Amsterdam

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.

Oud Zuid Stores

This posh residential area near the museum district has Amsterdam's most refined assortment of small-designer boutiques.

bits and pieces

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.
Cornelis Schuytstraat 22, 31-20-618-19-39

Products: Denim, Women's Clothing, Bags
Type of Store: Boutique

buise

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.
Cornelis Schuytstraat 12, 31-20-670-49-04

Products: Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

cornerlis johannes

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.
Willemsparkweg 67, 31-20-616-01-84

Products: Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

de lairesse apotheek

This drugstore blew our minds. It looks entirely unassuming from the outside, but once you step in, it's as if you've entered a terrarium-like spaceship. Walls of green glass drawers arc around the space; the floor is covered with one huge photo print of ginkgo leaves; and a giant tree trunk bisects the counter. The interior alone is enough to merit a visit, but there are also tons of beauty products, from obscure lip balms and baby lotions to soothing herbal throat drops and pine-scented soaps.
De Lairessestraat 40, 31-20-662-10-22, delairesseapotheek.nl for more information

Products: Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

& Klevering Zuid

Home and gift items that are affordable—even given the brutish strength of the euro—make this corner shop worth seeking out (there is a second location on Haarlemmerstraat). We were especially fond of the rainbow-bright espresso cups, one-off tote bags crafted from recycled tents, and lotus-blossom-shaped tea lights.
Jacob Obrechtstraat 19, 31-20-670-36-23, kzuid.nl for more information

Products: Shoes, Bags, Jewelry, Accessories, Decorative/ Lighting, Tabletop, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

luuks

The homespun interior at this lofty footwear store provides the perfect complement to the comfortable-yet-stylish offerings: Shelves cobbled together from patinated wood scraps display low-heel Scorah Pattullo pumps and rubber-sole Costume National flats; antique flip-down velveteen theater seats add a touch of old-fashioned glamour to the surroundings.
Jacob Obrechtstraat 12, 31-20-670-45-38, luuks.nl for more information

Products: Shoes
Type of Store: Boutique

vlerk and vlerk ii

These inventive sister shops sell a complementary selection of understated clothing-gunmetal silk tanks, nude linen camisoles, tissue-thin pastel-hued jersey dresses—all by obscure French and Italian designers that owner Henriette Van Vlerken, a onetime fashion model and truck driver (we're serious), has come across in her extensive travels.
Willemsparkweg 157 and 159, 31-20-676-63-20
Products: Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

albert heijn

dear to the dutch

Hit up ubiquitous, bounteously stocked grocer Albert Heijn for the lowest prices on gift-worthy Dutch edibles—Gouda wheels, salted licorice, hot chocolate, and stroop wafles (saucer-size wafers sandwiched with caramel).
best location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 226, 31-20-421-83-44 ah.nl for more information

Products: Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

etos

dear to the dutch

We made multiple trips to drugstore Etos and kept unearthing things we couldn't live without, like anise-flavored toothpaste and ingenious little gadgets that zap the itch out of mosquito bites.
best location: Nieuwendijk 182-184, 31-20-626-71-44

Products: Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique
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