Whilst New York & London are the first cities that come to mind with the term Christmas shopping; Amsterdam has been pushing itself up there with the big players as a great location to celebrate Christmas and take part in all the pre-Christmas festivities and the necessary ‘mise en place’ that needs to be done.
The popularity of the Christmas holiday has grown immensely over the past years in Holland. ‘Sinterklaas’ (he’s like Santa but way skinnier) which takes place on the 5th of December was always the more popular winter festivity, however, when he leaves Holland on the 6th; in the blink of an eye, Amsterdam is transformed into a winter wonderland and the race is on to find those perfect gifts in the hustle and bustle of the city!
Main Shopping Streets
The two main shopping streets in Amsterdam are the kalverstraat and the Nieuwedijk. One being after the other, they create a 1,5 kilometer path to shop till you drop, starting near Rembrandtsplein and finishing almost at Central Station. Other great streets to go gift hunting are the ‘negenstraatjes’, ‘Leidsestraat’ and ‘Haarlemerdijk’.
The ‘Bijenkorf’ department store is situated in a stunning 140 year old monumental building aside the Dam Square. A definite ‘must’ to score Christmas ‘pressies’ and a great place for inspiration if you do not know what to get yet as the 6 floor building offers perfume, top designer brands, accessories, interior décor and has a fantastic jewelry section. A strong recommendation to all the sweet-tooth’s amongst us; try one of the exclusive cakes made by the Bijenkorf’s own pastry department on the ground floor. These are to die for! A personal favorite; the strawberry baravois!
The two main squares and entertainment areas of Amsterdam, Leidseplein & Rembrandtplein by winter are full of Christmas trees, snowmen and festive music that surround numerous stalls where great little original presents can be bought. Warm yourself up with a cup of gluwein and indulging in sweet or savory treats including the famous ‘olliebol’, a traditional Dutch (not the lowest in calories) pastry that is typical this time of year.
The Flower Market
This is also a fun road to stroll down to have a peek at the Christmas trees of all shapes, colors & sizes that are on offer! Next to the market you will find the Christmas Palace; a place where it is Christmas all year round, as it is open 365 days a year! Everything and anything to do with Christmas you will be sure to find it here!
Funky Xmas Market
If it is your goal to win the prize for most original Christmas gift; then you will most definitely succeed if you go to the Funky Xmas Market in the Westergasfabriek on the 18th of December. Discover things that you won’t get in the high-street shops, in an atmosphere that is completed with great music, hot coco and a group of fun-loving people that will get you into the funky side of Christmas spirit!
Christmas Shopping in Amsterdam (Dec 12, 2011)
Picture Perfect - Dutch Masters (Dec 08, 2011)
Amsterdam Business Lunches (Aug 31, 2011)
Prior to arrival in Amsterdam (Jul 07, 2011)
Find a Brewery in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Rules: That’s Just Fine
Destination of the Month: Berlin
Welcome to Amsterdam
Amsterdam by Bike
If You Say So…
Dutch Public behaviour...