By far, one of the best aspects of life in Amsterdam is the omnipresent art culture. Creative expression is everywhere and seems to permeate everything, even in retail thanks to the popularity of concept stores.
What is a concept store you ask? Well, it’s a shop, usually independently owned, where various products often crafted by local artists have been curated to illustrate a specific aspirational lifestyle.
They are all the rage in Amsterdam and my preferred shopping experience since I’m all about small scale artists having a space to create and share their talents with the world. Keep reading for a tour of ten of my favourite stores that elevate shopping to an art form, literally.
This gem, located in the former KAS Bank on the 2nd floor of the W Amsterdam, is the preeminent stage for both established and emerging Dutch designers. X Bank, the self-professed vault of Dutch talent, approaches each selected piece with care. Every item in the store has a story to tell, so you’re not only getting the product, you’re getting an experience as well.
The fun begins in the downstairs lobby of the hotel, where breathtaking artwork like Casper Faasson's "Samaa" and "Meike" adorn the walls, posh home goods enhance the decor, and beautiful books are on display between the lounge areas for guest. Travel up the spiral staircase to the 2nd Floor to a beautiful space that has a commercial, almost department store feel. Featured artists like G Star Raw’s unique capsule collection inspired by Jan Asselijn’s “Threated Swan” are prominently displayed in the front of the store and throughout there is every lifestyle item imaginable, from clothing to jewelry, to furniture, beauty, and books. New stock is rotated in approximately every eight weeks, so there is always something new and fresh for dedicated customers. You can also enjoy the fare at The Duchess or order a cocktail at X Bar.
Spuistaat 172, 1012 VT Amsterdam
Open daily: Mon. - Wed. & Fri. - 10 am - 8 pm, Thurs. 10 am - 9 pm, and Sun. 12 pm - 8 pm
Something about Pluk makes me happy. At first glance, it may seem like a charming café, but it’s more than a coffee bar, venture inside for quirky kitchenware, jewelry, home goods, and stationery. Shop then grab a delicious pastry and coffee then shop some more. One of these days I’m finally going to buy those adorable sleepy bowls.
Berenstraat 19, 1016 GG Amsterdam & Reestraat 19, 1016 DM Amsterdam
Open daily: 9 am - 6 pm
Luxurious, sustainable, and ethical. What more could you ask for? I stumbled upon Sukha, which means ‘joy of life’ in Sanskrit, on Centrum’s popular Haarlemmerstraat. The bright and airy store carries clothing, accessories home goods, furniture, and stationery that is almost all organic but always socially conscious. Their own label merchandise is handmade by Indian and Nepalese women using natural materials. Be prepared; you’ll want to buy every single high-quality item in this beautiful store.
Haarlemmerstraat 110, 1013 EW Amsterdam
Open daily: Mon. 11 am - 6:30 pm, Tues. - Sat. 10 am - 6:30 pm and Sun. 12 pm - 5 pm
Droog, the internationally acclaimed label's flagship store on Staalstraat is an interior design haven, beauty bar, clothing boutique, café, and apartment all rolled into one. To say I LOVE the place is an understatement. Just being there helps me to appreciate the beauty of Dutch minimalism.
The showroom on the lower level has everything you need for a lifestyle to chic for words. The interior design items can only be described as art, tableware too beautiful to dine on, and the clothing is so luxe simply standing next to it makes you feel… abundant. (For real, that Frenken grey wrap coat is where I aspire to be in life. Even the €499-price tag seems absolutely justified, like most of the items in the store, it’s that gorgeous.) Venture to the rear of the store to score beauty products from emergin C, Figue Noire, and Haeckles. Then head to the upper levels which boast an impossibly cool café with a full menu, as well as spaces used to host conferences or events, and of course the one and only room, which is really a penthouse suite, available by reservation (contact).
Staalstraat 7B, 1011 JJ Amsterdam
Open daily from 9 am - 7 pm.
Nestled in the famed Dappermarkt, Hartje Oost is a bit further east than I’m accustomed to traveling on a regular basis, nonetheless, I adore this shabby chic café, home goods, apparel & accessories hybrid. The Copenhagen coffeehouse inspired décor lends an inviting, cosy environment to work while enjoying yummy bites from the breakfast or lunch menu. Though it’s hard to focus on an assignment when all you want to do is covet the clothes and handmade jewelry. Head to the rear of the store for beauty products by Merki and women’s wear by Dutch, Danish and German designers like Alchemist, Samsoe Samsoe, and Minimum.
Javastraat 23,1094 GZ Amsterdam
Open daily: Mon. - Fri. 9 am - 6:30 pm, and Sat. - Sun. 9 am - 6 pm
I pass this delightful store every day on my way to yoga class. Ko shies away from offering multiple versions of the same product. They instead strictly edit to focus only on the most quintessential, like stylish Cap headphones by Rotterdam based designer Fresh and Rebel, and adorable baby clothes by French designer Petit Bateau. The boutique consists of two separate sides that are chocked full of great gift ideas; there really is something for everyone. That’s probably why Ellen van der Koogh, owner of Ko, enjoys a healthy return customers base from all over the world. If you’re in the Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes) area, stop by. You won’t regret it.
Wolvenstraat 9 & 11, 1016 EM
Open daily: Sun. & Mon. 12 pm - 6 pm, and Tues. - Sat. 11 am - 6 pm
This is the perfect vintage store for the man in your life. Influenced by the Swedish shop Broadway & Sons, and Brooklyn-based Wooden Sleepers you won't find the latest trends in Concrete Matter. Founders Tomas, Tim, and Jacob focus on timeless classic style, and sourced vintage finds. Their ethos? “High-quality clothes made from high-quality materials that effect people and environment as little as possible.” Browse Hot Rod inspired men's wear from the 1950’s and 1960’s, personal care from likes of Dr. Harris and Lucky Tiger, tools, camping gear and more.
Gasthuismolensteeg 12 1016 AN, Amsterdam & Haarlemmerdijk 1271013 KE, Amsterdam
Open: Tues. 11 am - 6 pm (Haralemmerdijk), Wed. - Sat. 11 am - 6 pm, and Sun 12 pm - 5 pm
All the Luck in the World
I have one word for this mother-daughter brainchild. Dainty. Dainty and charming. Okay, two words. I discovered All the Luck in the World while exploring the trendy De Pijp in Amsterdam Zuid. The owners have mastered the perfect blend of the old and new with their eclectic mix of furniture, stationery, jewelry, home accessories and vintage finds. They carry both own label and established local brands, as well as personally collected treasures they believe deserve a second chance. Oh, and the clerks are the absolute loveliest. Svea's bubbly personality is reason enough to patronize this little favorite.
Gerard Doustraat 86 HS, 1072 VW Amsterdam & Linnaeusstraat 20 HS1092CK Amsterdam
Open daily: Mon. - Sat. 11 am - 6 pm, and Sun. 1 pm - 6 pm
They had me with the portrait of Tupac. Located in the middle of the bustling Albert Cuyp Market, Hearth delivers on its mission of heart, earth, and art. Partners Marco and Valentino are committed to providing budding artists, of all kinds, a chance to exhibit their work. Adorning the walls are compelling illustrations, photography, and paintings - all available for sale. Make sure to also peruse the jewelry and Hearth’s own label of sustainable streetwear. Then kick back and enjoy the warm and inviting nature-inspired environment while noshing on the delicious vegetarian offerings, or just sip coffee while you work. The vibe familiar and welcoming, like the staff would remember your name if you visit more than once. I highly recommend you add Hearth to your must-visit list.
Albert Cuypstraat 208 H, 1073 BM Amsterdam
Open daily: Wed. - Mon. 12 pm - 10 pm
Last but certainly not least, this hipster hotspot is on everyone’s list for a good reason. The stores in De Jordaan and De Pijp have everything you can think of – clothing and accessories by Dutch and International designers for both men and women, home goods of every type, stunning coffee table books, cool stationery, luxe personal care products, funky eyewear and modern furniture. The De Pijp location also houses Toon’s Barbershop and has a nice size café where you can have lunch and work or host an event or workshop. Head on over and see what all the fuss is about.
Rozengracht 204-210, 1016 NL Amsterdam & Van Woustraat 41073 LL Amsterdam
Open daily: Mon. - Sat 10 am - 7 pm and Sun. 12 pm - 6 pm
I hope you all enjoyed this tour! Do you know of any really cool concept stores in Amsterdam? Leave us a comment!