If you're on a budget, these are the best gifts to buy for people back home while on your trip to Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Your friends and family will surely appreciate them, and you'll appreciate the fact that you didn't spend a fortune.
Most of these top food and drink gifts from Amsterdam and the Netherlands won't put a huge dent in your wallet. But delicious cheese, chocolate, beer and cookies are always a hit, no matter what the price!
Dutch Birthday CalendarThis is one of my favorite Dutch customs. The verjaardag (birthday) calendar is part of every Dutch home -- in fact, most people have more than one. The calendars are meant only for recording birthdays and they have no year, only numbered dates without the accompanying days. This means the calendar is timeless, which is more than you can say for other souvenirs at this price point! You'll find them in most gift, paper and card shops, with anything from Dutch children's book characters to Van Gogh paintings illustrating the pages.
Dutch Flowering BulbsWe all know that the Netherlands is known for its gorgeous tulips and their bulbs, but some people may not realize there are other varieties of blooming bulbs to give as gifts. These include Dutch narcissus (daffodils) and hyacinths, as well as lilies, amaryllis, alliums and crocuses. Just be sure to buy only the pre-packaged kinds approved for international transport.
Dutch Clogs and Wooden Shoes
For most people, the Dutch wooden clogs or wooden shoes are symbols of the Netherlands. While you won't find many Amsterdammers walking around in them, some rural residents and farmers do still wear them (they're great for walking in muddy fields). If you don't think your friends and family really want wood on their feet, an adorable alternative is a pair of wooden-shoe slippers, which you'll see hanging in almost every souvenir shop. If you want the real thing, head to Ratterman Wooden Shoes and Gifts
, just south of Amsterdam in the town of Amstelveen. You can even watch them being made!