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Shopping in Amsterdam

In terms of regular shopping, the main area to head for centres around Dam Square along Kalverstraat which becomes Nieuwendijk. With a wide range of shops running both East and West from here, the bargain hunters would do well to walk the length of the main drag to ensure that nothing is missed.

On the corner of Dam Square is the most famous department store in the Netherlands - De Bijenkorf. Here (as you might expect) you will find any number of different things from designer goods and clothes, to home wear. You will also find the Bonneterie and V&D department stores along this stretch.

For the label and fashion conscious shopper, the place to head for is the trendy PC Hooftstraat with its designer shops and global brands such as Max Mara, Hermes, Burberry and Tiffany & Co to name drop a few. To get there, take either tram number 5 from the Centraal Station in the direction of Amstelveen Binnenhof or tram 2 towards Nieuw Sloten and get off the tram at Hobbemastraat/ Rijksmuseum.

Another area to head for if you like your shops is Jordaan where you will find more independent shops making for a more interesting and ultimately rewarding experience. For those of you that scorn the labels, this is definitely your best bet – in particular the trendy and quirky Haarlemmerstraat with its 235 (!) stores, cafés and delis and an organic farmer's market on Wednesdays.

Amsterdam is a great city if you enjoy looking around markets. Located in the “De Pijp” district in the south of the city, the Albert Cuyp market (Albert Cuypstraat) is one of the biggest and best in Amsterdam with around 260 stalls. Founded in 1905, the market is well established and popular amongst locals and tourists alike. The area is lively too with many bars, cafés and ethnic stores. Closer to the middle of town are the Waterlooplein flea market (the largest flea market in the city - best for clothes), the Westermarkt on Westerstraat and the Noordermarkt organic farmers market (also selling secondhand goods) on Noorderstraat.

Deciding what to buy is also an issue. If you don't fancy a t-shirt from the Bulldog Coffeeshop, the “typical” Amsterdam souvenirs might be considered to be cheese, wooden clogs, Delftware, or perhaps some Ajax Amsterdam memorabilia. There is of course far more on offer than this and one thing is for certain – you will be spoilt for choice in Amsterdam!