If you want to see—and shop—the most offbeat part of town, head to this developing waterfront area, which consists of man-made islands dotted with a handful of stores in old shipping warehouses.
Kick off your tour with a stop at Sissy-Boy Homeland, one of the largest branches of the popular Dutch Sissy-Boy clothing chain, which is beloved for its broken-in cargos, earthy leather sandals, and printed gauze tunics.
Next, visit neighbor Keet in huis for loads of kid-themed trinkets that appeal equally to adults
Nearby, 90 Square Meters devotes its cube-ish space to graffiti murals and his-and-hers urban-style clothing, most of which dangles from suspended steel chains.
Wind up at the appropriately named Extra Small, a pod like retailer that stocks the most popular picks from lines like Paul Smith Women and D&G—exclusively in petite sizes.
From tiny boutiques rife with antique kimonos to mega stores filled with insanely cool accessories, the world's largest city is a shopping destination like no other.
This posh residential area near the museum district has Amsterdam's most refined assortment of small-designer boutiques.
Its radical purple facade, complete with the store's name scribbled in doodle-ish script, immediately gives the impression that something cool must be going on inside. And it's true: We discovered Swiss-dot dresses by Chine Collection, slim-cut Acne Jeans (priced about $100 less than in America), and Holland's hipster bag of the moment: a black-star-appliqué leather tote by Swedish designer Rika.
For an impressive grouping of emerging European labels that are frustratingly hard to find in the States, like France's Isabel Marant and Denmark's By Malene Birger, head straight to this consistently great five-year-old boutique, which is owned by a stylish former TV editor.
Every few months, this intriguing split-level retailer changes its theme, inventory, and even scent, all according to the owners' whims. On our visit, everything was done up in shades of white, from the handpicked vintage clothing to the porcelain dishware and antique linens, and the air had the clean smell of just-dried laundry.