Being one of Europe’s most accessible and beautiful cities, Amsterdam attracts many types of tourists and visitors each year. Known for its lax laws on weed and open policies on sex, it thus appeals to a certain demographic. The fact it is also picturesque, historically rich and owes it’s current culture as much to the infamous Red Light district as it does its tulips, canals, museums and bicycles makes it a fascinating place to explore. What does seem to be overshadowed by the above though, is that Amsterdam is also one of Europe’s most understated shopping capitals too (at least to me).
Having visited Amsterdam recently, and being a life-long fan of Nederlandse influenced style, I was in my ultimate element. The motherland of many stores now making their way over to London (and especially Carnaby Street), shopping in certain parts of the city can be as calming as taking a stroll in the country (unlike Carnaby Street then). Top shopping tip: Many smaller and independent stores don’t open until midday on a Sunday, which is also perhaps the best time to go. So here is my list of top stores to visit if you go, with most nestled in the ‘De Negen Straatjes’ or ‘Nine Streets’ area of the City:
Most definitely one of the best looking stores I have been to, MARIE-STELLA-MARIS was founded in 2011 having taken inspiration from Resolution 64/292 passed by the United Nations in 2010. This motion, which declared everyone should have access to clean, sanitised water, inspired the company to create a bottled mineral water where every bottle sold donated a fixed amount to help others achieve access to clean water. With the water now being sold in the basement of the store, the upstairs is free to wow the customer with their line of body care products that have subsequently been developed following MARIE-STELLA-MARIS’s popularity. You can learn more about MARIE-STELLA-MARIS’s products here, and their foundation here.
Directions to MARIE-STELLA-MARIS can be found here.
2. Scotch & Soda
Having stumbled over Scotch & Soda on a previous trip to Amsterdam many years ago, it was a pleasant surprise to see they have opened a London flagship in Carnaby Street now. However, it seems that Amsterdam is where they are really expanding, with a Dutch flagship in the main shopping district of the city, opposite a Scotch & Soda Atelier store for men, and a couple more stores (including a children’s store) in and around the Nine Streets. Selling both men’s and women’s fashion, the label has branched out to include candles, jewellery and perfumes, while clothing remains somewhat understated yet worthy of spending that little bit extra for a piece you will wear day-in, day-out.
Scotch & Soda’s store locations can be found here.
With separate men’s and women’s stores, as well as a women’s denim bar a stone’s throw away and both in the Nine Streets, it’s easy to say Denham oozes Dutch laid-back sophistication. With a coffee bar in store, and quality basics galore, it was a relief to discover they have opened up a London store in the heart of Shoreditch (where else?).
Denham’s store locations, including the Shoreditch store, can be found here.
Anything we have missed? Any Dutch shopping gems you would like to share with us? Please comment below (it’s free!).