Shop till you drop
Shopping has changed in Amsterdam and is still changing fast. That’s why we’ve made this section with a few basic tips on how to spend your money (and no, the Amsterdam Business Association doesn’t sponsor this part).
In the centre of Amsterdam shops are open 7 days a week, roughly between 9.30 and 18.00 hours. Only on Sunday the opening times are shorter: between 12.00 and 17.00 hours. This applies for the main shopping streets (Kalverstraat, Nieuwendijk, Leidsestraat and Damrak). To recuperate shopkeepers tend to sleep out on Monday mornings.
Supermarkets in and near the centre tend to be open till 20 or 22.00 h.
Service isn’t a strong point in the Dutch retail sector. Of course there are the exceptions, but don’t expect to be treated like a king. Grab what you need and with a bit of luck you might get some advice of a shop assistant. In general the rule is: the smaller the store and the further the store is from the main shopping streets, the better the service and the more knowledgeable the staff.
Dutch do not queue! So when you are ‘in line’ for the cash till, keep an eye out for your position. When people jump the queue they generally get back to their rightful place when you point out their ‘mistake’ gently but firmly.