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SHOPPING in Amsterdam

SHOPPING
Amsterdam offers shopping opportunities galore, from high-end designer label boutiques to several excellent old-world street markets and literally everything in between. An elongated shopping street, the Nieuwendijk, runs between the Damrak and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and is continued below Dam Square as the Kalverstraat, featuring an incredible selection of shops of every description.

In the southern end of the city in the area called the Pijp can be found the Albert Cuyp Markt, one of Amsterdam's oldest and best-known open-air markets. There's another big open-air market at Waterlooplein, a world-famous flower market not far from Dam Square, and a great used book market on the Spui every Friday. Serious shoppers say that the best bargains in town are hiding at the smaller marketplaces that dot the city, and even if you're not in a buying mode you can observe all kinds of interesting people and products at these colorful places.

There are some amazing little shops in many of the city's many neighborhoods as well, and you can find almost anything that you can imagine here in Amsterdam.

For some of the world's oldest kind of shopping there's the legendary Red Light District, a unique phenomenon that gives the concept of window-shopping a whole new dimension. Prostitution is legal and regulated by the government, and the attractive ladies who offer their personal wares for sale display their charms in the red-neon-lighted windows that front their working quarters.

Amsterdam is also a center for diamond sales, with an abundance of jewelry stores and diamond centers that also offer tours of their facilities where you can see stones being graded, cut, polished and mounted. You can get some really interesting deals at these places, but be sure to shop around if you are planning to make a serious purchase. One of the best shopping experiences in Amsterdam, believe it or not, is the mall at Schiphol Airport.

They have an incredible selection of places to shop?duty free?and you can pick up all of your last-minute gifts and souvenirs for your loved ones at home before you catch your flight back to the UK.



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