Dam square is the main town square. It is home to the Royal Palace, and can be easily reached by a ten minute walk from Central Station, straight down the Damrak. The main shopping streets, Nieuwendijk & Kalverstraat, are on each side of the Dam square and this is where you’ll find all the usual commercial brands that can be found in any big city.
Spui is a small square with a cozy atmosphere, plenty of cafe's, and a number of interesting bookstores such as the American Book Center and British bookstore Waterstones. To add to this literary vibe, there’s an outdoor book market on the square, every Friday morning. The Spui also provides (free) entry to the Begijnhof, a hidden Medieval courtyard which is worth a visit for its beautifully white, classic Dutch, architecture, and a peaceful little oasis in the middle of this hectic part of town.
More in this area - Leidseplein / Leidsestraat
Leidseplein, the centre of where it’s all happening. To many it is known as an ‘entertainment area’, with all its restaurants, bars, and cinemas, but to me it’s primarily where I discovered all the great bands and first fell in love with music. Make sure to check if there’s anything happening while you’re in town at either the Paradiso, a beautiful ex-church, or De Melkweg, which was once a milk factory and now a concert venue / gallery / theatre / cinema.
In the summertime, the square is transformed into one big outdoor seating area to sit and enjoy a drink while you watch the world go by. In the wintertime there’s an ice skating rink, a general ‘winter wonderland’ vibe, and stalls selling overpriced hot chocolate.
Leidsestraat used to be the go-to-street for shoe shopping and airline companies, but is now home to many different brands. Friendly warning - the tram drives straight through this street so watch out! For those of you looking to bring tulips home, Leidsestraat goes all the way down to Koningsplein, home to the flower market.
SpiegelstraatIf real antiques are what you are in to, check out the Spiegelstraat. This street, parallel to Leidsestraat and going all the way down to the Rijksmuseum, is known for its many antique stores and has lately been welcoming some fashion brands.
Read a summery of my favourite shops and locations and scroll down for more detailed info, links to blogposts, pictures and opening hours of the specific locations...
Please note.... I am still working on the redesign of the site and over the next few months every single district will undergo a major update... Meanwhile you find the complete guide with over 200 places in our AMS NXT app!
New in this area is Dille&Kamille. Dille & Kamille offers all essential basics for your home, garden and kitchen. Just about everything they sell is functional and designed of natural materials.
ShopDille&Kamille Korte nieuwendijk 16-18 walking towards Haarlemmerbuurt
Exchange and Stock Damrak 49
H&M Home Dam
HAY Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 326 or Spuistraat 281 Zafra Amsterdam Singel 391 Design, home accessories, and a tiny coffee-Tea corner | close to spui