Where To Find Second-Hand English Language Books In Amsterdam

| © Björn Wylezich / Alamy
Tom Coggins

Considering that Amsterdam has a large academic community and a significant anglophone population, it is no surprise that the city contains several fantastic second-hand booksellers that specialize in English language literature. So, whether you’re a local in search of a hidden gem, an expat yearning for a taste of home, or a traveler seeking a memorable souvenir, follow our guide to the best places to rummage for preloved books in the city.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

The Book Exchange

R8K9M7 an open book with coffee and flower and books in background a relaxing scene in brown toning

The Book Exchange is probably the best place in Amsterdam to find secondhand English literature and the store keeps its shelves stocked with a massive selection of preloved editions. Its collection is divided over three narrow floors with each level containing several specific genres. As The Book Exchange is located within the vicinity of the University of Amsterdam it regularly receives pre-owned academic publications and large parts of its floor space are dedicated to philosophy, history, sociology, and anthropology. Apart from these scholarly books, the Book Exchange also has a whole floor that is devoted to fiction.

Scheltema

Scheltema is a true Dutch institution and has been selling books on Rokin since 1853. Due to its massive size it is currently recognized as the largest bookstore in Amsterdam and one of its upper floors is completely dedicated to second-hand literature. Although Scheltema mainly stocks Dutch language books, it also has an impressive selection of English literature. Most of its collection can be ordered online including its second-hand editions. The store also regularly hosts literary events such as book signings or writing workshops.

Oudemanhuispoort Book Market

Oudemanhuispoort is a large 17th-century building that is currently owned by the University of Amsterdam. Its entrance is concealed behind two monumental gates that lead to a covered walkway which is populated by a number of second-hand book dealers. This charming market has existed since the late 19th century and today its stands feature a wide variety of books which change on a daily basis.

Het Fort van Sjakoo

Het Fort van Sjakoo is a non-profit bookstore and cultural center that was originally established by squatters in the late 1970s. This group occupied several buildings around the Nieuwmarkt area in order to prevent the government from demolishing large parts of the neighborhood. Eventually, Het Fort van Sjakoo was legalized and today it mainly focuses on left-leaning literature, including anarchism, Marxism, and feminism. The back corner of the store is dedicated to used books.

Book Market Spui

Amsterdam’s Spui square hosts a bustling book market every Friday. This weekly event has been taking place for almost 20 years and usually attracts around 25 professional booksellers. There’s a huge variety of rare, second-hand, and antique publications to dig through at the market and the sheer number of books on offer is always astounding. These stalls are actually located right next to three of the biggest bookstores in Amsterdam, namely Atheneum, Waterstones, and the American Book Centre.

Culture Trips 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. 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 places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article