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Amsterdam: Shopping for books, movies, music, and clothes

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De Slegte bookshop in Amsterdam. Photo by Kemal Y.
De Slegte bookshop in Amsterdam. Photo by Kemal Y.

For a lot of us, the appeal of Amsterdam lies in its diversity—be it food, culture, or the shopping experience. Tucked away from all major shopping spots, you are likely to find smaller, Dutch-specific stores that offer an interesting gift-hunting experience.

Try these shops for a unique souvenir from the Netherlands:

For Books: De Slegte
website
Kalverstraat 48-52
1012 PE Amsterdam

Those looking for a unique gift for a bookworm should check out this quaint second-hand bookshop. De Slegte bookshops, which are found all over the Benelux region, contain a wide range of Dutch and English books, some of which are older, hard-to-find novels. Gift buyers take note: They offer a number of antique books as well as comic books.

For something Dutch-specific, look for the local recipe books or ones about the country’s rich arts and history. Keep in mind that comic books (“stripboeken”) are extremely popular in Netherlands and thus, you can easily find popular European works in such shops. Think older strips such as Tintin (“Kuifje”), Willy and Wanda (“Suske en Wiske”) and Leonardo.

Where English books are concerned, you’re likely to come across well-loved books from previous decades like Alistair MacLean’s thriller novels. Books here have a starting price of €2.

For Music and Movies: Free Record Shop
website
One of the many locations in Amsterdam:
Ferdinand Bolstraat 79
1072 LC, Amsterdam

For the music lover or movie fan, these shops are the place to go. Free Record Shops are budget-friendly shops that sell a number of movies, music, and games at low prices. Not just that, they are also well-known for their marked-down deals and bargain-bin goodies.

Free Record Shops can be excellent places to find Dutch music and movies and other international items as well. Look for music by Dutch singers Anouk and local flicks that have made it big worldwide like Ciske de Rat. Keep an eye out for arthouse flicks. Goods usually have a starting price of €5.

For Vintage Fashion: Laura Dols
website
Wolvenstraat 6 en 7
1016 EM Amsterdam

Be it window shopping or hunting down the perfect gift for the fashion lover, Laura Dols is a definite must on a souvenir shopping trip. This classy little shop is renowned for its wide selection of vintage clothing, most of which is priced at affordable rates. From charming accessories like hats and pearl necklaces to sleek attire of the good old days, this vintage boutique has much to offer.

About the author

About the author: Amy K Goemans is a writer and web developer based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her travel experiences include Europe and Southern Africa with occasional visits to Asia. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Durban are currently her top favorite cities.

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