Ideal for shopping lovers
When you think of the best destinations for shopping, New York, Paris and Tokyo are some of the first that spring to mind; but what about Amsterdam? From luxury goods from the likes of Chanel and Dior, to bargains found at the local flea markets, Amsterdam has everything a shopping lover could dream of. And with a 35-minute Eurotunnel Le Shuttle journey, you could be there in as little as 4 hours, driving to and from your favourite shopping districts.
The Nine Streets
The Nine Streets, or De Negen Straatjes, is located in the centre of Amsterdam's historical canal district, and is a beautiful place to visit at any point in the year. As you wanderalong the bricked paths of Nine Streets, you'll notice the stunning 17th century architecture of the shops, cafés and galleries, as well as the beautiful trinkets and clothing available in this fascinating area of the Netherlands' capital city.
Amsterdam's historical canal district
Nine Streets is just a two-minute walk from the Royal Palace, and after a wonderful tour, this shopping district is a great way to end your day. Meander in and out of a delightful choice of art galleries, jewellers and quaint boutiques; buy handmade Mexican jewellery from Mechicas, or reminisce in Vintage Shop, a shop that showcases an impressive array of vintage gowns and tuxedos.
If you're looking to shop ‘til you drop, then Kalverstraat is the place for you. This pedestrian only shopping area is packed with all your high-street favourites and local chains, offering an abundance of fantastically stylish women's and men's attire. If you visit in spring, be sure to walk to the very end of Kalverstraat, at the Muntplein, and pay a visit to the flower market where you will have the chance to buy bouquets of Holland's famous, colourful tulips.
Shopping can be thirsty work, so if you are in need of a quick pick-me-up head to one of the local cafés for a freshly brewed coffee and delicious caramel stroopwafel.
Holland's famous colourful tulips
The bohemian neighbourhood of De Jordaan is the perfect place for those of you looking to buy unusual, one-of-a-kind clothes and jewellery. Boutiques, second-hand shops and galleries are dotted all around Jordaan, an area of Amsterdam so picturesque that it was named after the French word for garden, Jardin.
Admire the unusual pieces of art that hang in the galleries, and try on the many handcrafted trinkets and vintage clothing, everything the people of Amsterdam love about Jordaan. And if you're looking for a tasty treat, be sure to pop by one of the locally owned bakeries for a freshly baked mid-morning snack.
For a real taste of Jordaan, pay a visit to one of the weekly markets; Jordaan hosts many flea markets and even an ‘eco-market' where the owners sell fresh, organic produce.
Pieter Cornelisz Hoofstraat
If you've got the budget for something a little more high-end, or just fancy window-shopping, then be sure to stop by Pieter Cornelisz Hoofstraat, better known as P.C Hoofstraat. From luxury designer boutiques such as Chanel, Hermes and Gucci, to the stunning jewellery of Cartier and Tiffany & Co, P.C Hoofstraat has the pick of some of the best shops in the Netherlands.
Named after the historian, poet and playwright Pieter Cornelis Hooft, this collection of luxury shops is also close by to a number of fantastic, must-visit museums. A popular choice, and a must-see during your time in Amsterdam, is the Van Gogh Museum; a place to take in, and admire pieces of the late artist's work before heading out to wonder at the extravagant shops nearby.
Named after the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven, Beethovenstraat is another shopping area with a number of high-end, luxury clothing boutiques. A little more modern compared to Amsterdam's older, narrower shopping streets, Beethovenstraat is still as scenic as the other areas, but with wider streets and a more contemporary design, it makes for a more accessible place to shop. As well as enjoying the elegant clothing and trinkets on sale here, the restaurants also offer an array of delicious cuisines from around the world, so you're bound to find a place where you can enjoy a mid-shop break.
After shopping, why not enjoy a show at the Apollofirst Theater? Take your pick from a list of exciting plays from both musicians and singers, which will make for a great end to a busy day shopping in Amsterdam.
If you love discovering great pieces of antique furniture, or enjoy searching out beautiful works of art, then Spiegelkwartier is the shopping district for you. Whether you're looking for the perfect silver necklace, a collection of art deco antique furniture, or want to explore a chandelier specialist, with 80 antiques and art dealers available on this one street, you'll be truly spoilt for choice.
Looking for a mid-afternoon treat? Make your way to Four Leaves; a tea and chocolate shop that offers pots of the finest freshly blended tea, as well as expertly crafted chocolate, made by the master-chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini. Four Leaves also has its own art gallery, where local artists and those from further afield, can exhibit their latest work. If something catches your eye, you'll have the chance to buy it and take it home, and with a Eurotunnel Le Shuttle trip, there are no baggage restrictions, which means you can really shop ‘til you drop!
Getting there and around
Amsterdam is so much easier to visit than New York and Tokyo, and is almost as quick to get to as Paris.
After a 35-minute journey on
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, Amsterdam is just a 3-hour 30-minute journey from Calais. Simply drive onto the A16 from Rue du Four à Chaux. From there continue on the A16 until you take the E40 followed by the E17, E19, A27 and A2 towards Amsterdam.
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