Souvenirs Shopping: 16 Genuine Dutch Things to Buy in Rotterdam
1. Dutch Cheese
Just like in any other town, Rotterdam has his own specialized shop for cheese, called De Kaashoeve (“The cheese farm”) which is stocked daily with authentic cheeses from the region. Here, you can pick up your favorite young or old cheese in any of the popular variations: Boerenkaas, Edam, Maasdammer or the famous Gouda, which is also available in a baby wheel version from half a pound to a pound, making it very convenient and portable for those who prefer to travel light.
Price: Starting €6.50
Oude Binnenweg 95a, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 413 86 44
Monday: 12am – 6pm
Tuesday – Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
2. Contemporary Dutch Jewelry
Gallery Puur is a gallery and atelier specialized in modern handmade jewelry with an extensive and changing collection featuring the works of several Dutch jewelry designers alongside their own creations. The owners, who are likely to be seen working in the atelier through the shop windows, are very welcoming and offering their clients a possibility to develop custom made jewelry for themselves; they also perform reparations upon request. The gallery/atelier is centrally located, close to the Rotterdam Library and the Blaak station. Another non-conventional choice of jewelry is that by Ralph Bakker who craftily combines gold, silver and gems with enamel and other rather unusual materials. "My inspirations are the material, [and] the symbolism of a traditional shape or the beauty of a technique" says Bakker, who is equally proficient in traditional goldsmith techniques and the symbolism and minimalism of modern times.
Price: €8 - €800
Botersloot 50a, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 213 67 96
Tuesday: 10am – 5:30pm
Wednesday – Friday: 11am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday – Monday: Closed
Blekerstraat 10, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Thursday – Sunday: 1pm – 6pm
3. Dutch Sweets
Blaak market is well known for its stalls displaying all kinds of traditional Dutch confections. Another special shop is Jamin, first opened 125 years ago and still remaining a prime choice with the locals for variety, fun decor, packaging and mixing options. You can never go wrong with these sweets: they are portable size, nice looking treats and make great gifts from Rotterdam.
Price: depending on weight, starts at €2
Lijnbaan 57, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 411 78 98
Monday: 11am – 6pm
Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday: 9:30am – 6pm
Friday: 9:30am – 9pm
Sunday: 12am – 5:30pm
Royal Goedewaagen is known for crafting the stunning Gouda pottery; their collection is available at exclusive stores, like De Bijenkorf. With a wide range of items, like vases, Bonbonnieres, platters, jars, ceramic figures and more, you can rest assured to find there some truly unique gifts of various shapes, sizes and prices. The latter vary from a few euros to several hundred.
Coolsingel 105, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Monday: 11am – 6:30pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am – 6:30pm
Friday: 10am – 9pm
Saturday: 9:30 – 6:30pm
Sunday: 12am – 6pm
5. Nautical Decorative Oil Lamps
Egge Maritiem is one of the largest marine-décor shops in The Netherlands and is coincidentally located close to the Rotterdam Maritime Museum, the Maas River and opposite the Open Air Maritime Museum. Visiting this store and surroundings is a great way to experience a bit of the city’s history, so be sure to pack your camera and take some photos; they would make a nice anecdote to share when giving this special gift.
Schiedamsedijk 70-71, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 433 08 97
Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 11am – 3:30pm
6. Coffee Set & Cookie Jar
Blond Amsterdam is one popular brand with a big collection of hand-painted, unique and fun pottery items, including coffee pots, cups and saucers, cookie tins, sugar bowls and more. They even have Dutch-themed series appropriately named “I love Holland” and “Delft Blond”, homage to the Delft pottery with a modern twist. All items are sold individually, so you can mix and match to create your own perfect set, fitting personal style with the budget. These are sold at the prominent department stores V&D and De Bijenkorf, both located in the city center.
Price: from 6 to 50 Euros
Hoogstraat 185, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Monday: 11am – 6:30pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – 9pm
Saturday: 9:30 – 6pm
Sunday: 12am – 6pm
7. Stroopwafels (Syrup Waffle)
Markus stroopwafel bakery has been baking syrup waffles for over 30 years now in a strict accordance with the original recipe; their kiosks are found all over the country at typical Dutch markets where you can buy syrup waffles nicely gift-wrapped in vintage tins and Delft pottery jars. In Rotterdam, you can buy them at the Blaak open-air market, and also at a permanent kiosk downtown which can't be any easier to find - just follow the caramel scent and it'll take you to this special little stand. Once there, be sure to have a freshly baked stroopwafel and then buy enough of them to take home with you.
Price: 6€ - 12€
Hoogstraat Street, between the streets Coolsingel and Blaak, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Monday: 12am – 5:30pm
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5:30pm
Binnenrotte, Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 267 54 55
Tuesday: 8am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 8am – 5pm
Sunday Market on April 3 to 25 September 2011 from 12am – 5pm
Several years ago, Sita Danser, a local cooking enthusiast native of Surinam, started making her own sambal totally from scratch, just like her mother used to. She did it mainly as a hobby and to share with friends during the many dinners she loved to host. Today, she is the face behind “hottie Sambal”, an award winning organic sambal made with 100% natural, organic and locally-sourced ingredients. She has created several spicy concoctions, adding her own twist, of course, and it worked: health food and delicatessen stores alike sell her colorful jars that have become extremely popular with the locals seeking new ways to incorporate it in their meals - from bread to soup to mashed potato - sambal is for sure taking care of adding a hot dash of flavor.
Price: Jars starting at €2.95
Mariniersweg 9, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 404 73 42
Monday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 8am – 6pm
Alles komt van buiten
Nieuwe Binnenweg 100, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 436 00 42
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Dutch candle making dates back to 1858 with the establishment of the Gouda Candle brand which enjoys outstanding international reputation to this day. Regardless of their simplicity, the candles are a pretty, colorful and very cheap gift to bring back home and share with the family.
Price: €2 - €10+
10. Pelgrim Beer
Quite expectedly, in Holland you can find regional and even seasonal brews, and Rotterdam, of course, has its own strong say on the subject in the form of local brewery, called De Pelgrim, producing award-wining beers using Rotterdam water and the best sourced ingredients, including aromatic hops and pure yeast. The result is a robust, artisanal beer with unique and strong flavors attained through the process that often involves neither pasteurization nor filtration in a bid to ensure the utmost purity of the product. Two varieties are brewed here permanently - Pelgrim 1580 and Mayflower Tripel. The former is a fresh bitter based on Altbier from Düsseldorf, Germany, while the latter has a full spicy flavor thanks to the special hops added. These and other seasonal beers are available in 0.75L and 3 liter bottles. It is also possible to make your own brew, just ask the store’s knowledgeable staff about the available options. Afterwards, make sure to get your precious purchase properly packaged for a long trip back home.
0.75 L bottle: €6.95
3 L bottle: €19.95+
Aelbrechtskolk 12, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 477 11 89
Wednesday-Sunday: 12am – 4:30pm
Monday and Tuesday: Closed
11. Jigsaw Puzzles
Price: from €12.99 to €29.99+
12. Soccer Jersey
Even if you’re not a die-hard fan of Feyenoord, a visit to De Kuip (the tub) stadium might be rather entertaining and informative in terms of familiarizing yourself with the team’s long history in winning major European trophies and also appreciating the sense of pride and devotion shared by the local supporters. After purchasing the Club jersey at the Feyenoord fan shop, you can move on to visit the stadium itself by taking a tour that is always finished with a trip to the Feyenoord museum.
Van Zandvlietplein 15, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 432 44 40
Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Feyenoord FanShop Centrum
Lijnbaan 32, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 280 00 25
Monday: 12am – 5:30pm
Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday: 10am – 5:30pm
Friday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 12am – 5pm
Orlanda, the liqueur store located on Oude Binnenweg, the shopping street, holds an impressive selection of alcoholic drinks along with its own-produced Jenever, aptly named the “skyline of Rotterdam,” which is specially brewed and packaged to be sold exclusively at this store. The shop's friendly owner is a liqueur connoisseur and would proudly show you to this and other famous Jenevers on sale. He is also an avid collector which is evident from the amazing collection of beer cans neatly stacked all way up to the roof and giving the store its unique, old-fashion feel.
Price: bottles start at €12
Oude Binnenweg 111-B, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 413 64 98
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Monday & Sunday: Closed
14. Designer Shoes
Jan Jansen is a celebrated Dutch shoe designer whose exclusive creations are commonly regarded as being “ahead of time, yet timeless”. Luckily, his shoes can be found at one of the exclusive shops on Nieuwe Binnenweg where you will find a selection of his and other Dutch designers’ footwear. For a better impression and a wider choice, you can always visit other popular fashion streets on the city.
Nieuwe Binnenweg 60, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 414 20 25
Tuesday – Thursday: 11am – 6pm
Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5pm
January and February: Closed on Sunday
15. Poffertjes (Dutch Miniature Pancakes) Kit
In Rotterdam, Poffertjessalon Seth has been serving this treat - based on a secret family recipe - for over 25 years. Walking down Hoogstraat Street, you will easily spot this restaurant as their baker is usually outdoors making fresh poffertjes with a special copper pan, as the old tradition dictates. Bringing this Dutch favorite back home is possible these days: all you need is a) poffertjespan, a specially cast iron plate with indentations to hold poffertjes and thus give them their round shape while cooking; and, of course, b) the poffertjes dry mix to make the batter. With these basics in hand, all you need to do is just follow the instruction (written on the box) and bake yourself mini pancakes using your brand-new poffertjespan, and then serve them like the Dutch - warm and with a dollop of real butter, dusted with sugar powder.
Poffertjes Mix: starting at €1.29 per 400 gram box
Poffertjespan: €14.99 - €39.95
For the poffertjespan:
Hoogstraat 196, Rotterdam, Netherlands
010 280 73 40
Monday: 11am – 6pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Friday: 9am – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 12am – 5:30 pm
16. Dutch Process Cacao
This multipurpose ingredient ensures great results in every recipe it is called for, be it a simple cup of hot chocolate or a decadent chocolate cake - just go ahead and stock up on these little boxes full of rich and dark goodness while you can! Share them with your family and friends back home and then sit back and wait a bit, because it won’t be long before somebody - unable to resist the temptation - would decide to bake something scrumptious and gooey containing (of course!) your authentic Dutch cacao.
Price: Boxes start at €2
Other Interesting Souvenirs from the Netherlands
If traveling to the Netherlands is not on your immediate agenda, or you simply can't afford an extra space in your luggage, fortunately, these days, you can find a wide selection of authentic and truly interesting Dutch souvenirs online. Presented here are some of the Dutch products sought by foreign visitors, now available online for your convenience.
2. Delft Pottery - Delftware is blue and white tin-glazed pottery originated in the Delft area of the Netherlands around the 16th century. This is one of the types of tin-glazed faience that gained popularity in Europe shortly after it had been imported from China, in which a white glaze is applied, usually decorated with metal oxides. Delftware embraces a variety of objects, such as plates, vases, ornaments, and tiles.
3. Popular Dutch Snacks - These are numerous and include various items, subject to one's preference. Among the most popular Dutch snacks are: Speculaas – the traditional Dutch crumbly spiced cookies, baked to a traditional family recipe; Bolletjes - crisps with a hint of sweetness, good with fruit or sweet spread or cheese, butter or eggs, and coupled with breakfast coffee; they also make great ingredient for meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs; Honigkoek - a traditional Dutch Honey Cake, rich in sweet flavor reminiscent of honey, ideally taken sliced, toasted, and spread with butter or, for a traditional twist, topped with a slice of Nokkelost or Leyden cheese.
4. Droog Design - Droog is a Dutch conceptual design company, emerged in the 1990s, working with independent designers and renowned for its innovative approach to interior products. They commonly adapt prefabricated materials into knowingly sober items with a distinctive sense of playfulness, taking a pragmatic, and often cheeky, approach to design lighting and home furnishings with an inherent abundance of content, reaching far beyond pure aesthetics, in a bid to create products “with a soul”.
5. Tulip Bulbs - Tulips and the Netherlands are inseparable from one another. Tulip bulbs are ideal for a lazy man's garden of outdoor spring flowers or indoor winter cheer! These can be planted in pots on patios, decks or window boxes. Just dig a hole in the fall, bury the bulb, and see the miracle of nature emerge in early spring, without fail, year after year after year. A sure way to bring some spring inside!
6. Kissing Couples - A kissing couple is one of the most popular classic themes of the Dutch Delft pottery. Combined with a windmill or colored tulips in the background, these ceramic figurines will surely add a bit of Dutch accent to your home or make a great gift from the Netherlands!
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