10 Unique Souvenirs to Pick Up in Amsterdam

Kevin Whipple /
Kevin Whipple / | © Culture Trip
Tom Coggins

While it may be impossible to sum up Amsterdam’s unique charm succinctly, there are several items that are readily available in the city that capture some of its delightful history and culture.

To help you discover the perfect memento while you’re abroad, Culture Trip has put together a list of 10 distinctly Dutch souvenirs that can easily be found in Amsterdam.

A bottle of Bols jenever

Although jenever is often compared to gin, it actually predates its British counterpart by several decades and has a mellower, more aromatic flavour. Dutch people traditionally drink jenever straight, or alongside a small, blonde beer – a mixture that is colloquially known as a kopstoot, which translates into English as ‘head butt’. The drink has been produced in Amsterdam for centuries and the Bols distillery makes an exceptional range of jenever that can be bought straight from its headquarters on Paulus Potterstraat or at most off-licences in the city.

Droog design products

Old Amsterdam mature Gouda

Cheese-loving travellers are spoilt for choice in the Netherlands, as the country is renowned for its dairy products. In Amsterdam, there are a number of excellent cheese stores that offer a wide variety of tasty edams, goudas and boerenkaas (‘farmhouse cheese’). Old Amsterdam is known for its exceptional matured Gouda, which possesses a sturdy, full-bodied flavour and crumbly texture that pairs wonderfully with dark beer and pickles.

Old Amsterdam is known for its mature gouda

HEMA stationery

HEMA is a Dutch chain store that designs all of its products in-house. Instead of focussing on one aspect of retail, HEMA sells everything from clothing and homewares to traditional Dutch food, its own line of books and unique stationery. HEMA always keeps prices low, meaning that keen-eyed travellers can pick up chic Dutch design products without emptying their wallets.

Pick up some slick stationery at HEMA department store

A case of Brouwerij ’t IJ beer

Brouwerij ’t IJ’s main brewery is located underneath the largest windmill in Amsterdam and brands its beers with a label that depicts the famous structure. The brewery’s wares are sold throughout the city and regularly appear on the beer menus of trendier pubs. The brewery is renowned for its potent speciality beers such as Natte and Zatte, as well as its traditional Dutch brews – most of which have a notoriously high proof.

Visit Brouwerij ’t IJ Brewery for a taste of local beer

Ajax shirt

Ajax Football Club has its home grounds in southern Amsterdam and the team’s memorabilia can be found at sports stores and official retailers throughout the city. Since their inauguration, Ajax have always been at the top of the Dutch football league and have thousands of supporters around the globe. Their kit is emblazoned with a picture of the mythological hero Ajax, a figure that represents the team’s steadfast spirit and determination.

Support local football team Ajax with official merchandise

A basket of tulip bulbs

There are hundreds of florists dotted around Amsterdam, many of which sell tulip bulbs that can be taken home and planted. The Dutch have a long history with this colourful crop and Amsterdam is surrounded by several large tulip farms, including Keukenhof – a vast garden that plants over 7 million flowers every year.

Head to a flower market to pick up some tulips

A map of the canals

Amsterdam’s city centre is shaped by a multi-tiered canal belt that encircles Dam Square. This historical feat of engineering was mainly constructed in the 17th century during a time of economic prosperity. Many stores around Amsterdam sell old prints of the canal system, and maps of the city can be found at most bookshops or tourist-oriented establishments.

Amsterdam is arranged around a picturesque network of canals

‘Amsterdam Stories’ by Nescio

During the early years of the 20th century, Dutch author Nescio wrote several short stories about Amsterdam that present the city from various perspectives and challenge the presumptions that surround bohemian lifestyles. Today, these stories are considered classics and have been collected into a single volume called Amsterdam Stories (2012) that is readily available from English-language bookstores throughout Amsterdam.

Specialist condoms from The Condomerie

The Condomerie is the world’s first condom speciality store and was originally established to promote safe sex in the 1980s. The store sells a massive selection of novelty contraception as well as lubricants, gifts and hygiene products. As a dedicated condom specialist, the store encourages visitors to think more openly about contraceptives and acts as a research centre for fun, safe sex.

Amsterdam’s Condomerie specialises in contraception

Lily Niu contributed additional reporting to this article.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article