Kalverstraat, Leidsestraat, Rokin
Dam SquareYou are now in the very heart of Amsterdam, one of the busiest places in the city. If you stand on the steps of the National Monument, with your back towards it, you will see the renowned department store de Bijenkorf (the Beehive) on your right.
RokinTo the left of the monument Rokin begins, the Amsterdam Diamond Center is at the corner. This street is known for its on-going construction of the North-South line, a new metro line. It has a landing place for canal boats and it is also known for its exclusive cigar shop Hajenius . In recent years some more new restaurants and stores settled on Rokin. Scheltema , one of the biggest and oldest bookstores in Holland moved from Koningsplein to Rokin in May.
Rokin will become a street with even more allure in the coming years when the North-South metro line opens and 2 new high-end department stores (Haussmann and Marks & Spencer) will open their doors.
Magna PlazaThe Magna Plaza is situated just behind the Royal Palace. This shopping centre is housed in what used to be the General Post Office, and is on the National Heritage list. This stunning building has been transformed into a super-deluxe department store, with 40+ exclusive shops under one roof.
KalverstraatAmsterdam's most commercial street begins left of the Royal Palace building. It's history goes back to the 14th century when this part was transformed into a cow market. While walking through this street you will pass numerous boutiques (offering trendy and fashionable clothing), shoe shops, large department stores, perfumes and special gifts & souvenirs.
Almost at the end you will find the newer Kalvertoren Building , a modern mall built out of historical buildings that provides 3 levels of shopping.
Bloemensingel (Flower Market)When you walk all the way to the end of Kalverstraat, you will arrive at the Munttoren (Mint Tower). Walk through the tower gate and turn right. You will immediately see the floating shops of Amsterdam's colourful Flower Market. Have you ever seen black tulips before? You can buy them here! You can also buy tulip bulbs in just about any colour you like. Please make sure these come with an export certificate if you are going to take them home with you.
LeidsestraatTurn left at the end of the Flower Market. The next street on our shopping route is busy Leidsestraat. Watch out for the trams and cyclists!
LeidsepleinAfter crossing three canals you will arrive at Leidseplein which really comes to life at night.
Shopping routes in Amsterdam
in the Kalverstraat
in the Jordaan
in the PC Hooftstraat
in the Spiegelkwartier
at the Waterlooplein
at the Albert Cuyp Market
Shopping Tip!Kalverstraat is a long, narrow street. Especially during weekends the street itself and the shops are very crowded. It is much more relaxed to shop here during the week.
Find a shopCheck the Kalverstraat shopping tour and see what the city's most commercial street has to offer!
Tax-free shoppingClaim back the VAT (Value Added Tax)
Tips for a coffee break:Scheltema, Rokin 9. Traditional literary café
Café Van Daele, corner Paleisstraat-Nz Voorburgwal. A small, popular brown café.
Café Ovidius, coffee-brasserie café restaurant located on the ground floor in Magna Plaza.
Tips for a coffee break:American Hotel, an art nouveau café in the grand manner, where you'll get excellent service. This has been a meeting place for writers, intellectuals and artists for many years.
Café Cox, a cosy theatre café and restaurant in the Stadsschouwburg Building at the Leidseplein.
Café Reijnders, Leidseplein 6. Brown café.
TipGo up the tower to the café in the Kalvertoren shopping mall, and admire the view.
Aerial view of Kalverstraat in 1954. Photo: Kees Scherer