Amsterdam's best shops and markets

Designer clothes, antiques and vintage finds

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Dappermarkt

Dappermarkt

The beauty of shopping in Amsterdam is that, with unique boutiques, eateries, coffee shops (the kind that deal in flat whites rather than green buds) and galleries in most cosy neighbourhoods, there's no need for ugly scenes when it comes to deciding where to flash the cash. Ramble through the 'Nine Streets' (those small lanes connecting Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht in between Raadhuisstrat and Leidsegracht) which used to be the go-to for vintage threads but are increasingly packed to the gills with upmarket boutiques by the likes of Filippa K and Dutch underwear queen Marlies Dekkers; delve into the Jordaan's many dinky and quirky merchants; or tackle the ritzy glam and designer brands of the PC Hooftstraat, the place you're most likely to rub shoulder pads with a native celebrity in the process of re-wardrobing.


For fans of Delftware pottery and Golden Age painting, the Spiegelkwartier across the road from the Rijksmuseum is packed with shops selling real treasures at accordingly high prices. Dress for success and keep your nose in the air if you want to fit in with the legions of big-spending locals here. One thing's for certain: wherever you set foot, you are assured retail treasures of every stripe.


290 Square Meters

  • Critics choice

In its former space, this shop/agency/gallery's claim to fame was that it was the first place in the world where people could purchase customised Nikes. Now, in a more spacious former bank vault, it offers a spectrum of goods, ranging from bikes to fashion,

  1. Houtkopersdwarsstraat 3
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Albert Cuypmarkt

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Amsterdam's largest general market sells everything from pillows to prawns at great prices. The clothes on sale tend to be run-of-the-mill cheapies.

  1. Albert Cuypstraat
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American Book Center

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Now located in a fancier location a mere two blocks from the old shop and an Amsterdam institution since 1972, the American Book Center stocks English-language books and magazines from the US and UK, mostly to bilingual Dutch customers.

  1. Spui 12
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Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

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This is where Amsterdam's most highbrow literary browsers choose to hang around. The Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, as its name might suggest, also stocks newspapers from all over the world, as well as a wide choice of magazines, periodicals and, the bookworm's staple, tomes

  1. Spui 14-16
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Azzurro Due

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If you've got to splurge, this is as good a spot as any. Saucy picks from Anna Sui, Blue Blood, Chloé and Stella McCartney attract the usual mediacrities.

  1. Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat 138
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Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)

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This fascinating collage of colour is the world's only floating flower market, with 15 florists and garden shops (although many also hawk cheesy souvenirs these days) permanently ensconced on barges along the southern side of Singel. The plants and flowers usually last

  1. Singel, between Muntplein and Koningsplein, Southern Canal Belt
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Concerto

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Head here for classic Bach recordings, obscure Beatles items, or that fave Diana Ross album that got nicked from your party. There are also second-hand 45s and new releases at decent prices.

  1. Utrechtsestraat 52-60
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Condomerie het Gulden Vlies

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A variety of rubbers of the non-erasing kind to wrap up trouser snakes of all shapes and sizes in a store that's equal parts amusing and inspiring.

  1. Warmoesstraat 141
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Dappermarkt

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Dappermarkt is a locals' market: prices don't rise to match the number of visitors. It sells all the usual market fodder, and plenty of cheap clothes.

  1. Dapperstraat
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De Bijenkorf

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Translated, 'De Bijenkorf' means 'The Beehive' - an apt alias for this busy department store. Stationed in a grandiose building on Dam Square, this deluxe temple to shopping offers an extensive range of high-end brands, including Chanel, Marc Jacobs and popular Dutch

  1. Dam 1
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De Kaaskamer

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De Kaaskamer offers over 200 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses, plus pâtés, olives, pastas and wines. Have fun quizzing the staff on the different cheese types and related trivia.

  1. Runstraat 7
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Droog

  • Critics choice

Dutch dynamo Droog has expanded its HQ into a flagship ‘hotel’ – a city-centre design mall where you can attend a lecture series or an exhibition, sunbathe in the fantasy courtyard garden and, yes, even spend a night in the single suite. The historic building’s

  1. Staalstraat 7A/B
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Frozen Fountain

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The ‘Froz’ is a paradise for lovers of contemporary furniture. It stays abreast of innovative Dutch designers like Piet Hein Eek, the maestro of furniture made from recycled wood; it also sells stuff by the non-Dutch likes of Marc Newsom, plus modern classics and

  1. Prinsengracht 645
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Geboortewinkel Amsterdam

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A beautiful range of maternity and baby clothes (including premature sizes) in cotton, wool and linen. You'll also find cotton nappies, plus various childbirth videos for those still antipating the big event.

  1. Bosboom Toussaintstraat 22-24
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Mail & Female

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Mail & Female is the original sex shop run for women, by women - but is equally welcoming to their partners. Originally a mail order service that popped up in response to a demand for classy lingerie and high-quality sex toys, this friendly shop has further grown into

  1. Nieuwe Vijzelstraat 2
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Noordermarkt

  • Critics choice

North of Westermarkt, Noordermarkt is frequented by the serious shopper. The huge stacks of (mainly second-hand) clothes, shoes, jewellery and hats need to be sorted with a grim determination, but there are real bargains to be had. Arrive early or the best stuff will

  1. Noordermarkt
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Puccini Bomboni

  • Critics choice

Tamarind, thyme, lemongrass, pepper and gin are just some of the flavours of these delicious hanmade chocolates, completely without artificial ingredients.

  1. Staalstraat 17
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Skins Cosmetics Lounge

  • Critics choice

Sleek, sexy and full of top-of-the-range products you'll have trouble finding anywhere else in town: REN, Benefit, Creed and so on.

  1. Runstraat 9
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SPRMRKT

  • Critics choice

A whopping 450sq m (4,850sq ft) store (that's big for Amsterdam) of exceptionally cool duds. The prize is the shop-within-the-shop, SPR+, featuring picks from Margiela, Rick Owens, the Acne Jeans collection, Wendy & Jim and more.

  1. Rozengracht 191-193
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Westermarkt

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A market selling all sorts of stuff. The people packing the pavement are proof of the reasonable prices and range of goods, including new watches, pretty (and not so pretty) fabrics and cheap clothes.

  1. Westerstraat
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