your acquaintance with the spirit of Amsterdam at the bohemian Jordaan district, which plays home to artists’ studios and galleries, smaller boutiques, antique shops and specialty shops. A visit to the Hazenstraat, the heart of the Jordaan, is a must for every shopaholic. The famous food market Noordermarkt is also located in this district.
Hotels near the Jordaan:
- Pulitzer 5*
- The Toren 4*
P.C.Hooftstraat is your destination for luxury shopping. This is a small street in the Museum Quarter where shops by the world famous brands are found. Gucci and Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren... Combine cultural enrichment with shopping in Amsterdam and visit the famous museums: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum.
Hotels near the P.C.Hooftstraat:
This is a busy pedestrian-only shopping street that ends at the Dam Square and fully responses to the slogan “Shop till you drop”. There is a great number of shops for every purse found on the street, mainly of the international brands you are used to like Zara or Mexx.
Hotels near the Kalverstraat:
Check the chic shops and famous stores like the Metz Co. at the Leidsestraat on your way to one of the liveliest squares in town – the Leidse square. In contrast to the Kalverstraat, the Leidsestraat features more high-end spots such as Karen Millen, Shoebaloo etc.
Hotels near the Leidsestraat:
- Dikker & Thijs Fenice Hotel 4*
- Amsterdam American Hotel 4*
- Hotel the Golden Bear (Gay hotel)
The largest department stores
Like in any capital city, there is a number of big department stores in Amsterdam. Situated right in the city centre, they guarantee you a day of perfect shopping or a pleasant after-cultural relaxation in case window-shopping is something that helps you relieve tension. The stores that we definitely recommend to visit are: Magna Plaza, De Bijenkorf (right behind the Dam Square), Maison de Bonneterie, and, the Dutch favourite – HEMA, selling generic housewares. There are several HEMA stores in Amsterdam, including the one in the shopping heart of Amsterdam, on Kalverstaat.
Hotels close to the Magna Plaza and De Bijenkorf:
Amsterdam markets – a paradise of bargains
Amsterdam markets is a topic that deserves a separate article. However, it is simply our duty to tell you about the most popular of them here. A market is always the best place to shop for cheap stuff, bargains and authentic things. There are several great markets in Amsterdam, each with its own individuality. Let’s name the best known ones.
Albert Cuyp Markt
Albert Cuyp Markt is the place where world cultures meet to offer you the best of their goods, often at extremely low prices. Taste food from around the world, buy clothes, flowers, books and get great deals. This is probably the most famous market in Amsterdam. Mind that the Albert Cuyp Markt is located outside the centre, so there are not many high-end hotels to choose from nearby.
Hotels near the Albert Cuyp Markt:
Noordermarkt is another famous Amsterdam flea market, but with one advantage – location in the prestigious Jordaan district. Food from organic farms is sold here on Saturdays, while on Mondays the market attracts those hunting for antiques. See the Jordaan section for local hotels.
Waterlooplein Markt is an excellent place to shop for unique clothing by the up-and-coming young designers before they get famous. Plus second-hand clothes, knick-knacks, books, DVDs and others things you expect to see at a flea market.
Hotels near the Waterlooplein Markt:
When to shop for bargains in Amsterdam
Opposite to what you might be used to, there are no sales periods in the Netherlands at the end of each season. Instead, there are two main sales seasons – the summer and the winter one. Therefore, head to Amsterdam in January and July if you expect to do some bargain-hunting.
During these months major shops hold clearance sales. Look for the “Opruiming”, “Uitverkoop”, or the more usual “Sale” posters to find out where to buy things at lower prices. Discounts may reach up to 70%, even at the most expensive stores.
The other shopping event not to be missed in Amsterdam is the Crazy Days (“The Dwaze Dagen”) at De Bijenkorf. It’s held for three days usually in the end of September – beginning of October. There are different items on sale each day, and discounts may reach from 25% to 40%. The store opens earlier, but mind that it’s usually overcrowded during the period. So get some patience and good luck with your bargain-hunting!
Shopping packages at Amsterdam hotels
Don’t miss excellent shopping packages offered at several Amsterdam hotels. They will make your shopping more convenient and productive. Sometimes there are even discounts offered for hotel guests at some shops.
Some great shopping packages:
- Shop and Discover package at Grand Hotel Amrath 5*. Accommodation, a lunchbox, Vespa rental, a city map and an entrance to the hotel’s wellness centre included. From approx. €319
- Park & Shop Package at Hilton Amsterdam 5*. Free parking and a Susie shopping guide included. From approx. €239 for a Deluxe room