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Smart Packing


Amsterdam -- She Shops, Shops, Shops


Other shops that made me smile...

Fair Trade is a gift shop designed to win the heart of every woman who loves to travel. As the name implies, all objects for sale in this store have been manufactured under proper conditions and artisans have been paid a fair wage. The items on offer are diverse and delightful - paper parasols from Thailand, embroidered suede cosmetic bags from India, ceramic water flutes from Vietnam and puppets from Indonesia. A world class collection! Heilgeweg 45.

I don't usually spend a lot of time in department stores but I popped into Hema for a quick look around. Items here are very reasonably priced, designs are modern, colourful and often whimsical. I came away with super soft cotton underwear in hot pinks and pale blues for the kiddies in my family and spent less for these items than I would have paid at home. Several local women also told me that this is where they usually buy their bedding, kitchen supplies and toys for children. There are several locations in Amsterdam.

De Tuinen is a natural food store stocking everything from beauty products to an impressive tea selection to vitamin supplements and gift items. This is where I picked up snacking food for my hotel room and the airplane - trail mix including loads of dried fruit and a selection of nuts and berries. I'm told that on weekends, weary shoppers can stop by for a 10-minute chair massage. Therapists work on your neck, shoulders, arms and hands, making you good-as-new so you can continue on your way totally relaxed. (Leidsestraat 32) Fee: eight euro. P.S. If you're a Journeywoman that craves only natural food products and produce, seek out De Natuurwinkel (Weteringschans 133), Amsterdam's main health food supermarket.

And, if you're a Journeywoman who'd like to add some Dutch design to your wardrobe, a stop at Pauw is highly recommended. Their women's clothing line is designed in the Netherlands with the stylish Dutch woman in mind. Who knows? Maybe one of their pieces will be just right for you. You can see some of their collection at There are many Pauw locations in Amsterdam. I chose Leidsestraat 16.

Lonesome for the tastes of home? Homesick Brits and North Americans will love Eichholtz Delicatessen. This shop is filled to the brim with all the items and brands you might be missing - Pop Tarts, Oreos, Pringles Chips, Christmas Pudding, pizza mix, Kraft marshmallows, and more, more, more. Leidsestraat 48.

Finally, make your way to Xantippe, Amsterdam's women's bookstore and resource center. The last time I visited they offered visitors a complimentary listing of "women's places" in the city. They also stocked a fun supply of female-friendly postcards. Prinsengracht 290.  

Amsterdam facts and fun items...

In Amsterdam there are:

65 theatres and concert halls
40 cinemas
42 museums
165 canals
173 nationalities
755 restaurants
6,100 animals at the zoo
6,800 16-18th century buildings
10,334 shops
400,000 bicycles
600,000 bulb flowers in public places
and a partridge in a pear tree.

Need more information?

ClickFor anything from tulips to cheese to windmills, where to stay and where to go, be sure to check out the Netherlands Board of Tourism website:

The Netherlands nationwide tourist info bureau is called the VVV. In Amsterdam, they have four locations--

    (1) inside Centraal Station,
    (2) outside Centraal Station,
    (3) on the corner of Leidsestraat and Leidseplein
    (4) as well as one office at Stadionplein.

The staff is friendly, courteous and oh-so-willing to help. They will assist with everything from booking accommodation, to finding a fun restaurant, to providing maps of the city. Main telephone number: 06 340 34066




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