We're going to split the posts in to Part One - Indie Shopping Guide and Part Two - Bars, Vegan/Veggie Food Places and Museums/Galleries. The pictures for this shopping guide MAY not be the most inspiring (i.e. they're pretty much all the exteriors of shops!) but hopefully it'll give you some ideas of places to maybe check out. So on to it!
Ultra de la Rue - Oudekerksplein 30
We were soooo pleased to stumble across Ultra de la Rue early on in our trip. This super cool gallery shop in the heart of the Red Light District is full of awesome contemporary art prints, screen printed t-shirts and in general gorgeous things. As if that wasn't enough, Ultra de la Rue have designed their own 'Red Light District ABC' map and app with a guide to "Alternative, Bottom up and Counterculture locations" featuring over 80 places including awesome bars, shops, concept stores, galleries, restaurants and more. In fact, it's probably a FAR better Amsterdam guide than this for the Red Light District area so check it our here ;o)
WonderWood - Rusland 3
If you appreciate beautiful wooden furniture and objects made with mind-blowing craftsmanship, we HIGHLY recommend popping in to WonderWood! Like us you'll probably wish you could afford everything.
Droog - Staalstraat 7B
In a similar drool-worthy design way, Droog is an amazing concept store full of contemporary products and furniture. You'll be sure to see something unique in here! They have a Hôtel Droog as well that we didn't go in to but it looks like you can grab a bite to eat there and visit their 'Fairy Tale Garden'.
Kitsch Kitchen - Rozengracht 8-12
Being lovers of all things colourful, plastic and well...kitsch, Kitsch Kitchen was one of our fave Amsterdam finds. With a large space across two floors, this was a treasure trove of wonderfully obnoxiously bright homewares, accessories, toys, stationery and more. I think we were a wee bit overwhelmed as we only left with two small plastic donkeys (as you do) but we also had major hand luggage restrictions (bummer). It's a visual feast for the eyes and definitely worth a visit!
Getting bored of shop pictures? Here's a pretty Amsterdam interlude:
By Popular Demand - Raadhuisstraat 2
Really nice quirky gift shop, great for buying silly gifts for silly people.
Shop de Ville - Staalstraat 11
Along a similar vibe, quirky gifts and homewares (REALLY wanted that big smiley lamp in the window!) We left with a little boat toothbrush holder (as you do). Super friendly staff.
Printed in Space - Grimburgwal 2
Teeny tiny 3D print shop with beautiful colourful vases (wanted them ALL), jewellery and other fun objects. You can watch the 3D print machine at work too (AKA witchcraft). There's also a hologram section where you can do what we did and sway back and forth in front of the pictures going "LOOK! It's moving!! OOOHH!!"
Episode - Waterlooplein 1, Berenstraat 1, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 61, Spuistraat 96
Just realised I haven't mentioned any clothes shops yet.. Episode is a European chain of what seemed to us very well curated vintage. It's quite similar to Beyond Retro in that everything is neatly hung and categorised so it's easy to shop and not your jumble sale kinda vintage shop at all. Prices were probably similar to Beyond Retro too so not super duper cheap but everything was in great condition. I could have spent a fortune but luckily everything I wanted wasn't quite my size. Apparently the clothes are donated to a charity who then sell them on to Episode, which is pretty cool.
Hear Hear - Heisteeg 8
Hear Hear describes itself as 'A Tiny Two Story Shop' and a very charming one it is too. Discover some lovely Dutch brands of jewellery, accessories, ceramics and prints.
BonBon Boutique - Rosmarijnsteeg 8BonBon Boutique is a gorgeous shop which is home to the jewellery of Bonne van der Ree. The shop also features lots of other awesome indie brands, most of whom were actually small British brands that we know well. Although it's nice to discover some Dutch brands it was also great to see some British ones reppin' in Amsterdam.
Velvet - Rozengracht 40
Velvet is a chain of 10 record stores across the Netherlands. We ducked in to the store to avoid a downpour but ended up staying for ages browsing the record collection. There was a great selection of both new and old, with a secondhand section and a large CD section also. Great relaxed vibe inside.
Art Unlimited - Strooijonkerstraat 7
Looking for a postcard by a particular artist? There's a good chance Art Unlimited will have it! During our whole Amsterdam trip we were on a Miffy mission, being Dick Bruna and Miffy fans and having missed the Miffy statue Art Parade we spent the week collecting postcards instead. We raided the Miffy section here and what a section it was!! But yeah, Miffy aside, they have a HUGE postcard section which has been painstakingly alphabetised by artist. They also sell posters of art prints too.
De Kinderboekwinkel 2 - Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 344
We couldn't NOT go in a shop that looked like this could we?! Plus we needed to raid it for more Miffy postcards. Great kids book shop which had mostly Dutch books (but very pretty to look at) and some English too.
On our travels we found LOADS of awesome toy shops also (too many to list), proper old fashioned toy shops filled with amazing magical things (including Miffy).
That's it for now! We hope that was marginally useful to someone. Join us for the next installment which contains all the important stuff (beer and food...oh and art).