Cutting a wide swath through central Amsterdam, the Kalverstraat, named after the kalvermarkt (calves market) staged there until the 17th century, is the city's main pedestrian shopping street, with no traffic other than a constant flow of tourists, locals and shoppers from around the globe. The one kilometer stretch from Dam Square to the Bloemenmarkt on the Muntplein is lined with shops proffering shoes, clothing, bags, books, cards, perfume, cosmetics and just about anything else you might need or never knew you needed. Fast food outlets, cafés and coffeeshops are interspersed in the mix of mainstream stores and trendy boutiques.
Painter Piet Mondrian lived at Kalverstraat 154 from 1892–1895. A HEMA department store has been drawing shoppers since 1926. Other Kalverstraat mainstays include several of those ubiquitous H&M stores, Diesel, Mango, Zara, Nike, and a new Marks & Spencer. If you come on a weekend or holiday, be prepared to fight the crowds. Shops are open until 21:00 on Thursdays.