City Centre | Dam | Spui | Koningsplein area

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 tulip bulbs home, Leidsestraat goes all the way down to Koningsplein, home to the flower market. 

If 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, second hand fashion stores. Kerkstraat crosses with Spiegelstraat where you will find some small lunch places like Stach and Lavinia and Matter of Material for design lovers. Please note we are still working on the site!

A complete list with my favourite locations in this area, more info and opening hours of the specific locations can be found in our Amsterdam city guide APP AMS NXT 

See this area on the Amsterdam city map

Dille&Kamille Korte nieuwendijk 16-18 (near CS) | Essential basics for your home
Exchange and Stock Damrak 49 | Independent fashion hotel & cafe
Bijenkorf Dam | Famous department store
H&M Home Dam | Flagshipstore with a home department
Koko Coffee & Design Oudezijds Achterburwal 145 | Fashion & coffee
Wonderwood Rusland 3 | Designer plywood furniture
HAY Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 326 or Spuistraat 281 | Flagshipstore of this Danish brand Zafra Amsterdam Singel 391 | Design, home accessories
ABC Spui 12 | American book Center Libertine Prinsengracht 715 | Gallery and shop for art, antiques and curiosa

Gekaapt at Magna Plaza shopping mall, Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 182 | fashion and interior items (temporary) Sissy Boy at Magna Plaza shopping mall, Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 182 | beautiful interior and selected fashion items 
Things I like Things I love at Magna Plaza shopping mall, Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 182 | selected interior and fashion labelsEat & drink
Vinnies Nieuwezijds kolk 33 | Breakfast, lunch, smoothies and cake
Mellie's cookies Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 137 |  Coffee and cookies
Rokin 93 | art and design in combination with good food and drinks
Pressroom (inside the Ink Hotel) Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67 | Surprising breakfast recipes, lunch platters and free bar bites during the aperitivo, to surprising and colourful dishes at dinner and high-end cocktails until late at night  Fashion 
& Other stories  Heiligeweg 26-28 | Swedish fashion brand
Laundry Industry Sint Luciënsteeg 18 | Flagshipstore of the Dutch fashion brand
Ink hotel Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67 | Contemporary lifestyle hotel in the  former headquarters of the Dutch newspaper De Tijd