Life in Amsterdam: Gift shopping in Amsterdam
Tired of bringing home Delft’s blue miniatures as souvenirs? Then hop on your (rental) bike and discover stunning Amsterdam places where you can also fill your gift bag
1. Saskya & co - modern Dutch souvenirs
The first ‘Made in Holland’ modern gift shop is that of Saskya & Co. Unlike other souvenir shops which sell mass productions from China, Saskya’s products are both esthetically appealing, original and remind you of our lovely life in The Netherlands. For example: handmade handbags, made of bicycle inner tires. Most noteworthy is the Tradewind jewelry collection, made from Ming porcelain shards have laid on the bottom of a VOC ship that sunk in 1625 in the South China Sea. The Ming porcelain was the first blue & white porcelain to arrive in Europe and triggered the development of Delft’s blue.
Saskya & Co,
Stromarkt 5 corner Singel,
2. Wynand Fockink - authentic home-made genever
In 1679, Wynand Fockink opened his spirits and liqueur distillery on the Pijlsteeg. As custom in those days, distilleries included a tasting house and a shop. So try out a ‘ouwe’ (old genever) or one of the liqueur cocktails and taste for yourself which bottle is to be taken home. I particularly recommend the ‘creme brulee’ liqueur - it’s simply divine.
3. Mark Raven affordable Amsterdam art
Mark is a true Amsterdammer and his life long love affair with his home city is recognizable in his art; most of his works display rough outlines of Amsterdam sceneries, yet leave room for personal interpretation. His art work is very affordable with originals available as of E80, and reproductions on posters and t-shirts as of E10. They are a great gift for expatriates who return home and want to take a bit of Amsterdam with them.
4. Reypenaer - Cheese Tasting Room & Shop
Dutch cuisine is not immediately associated with ‘haute cuisine’. The Dutch Repenaer Cheese, though, is served in the world’s most exclusive restaurants. For over a century, the cheese is made by the family van den Wijngaard in Woerden, 40 km south of Amsterdam. Get acquainted with all of the cheeses in the Reypenaer Tasting Room downstairs.
Reypenaer Tasting Room,
5. House of Hajenius - Cigars shop worth a visit by itself
Since 1925, the House of Hajenius is located in a breathtaking shop on the Rokin. Smoker or not, the House of Hajenius is well worth a visit because of its well-kept Art-Deco interior, featuring Italian marble, highly-decorated ornaments and colossal chandeliers that date from the time when Amsterdam was still lit by gas. Personally, I wish I were a (cigar) lover to have a reason to frequent the shop!
6. De Winkel van Nijntje - Miffy’s place
Nijntje, also known abroad as Miffy, is a girl rabbit brought to life by Dick Bruna in 1955. Depending on the story she is a baby or a four year old. Nijntje toys also suit this age group. Nijntje has her own shop ‘de winkel van nijntje’, located on the Scheldestraat 61, Rivierenbuurt, Amsterdam.
7. Mendo - a stunning book gallery
This gem of a book shop is the most beautiful shop in Amsterdam. Visit this ‘book gallery’ and browse around the artistically laid out books about design, nature, fashion and famous people. Look out for a book about a Dutch designer or landscape for a great souvenir.
T. 020 612 12 16
8. FridayNext - for the esthetically aware
Friday next is a concept store where interior design meets fashion meets hospitality. What to expect here? Well… (Dutch) design products, home-made tarts and pies, free wifi and an interior design studio in the back.
9. Lifestyle - home accessories
Still haven’t found anything interesting? Then this is my personal ‘last resort’, where I always find something to please both my Italian in-laws and Dutch grand-parents: a very affordable home-interior and (fashion) accessory shop.
P.C. Hooftstraat 116,
10. The Otherist - peculiar & amazing
If you have no idea what to buy for a particular someone, then hop into this Wunderkammer. No visit will be the same; the shop owners continuously scour the globe in search of items that wow, amaze and surprise. So, this shop has no special connection with The Netherlands, but it’s nevertheless worth a visit.
Reprinted with permission of LifeinAmsterdam.
Kira Nijenhuis blogs about her Amsterdam discoveries on LifeinAmsterdam.com. She explores the city's beautiful and authentic side; from cool cocktails and luscious lunch places to century old bars and true local things to do.