What is the attraction of Amsterdam and what makes this city in the Netherlands so popular?
Is it the crooked houses with their variety of historic facades? The narrow streets, small squares with cobble stones, different unique shops and various restaurants and cafés all around?
The many canals with houseboats, tourist sightseeing boats and water bikes constantly floating by?
The multitude of bikes and flowers along the sides of the bridges?
Or is it the atmosphere that everything is allowed, the laidback mentality and social character of the people living in Amsterdam and the international and lively vibe of tourists and locals all together?
This, and the fact that there are new and trendy shops and eating establishments constantly opening in new parts of the city, makes Amsterdam for me a city to love! And that while I don’t even live there:)
It is not a coincidence that Amsterdam is one of the most favoured cities for tourists all over the world.
I love to wander around Amsterdam’s streets, see the sights and explore new hotspots and shops all around the city. As a fashion lover, working in Amsterdam and having been in fashion for over 17 years now, I want to share with you my authentic shopping favourites and sightseeing spots for this city.
As I prefer a less crowded and original experience for me the perfect neighborhoods are ‘’de Jordaan’’ with its canals and shopping area called the ‘’9 straatjes’’ and ‘’de Pijp’’, where original shops and cafés constantly keep adding up.
My favourite 5 shopping hotspots and a few popular but still authentic sights are all close to another and can be reached on foot. I do recommend taking out 2 days for this if you want to shop and walk around in a relaxed way and also visit the sights to its fullest. In my opinion the following hotspots combined make a perfect weekend!
I would start at the Anne Frank Museum and ‘’Westerkerk’’, translated in English Westerchurch. These are situated next to each other on the Prinsengracht 269 and 279-281 at the edge of the Jordaan. Especially the Anne Frank house tends to get very crowded, so don’t go too late in the day. It is also possible to buy your tickets in advance online; Site Anne Frank Museum to prevent that you have to get in line for an hour like this:
Anne Frank was a key person in history and therefore of course a must visit for every tourist!
The Westerkerk, built in the 1600’s in the pretty Renaissance style, can be seen from all over the Jordaan with its unique facades and high tower with its colourful crown. The tower is 85 meters high and the highest in Amsterdam. During your visit you can marvel about both the out-and inside and even buy a ticket to go to the top of the tower where you get amazing views over the city.
Beware that the church is only open to visits on Monday to Friday in between 10 AM en and 3 PM and from the 1st of April also on Saturday from 11 AM until 3 PM. So make sure not to go too late in the day and not on a Sunday! The tower is mostly open till late for tours, for the exact times and entrance fees go to: Site Westertower
From there walk to the official ‘’9 straatjes’’area, translated in English called the 9 streets, because this shopping area is spread out over 3 times 3 streets after each other starting at Reestraat and ending with Wijde Heisteeg.
In between those 3 rows of streets are the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht. 3 beautiful canals where walking around and looking at the canals, houses and surroundings alone is already a delight and makes a very charming area to wander and explore.
Starting at the Reestraat at the corner of the Keizersgracht is my first shopping favourite called:
Such a nice small shop with lots of interior must haves, and various decoration items, like shells, corals, glass accessories and vintage furniture. They have a lot of antique furniture combined with up to date trendy items, which makes this store heaven for furniture and antique lovers.
They definitely have everything you need to find the perfect gift and for the ultimate styling of your house to give it just that final touch. You can visit their store on Reestraat 1 or go to the webshop: Site de Weldaad
Their recently opened store in de Jordaan can be found nearby across the historic Johnny Jordaan Plein on the vibrant Elandsgracht. Number Nine has 6 stores in Holland of which 3 in Amsterdam. Nevertheless all of them are still different and unique.
I really like the vintage and natural furniture and materials used in this store and the constantly changing collection of tough but stylish, Scandinavian, and still affordable brands. They combine beautiful womens-and men’s clothes with shoes, accessories and innovative skincare products such as LA;bruket. The service is relaxed and welcoming and a good cup of coffee is always waiting for you here!
Go to the shop in the 9 streets at Elandsgracht 34. For the other shop addresses, info and webshop go to: Site Number Nine
So combined with some lunch-and coffee breaks this could easily be a full day.
I recommend my next shopping favourites in de Pijp for the second day, and if you have enough time combine them with a visit to my favourite museum; the beautiful and recently renovated Rijksmuseum.
Next to the most beautiful, it is also the biggest and most important museum of Holland. It can be found in between the Stadhouderskade and Museumplein. Both sides can be reached by walking or cycling under the museum’s main entrance through beautiful historic arches.
Big works of famous Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals are displayed here, the most well known is de Nachtwacht (translated called ‘’the Nightwatch’’). What I love most about this museum next to the art is both the exterior, beautiful architecture as the interior details. So pretty and diverse.
On the Museumplein there are many other museums also worth a visit, for example the van Gogh museum and the Stedelijk museum, just take your pick and you can fill a whole week with all Amsterdam’s museum visits if you want.
For more shopping walk on after the Stadhouderskade, past the Heineken experience, to get to the trendy and upcoming area called ‘’de Pijp’’. This area is literally ‘’wrapped around’’ the multi cultural Albert Cuyp market, which is also worth a visit!
I love this neighborhood because they are a lot of innovative new shops, restaurants and cafés opening here constantly and it’s not so crowded yet. You will find a nice mixture of locals, market shoppers and few tourists around.
At the beginning of one of the side streets called the van Woustraat there is a beautiful innovative concept called:
This store with 800 m2 of constantly changing brands, the newest designers products, books, accessories, lifestyle products and even food on sale, can be easily called unique with its cool barber shop in store and top floor with laidback café, great food and ever changing new pop up events.
Everything you see around you, including the furniture and plants is for sale, how cool is that?! They are so popular that they recently also opened their own bar-restaurant next door. Go experience this yourself 7 days a week at: Van Woustraat 4 or Rozengracht 204-210
Anna + Nina
Anna + Nina is really one of my all time favourites, as I am in love with everything about it. Such an unique concept with its boudoir- vintage interior with a Scandinavian touch, special trinkets all around, all kinds of must haves and the most beautiful gifts and jewelry you can think of. This shop is so inspirational and intimate which makes it hard not to wander around here for hours!
2 Fashion -PR girls opened this shop 2 years ago, originated from a mutual passion for traveling, souvenirs and beautiful authentic accessories. They really have an unique taste and eye for detail and the fact that they are producing most jewelry in Bali makes the products automatically unique.
Marvel about their beautiful products and interior on the Gerard Doustraat 94 and recently also on the Kloveniersburgwal 44. Or go to the webshop: Site Anna + Nina
In a picturesque side street of the Albert Cuyp market, in between Anna + Nina and Hutspot you will find a beautiful white shop called COTTONCAKE. This shop really stands out with its all white interior, brick walls, original furniture and upstairs café on the mezzanine, overlooking the shop. The café offers mostly vegetarian food and while enjoying lunch and relaxing on their nice furniture it is a delight to look at the beautiful interior and clean art pieces on the walls, with Scandinavian products displayed all around in a stylish and clean way.
They have 1 shop in one of the cutest streets of Amsterdam: 1e van der Helstraat 76, for more info check: Site COTTONCAKE
There is however so much more to do and to see in these neighborhoods besides my 5 mentioned shopping hotspots and sightseeing favourites. Just wander around and find out for yourself. Also A really fun thing to do while in Amsterdam is of course renting a bike and doing an original Dutch cycling tour of the city. But also make sure to take a canal sightseeing boat or even rent a water bike if you dare!
For other great self-guided city walks in Amsterdam or any other city in the world you can go to Site GPSmyCity and download their app or send me an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a free download code to try it out yourself, which normally costs $4.99. Until now only applicable for I-phone and iOS devices.
If you need any more tips or inspiration for a visit to Holland or any one of the other countries I have visited so far, never hesitated to contact me by mail or via Instagram or Facebook. I am always happy to help and have many more tips, especially for my beautiful country!
As a blogger I have many similar sites I follow and which I love! One of those is the fabulous sister travel Site Stylish Travel Tips. Check out my guest blog post on this site for my key Amsterdam shopping hotspots, also written in Dutch for all you Dutchies out there!