A visit to Amsterdam is something many folks would love to commemorate with some mementos from their trip. In the city, there is an (almost excessive) abundance of souvenir shops selling all sorts of cliche items. Here at Hungry Birds Street Food Tours, we have some local-oriented advice to our lovely visitors as far as souvenir shopping goes.
The Netherlands is famous for all sorts of things. Gouda cheese, wooden shoes, bicycles… But, I think everyone would agree that the best souvenirs are not only novel but also practical. You can buy gouda cheese all over the world, a bicycle can’t fit in your suitcase, and come on… would you ever really wear a pair of wooden clogs?
Our international team based in Amsterdam has come up with a list of items that are worth taking home with you from our beautiful city. The following items are Dutch-centric, usable, and charmingly unique. We have also taken care to make sure these items can be transported home without excessive luggage.
Recommended Amsterdam Souvenirs
Food and drink
The Netherlands has some specific types of foods that are difficult to find outside of the country. Some of the things can be found in other neighbouring European countries like Belgium and Germany. However, if you’re coming from further abroad, these items would be wonderful to take home and enjoy with your friends (NO, stroopwafels are not on the list).
Salty black liquorice:
Dutch people LOVE liquorice. They are the largest consumer and producer in the European Union! So, these people know their liquorice, and you’d be amazed at what a selection of types and flavours of liquorice this country has to offer. The most unique type of licorice in The Netherlands is probably the salty type! Take a bag of this home to share the unique flavours with your family and friends.
This is SO Dutch, and visitors tend to find this classic Dutch breakfast food incredibly quirky! Yes, Dutch children (and some adults) will eat chocolate ice cream sprinkles on toast for breakfast. This is something that you should definitely try while you’re visiting, and then make sure to grab a small box from the local grocery store to take home. Enjoyable for children and adults alike!
For the spirit sippers among us! This gin-related alcohol is definitely something that can be hard to find outside of The Netherlands and Belgium. Tip: buy this at the Duty-Free shop at the airport to avoid the potential for it to break in your luggage!
Okay.. this one’s for North Americans reading. Europeans can skip to the next point because the odds are likely that your mayo is up to Dutch standards. Dutch (and other European) mayonnaise is superior to typical mayo in North America! It is not unusual to have our North American guests make comments about how different the mayo tastes here in NL and how much more they like it! We recommend buying a tube (think toothpaste) of Zaanse mayonaise. Easily transported and a cheap and easy way to share a type of “food”(?) that is so popular over here with your friends at home!
Items for the home are great things to buy on a trip. They create lovely conversation pieces, they’re practical, and their frequent use can also remind you of the trip you bought it on.
Most households already have basic vases. However, a Dutch tulip vase is certainly something unique and functional! The single stem vase makes it easy to arrange flowers and will certainly strike up a conversation when you have guests visiting!
Tea towels are often considered a traditional Dutch household item. In the Netherlands, tea towels are often made from linen or cotton fabric and feature traditional Dutch designs, such as Delft Blue patterns, windmills, tulips, or scenes depicting Dutch landscapes.Whether you use them for their intended purpose or display them as part of your kitchen decor, Dutch tea towels can be a delightful souvenir that brings a bit of Dutch tradition into your everyday life.
Scotch and soda: This Amsterdam brand sells high quality, on-trend clothing. Scotch & Soda embraces the essence of Dutch design, blending contemporary fashion trends with a touch of Amsterdam’s eclectic and vibrant style. The high standard of quality makes this clothing a practical and fashionable choice.
Another high-quality Amsterdam-founded company. By purchasing G-Star denim while in Amsterdam, you not only support a local brand but also acquire a piece of Dutch fashion heritage. G-Star’s designs often showcase a fusion of streetwear influences and high-quality denim construction, providing you with a stylish and authentic souvenir that captures the essence of both Amsterdam and the brand itself.
If you have an affinity for children’s literature or if you appreciate iconic cultural symbols, then purchasing a Nijntje (Miffy) souvenir from Amsterdam can be a delightful choice. Nijntje, created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna, is a beloved children’s character that has gained international recognition and would make a great gift for the child in your life.
Custom Tony Chocolony: Bring home one of The Netherland’s favourite bars of chocolate. But not just any bar of chocolate… One with a custom name or phrase on it! Tony Chocoloney in the city center of Amsterdam allows for visitors to customize their chocolate packaging. The delicious chocolate and personal touch makes for a great gift from Amsterdam!
Gift voucher for a Hungry Birds walking food tour:
If you know of someone visiting Amsterdam soon, give them the gift of an interactive tasting tour through De Pijp in Amsterdam! Many people value experiences over things. Click here to buy a gift card!
Hopefully, this guide helps you bring home meaningful and practical items from your visit to our favorite city. Remember to shop local whenever possible and support the small businesses of Amsterdam.
Written by Mother Bird Sara Michal