The Netherlands is rightly famous for cool design – the Dutch aesthetic manages to be sharp and clever but rarely precious or pretentious. Designer lovers travelling to the city should begin their consumerist wanderings (hankerings?) at Droog

For cool gifts and souvenirs with that special Amsterdam flava start with Droog, this local design icon incorporates a gallery, showroom, fashion, cafe and one-room hotel. (We were intrigued by the bizarre selection of outdoor bathing devices.) Interested folks might check out a short video about Droog on our Amsterdam Think page.

The Otherist: Located on a lovely little canal-side strip, the Otherist will please the curious visitor passing through Amsterdam. It stocks prints, jewellery and ceramics by local artists plus oddities such as vintage glass eyes (actually painstakingly made from vinyl) circa post WW2 sourced from a deceased optometrist’s estate . (Address: Leliegracht 6, 1015de Amsterdam).

A few doors up at Leliegracht number 22, stop in at Architectura & Natura to browse a great selection of architectural tomes and coffee books dedicated to urban, landscape and gardening design. Look out for beautiful monographs dedicated to Dutch design heavy-weights from De Stijl to Rem Koolhaas.

Mendo: This is what happens when you let a bunch of graphic designers loose on a book store. Graphic agency Mendo founded a beautiful book store by the same name, built from, er, books. Expect glossy tomes on typography and other graphic nerdery.

Universe on a T-shirt: In this age of globalisation it’s nice to find something designed, made and printed in Amsterdam. We like the street-style smarts of this Amsterdam label specialising in t-shirts, hoodies and some kiddy bits. Low key, simple and effortlessly cool. Go Dutch!

Staalstraat 7B
Tel: +31 20 523 5059