Seasoned shoppers will never be put off by a few rain drops. However, a rainy day in Amsterdam is made that much more enjoyable by treating yourself in the city’s indoor shopping centres and department stores, which each have a proud history, impressive architecture and sell a diverse selection of local and international products.
- Shop in all weather conditions at Amsterdam’s indoor shopping centres and department stores.
- Three major indoor shopping options are conveniently located within walking distance of each other.
- Learn about the history and grand architecture of some of Amsterdam’s most prominent retail spaces.
Palatial shopping at Magna Plaza
Far from the big-box shopping complexes typical of other cities, Magna Plaza is an inherently beautiful and atmospheric space. The building, situated in the very centre of Amsterdam, directly behind the Royal Palace, was originally Amsterdam’s central post office. It was designed by Cornelis Henrik Peters in the late 1800s and incorporates neo-gothic and neo-renaissance elements, such as intricately carved stone columns, gilded arches and a glass dome ceiling. Transformed during the 1990s into a modern shopping paradise, step inside to explore an eclectic combination of stores ranging from luxury labels to fashion chains, accessories, jewellery, cosmetics and home furnishings. The centre is open seven days per week and remains open later than most stores in Amsterdam’s city centre.
Embrace luxury in De Bijenkorf
To fill your suitcase with the latest from international fashion houses, or just to wistfully admire it, visit Amsterdam’s leading department store. De Bijenkorf, which translates as ‘the beehive’, began as a small haberdashery shop in 1870, expanding into a prominent retail attraction on Dam Square. Creative and extravagant window displays draw you in to encounter an impressive range of high profile labels – many of which are exclusive to De Bijenkorf in Holland – alongside emerging Dutch designers and streetwear brands. The shop has also opened a host of exclusive stores within, inviting customers to experience a miniature version of Tiffany & Co, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior, to name but a few.
Shop with a view at the Kalvertoren
Amsterdam’s bustling shopping street the Kalverstraat is home to a great many mid-range and high street brands. Among its highlights is the Kalvertoren: a tower built from steel and glass that provides breathtaking panoramic views from the Blue Amsterdam restaurant on the top floor. The centre’s three levels showcase a cluster of stores hidden away from the main street. Shop for clothing, cosmetics, accessories and sporting goods, and don’t miss a visit to HEMA, an iconic Dutch store selling affordable clothing and homeware, which was originally founded by the owners of De Bijenkorf.
In the neighbourhood
Amsterdam’s city centre is vibrant with activity all year around. In Dam Square you’ll see street performers, musicians, tour groups and the occasional horse and carriage. From here you can also visit Madame Tussauds to mingle with famous faces of the wax variety. And for a real slice of Amsterdam history, head into the Royal Palace, the neighbouring De Nieuwe Kerk or the Amsterdam Museum.
Hotels in Amsterdam
To experience more of Amsterdam’s city centre (and for ease of unloading your shopping haul), spend the night in one of the centrally located hotels. From mid-range to five-star luxury, you’ll find an impressive range of accommodation options.
Editor's tip: Coffee and lunch breaks are an essential part of any shopping trip. The chandeliers and dark polished wood at Grand Café Ovidius in Magna Plaza provide the perfect ambience for unwinding between stores. Celebrate your new purchases at Dam Café on the ground floor of De Bijenkorf, known for its fine wines (and people-watching opportunities), or try fusion restaurant The Kitchen on the top floor.