Wheelchair-accessible shopping tips for Amsterdam
Exploring a new city isn’t complete without some retail therapy. Whether you’re looking for a whole new wardrobe, a one-of-a-kind vintage item, or a selection of classic Dutch food items, we’ve got you covered. Check out these recommendations for wheelchair-accessible shops and markets across various Amsterdam neighbourhoods.
Every major city has an iconic department store with designer displays and glamorous makeup counters, and Amsterdam is no exception. De Bijenkorf is right in the city's centre, close to major attractions and popular hotels. The attendant for wheelchair users can pause the revolving door at the entrance, and once inside, a series of lifts will take you to both men’s and women’s clothing departments, designer accessories, and children's toys. At the top of the store is an extensive upmarket food court, serving everything from fries to fresh soup. The disabled bathrooms are located to the right of the cafe.
De Hallen is a staple in the west of the city, known for its array of international street foods at the Food Hallen. As well as a food hotspot, the hallways surrounding the covered market contain local makers and Amsterdam small businesses popping up to offer passersby a range of unique goods. The Maker Market is open every second Sunday of the month, and the interior hallways are flat and wide, with stalls at eye level for wheelchair users.
Albert Cuyp Market
If you want more of an everyday local market, the Albert Cuypmarkt might be the perfect midday stop on your trip. Every week of the year, from Monday to Saturday, the main shopping thoroughfare in the De Pijp neighbourhood is full of Amsterdam natives picking up freshly caught fish, homemade pies alongside ceramics, and plenty of Dutch-grown flowers. The street is filled with the smell of hot caramel stroopwafels and strong coffee, making it an ideal place to grab a snack, too. There is substantial room to navigate the main street in a wheelchair, although the street can feel more congested on a Saturday.
Waterlooplein Flea Market
Taking the prize for the oldest flea market in Amsterdam, Waterlooplein is a historic square home to vinyl records, vintage posters, retro homewares, and plenty of old-school clothes too. This market is open six days a week (closed on Sundays), from 9.30 - 18:00, although sellers will close early during lousy weather. The area where the market is held is paved irregularly, so some areas are flat, and others are cobbled, but it is possible to navigate through the stalls in a range of wheelchairs.
Just a short (and free!) ferry ride across the IJ to the northern part of the city is yet another flea market, this time, the biggest in Europe! The IJ Hallen is open on one weekend of the month, and it runs as an indoor market in the winter months and an outdoor market in the spring and summer. The indoor market can be more challenging to navigate in a wheelchair due to uneven flooring, but still possible. There is an admission fee of €6 per adult and €2.50 per child, but with 500 stalls offering vintage clothes, homeware, and art, it is well worth the fee. To avoid the entrance queue, buy your tickets online first and have the digital ticket ready to show the staff on your phone. There are no wheelchair-accessible bathrooms at this venue.
We are Vintage Kinkerstraat
If your visit doesn’t coincide with an IJ Hallen weekend, or you want a more low-key shopping experience, the Kinkerstraat outpost of this Amsterdam vintage brand is a great choice. We are Vintage stock all the classic items you would expect: Varsity sweatshirts, weathered leather jackets, and floral blouses from every decade are in full supply. With items organised on one flat level, it is an easy store to navigate in a wheelchair. However, the fitting room is very small, so trying on trousers and dresses may be challenging.
Spread over multiple floors, stocking everything from comic books to modern classics, this bookshop is a mainstay in the Amsterdam literary scene. Scheltema has an accessible entrance at the back of the shop, with a large lift transporting customers to floors organised by topic and language, as well as an internal platform lift on each floor. There is an extensive English language fiction section with popular Dutch novels translated into English, brand-new trending titles, and plenty of crime books too. Don’t forget to stop by the bookshop cafe for a light bite and some quiet reading time. A spacious wheelchair-accessible toilet is located on the top floor of the shop.
Kiloshop De Pijp
If you have already grabbed lunch or souvenirs at the Albert Cuyp market, you are just metres away from a vintage clothing treasure trove. The Kiloshop uses a unique pricing setup, with colour-coded tags that indicate a pay-by-weight system. Once you’ve selected the items that you simply cannot live without, take them to the weighing scales at the cash register, where a staff member can calculate the cost of your purchases. From 80s windbreakers to cowboy boots, Kiloshop has something for everyone. This shop has a flat entrance with wide enough aisles to navigate in chairs of varying sizes. Some racks are placed high above eye level, which may be challenging to access whilst sitting down.
Het Faire Oosten
If you are well-versed in sustainability or just looking for ways to make your shopping a little lighter on the planet, a trip out east to Het Faire Oosten store is well worth your time. This large, multi-functional store sells everything from children’s toys to trendy denim, plus handmade jewellery and handy kitchen tools. The Het Faire Oosten team hand-selects each item on the shelves, focusing on craftsmanship and sustainability in their offering. The store has a wide entrance, but some sections of the shop become narrow, so it is wise to move slowly between shelves.
A trip to the city is not complete without some edible souvenirs. The question is, will they make it back home untouched, or will you only have the wrappers left by the time you land? Henri Willg is the ideal one-stop shop for tasty treats, with a vast variety of famous Dutch cheeses as well as jams, chocolate, and stroopwafels. The Central Station branch is the most accessible for wheelchair users, where most items are placed at an easy-to-view height, and staff are happy to assist and explain all the delicious options for sale.