Tourists on track
Shopping, city tour or sightseeing trip – whatever takes your fancy, Amsterdam’s Tramline 10 will get you there. Running east to west across the Dutch capital, this route passes unique shops, must-see spots and enough restaurants and cafes to keep you goi
Explore Amsterdam by tram, stopping at top shops and cafes
The streets of Amsterdam boast more bikes than cars, a flat, pedestrian-friendly landscape and scores of boats languidly cruising the iconic canals. That said, one of the quickest ways to get around this culture-filled capital is by tram – a bonus for time-poor tourists keen to soak up all the city has to offer. While there are myriad tram routes to choose from, tramline 10, which runs east to west across the city, offers a wonderful cross-section of Dutch delights including high- and low-end clothing and decor stores as well as cafes and eateries to keep you going.
Get up early and start your shopping route at the Azartplein on KNSM Island in the Eastern Docklands, with a trip to modern furniture and home decor store Sissy-boy Homeland. Here you’ll find clothing, decor, good coffee and food to kick-start the day. For more homeware, stroll along to Pols Potten at Knsm-laan 9. Established around 30 years ago, this well-known store is a great place to browse, especially if you’re seeking some interiors inspiration. A little further down the street at Knsm-laan 301 you’ll find concept store Loft, offering an array of handbags, jewellery, clothing, homeware and furniture. You can’t miss it, either – just look for the impressive steamship tableau at the entrance. Feeling peckish? Cafe De Kompaszaal is just a stone’s throw away at number 311. At the top of the stairs you’ll be charmed by the 1950s-inspired atmosphere and a panoramic view along the IJ River.
Once you’ve had your caffeine fix, hop back onto tramline 10 until you reach Rietlandpark. Get off here for a little slice of history at the Lloyd complex, a collection of dock buildings from the previous century built on two hectares of land. It was in this part of the docklands that freight and passenger ships once docked and steamboat company Koninklijke Hollandsche
Lloyd would carry people and goods to South America.
These days, three of the buildings are home to eateries that are well worth a visit. KHL, at 44 Oostelijke Handelskade, has been a coffee house since the buildings were first in use in the early 1900 sand offers a delicious slice of history. Cantine, in the former disinfection building at 373 Rietlandpark, has a relaxed atmosphere and tasty lunch menu. The Lloyd Hotel next door, which used to accommodate European emigrants in transit, is now a fully renovated hotel with rooms decorated by local artists.
For those after more boutique shopping, the next tram stop is a highlight: Eerste Leegh water straat on Czaar Peterstraat. This street was awarded the title of ‘best Dutch shopping street’ in 2016 and the shops here are small and specialised with not a chain store in sight. Fashion store CP113 is a good place to start if brands such as Mads Nørgaard, Cheap Monday and Carin Wester float your boat. Across the street at 137 Czaar Peterstraat is the Fromagerie Abraham Kef, a traditional cheese shop that can’t be missed. Other specialty shops include De Pindakaaswinkel at number 169, selling numerous types of peanut butter (honey-walnut, coffee, sea-salt caramel and raisin-fennel, to name a few), and florist Antoesa at number 151, which sells flowers by the stem if you wish. If you’re feeling hungry (despite all that cheese), Helena Primakoff, on the corner of the Lijndenstraat just a few steps away, makes a truly spectacular roasted eggplant and hummus sandwich.
Refuelling is a good idea before you visit the next shop on the itinerary – once you step inside vintage store Onleydesirables at 193 Czaar Peterstraat you could be gone for some time. The pre-loved pieces here are selected not only for their designer labels but for their uniqueness and quality, with good-as-new or “gently worn” clothing and accessories from the likes of Chanel, Yves St Laurent and Moschino. If your shopping buddy needs a break, send them down the street to Mac Mae Whisky for a tipple while you peruse the racks for a one-off.
Opposite the next tram stop at 1e Coehoornstraat, you’ll find Instock restaurant (21 Czaar Peterstraat). The chefs here prevent food going to waste by creating delicious dishes using surplus unsold food from local supermarkets and producers. The menu is constantly changing to adapt to the food supplied. You’ll need to make a reservation for dinner, but if it’s breakfast or lunch you’re after – just walk on in. By now you will have done your fair share of shop-hopping, so it’s a good time to get on the tram, sit back and ride it for a few stops, taking in the city as you glide by.
Hop off the tram at Weesperplein, grab a fresh juice at Bakhuys bakery (6 Sarphatistraat) and stroll towards the Theater Carré stop. Linger a while at the nearby Amstel River and watch the boats of all shapes and sizes motor busily up and down, offering a quintessential Amsterdam scene. Once you’ve taken in the sights and sounds of the river, take tramline 10 to Elandsgracht for a peek at the indoor antique market Looiersmarkt. Fossick here to your heart’s content – you’re sure to find a vintage bargain with an interesting story to tell.
If you still have the energy for a final burst of shopping, take the tram further west to Marnixplein and head to Rare Bird at 127 Marnixstraat. This gift store sells charming pieces, both secondhand and new, in an intriguing mixture of modern home accessories and practical items such as high chairs, bags and knitted throws, plus treasures unearthed in owner Nancy’s mother’s attic. On Van Limburg Stirumstraat (another tram stop away) you’ll find vintage store Hippo, with furniture and vintage clothes, and the relatively quiet
Westerpark, where we recommend you end your day with a relaxing sunset stroll. The nearby cafe De Bakkerswinkel is our pick for an evening wind-down and wine. Sit out on their terrace near the entrance to the park and take it all in. Proost! (Cheers!)
“Amstel River is always busy with boats of various sizes chugging up and down, offering a quintessential Amsterdam scene”
Dutch by design
Opposite: Dreamboat Design Store and Studio on Czaar Peterstraat stocks beautiful clothing and accessories. Below: Home decor stores Sissy-boy Homeland (left) and Pols Potten (right) are both located on Knsm-laan in the Eastern Docklands.
Cityscape Above left: Lloyd Hotel in Rietlandpark. Above right: Tramline 10 runs past Frederiksplein square. Opposite, clockwise from top left: Fashion store CP113, florist Antoesa, cheese shop Fromagerie Abraham Kef and cafe Helena Primakoff are all found on Czaar Peterstraat.
Picture-perfect pit stops Opposite, clockwise from top: The Amstel River; Rare Bird gift store on Marnixstraat; Bakhuys bakery on Sarphatistraat. Above: After a day exploring along tram route 10, Westerpark is great for a stroll, followed by some downtime at nearby cafe De Bakkerswinkel.