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Christmas decorations at the Utrechtsestraat shopping street
Image from Koen Smilde Photography

Festive shopping in Amsterdam

Let the theatrical window displays, twinkling fairy lights and aroma of freshly baked speculaas lead you to the best spots for festive shopping in Amsterdam. The city offers plenty of opportunities for gift shopping, from multi-level department stores to market stalls laden with handcrafted goodies. Whether you’re a seasoned shopper who starts in October or a panic-in-mid-December kind of person, these Amsterdam shopping spots will help you find gifts to fill the stockings and impress the harshest critics.

Bright lights, big selections

Bijkenkorf Amsterdam
Image from Bijenkorf Amsterdam

Department stores raise their game during the holiday season, and Amsterdam is no exception. Heritage store De Bijenkorf's extravagant window displays and in-store installations are worth seeing for the festive atmosphere alone. Still, the store is also your go-to for Dutch and international designers, luxury cosmetics and stylish homeware. The store is perched at Dam Square, towered over by a colossal Christmas tree, which is illuminated each year from mid-December for additional festive flare. 

Windows that wow

Lights in the winter at Christmas in the PC Hooftstraat shopping street
Image from Koen Smilde

Some of the most significant international fashion houses are as famous for their festive windows as they are for their designs. One of the best-known is Louis Vuitton, which frequently calls upon the world’s best artists and architects to design spectacular storefronts. You’ll find these exclusive brands in Amsterdam, including Prada, Dior, Gucci and Tiffany & Co., on the prestigious P.C. Hooftstraat in Oud-Zuid.

Unique gifts that won’t get re-gifted

A busy street at the Negen Straatjes
Image from Koen Smilde

If you have an aversion to crowds, the independent boutiques in the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) are lined along some of the most picturesque streets in the city (especially when they’re dusted with snow!). Discover a great selection of gift shops, fashion boutiques, jewellers, art galleries and vintage stores. You’ll also find iconic objets d’arts in various design stores throughout the city or peruse the displays in Amsterdam’s growing number of concept stores. Alternatively, do as the locals do and move your gift-buying mission away from the city centre. You’ll find beautifully curated collections in the stores in Amsterdam’s outer neighbourhoods. Try Gerard Doustraat in De Pijp, the Overtoom in Oud-West or Javastraat in Oost.

Send a piece of Amsterdam overseas

Image from Pema Prima Photography

The I amsterdam store is your first stop for artisanal design pieces that tell Amsterdam’s story. Whether they’ve spent time in the Dutch capital or not, your friends and family will be delighted with the Amsterdam-designed gifts displayed at this high-end gift store at Amsterdam Central Station. Top of our wish lists are Cre8 laser-cut jewellery, Stadsplank cutting boards made from city trees and Rijkswachter robots crafted from the crates used to protect priceless masterpieces during the Rijksmuseum’s renovation. These items (and many more) are within the size and weight restrictions required for postage.

Unmissable markets

People at the christmas market: Christmas Village on Museumplein
Image from Christmas Village

If you enjoy being fully immersed in the holiday spirit, Amsterdam’s Christmas markets are a chance to make a day of it. Take your time browsing for handcrafted gifts, art and decorations to the sound of carol singing, satisfied in the knowledge that you’re supporting local crafters and artists. The famous Christmas Village Amsterdam transforms Museumplein into a winter wonderland surrounded by market stalls and food carts – in Amsterdam, that means cones of fries, poffertjes, stroopwafels and oliebollen washed down with glühwein and rum-spiked hot chocolate. Or check out more local spots such as Pure Markt, the Sustainable Christmas Market at De Ceuvel and the Funky Xmas Market at Westergas.