Dutch Language Blog

4 Amsterdam Shopping Areas You Have To Visit (pt. 1) Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Culture

For Part 2, click here.

It is Kersttijd (Christmas time), and that means het is tijd om te winkelen! (it is shopping time!). If you happen to visit the Amsterdam so shortly before the kerstdagen (Christmas Days), you want to know where to go for the best shops! You are in the right place, as Amsterdam has some great shopping areas to offer. I am listing some of the most famous in these two posts.

The Kalverstraat

The beginning of the Kalverstraat as seen from the Dam. (Image by Franklin Heijnen at Flickr.com under CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Kalverstraat is probably the most obvious and most famous shopping street in Amsterdam. Located not far from the Centraal Station, and starting right at the Dam, it is also the place to reach easiest when you visit the Dutch capital. Through its byroad, the Heiligeweg, you can reach the Leidsestraat easily.

What can I buy here?

Yellow: the Kalverstraat. Blue circle: The Dam. (Map data by Google, ©2015 Google)

Yellow: the Kalverstraat. Blue circle: The Dam.
(Map data by Google, ©2015 Google)

The 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) long Kalverstraat is home to some of the bigger brands out there, such as Urban Outfitters, H&M, Zara, The Sting, Pimkie, Forever 21, Ici Paris XL, Mango or The Body Shop. Many Dutch chains are housed here, too. The big Dutch warenhuizen (ware houses) V&D, and De Bijenkorf at the Dam are also located here. Not to forget, there is also the Kalvertoren, which is a shopping mall on 5 floors with 30 stores. There are 150 shops in total in the street.

By the way…

  • The popularity and fame of the Kalverstraat is also expressed in its rent prices: it is the most expensive shopping street in the Netherlands, with prices as high as 180 euros per square meter (or around 60 dollars per square foot).
  • The name comes from the Kalvermarkt (calf market), which was held on this street until the beginning of the 17th century.
  • In the Dutch version of the board game Monopoly, the Kalverstraat is the most expensive street.


The Leidestraat

The beginning of the Leidsestraat as seen from the Leidseplein


Green: the Leidsestraat. Orange circle: the Leidseplein. Yellow: the Kalverstraat. (Map data by Google, ©2015 Google)

Not just known for its shops, but also for its night life. Around the Leidseplein you can find many night clubs, bars and cafés. On one end of the street lies the Leidseplein, on the other the Koningsplein, which through the Heiligeweg connects to the Kalverstraat. Just like the Kalverstraat, it is a street only for pedestrians. Since 1903, trams share the road too. Even fietsers (bicyclists) have to go around the street.

What can I buy here?

The Leidseplein got known with its shoe shops, which are still well-represented. It houses shops like Ecco, Adidas and Abercrombie & Fitch. The street also connects to the Bloemenmarkt (flower market), which is located on the Singel next to the gracht there.

By the way…

  • The street was built in 1658 to connect Amsterdam to Leiden, hence the name Leidsestraat.
  • In Monopoly, the Leidsestraat is the second most expensive street.

For Part 2, click here. Happy holidays, and Merry Christmas!


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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


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