Kalverstraat is probably the largest and most popular shopping street in all of Amsterdam. So if you’re looking for souvenirs to take home (or just want to buy a pair of jeans) this is the place to look. Even if you’re not looking to buy, Kalverstraat is fun to visit— a busy pedestrian street, it’s worth stopping by just to do a little people watching.
Kalverstraat has a long history in Amsterdam, dating back 600 years ago… the first mention of “die Calverstraete” was found in a document from January 1393. Funnily enough, Kalverstraat used to be a center for livestock— it was where you would go to buy a cow or two, or maybe an oxen.
Six hundred years later, Kalverstraat has a distinctly different character— and a decidedly eclectic selection of shops. You can fund funky little clothing boutiques next-door to name brand shoe shops, like Nike or Adidas. You’ll also find more conservative shops that cater to an older crowd, selling furs, business suits, and baby clothes. Looking for an inexpensive place to buy some clothing? Try Hema’s department store, located here on Kalverstraat. Rather try a more elegant place? Maison de Bonneterie is located here, too, a beautiful store with an elegant selection of clothes and jewelry. Kalverstraat is also a great place to stop for a quick fast-food lunch, with a great selection of cheap, eat-on-the-go restaurants.
If you have time, you may want to take a look at the Kalvertoren shopping center located near the end of Kalverstraat. It has 45 stores and plenty of places to eat, or just take a break with a cup of coffee or tea.
Kalverstraat is located right in the center of Amsterdam, and the easiest way to get there is by tram, or simply by walking. Take the tram to the Kalverstraat exit, and just walk up.