Behind the Queen’s Palace in Dam Square is an extravagant neo-Gothic building that used to be Amsterdam’s main Postal Office. Now, that one-time post office is called the Magna Plaza and is home to a high-end Amsterdam shopping mall. It now deals in souvenirs and shoes rather than letters and news. Not in the mood for shopping? The Magna Plaza is still a must see.
Just take one step inside this impressive (almost intimidating) building and you’ll understand why this place is something visitors to Amsterdam should see. The building itself is amazing, of course, designed by famed architect Cornelis Hendrik Peters in the late 19th century. But the interior may just take your breath away— it’s not at all what you’d expect when standing outside Magna Plaza’s imposing neo-gothic facade. The interior is bright, open, and welcoming. There’s a shining grand piano in the middle of the ground floor, and the building itself is full of wide marble arches. With few walls here, you can see from one end of Magna Plaza to the other from almost any place in the building— the contrast between the imposing exterior and the elegant, welcoming interior is somewhat startling.
If you’re in Amsterdam on a budget, there’s another contrast here at Magna Plaza that may startle you— the contrast between what you can afford and what you see on the price tags here. This is an upscale little mall, and is full of small designer clothing boutiques and high fashion shoes and accessories. Magna Plaza is not for your everyday shopper. However, if you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home, there’s a decent (though, again, pricey) souvenir shop just to the right of the main entrance, and a great cheese kiosk full of (very expensive) Dutch cheeses to bring home. Don’t want to pay €30 for a small wheel of cheese? Have just a taste— they offer free samples.