Being the bustling epicentre of Netherlands trade, Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city hosting all of the world's leading brands at shopping malls spread across the city. There is an especially impressive variety of fashion and jewellery stores at these centres.
What is distinctive about shopping in Amsterdam is the opportunity for informal shopping on a large scale. The main shopping streets are between Central Station and the Leidseplein, including Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, Heiligeweg, and Leidsestraat. Some of these areas can be rather seedy however, so for a more upmarket experience shoppers can head to PC Hooftstraat Street. The Nine Streets area near the main canals hosts a plethora of market stalls selling curios, second-hand clothing, antiques and other miscellany. There are also a number of unique shops in the Jordaanwhere you can buy popular Amsterdam souvenirs such as wooden clogs or tulips, blue and white Delft china, and Dutch football paraphernalia.
There are a number of street markets in Amsterdam, and while most concentrate on food, there are a few with interesting curios for tourists. The largest is Albert Cuyp, while the Dappermarkt behind the zoo has been voted the best in the Netherlands. Another highlight for Amsterdam is the floating Bloemenmarkt or 'flower market', in which permanently docked barges market exotic flowers from around the world in the Singel Canal.
The city also has more formal shopping experiences, and department stores and shopping malls like The Bee Hive, Magna Plaza, and Kalvertoren.
Most stores in Amsterdam are open until 6pm, with later hours on Thursday and earlier ones on Saturday.
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