Amsterdam’s Best Shopping Streets
Amsterdam is a shopper’s paradise, with vintage shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques, Dutch design outlets and pop-up boutiques throughout the city. If you’re a serious shopper, you won’t want to miss special shopping streets like Haarlemmerstraat/Haarlemmerdijk, Hazenstraat, Utrechtstraat, Kalverstraat, Leidsestraat and the nine small streets that comprise the Negen Straatjes. All offer great window shopping, as well as retail treasures you may not yet know you can’t live without.
Hazenstraat, 1016 SR Amsterdam, Netherlands
It’s a single street after Amsterdam‘s Negen Straats (Nine Streets), but Hazenstraat, the Tiende Straatje (Tenth Street), rates a ten in serious shoppers’ books. Lined with boutiques, cafés and galleries, this cobbled strip in the Bohemian-chic Jordaan begins starts at Lauriergracht, where French urban artist Invader installed one of 26 mini-mosaics inspired by Space Invaders characters. Highlights include: The English Bookshop, as much a literary gathering spot as a place to buy books and DVDs made from them; Petsalon, a hat shop that’s been a Jordaan fixture for 25+ years; Brown Clothes, featuring Kings Road-inspired couture; Joep Buijs’ art studio, with paintings of colorful women, children and dogs; Olivaria, Holland’s oldest olive specialty shop; Coffeeshop Biba, a back-to-the-60s-style smoke shop that’s grown up with the flower children; Chocolátl, a chocoholic’s Nirvana; Cats ‘n Things, for all things feline; Saarein. a bar for all “queer minded people"; La Festa Pizzeria/Bed & Breakfast; ‘t Stuivertje, serving continental cuisine; and Flamework, Daniela Malaica’s glass jewelry shop proffering vibrant necklaces and other contemporary accessories inspired by her African-Italian roots.
“9 Streets” (De 9 Straatjes) is a charming, picturesque shopping area in the heart of Amsterdam‘s canal district. Located between Leidsestraat and Raadhuisstraat, this area is named after the nine side streets connecting the main 17th-century canals in the stylish Jordaan neighborhood. Spend a leisurely day browsing in the artisan boutiques, local designer shops, art galleries, cafes, canal-side restaurants, bars and more. You’ll be intrigued by all of the unique, beautiful objects for sale.
Warmoesstraat 65, 1012 HW Amsterdam, Netherlands
Most people don’t think of Warmoesstraat when they plan a shopping spree in Amsterdam. But if your gift lists and desires include dildos, vibrators, S + M toys, porn CDs or kinky leather, it’s where you’ll want to head. As a hub for the city’s leather and LGBT scene, the cobbled street is lined with shops, bars and clubs catering to a gay and kinky crowd. Even if you’re straight, you might find pleasure at Nana, self-described as “the most vibrating shop in town.” Get your groove on with the store’s OmiBod toys that vibrate with your iPod playlist. If nothing but a gay boy will do, search for Mr. Right at Warehouse, The Eagle, Argos or Dirty Dicks, all conveniently lined up on this colorful street off the Red Light District. When hunger hits, head for Getto, where you can saunter through the disco lounge before finding a seat in the dining room, decorated with a chalkboard menu and funky posters. Fuel up on drag queen-inspired burgers and cocktails before heading out to get your kinky on at BoB, MrB and other options for erotic-ware and adult toys. If you’re really into the scene, plan your shopping spree for Leather Pride Amsterdam, held annually on the first weekend of November, when Warmoesstraat becomes the street where some of the town’s most brazen gays come to see and be seen.
Haarlemmerstraat, 1013 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It could be the quirkiest strip in Amsterdam, featuring the Netherlands’ cutest collection of one-of-a-kind boutiques, bars and bistros. Stretching west from Central Station, Haarlemmerstraat and its continuation, Haarlemmerdijk, are the perfect stretch for a retail stroll, especially if you’re in the market for funky fashion, home decor or specialty food from all over the world. Lined with trendy shops (many with a conscience), delis, cafés, coffeeshops and even a few electronics stores, Haarlemmerstraat/Haarlemmerdijk offer one-stop holiday or souvenir shopping for Dutch and imported treasures. Start your retail therapy with free “wake and bake” juice and toast for those who purchase weed before noon at Picasso coffeeshop. Other smokers’ haunts on Haarlemmerstraat include Green House, where carp swim beneath your feet in an aquarium built into the floor; Barney’s, winner of multiple High Times Cannibus Cup titles; and Barney’s Uptown, a smoker-friendly bar and restaurant serving meals, cocktails, Belgian and Dutch draft beers and Italian wines. Suitably buzzed, browse shops like Mono, run by a friend of a Thai couple who supervise production of their fair-trade textiles and accessories in Asia; Meeuwig & Zoon, offering Mediterranean and flavored oils, from truffle to beechnut; Hollandaluz, proffering Spanish empanadas, sweets, cheeses and ceramic cookware; Jordino, a family-run business known for its chocolate pumps; and Ibericus, stocked with Iberian delicacies.
With shops offering enough pumps, boots, spike heels, designer clothes, cosmetics, suitcases and specialty foods to satisfy the fussiest shopper, Leidsestraat attracts droves of tourists, locals and fashionistas. Whether you’re searching for high style, camp shoes, Dutch cheese or soft drugs, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for in the boutiques, high-end department stores, specialty shops and coffeeshops on this busy passenger byway and the small streets shooting off from it. Running from Koningsplein to Leidseplein, Leidsestraat continues the shopping adventure where Kalverstraat (Amsterdam‘s other pedestrian shopping street) leaves off. Walking south, you’ll know you’ve reached it when you come to the flower stands at the Bloemenmarkt. Popular draws include Sissy Boy, Replay, Abercrombie & Fitch, Metz & Co., Cora Kemperman, V & D, Eicholtz and a Henri Willig Cheese & More shop. As you approach Leideseplein, one of Amsterdam’s entertainment squares, more souvenir shops, fast food options and money changing outlets appear. Watch out for trams running down the center of the pedestrian byway!
Warmoesstraat, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ah, Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam‘s heart of darkness, the street that never sleeps. Well, maybe...between 5:00–8:00am, after the junkies leave and before tourists arrive. Set adjacent to de Wallen, the city’s most famous Red Light District, this lively straat is home to the gay leather/fetish scene at shops like Warehouse, The Eagle, Argos, Dirty Dicks, RoB and MrB. Have dinner at Getto, an informal bistro with a less in-your-face gay vibe than other establishments on the street, offering drag queen-inspired burgers and international specialties at reasonable prices. Other dining options include Meatballs, Paella, Wok to Wok, Burger Bar and numerous holes-in-the-wall for pizza, shoarma or frites. For a nightcap hit Stone’s, a dive bar with attitude where the time is always 9:25.