With autumn being the most popular season for birthdays, chances are that you’ve got a friend (or two) for whom you need to find the perfect birthday gift. Luckily, Amsterdam’s shopping scene has a little something for everyone – especially those hard-to-shop-for friends! The following gifts for autumn birthdays are all available from the I amsterdam Store in Amsterdam Central Station.
De Zachte Atlas II
An atlas may not seem like your typical birthday gift, but this isn’t any ordinary atlas. Written and illustrated by Amsterdam-born artist Jan Rothuizen, De Zachte Atlas II brings the city to life with clever drawings and little-known, insider-only facts about Amsterdam. The Dutch-language book, whose title translates to The Soft Atlas, is naturally ideal for Dutch speakers or those learning the language (what better way to brush up on vocabulary?), but lucky recipients of this book don’t need to read Dutch to appreciate the art.
De Zachte Atlas II, €19.99, I amsterdam Store
Allemaal Artis Animal Blocks
Let the kids – or young-at-heart adults – build their own mini-menagerie with the Allemaal Artis animal building blocks. Each set contains 40 handmade, geometrically styled wooden blocks which, when assembled correctly, depicts a selection of the animals, plants and even microbes that live in the Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo. But no one says you have to put them together the ‘right’ way – give a gorilla the legs of a giraffe, or create a crocodile with the tail of a wallaby. When it’s your zoo, the choice is yours!
Artis All Animal Blocks, €22.50, I amsterdam Store
Kattenpandje Vintage Villa
Celebrate the cat lady (or gentleman) in your life with a gift that’s both for them and their furry feline friends. From independent shop KEK Amsterdam, this little hiding spot is made from what kitties love most of all – a simple cardboard box – but with all the details of a castle, including windows and turrets. If you’ve just missed your friend’s birthday, don’t fret: World Animal Day is on 4 October, making for the perfect occasion for a ‘just because’ gift.
Kattenpandje Vintage Village, €19.95, I amsterdam Store
Lowlander beer gift set
With beer this good, the Netherlands sure is challenging Belgium as the titleholder for the best beer in the world. Launched in 2016 to revive the Dutch culture of beer brewing, the Lowlander beer – a name that hints at the Netherlands’ unique geography – brings botanicals back into the brewery. Stock up on these sets, which contain and IPA, white ale and porter as well as a glass from which to drink them.
Lowlander beer gift set, €14.95, I amsterdam Store
You’ve heard of the Birkin bag, but probably not the buurten (neighbourhood) bag – and this one is far more affordable. Whether your friend spends their time kicking back in Westerpark, critiquing art in Oud-Zuid or discovering musicians at NDSM, this gift lets them carry Amsterdam on their arm, showing off their favourite corner of the city in style.
Neighbourhood bag, €8.99, I amsterdam Store
Find these gifts at the I amsterdam Store at Central Station.