Amsterdam is often overshadowed as a "fashion capital" by the nearby sartorial stars of Paris and Antwerp, but it sure is fun place to shop. From the exclusive labels whose retail outlets line the P.C. Hooftstraat -- think Prada, Gucci, Versace -- to the unique, independent boutiques of the Nine Streets area, Amsterdam administers retail therapy to shoppers of all stripes.
Besides fashion, Amsterdam also has an abundant share of specialty shops -- from toiletries to interior decor, and my favorite: culinary delicacies. Stroll down Nieuwendijk and Haarlemmerstraat, both just minutes from Central Station, for a sample of the fine specialty food stores in town -- from cheese, oil and salt specialists to international importers.
Some locals will claim that there's no better place to drop a few euros than at the beloved outdoor markets of Amsterdam. From fashion, to art and antiques, to food, there's a market for it. Most markets are open year-round, but April to September is obviously peak market season thanks to the abundance of sunny days.
Amsterdam for Shoppers