Have you ever had the feeling that all of the world’s shopping streets pretty much have the same stuff on offer? Well then, you need to visit Amsterdam’s Haarlemmerstraat – it’s hip, it’s quirky and it’s the perfect spot for hours of relaxed browsing, dining and bar-hopping!
Located in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district, the Haarlemmerstraat – and its extension, the Haarlemmerdijk - is a gem. Offering independent boutiques and speciality stores, little salons, trendy but affordable restaurants and bars and the oldest cinema in Amsterdam, this area will appeal to even the most jaded of world travellers. You are guaranteed to find a special little something from Amsterdam in this alternative shopping district. And with a constant passing parade along the Haarlemmerstraat, you can spend a very entertaining time just watching the world go by.
With 235 stores offering fashion and accessories, toys, gifts, jewellery, books, electronics and specialty delicatessens– the biggest problem in the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk will be deciding what to spend your money on. On Wednesdays this decision gets harder as the area’s assortment grows with the organic farmer’s market on the Haarlemmerplein. For more socially-conscious shopping, head to Nukuhiva boutique, whose stylish urban wear proves it's hip to be Fair Trade. Shops are open until 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings, meaning you can perfectly combine a bit of shopping with a bite to eat.
Wine and dine
The Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk are packed with one little cosy dining and drinking spot after another. Hollandaluz is a Spanish delicatessen and specialty store which brings sunny Andalusia to Amsterdam. Hand-painted tiles, delicious pata negra and glistening hams beckon you inside – and in addition to tasty tapas and sherries, Hollandaluz also sells hand-painted ceramics. Other restaurant favourites include Thai & Co and Scarlett. Also, any restaurant which calls itself Stout! (which means naughty in Dutch) has got to be quite special, and the menu of this mischievous little venue changes every 6 weeks.
If you think you’ve seen it all, then you haven’t been to Amsterdam’s Haarlemmerstraat yet!