Exclusive shops in Amsterdam
Part of the charm of the exclusive shopping experience in Amsterdam is the lovely neighbourhoods you’ll discover along the way. While a couple of high-end department stores are right in the centre, you’ll often need to wander past the tourist hotspots to discover amazing shops tucked in between more residential streets.
Named for the 17th-century poet and playwright Pieter Cornelisz Hooft, the P.C. Hooftstraat has been an exclusive shopping destination since the 1970s. Located near the Museumplein, this street is your first stop for big-name designers like Hugo Boss, D&G, MaxMara, Ralph Lauren, Hermes, Gucci and more. When it’s time for a break, grab a coffee and indulge in some great people-watching.
Amsterdam has two gorgeous department stores with a variety of luxurious goods under one roof. On the edge of Dam Square, de Bijenkorf will keep you entertained for hours. The selection extends from fashion, handbags and shoes to housewares, luggage and electronics. On the ground floor, there are a number of luxury ‘shop-in-shops’ like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci.
When you’ve had your fill of the P.C. Hooftstraat, wander over to the Van Baerlestraat. Here you’ll a number of renowned Dutch fashion designers like Pauw, The People of the Labyrinths and Fred de la Bretonière which is known for its functional yet elegant boots and handbags. Rivet Ledertassen also has a lovely selection of (designer) leather handbags. If you’re looking for a bit of extra pampering, schedule an appointment at the Soap Treatment Store for a facial , manicure or massage.
From the Van Baerlestraat, head deeper into Amsterdam Zuid down the lovely Willemsparkweg. Visit Oog in Oog for designer (sun)glasses, get a suit made to measure at Suitsupply or try on an elegant dress at Thalian. Lovers of distinctive furniture and lighting head to Edha Interieur. The Willemsparkweg also has a variety of tempting cafés and restaurants if you want to grab a bite and rest your feet.
Halfway down the Willemsparkweg you’ll cross the Cornelis Schuytstraat – the perfect place to put together a complete new outfit. Step inside French Connection for the best in British design. Admire the designer shoes at Shoebaloo or Manwood, and then find the perfect earrings or watch at one of the many jewellers on the street.
A few blocks from the Cornelis Schuytstraat, the Beethovenstraat hides a number of treasures in this fairly compact shopping street. Here you’ll find popular Dutch designers like Pauw or Claudia Sträter, as well as a number of jewellers and specialty shops. Sterre & Tijl has gorgeous furniture, toys and clothes for babies and infants, while The English Hatter offers a selection of hats for the distinguished gentleman. If your taste in luxury extends to food, stop by Huize van Wely for amazing chocolate bonbons or sample the delectable cheeses at Tromp.
In the heart of the city centre, the Utrechtsestraat starts at the Rembrandtplein and crosses Amsterdam’s most famous canals. The street has a mix of shops, but gets more luxurious with each passing year. For example, the Netherlands’ first Marc by Marc Jacobs store will open at Utrechtsestraat 120 sometime in the near future. You’ll find designer fashion at Centre Neuf and Angel Basics, while Zwartjes van 1883 sells well-made leather shoes that will last a lifetime. For contemporary interior design, be sure to pay a visit to Mobilia.
All that glitters…
As one of Europe’s diamond capitals, Amsterdam is the ideal place to shop for jewellery. It’s true that you can buy loose diamonds here, but you might prefer jewels you can wear out of the store! For the inside scoop on the diamond industry plus an opportunity to shop, pay a visit to Gassan or Coster Diamonds. You’ll find a number of small specialty jewellers on the shopping streets listed above, but for big names like Bvlgari, Cartier or Tiffany & Co, head straight to the P.C. Hooftstraat.
Out and about in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area
There's more to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area than pretty polders, cheese and windmills. For example, head to the harbour at Lelystad and bask in a luxury shopping spree at Batavia Stad. It may look like a cute village but it's actually an outlet shopping centre, home to hundreds of big-name brands but boasting wallet-friendly prices.
And remember: non-EU residents are eligible to claim back the Value Added Tax (VAT) on purchases in the European Union. In the Netherlands the VAT is 21% and the minimum spend is €50. To claim a refund, visit Customs before leaving the EU to get a stamp. You can either send the stamped receipt back to the store for a full VAT refund or make use of the following services:
- Shop only at retailers affiliated with Global Blue. Ask for a tax-free cheque and then reclaim the VAT at their desk at the airport. Visit www.global-blue.com for more information.
- Shop wherever you like, save your purchase receipt and then reclaim the VAT online or at the VAT Free service desk at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, departure hall 3. Visit www.vatfree.com for more information.