What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Amsterdam? Right after the Red Light District, you will probably think of tulips, windmills, clogs, and cheese. While visiting, you will see many souvenir shops, but how to decide what to buy with so many options?
Therefore, we made a short guide on what shouldn’t be missed and which things to avoid (last-minute gifts like magnets and plastic tulips).
Most of the typical Dutch food is easily transportable and makes a wonderful Dutch souvenir, if you manage not to finish them before you get home.
Did you know that Gouda cheese originates from the Netherlands? Cheese is always present in most Dutch homes, in numerous different textures and flavors. Cheesemaking has been a part of the national heritage for centuries. You can find your perfect gift in a number of excellent cheese stores all over Amsterdam like Cheese and More and Fromagerie Kef, but also in supermarkets like Albert Hejin.
The caramel stroopwafels are a delicious and well-known Dutch dish. It consists of two mini wafers with a caramel sauce in between. They are typically enjoyed over a cup of coffee.
Stroopwafels make the perfect gift as they can be found in beautiful packages with motives from the Netherlands, in a variety of stores like Albert Hejin and Hema.
It’s loved candy by the Dutch people. The most famous place to buy some is the shop Het Oud-Hollandsh Snoepwinkeltje. Or for a more traditional store, try Jacob Hooey, that dates back to 1743! They come in all forms – hard and soft, salty or sweet.
Tony’s Chocolonely is a local chocolate company with two stores in Amsterdam, the Home Store in Westergasfabriek, and Tony’s Super Store near Central Station – where you can design your own chocolate bar. It has a huge range from regular to crazy flavors like orange, rosemary and popcorn discodip! You can also buy them in Albert Heijn.
Spiced cookies are very Dutch. You can buy them in different shapes like a windmill or a Dutch house. Also, you can buy a beautiful mold for baking them at home.
If you are looking for a more long-lasting souvenir, we suggest some of these:
Clogs, the wooden shoes
One of the most original souvenir items, called “klompen” in Dutch, is the traditional wooden clogs, also found painted in colorful patterns. The oldest pair found dates back to 1230.
If you wonder why you don’t see people wearing them on the street, it’s because they were used by farmers in rural areas to protect their feet while working in muddy fields.
You can find them all over Amsterdam, but if you want custom ones made, you can go to De Klompenboer, or to Zaanse Schans to see the clogs being made where you can also purchase them.
Everything with Amsterdam canal houses and windmills
Whether they are paintings, fridge magnets, candle holders, or postcards, everybody will love them!
These white and blue pieces are stunning, but most of the pottery you will find is a reproduction made in China. If you’re after something more authentic, check stores in Nieuwe Spiegelstraat or Blauw Bloesem designed by Debbie Wijskamp.
Miffy toys and gifts
An iconic Dutch brand is Miffy, or Nijntje as she is known to the Dutch. You will find it over the city and there is also a Miffy museum in Utrecht.
Ajax Football Club has its home grounds in Amsterdam. They are top of the Dutch football league and have thousands of supporters all around the world. Ajax merchandise can be found at many official retailers stores throughout the city. It’s perfect for sports fans.
TIP: It is good to know that shops in The Netherlands are mostly open until 18:00. Thursdays is a designated shopping day which means that most of the stores only close around 20:00 or 21:00.