De Bijenkorf (The Bee Hive) is one of the largest and most luxurious department stores in the city center. The store is home to many upscale European fashion and cosmetic brands. Highlights of their Amsterdam city center flagship store include a brand new Barbie fashion department and an award-winning master bakery selling handmade chocolates and pastries. On the fifth floor of the department store you’ll find the La Ruche restaurant, one of our favorite places to relax after an hour of power shopping.
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This is one of the few actual shopping malls in Amsterdam. Built inside the old 1889 Amsterdam post office, it is a spectacular shopping destination and one of our favorites. The 40 stores here mainly focus on upscale fashion, and if you haven’t figured it out, that means prices can be rather high. Even if you don’t plan on spending a dime, we recommend taking a walk through the mall. There are several restaurants inside, including the Ovidius grand café.
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The P.C. Hooftstraat is the most famous shopping street in The Netherlands. It is also the most upscale, with stores selling Gucci, Lacoste, Oilily, Mont Blanc and more. Despite its upscale nature, some of the stores do offer fantastic bargains on fashion not available in the U.S. If you want to mingle with the rich and famous, stop at one of the coffee shops (not to be confused with the cannabis-selling coffee shops).
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Thrifty shoppers will love HEMA. It is comparable to Target and sells a lot of affordable products under their own brand name. This is a great place if you want to indulge in a little European fashion but can’t or don’t want to spend too much. Just like De Bijenkorf, HEMA has an excellent bakery; don’t even think about leaving here without trying a vlaai (traditional Dutch pie). If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to swing by here, too, because there’s a large toy department.
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The Albert Cuypmarket is the largest open-air market in the country, and one of the largest in Europe. With over 250 stalls, the market sells everything from household goods to international foods. Fresh cooked dishes are also available, which makes the market a great place to enjoy an affordable lunch. Highlights from food vendors are Vietnamese baos (steamed rolls) and Dutch herring—served with raw onions. For desert, find a stall making fresh stroopwafels (caramel waffle cookies). Of course, as with all busy markets, pickpockets are very active here, so keep a close eye on your belongings. The market is open from Monday to Saturday, 9AM to 6PM.
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