Since 1915, the Hajenius House has been one of the best-known cigar houses in Europe and boasts of a stately location on the Rokin. Along with cigars, Hajenius also offers a stylish room, a special cigar try-out tool and private lockers where specialists can store their expensive cigars under controlled conditions. The beautiful art-deco interiors of the historic building create a perfect ambiance for cigar enthusiasts to admire the store's premium collection.
"De Bijenkorf" literally translates to "the beehive" and is one of Amsterdam's largest department stores, spread over six levels. From humble beginnings in 1870, the company now has a dozen outlets across the country. The historic building it lies in is an architectural marvel in itself and features an array of merchandise. On sale are clothing and apparel by international designers and high-end labels, branded cosmetics, exquisite jewelry and trendy shoes. Also on offer are furniture, kitchen appliances and home decor. Books, stationery, music and toys make their way on the fourth floor. Despite the upscale prices, every shopper will find something of interest at this state-of-the-art shopping complex. Please check the website for hours of operation.
Housed right next to the one-time Heineken brewery, The Albert Cuyp market is the busiest and the largest in Amsterdam. Open six days a week, local shoppers make a daily routine out of browsing the ample stalls. It's not just fresh local produce, though. You can find just about anything at Albert Cuyp, from a new pair of casual shoes to some bolts of fabric to create your own market-ready item. The market's vendors are as diverse as their products, meaning you can find exotic spices and souvenirs from all around the world.
The Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt) is located in the heart of the city, near Kalverstraat, Leidsestraat and the Munttoren en Muntplein. Have a look inside the shops floating on barges on the Singel Canal; they sell everything from seeds and bulbs to unique flowers. Don't be surprised if you find floral items in colors you have never seen before; flowers like black tulips and purple roses are very common here. This is a great place to visit, even if you don't plan to make a purchase and a charming spot if you have arrived with someone special. If you want to take these products out of the country, be sure that they have export certificates.
Indulge your sweet tooth with the heavenly chocolates on offer at this specialty boutique located in Jordaan. Established in 2010, the expansive boutique delights with an enticing display of artisan chocolate bars and other creations by well-known chocolatiers. Taking things further, the boutique conducts regular chocolate tasting sessions for enthusiasts. Apart from chocolate, the store also offers premium coffee and tea. A must-visit for chocolate lovers.
Patisserie Holtkamp Amsterdam is an Amsterdam tradition when it comes to baked goods and pastries; Dutch people reserve birthday cakes from Holtkamp for loved ones. Of course, the prices are somewhat high, but the flavor is more than worth the penny paid. Chocolate flavors are brought out with complementary liquors and molded into artistic creations. Fruit tarts feature fresh sweet and tart flavors that are as visually attractive as they are delicious. For those who prefer snacks above sweets, Holtkamp also has a quick turnover rate for their quiches and ragouts. Their croquettes are famous, and if you don't know what that is, all the more reason to try one from a shop whose recipe is famous!
Mark Raven captures Amsterdam in all of its glory through his celebrated sketches, drawings, and prints. From hauntingly beautiful windmills to charming canals, Mark Raven's art is stunning and at times whimsical. Stop by to shop for art or pick up a souvenir in the form of t-shirts and posters.
Magna Plaza is situated behind the Koninklijk Paleis on Dam Square. This former main post office, built in Neo-Gothic style according to a design by C.H. Peters in 1898, would feel at home in a fairytale. Inside, it has a large dome-shaped top, beautiful colonnades and decorated sculptures. Because of its interior, facade, and historical value, it belongs to the top 100 buildings on the National Heritage list. There are more than forty exclusive shops and two restaurants inside. The atmosphere in Magna Plaza can be characterized as unique and relaxed. Worth mentioning separately are the small cheese and delicatessen shops on the ground floor, the shoe shiner and the live classical music often played on weekends.
Spread out over five levels, this location of the trendy brand H&M is located on the iconic Dam Square. One of the largest H&M stores in the world, it's a one stop shop for every fashionista. Carrying their entire range of collections from men's wear, women's wear, young as well as their own brand of home décor and furnishings, the Swedish chain offers something for everyone. From casuals to formals, lingerie and accessories it offers a huge option of clothing for every budget. The top floor is a great place to get the perfect view over the historic square. For details and in-store promotions and events, check out the website.
A local chain of supermarkets, Albert Heijn is conveniently located in the city center. With parking available, it's a good place to pick up your daily requirements, or even gourmet food items. The store has a vary popular section of sandwiches and ready to eat meals, popular with office goers in the area. With a wide range of products from fresh fruits and veggies, packaged meals, ready-to-eat items, snacks, local products and daily staples; there's a good variety available. The store often has promotions and offers which are worth checking out. You can also find a photo studio and copy center at this branch.
Puccini Bomboni is a highly regarded bakery that creates delicious sweets and desserts, within the store itself, without artificial ingredients. The chocolates sold here are are not mere edible confectionery; each one is handcrafted with attention giving it an artistic look along with a splendid taste. Puccini Bomboni is a perfect option to satisfy your chocolate craving.
For beer lovers, De Bierkoning (The Beer King), located very close to Dam Square behind the Royal Palace, is one of Amsterdam's most central locations for bottles of specialty Dutch and Belgian beers. The characteristic interior is packed almost floor to ceiling with local micro brews and niche market European beers, all in a colorful array of bottles. While the prices may be a little steeper than in the nearby Albert Heijn supermarket, the range on offer is much more suited to someone who knows their beers; this is not the place to come for a six-pack of Heineken. For more details, check website or call ahead (fax: +31 842 233957).