Most visitors enter Amsterdam through Centraal Station, and walk past dozens of souvenir shops on their way to Dam Square and the city center. Each of these shops carries the same silly assortment of Amsterdam shirts, penis shaped drinking cups, and an endless assortment of items bearing the three crosses of Amsterdam or women’s breasts. When doing your souvenir or holiday shopping this season, take a look at some of the more traditional items that hail from Holland.
Dutch cheese is amazing, and wheels of various flavors in holiday packaging are available from local grocery stores. The cheese wheels are covered in wax so they don’t spoil and travel well – just make sure customs won’t stop you from taking then home.
Traditional Dutch Jenever (similar to gin) is an excellent gift for those who appreciate alcohol, and you can get a good deal at the airport when you leave the country. Buying them duty free will also save you precious luggage space.
Finally, Dutch clogs are quite possibly the single most popular item hailing from Holland, and are available all over the city. From authentic wooden shoes to fluffy slippers, traditional yellow to cow print, they seem to have something for everyone – but bringing back a pair of wooden shoes is heavy, expensive, and ultimately unpractical.
A happy compromise are the mini Delft blue porcelain clogs you can buy at most souvenir shops. Not only are they clogs, they are also made of the Delft blue porcelain that is so popular in Holland, so you are effectively killing two souvenir birds with one stone. You can get the best deal on these at the souvenir shops in the Bloemenmarkt and around Rembrandtplein, where 10 pairs cost 5 Euros. Because of the high concentration of souvenir shops here, you will be able to get the best deal on most Amsterdam souvenirs.
These mini clogs are a personal favorite of mine, and I always buy a bunch when I travel back home. I then pick up a bottle of wine and attach the little clogs to it. Not only is it visually impressive, but everyone loves a bottle of wine and it saves me from bringing back big, heavy items. It makes a great souvenir, and an ideal Christmas/Chanukah/New Year’s gift. Enjoy!