After a memorable trip, we know you’ll be wanting to share a piece of The Dam with your best pals. Here at Hey Explorer, we know sharing is caring – so here’s our definitive guide to the best souvenirs from Amsterdam to gift your friends!
Traditional Amsterdam souvenirs
Let’s not beat around the bush. Clogs are to Amsterdam and The Netherlands like gloves are to hands. Inseparable, especially in cold weather. You simply can’t go wrong with a pair of “Klompen” (clogs) so this is one of the most iconic souvenirs from Amsterdam.
Go colorful, traditional wooden, decorated with windmills…you name it. You might even find some with your buddy’s name on! If space is a problem, you can even get miniature decorative clogs.
And just between you and I, if your friend is a fan of bottled beer, a clog bottle opener might just be what you’re looking for.
2. Tulip bulbs
Other than clogs, nothing else says Amsterdam quite like tulips. If you want your souvenirs from Amsterdam to last a lifetime (with the right care, obviously!) then you might think about picking up some tulip bulbs.
Gardeners and green thumbs especially will appreciate caring for their new Dutch floral babies. The best place to pick these up are at the floating flower market, called Bloemenmarkt in Dutch. They come in a variety of colors, though if you want to go truly Dutch then opt for orange.
Tip: If you’re worried about customs regulations, the flower vendors at Bloemenmarkt are experts who are more than happy to help with your queries regarding customs!
3. Bike accessories
It would be madness to try to squeeze a bike into your baggage as one of your souvenirs from Amsterdam. Even those handy foldable ones. No, I reckon you’re better off opting for a bike accessory. Bike locks and seat covers are available all over the city in cute and stylish designs.
Delicious Amsterdam souvenirs
Everyone knows the best place to go for edible souvenirs is where the locals themselves shop! If you’ve wondered what to buy in an Amsterdam supermarket, then here’s a round up of what to get, beginning with Gouda cheese.
4. Gouda cheese
If you’re thinking of grabbing a traditional Dutch cheese as one of your souvenirs from Amsterdam, you’ll want to consider Gouda for your cheese loving chum. You won’t find it hard to find Gouda on sale in Amsterdam. It’s literally everywhere: supermarkets, specialist cheese stores, and many tourist shops. A whole wheel might be a bit extreme, but hey, I’m not here to judge!
If your friend has more of a sweet tooth, then some stroopwafels definitely need to be on your list of souvenirs from Amsterdam. These syrupy cookies make the perfect Dutch souvenirs – they aren’t heavy or difficult to pack, and they’re delicious. You can also find them in decorative tins ranging from Van Gogh paintings to adorable Amsterdam townhouses.
6. Dutch craft beer
Here’s one to go with that clog bottle opener I know you’re itching to buy. Amsterdam’s many craft beer breweries offer astonishing ranges of beer. What better gift than a bottle or two of Amsterdam’s finest beer for your thirsty friend?
De Bierkoning in Dam Square is one of the most popular choices for those wishing to purchase craft beers. They also stock a range of appropriate beer glasses to go with your bottle of choice so be sure to check that out too. Another option is to check out Gall&Gaall which has stores all over Amsterdam selling more mainstream beers.
Inject a bit of humor into your souvenirs from Amsterdam and watch your friend’s faces for their reaction when they bite into some Drop. Drop, salty licorice, is the nation’s favorite candy. Perfect for pranksters or licorice lovers, a packet of Drop might just be the ideal gift if you want to make an impression. Trust me, good or bad, this gift is truly unforgettable!
Personally, I think Hagelslag is one of those massively underrated souvenirs from Amsterdam. If your friends are at college or just moved out into their new apartment, they’ll sincerely thank you for this gift.
Hagelslag is basically a packet of sprinkles that melt into toasted bread. Picture these scenarios: Studying late for finals? Hagelslag on toast. Too lazy to cook dinner? Hagelslag on toast. Forgot to go grocery shopping and only have bread at home? Hagelslag on toast. You see? It’s the ideal souvenir from Amsterdam.
Pro tip: You can buy Hagelslag at any major supermarket in The Netherlands. Albert Heijn is the largest Dutch supermarket chain, and a packet of Hagelslag will come in at under €2. Bargain.
Art souvenirs from Amsterdam
9. Van Gogh momentos
The iconic artist Vincent van Gogh has left a real mark on the Dutch capital. At The Van Gogh Museum, you’ll find a curated collection of art inspired souvenirs from Amsterdam to satisfy all your needs.
You’ll find all the usual museum memorabilia such as postcards, books, tees and keychains, both of the artist’s face and his work. There are also more unique and practical finds such as waterproof tote bags and intricately painted mugs featuring paintings such as Sunflowers or Starry Night.
When Zoom meetings are but a distant memory, what better way to say “I thought of you when I saw this” than a postcard from The Netherlands’ capital city? Your souvenirs from Amsterdam don’t have to be expensive to be appreciated, and a postcard is a thoughtful and classy keepsake.
Whether you choose prints from Van Gogh or Rembrandt, a row of Dutch townhouses, or just a view of the canal, no one can say that they aren’t truly reminiscent of Amsterdam’s charm and beauty.
11. Delft pottery
Delft pottery, or Delft blue, is one of the most popular souvenirs that tourists seek out. It’s easy to see why: Delft blue porcelain is so beautifully painted and designed, and it’s been around since the 16th century!
Traditional doesn’t have to mean stuffy and old fashioned (although, I am obsessed with this pasta dish). Just because Delft pottery is an old company, it doesn’t mean the designs are outdated. Just take this bicycle vase for example, which is sure to spark daydreams echoing Amsterdam’s soundtrack of clanking wheel chains.
12. Canal maps
Maps of Amsterdam’s many canals are useful when you’re trying to find your way around the city, but they also serve the dual purpose of making excellent souvenirs. Yeah, I get it – you probably used apps like Waze or Google Maps to get around, but the paper ones you can pick up from tourist bureaus look incredible when laid out and framed.
Art doesn’t always have to be restricted to museums and galleries. Maps of Amsterdam’s canals are available free or for a euro or two, and therefore make the perfect solution to souvenir buying if you’ve blown your budget.
Bonus idea: Grab two, one for you and one for a friend. You can cut out your favorite places where you had the best memories (or stroopwafel) and glue them into your travel journal. Creative and cost effective!
Unique & quirky Amsterdam gifts
13. Red Light District memorabilia
I think you all knew this was coming. Amsterdam’s notorious Red Light District might not be the first place you think of when it comes to souvenirs, but remember that Amsterdam isn’t like any other place on Earth. Whether you’ve got a cheeky sense of humor or you know your friend will appreciate the gesture, there are plenty of souvenirs from Amsterdam’s naughtiest corner that are sure to go down a treat.
The world’s first condom shop opened in Amsterdam’s red light district in 1987, and it’s still going. If you’ve ever wanted to buy novelty condoms, Condomerie should be your go-to. Dotted throughout the district, you’ll find plenty of tourist shops selling magnets, postcards and er…other things that might make the perfect, amusing souvenirs from Amsterdam. Again. No judgment from me. Just make sure you don’t mix up your gifts and give grandma a shock!
14. “Kissing Couples”
If your friend is a hopeless romantic, then maybe an adorable Dutch “kissing couples” ornament set is for them. These are available pretty much everywhere, and they’re synonymous with Amsterdam’s reputation as a city of love.
These little figurines have been around since the 19th century, and Delftware are still making them. These days, Kissing Couples are famous souvenirs from Amsterdam because of the varieties they come in – and they’re LGBTQ friendly.
15. Dutch cosmetics
Whenever I visit a new country, one of the first places I go is the local pharmacy. Each place has its own stamp on fashion and beauty, and if your friend is like me then you can’t go wrong with Dutch cosmetics as a souvenir. Dutch supermodels like Doutzen Kroes and Romee Strijd swear by some of their home country’s beauty brands, and I can recommend you browse the collections by Rituals and Ellis Faas.
Pro tip: the largest chain pharmacy in The Netherlands is called Etos
16. Anne Frank house mementos
There’s no denying how eerie and fascinating the Anne Frank house is. The teenage girl’s diary that is still a massive success has captivated the hearts and minds of many all over the world. People flock to see where she lived and learn more about Nazi occupation in The Netherlands, and it’s worth stopping by the museum shop for some historical souvenirs from Amsterdam.
For book-lover friends, you can pick up a copy of Anne Frank’s diary, available in 29 languages. Likewise, if you have a teacher friend, there’s a cardboard self-assembly model of the house which is sure to inspire future lessons, or help parents teach their kids about Anne Frank’s life in the annex.
Amsterdam souvenirs for kids
17. Amsterdam block puzzle
Buying unique souvenirs from Amsterdam for kids isn’t the easiest task in the world, but it’s definitely doable. If you want to surprise your friends’ kids with a little something you picked up in Amsterdam, then take a look at the Amsterdam Canals block puzzle. A row of colorful Amsterdam terraced houses is as adorable as it is fun for little ones!
18. Ajax soccer merchandise
Needless to say, you don’t need to be a kid to be a sports lover. However, this is one of the souvenirs from Amsterdam that has no age restriction. Soccer is the national sport of The Netherlands and the team with the biggest support in Amsterdam is none other than Ajax.
Whether you opt for a scarf, a jersey or even a Christmas sweater (yes, really!) you can be sure your sports-loving buddy will cherish their gift from you!
19. Miffy merchandise
Miffy, the adorable Dutch bunny, is the cartoon symbol that many associate with The Netherlands. Though she isn’t strictly speaking from Amsterdam (she comes from Egmond aan Zee, just outside the capital) Miffy memorabilia is still a popular choice when it comes to buying souvenirs from Amsterdam.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia factor, or maybe it’s just her irresistibly cute face, but something from Amsterdam’s flagship Miffy store is a definite possibility for souvenir buyers looking to impress young ones.
Amsterdam Christmas gifts
20. Christmas letters
Trust the Dutch to find a way of making the alphabet delicious. Traditionally, on 5 December, Dutch kids leave their clogs out hoping Sinterklaas will pay them a visit. If he does, and the kid’s been nice, they’ll receive a chokolade letter – the first letter of their forename made of chocolate.
From mid-November until the day itself, you’ll find supermarkets and chocolatiers all over Amsterdam and The Netherlands selling the alphabet made from chocolate. If your name starts with a Q, U, W, X, Y, or Z, you might have to go to Albert Heijn to get your chokolade letter because those letters aren’t common for Dutch first names. If you’re feeling super fancy, pay Van Velze’s a visit or pre-order your bestie’s initials as delicious, festive souvenirs from Amsterdam!
21. Dutch Christmas ornaments
Decorating the tree each year is many people’s favorite way to start feeling festive. If you know someone who’s always looking to update their tree and find unique ornaments no one else has got, consider buying some traditional ornaments as souvenirs from Amsterdam!
Personally, I’m in love with these hanging Amsterdam canal houses and windmill pendants. You can almost see the snowflakes falling on those tall roofs and how the canals look in dim winter light when you picture these hanging on a Christmas tree.
22. Amsterdam snow globes
Speaking of snowflakes falling…Christmas souvenirs from Amsterdam aren’t complete without a snow globe. If your friends love the festive season, why not give them the gift of a miniature wintery Amsterdam? Tourist shops in Amsterdam have a wide selection of snow globe stock, depicting everything from Miffy with a Dutch flag to a snow-capped Amsterdam tower.
Where to buy souvenirs in Amsterdam
Whether you allocate a day trip specifically for souvenir shopping or you just keep an eye out as you explore Amsterdam, you’ll need to know where to look for souvenirs. Here’s a heads up:
- The largest shopping district in Amsterdam is located in the city center, from Nieuwendijk to Kalverstraat. You’ll find tourist shops and chain stores like Primark and H&M there too.
- You can also find less crowded tourist shops on Leidsestraat.
- Museum gift shops are always worth a visit, especially if you’re on the lookout for something specific.
Where to buy Amsterdam gifts online
If you’ve arrived back home without what you wanted or you have a homesick Dutch friend, there are plenty of online outlets selling what you need with worldwide shipping. As well as the links provided in the article, here are a few of websites with the widest selection of goods:
- Hollandwinkel.nl (Sells virtually everything you could possibly require from Amsterdam and The Netherlands. Wide selection of edible goods too!)
- If you’re looking for Delfts Blue china in particular (it’s not easy to transport porcelain, after all) then check out Heinen Delfts Blauw.
- Hollandsouvenirshop.nl (Does exactly what it says on the tin. Large variety of gifts and Amsterdam souvenirs)
Hopefully you enjoyed reading about all the awesome souvenirs from Amsterdam that you can pick up on your next visit to The Dam. If you’ve found something that fellow explorers need to know about, tell us about it in the comments below!