Amsterdam Travel: The Best Amsterdam Souvenirs
The Best Amsterdam Souvenirs
So, what's this all about? Why am I - a resident of Amsterdam for over six years - writing a guide to the best Amsterdam gifts and souvenirs when surely, I have the best kind of souvenir from Amsterdam; I get to live in this city! I get to see it every single day. I get to cycle along its canals in the sunshine (or more often, the pouring rain) and I get to watch the seasons come and go bringing beautiful changes to the city; tulips, cherry blossom, wild roses, autumn leaves, and even festive fun at Christmas. Surely, that is the best kind of Amsterdam souvenir?
Well, yes, it is. But unfortunately not everyone reading this lives in Amsterdam. Many of you have come here because you want to find some recommendations for the best Amsterdam souvenirs you can give a loved one, or maybe you can keep for yourself. to remind you of a trip you enjoyed, or to simply bring a little piece of Amsterdam back to your home. I also asked my Facebook followers, the members of an online Amsterdam travel tips group. as well as those following me on Instagram what they would consider the best Amsterdam souvenirs. and this definitely influenced the gift ideas listed here.
DISCLOSURE:This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission off any purchases made via these links, but they don't cost you anything extra, and often I do a lot of research to find you the best possible deal in the link - yay!
I've also included some gift ideas that are eco-friendly and some Amsterdam gift ideas for kids. Some of these souvenirs are those that can be bought during your visit, and others are those you may want to buy when back at home. Wherever possible, I've added links to places where you can buy them, and again wherever possible I've prioritised Dutch and/or Amsterdam-based suppliers and shops so you know your Amsterdam gifts are somewhat legit!
And if you love books and what to give or keep for yourself an amazing Amsterdam book as a souvenir, here's my list of favourite Amsterdam books featuring non-fiction, coffee table books, novels and even a wide choice of Amsterdam crime fiction!
FURTHER READING: If you want some Amsterdam travel advice, this is the best place to start. But you may also like some of the posts below:
100+ Free Things to do in Amsterdam / The Best Hotels in Amsterdam for All Budgets / Tips for Visiting Amsterdam on a Budget / Is the I amsterdam City Card Worth Getting? / Best Things to do at Night in Amsterdam / Guide to Visiting Amsterdam with Kids (of All Ages) / Guide to Visiting Amsterdam in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter / Guide to Solo Travel in Amsterdam
Now, without further ado, let me give you my guide to the best Amsterdam souvenirs which you can buy either in Amsterdam or from anywhere in the world.
The Best Amsterdam Souvenirs
There are, of course, some very typical Amsterdam souvenirs that you will see almost everywhere in the centre of town, especially in the busier tourist areas like the Red Light District, as well as outdoor markets that have become popular with visitors, like Albert Cuyp, Nieuwmarkt and Noordermarkt.
It's my advice to take a little time and avoid the more tourist-friendly shops as most often the souvenirs on sale there aren't necessarily made in Amsterdam, nor are they going to be the best quality. Below are the places I would recommend you shop for these famous Amsterdam souvenirs, however, be rest assured that you will find an abundance of them almost everywhere so don't worry about not having opportunities to buy your Amsterdam gifts and souvenirs.
Amsterdam Canal Houses
When I asked in a Facebook Amsterdam Travel group what everyone's favourite Amsterdam souvenir was, I was surprised how obvious the answers were. I'm not sure what I expected but it was both surprising but also reassuring to hear that people wanted the typical Amsterdam souvenirs, and among the most popular were canal houses.
Whether they were models, paintings or fridge magnets, these were definitely lusted after and also treasured Amsterdam souvenirs. The fridge magnets above were on sale at Noordermarkt, but you can actually buy them online if you missed out on your visit. Here are some examples - a florist, a sex shop and a shop selling clogs.
You can also buy canal houses in other forms, like a china storage jar or tea light candle holders.
Speaking of clogs - or in Dutch houten schoenen, which literally translates as wooden shoes - these were also popular Amsterdam souvenir suggestions by those who have visited or plan to visit Amsterdam. While you may think clogs are cliche or stereotypical Dutch but not actually very Dutch, you'd be wrong. Dutch people really do wear clogs, just not everyone and not every day. But keep your eyes open and you may see someone wearing clogs.
Anyway, you can buy clog souvenirs in the form of fridge magnets, key rings and even clog slippers (like these ones). The latter I've seen on sale at a stall in Albert Cuyp, but you can again buy them online if you miss out. These ones are really beautiful, and if you're interested these are the kind of ones you see Dutch people wearing.
Tulips - or rather model tulips - are very popular Amsterdam souvenirs, and again you will find them everywhere in Amsterdam. If you want to buy real tulips to take home from Amsterdam or gift to somebody - like I have my parents - then you can easily buy tulip bulbs in Amsterdam. If you're going to do this, be sure to plant the bulbs in November or December (in the Northern Hemisphere) so they bloom in spring.
Bloemenmarkt is the most popular place to buy tulip souvenirs including wooden tulips that will stand in a jar like the top photo, or tulip bulbs in a wide range of colours and variations. You should also note that on the street side of this famous floating flower bulb market are a number of small shops selling vintage maps and cartography, which can also make a great Amsterdam souvenir.
One surprising suggestion from people in the Facebook Group were snow globes! Because I don't collect them myself, nor have any particular interest in them if I'm honest, I haven't seen as many snow globes on sale in Amsterdam so if you do collect snow globes as souvenirs, you may need to hunt a little harder to find them. I suspect a good place to start looking would be the flea market at Waterlooplein which is where I believe the above photo was taken.
I also found a selection of three really beautiful ones on Etsy made and sold by a famous Dutch company.
Delft Blauw China
I've already mentioned Delft blue china above and there's a good reason it's a popular Amsterdam souvenir. It's beautiful! I think it's one of the loveliest gifts you could give someone from the Netherlands. I've seen Deflt blue tiles and pottery on sale at the flea markets at Waterlooplein and at Noordermarkt on a Monday morning. You can also buy Delft blue china online at the above mentioned Etsy site here. These are some of my favourite pieces by that seller: a pretty Delft blue bracelet, a unique inscribed birth tile, a classic traditional style tulip vase.
I amsterdam Merchandise
While the famous I amsterdam sign has now sadly left Museumplein, it's still possible to see one at Schiphol airport and outside the EYE Film Institute across the water in Amsterdam Noord, it's very easy to get your hands on I amsterdam merchandise as a souvenir from your Amsterdam visit. I love this branding and I think the font and colours are now so iconic.
The type of I amsterdam merch you can find in the shop on Museumplein includes caps, clothes, key rings, towels, and stationary. You can also buy I amsterdam merchandise and products online here.
Another very iconic Dutch brand is Miffy, or Nijntje as she is known to Dutchies. While not really connected to Amsterdam, you'll find Dick Bruna's famous bunny all over the city. If you have young kids, I highly recommend a visit down to Utrecht to the Miffy Museum which also has a great shop, but there are also plenty of places in Amsterdam to discover Miffy and buy a great souvenir. Many of Amsterdam's museums stock Miffy books, toys and other products and there is the Miffy store on Schelderstraat which is well worth a visit if you love Dick Bruna's artwork.
There are also lots of places online to buy Miffy goods, including many shops based in the Netherlands.
Christmas Baubles/Tree Decorations
The final surprise mention when I asked visitors to Amsterdam what they would like to find or receive as an Amsterdam gift was Christmas decorations, namely baubles and things to hang on the tree. I just love this idea of collecting things like this when you travel so I took it upon myself to find some lovely Amsterdam Christmas decorations to inspire you. This shop - which is again based in the Netherlands - seems to have the best selection of prettiest Amsterdam paintings which you can hang on your tree. I also really like these mini bags with Amsterdam picture on are also really cute to hang on a tree, and are big enough you could put a small present inside!
Where to Buy Amsterdam Souvenirs in Amsterdam
Just to make this really easy for you to find all the souvenirs from Amsterdam you want to below are the places you should head to to find some of the souvenirs I've listed above, and more to enjoy looking at! Where possible I've tried to include
- For all I amsterdam style merchandise and to buy yourselves an I amsterdam City Card which could save you money and time during your stay (it includes free public transport and free or discounted museum and attraction entry), head to the I amsterdam store on Museumplein or to the I amsterdam store in Centraal Station.
- Museum shops are also a great place to buy legitimate and authorised I amsterdam merchandise as well as other really beautiful Amsterdam-themed gifts and souvenirs. My favourite museum shops are Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum (including the book shop that's located within the museum exhibits). You can visit both the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum shops without going in to the museum itself. If you did want to visit the Van Gogh Museum, I highly recommend you book your ticket in advance and in doing so you have to select a date and time for your visit. All three of these museum shops have some excellent Amsterdam gifts for kids!
- Anne Frank House Museum is also a great place to buy books and other thoughtful gifts relating to not only Anne Frank but also that period of history in the Netherlands. Please note to visit Anne Frank House you must buy tickets online in advance, or you can try to buy some online on the day of your visit.
- If you're really keen to support local creators and businesses when choosing your Amsterdam souvenir, this shopping tour could be the best way to do it. Featuring a selection of the city's most sustainable local businesses you can enjoy finding out more about their craft, creations and products on this Made in Amsterdam Shopping Tour is just two hours and will certainly help you pick a perfect Amsterdam souvenir.
- As mentioned above, Amsterdam's markets are great places to buy souvenirs from local sellers and most of them will have some of the much desired souvenirs like Amsterdam-themed magnets, clog slippers, Amsterdam T-shirts and other clothes, and Markets that I know have stalls selling these are Albert Cuypmarkt (a daily market in De Pijp), Waterlooplein (a huge flea market held every day but Sunday), Noordermarkt (on Sunday and Monday), and Lindengracht market on a Saturday. There are many other markets that I'm sure will have souvenir stalls but these are the ones I can think of on the top of my head.
- The Nine Streets, or Negen Straatjes, are one of Amsterdam's most famous shopping areas and it's a cute little part of the canal network close to Jordaan and the Red Light District. While many of the shops aren't necessarily selling your typical Amsterdam souvenirs but they do have some lovely boutique style shops selling Delft blue china, vintage artifacts, artisan goods, beauty and fashion stores. Many of these places will be independent Amsterdam businesses so arguably no better souvenir than buying something you love that was either made or
- If you like art and want to take some artwork from Amsterdam home with you then you need to take a stroll down Spiegelgracht which is a famous art district in Amsterdam that leads out from the Rijksmuseum and into the city (so it's also just a really walk). Many of the shops are galleries that are free to pop in and out of, but there are also shops selling vintage maps and antiques, and at the end of the street just before the turn into Herengracht, you'll find the shop Spiegel Amsterda 100% Dutch, a gift shop that stocks only local Dutch or Amsterdam-based designed and made gifts. It's a lovely shop to walk around and arguably my favourite shop to buy Amsterdam souvenirs.
- You can also find Amsterdam-themed gifts and souvenirs in De Bijenkorf, Amsterdam's primary department store located on Dam Square. Just be warned that you will almost certainly get distracted and want to shop in there till you drop!
More Amsterdam Souvenirs You May Like
While doing my research for the best Amsterdam souvenirs, I found a number of things that people hadn't mentioned but I thought these would make really interesting and slightly less typical souvenirs and gifts.
Colouring Books for Adults
Another surprising discovery in doing this research into great Amsterdam gifts was that there are a number of adult colouring books featuring Amsterdam scenes. I'd honestly never thought about an Amsterdam colouring book, but it's a great idea and a great souvenir. especially as colouring has many mental health benefits. This colouring book looks like a great one if you like a lot of detail, and I really like this one too.
(And yes I know the photo above is of a child colouring - scroll down to read more about the great colouring postcards in this photo!)
I feel like this one is really obvious and should have been mentioned by others but it wasn't. However, I do feel like there is a lot of really beautiful Amsterdam artwork around that would look great on anybody's wall back home. You can find pages and pages of Amsterdam paintings, photos and other images on Etsy, and these are a few of my favourites which are all by Dutch-based artists. This sketch is simple and also available as a digital download, and this wall art is of a similar canal scene but it's much more colourful. If you visited Amsterdam with your life partner, then you should definitely think about getting this one. as a special reminder, and you should check out the shop it's sold by as it's aptly called LoveYouAmsterdam.
And if you're looking for a nice map as your Amsterdam artwork This one is very striking and modern looking, this one is classic and is available as an instant download, and I like this map because it's also a watercolour painting and looks more like a picture than a map. Finally, we have one very similar to this one, and you should check out the shop for other maps of other cities if you want to collect a few of your favourite cities.
Mugs and Coffee Cups
Now this is my kind of souvenir because I'm a tea-addicted Brit who is borderline obsessional about which mug I drink my PG Tips out of (I have a different one for the morning and another for the afternoon - I know, I'm strange). But new mugs are always a welcome gift or souvenir, and I did some research to find some really cool ones if you didn't see any when you were visiting in Amsterdam.
There weren't that many from sellers based in the Netherlands, but these were a collection of mugs I liked most from a Dutch seller and they're definitely for those of you who like bikes! Others I saw that ship internationally are this one with a pretty canal house drawing on and I guess this one is perfect if you always want to be in Amsterdam! You can find many, many more Amsterdam mugs and cups here.
I couldn't write this post about Amsterdam souvenirs and not include some jewellery as I found some really beautiful pieces while looking for special Amsterdam gifts. Most of the items are from this single shop on Etsy so do check out out. But here are some rings, one necklace, another necklace and some cute Amsterdam house earrings I think you may like. You can even get a bitterballen pin (yes, really!).
Dutch Cook Books
Of course, if you want to really give the gift of Dutch food to someone, why not get them a Dutch cook book. Yes, they do exist! And in English too! In fact, I stumbled upon an upcoming cookbook that is going to (apparently) reinvent Dutch cooking and it predicts these dishes from the Netherlands are going to be the next big thing. Personally, I love Dutch food, especially in winter, and these traditional recipes made easy for any cook will show you why.
The Best Amsterdam Souvenirs for Kids
Because I have two young children and am passionate about family travel to Amsterdam - you can see my guide to visiting Amsterdam with children here - I thought it would be nice to include a section on the best Amsterdam souvenirs for children. These are some really lovely Amsterdam gifts if your child had a great visit here or if you just want to get your kids excited for an upcoming visit!
Colouring Postcards by Culture Tourist
My top suggestion for a perfect Amsterdam souvenir for kids would be these brilliant colouring postcards. Inspired by iconic Dutch scenes, traditions and items, these hand-drawn and beautifully printed postcards are perfect for colouring in, using as a sort of treasure hunt (as you can try to find all of the pictures during your visit) and they can then be sent to loved ones to say "Wish you were here!".
I was gifted some to review and play with with my son and he loved colouring them in and spotting what they all were. The card quality is such that you could even paint on them or use watercolours. Beautiful! You can buy them direct from the artist who created them, Tea of the Culture Tourist blog, or alternatively you can find them on Etsy too, where you can also order some special Rembrandt in Amsterdam cards and some very festive Amsterdam Christmas cards.
Colouring Map of Amsterdam
Sticking with the theme of colouring, I've seen these colouring maps for other cities so I wanted to check there was one for Amstedam, and there is! This Amsterdam colouring map is perfect for kids who love travel, maps and art. It's designed to be crumpled up (like any good map!) so is durable and will survive being used like a map as well as an activity for kids to enjoy while travelling or once back at home and armed with some crayons or pens.
Kids Books About Amsterdam
If your children love reading then there are some really lovely kids books about Amsterdam that you should look at getting them as an Amsterdam souvenir. For younger children, this book about Sophie Stork sees the main character go on adventure around the streets of Amsterdam, and for those not yet old enough to read Anne Frank's Diary - a must-read for any child once they're at chapter book reading age and/or are ready to talk about the hard but important topics its raises, this hardcover book about Anne Frank is a great way to introduce Anne's story to young minds and to get them asking questions. Alternatively, if your child knows the story, has already read the book but now wants a different take on Anne Frank's time in the Secret Annex and her impact on the world since, this fantastic graphic novel re-interpreting of Anne Frank's Diary is a must-buy.
Don't forget that many kids of reading age and up may like to read a good old fashioned guidebook or study a map of the city. Lonely Planet's Amsterdam Guide is regularly updated, and I also like the maps that Lonely Planet produce - this is one for Amsterdam. I also really like their Netherlands Country Guide which will help you see just how much more there is to see in this country than just Amsterdam.
Kids may also like this Amsterdam Scavenger Hunt style guide book (and you can also do an organised scavenger hunt-style city tour if you're reading this before you visit Amsterdam).
My four-year-old is still not bored of stickers, so if we were heading to Amsterdam or I wanted to get him something to remind him of his visit, this Amsterdam sticker set would be a great gift, as would this smaller set of Amsterdam stickers.
On a side note, if you're still in Amsterdam or yet to visit, and you have kids that love stickers, find your local HEMA store and marvel at the wide selection of fun stickers they have there! Very affordable too!
Van Gogh Gifts
While Van Gogh only lived in Amsterdam very briefly, his name and his artwork is almost synonymous with the city, and many kids will want to know more about him and/or have a Van Gogh themed souvenir. If this is the case for a kid you know and love here are some great Van Gogh inspired gifts that are just for children. These Van Gogh Colouring Postcards are similar to the ones I mention above and would make excellent cards to send to friends and family once coloured in.
If your children prefer good old fashioned coluring books, of course there's one that is all of Van Gogh's most famous paintings to be coloured in.
I've seen this kid's book all about Van Gogh in the Van Gogh souvenir shop and wish I'd bought it for my son, but looks like it's online too so maybe I'll add it to his Christmas gift list.
This illustrated book is a dreamy read and brings not only Vincent Van Gogh to life but it also would really help a child struggling with insomnia or even anxiety.
I also found some Van Gogh Starry Night stickers, and this very cool Van Gogh Activity Book.
I was surprised that windmills weren't mentioned more by those I asked about their favourite Amsterdam souvenirs as I always get excited spotting the few windmills Amsterdam has. Perhaps kids get more excited about windmills? If so, these windmills souvenirs will be perfect for them. Put their hands to work with a pretty simple pop-up windmill they can make themselves, or a slightly more complex 3D windmill puzzle.
And if you're kids love baking then order some of this speculaas mix and special windmill cookie cutter to make some Dutcher than Dutch speculaas cookies. (More about speculaas below if you don't know what I'm talking about!)
Ajax Football Team Souvenir
If you have football mad children, it's possible they will want to go to visit Johan Cruyff Arena where Amsterdam's home football team Ajax play. If you don't get the change to go down there, rest assured you can buy an Ajax football shirt or other memorabilia online too! This is a really nice souvenir too if you did go to the Arena and you would like to remember the visit.
Of course, when you think of Amsterdam it's hard not to think about the bikes, ALL THE BIKES! So if you do want to get your kids a special souvenir for their bike, there are a few great ideas. Firstly, a bike bell would be a good idea as you'll hear the 'ding dings' of passing cyclists wherever you go in Amsterdam. I personally love this wooden bike bell that has a map of Amsterdam on it - pretty unique!
You can also get any number of artworks that feature Amsterdam's many, many bikes. Here are some of my favourites: This is a lovely colourful and typical canal scene with bikes by an Amsterdam based artist. I like the abstract nature of this simple painting, also by an artist in Amsterdam. It's a bit more pricey but this pop-art style picture would really stand out on any kid's wall and is a great souvenir if you did indeed go on the free ferry.
The Most Sustainable Amsterdam Souvenirs
Let's state the obvious here and say that the most sustainable Amsterdam souvenir is actually no souvenir. Any kind of production of goods takes a toll on the environment in some way big or small. But consumerism is highly unlikely to stop any time soon, so it's a good time to try and change your shopping habits even when travelling and looking for souvenirs. The good news is you have lots of options in Amsterdam for both sustainable and eco-friendly stores, and simultaneously finding great Amsterdam souvenirs. And if this is the way you like to travel and you also live by a plant-based diet, you must check out my very comprehensive guide to vegan eating, shopping and lifestyle in Amsterdam.
As mentioned above, the first thing you should consider is going on a sustainable shopping tour of Amsterdam! And now I'll let you know some of my favourite Amsterdam-based stores that only stock sustainably produced goods. All of these stores will have staff who will be only too happy to introduce you to great items made by great local brands so you can be reassured your Amsterdam souvenir is very, very local!
O My Bag is an Amsterdam-based manufacturer of bags of all shapes and sizes. They ride themselves on making leather goods that have been ethically produced and made with no to low impact on the surrounding environment.
Studio Jux is a Dutch sustainable brand with its flagship store in Amsterdam. They have their own brand of clothes and they also stock a mix of other organic, vegan and ethically produced clothes and home items.
Charlie + Mary is similar to Studio Jux but I would say it's a bit more boutiquey and possibly more high fashion inspired with more colour and statement pieces.
Upcycled: Want to know what one Dutch company is doing with a lot of the cut offs of denim that normally gets thrown away? They're turning it into table clothes and cushion covers! Search their website to find out more.
Little Boomerang is a place where high end kids fashion and bags are created using recycled materials. It's a social enterprise that over the years has used off-cuts from well known brands like Bugaboo to make super stylish clothes and bags for families.
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Frances M. Thompson
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