If you’re looking for the best souvenirs to buy in the Netherlands, we got you covered. Finding the perfect gift in the Netherlands is tough. In case you’re wondering, Holland is a specific part of the Netherlands (the area around Amsterdam is Noord Holland). Both Jacob and I have visited the Netherlands as tourists as well as lived in the Netherlands. Since we’re focusing on Amsterdam, technically, looking for souvenirs from Holland is technically correct. Keep reading for our favorite gift ideas from the Netherlands.
This does contain affiliate links to Amazon, however these are Dutch gifts that Jacob and I have actually sent our families with tips for finding these gifts in the Netherlands. (Enjoy your cold and rainy holiday in Amsterdam. ? ) Many of these things are a lot cheaper to buy in the Netherlands although it's of course possible to buy them online after the fact.
Clogs from Zaanse Schans
These clogs from the Zaanse Schans (windmills that you can visit on a day trip from Amsterdam) are a bit pricey, however they’re hand-made in the workshop at Zaanse Schans. The cool part is that you can enjoy the windmills as well as watch clogs get made. My husband gifted his parents a little pair of clogs that were unadorned that are known as wedding clogs. They’re made of unpainted wood, fit for the size of a child’s foot, and adorable. These gift cogs are also affordable (under 100 euros) if you’re looking for a special handcrafted gift from the Netherlands or a subtle way to announce that you may have eloped in the Netherlands. Either way, they’re a super beautiful and adorable gift to buy from the Netherlands. Of course, you can get the cheap touristy ones, but there is something special about hand-made souvenirs.
Tulips from the Netherlands
This is cliche, but you can ask my mother how much she loves her tulips from the Netherlands. If you’re considering buying tulips from Netherland for a gift in Amsterdam, check that your tulips are allowed into your country of origin at the shop. Americans: Many of the rare tulips are not allowed to be brought home to the United States without a special permit, so ask the vendors at the Bloemenmarkt which tulips can be brought back to the US legally. SImilarly, be sure to instruct your giftee that your Dutch tulips need to be planted about 2 months before a hard frost and once the soil is below 60 F. Check specific instructions for where you’re located as different climates require different temperatures for planting.
The tulip bulbs are best planted as close to the ideal period as possible and it's easy to buytulip bulbs by you although they're likely more expensive than buying them at the flower market.
Well, Dutch alcohol is a great souvenir. There’s so many tasty Dutch liquors, so consider bringing some of your favorites back with you. I strongly recommend putting your alcohol into your laundry bag to ensure that it’s packed tightly with little movement, however this is still not a guarantee that your bottle will survive the trip.
If you're into bringing new alcohol types home as a souvenir, consider buying a bottle protector to ensure that the bottle doesn't open up in your suitcase. As someone who’s transported eight wine bottles back from Italy and Hungary, I swear by the laundry bag method, but buying packing materials for your alcohol bottles is a safer bet if you’re concerned about a bottle breaking open in your suitcase.
This is such a cheesy suggestion, but buying Dutch cheese as a gift is a great souvenir from the Netherlands. If your cheese is vacuum sealed, it means that your cheese can last a few weeks without refrigeration.
Which Dutch cheese to buy as a gift or a souvenir? That is a very tough decision. Although Gouda cheese is the most famous, Edam cheese is a classic although my personal favorite is the affordable young Boerenkaas. If you can find a good cheese shop, they will be happy to help you preserve your cheese for a later date. If you're in Amsterdam, I recommend Kaasland.
Books about Amsterdam
I’m a literature geek and my favorite souvenir from anywhere is a good book about the destination. I consider buying a good book about the history or inspired by a city to be one of my favorite souvenirs. This is why I strongly encourage you to consider buying a book about Amsterdam as a souvenir from Amsterdam. The American Book Center is a great place to browse for gifts in Amsterdam and souvenirs from the Netherlands.
Some of my favorite books about the Netherlands:
A lot of people, myself included, are obsessed with Delft pottery. Delft pottery makes a fantastic gift from the Netherlands, however it’s fragile. When looking for Dutch gifts for my in-laws, we agonized over whether we’d manage to ship our Delft pottery from the Netherlands without it arriving in pieces. In the end, we decided to buy Delft Pottery already in the United States from experienced professionals and my mother in law loved her Christmas gift that arrived from Michigan. I’ve heard of a lot of people bringing back pottery from the Netherlands as a gift, however my own experiences with the the Dutch mail have not been overwhelming positive. Ensure that your pottery is carefully wrapped prior to bringing it home in your suitcase to ensure that it comes home in one piece---or simply, buy it at home online.
Dutch Food & Dutch Candy
CANDY. I have a massive sweet tooth and well, I absolutely love Dutch candy. For those who also love candy, it’s the perfect gift. If you’re looking for some delicious candy, consider bringing home a couple large bars of Tony’s Chocolonely, one of my favorite Dutch chocolates. (Definitely pick up the Caramel Sea Salt flavor, which I'm addicted to.) Similarly, consider buying a couple bags of drop (Dutch licorice), and salmiak lollie if you’re looking for something funky to surprise family/friends. I consider receiving Dutch chocolate one of my favorite gifts from the Netherlands to date.
There’s so many other Dutch foods that are delicious and perfect for souvenirs.
If it’s the holiday season, consider purchasing a box of oliebollen mix for someone who’s creative with cooking. Oliebollen are a fried Dutch treat typically eaten around New Year’s Eve, however you can easily find boxes to help you make them at home at the supermarket around December.
Similarly, pepernoten is a speciality that you’ll find all around the Netherlands shortly before Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands (early December). No matter how to feel about Zwarte Piet, pepernoten are delicious to eat. They’re cinnamon-y although some varieties are even coated in chocolate. I prefer the basic type from HEMA although you can get any variety of pepernoten as a souvenir from the Netherlands.
For those with a sweet tooth.... Before you leave, go to your nearest Albert Heijn to pick up a box of hagelslag (adult chocolate sprinkles perfect for adulting) or a can of stroopwafels (they easily get crushed). The caramel stroopwafels are absolutely delicious although be sure not to get them in a bag as they’ll be in pieces (I learned this the hard way). The Albert Heijn in the airport sells these in a cute can although you can also buy them online.
Dutch jigsaw puzzles
This is a bit of a strange souvenir from the Netherlands, but artist Jan van Haasteren is famous for his Where’s Waldo-like puzzles. We got one of these puzzles for my father-in-law, a puzzle aficionado, who found it delightful. Similar to Where’s Waldo, there’s a familiar cast of characters to look for in every puzzle and they’re pretty hilarious.
You can find these puzzles at most game stores in the Netherlands as well as on Amazon if you're considering buying one of these Dutch puzzles as a gift from the Netherlands (but want to check first what you find while traveling!)
Dutch art inspired gifts
For my art lovers, there’s so many lovely Dutch souvenirs that you can pick up at the Rijksmuseum, Mauritshuis, or the Van Gogh museum. However, you’ll save a lot if you buy them online. I ended up buying my mom a beautiful Van Gogh-inspired eyeglass case as a gift and it’s been a great gift as it reminds her of me whenever she puts her eyeglasses away. Similarly, I also got her a luggage tag with Girl With the Pearl Earring on it to help her identify her luggage easily at the airport.
There’s numerous possibilities for souvenirs from the Netherlands, including Van Gogh inspired umbrellas (useful), art inspired tote bags, art inspired mugs, art inspired posters to hang in your house (remember to get the right sized frame!), and light switches. All of these souvenirs can also be bought after the fact easily online too.
A Dutch bike and/or bike related accessories
Everyone knows the Dutch love bikes, however bike lovers might want to consider buying a cycling related souvenir from Amsterdam. Dutch bikes are very well made (I recommend Batavia or Pashley as a brand), however the locks are even better than what you’ll find at home due to the many bike thieves. If you’re looking for a solid lock, I recommend buying a bike lock from a brand called VIRO. It’s an Italian brand that makes a fantastic bike lock that stands up well to the bike thieves. Expect to pay at least 40 euros for your lock at a bike shop, but the security difference compared to a U-lock is immense. (Most bike shops will be able to help you ship your bike home if you purchase one.)
Surprise yourself at the flea market (IJhallen in Amsterdam)
There’s nothing like buying a unique souvenir that nobody else has. If you're a vintage lover, I recommend shopping the flea markets in the Netherlands for something unique. We have seen some pretty weird stuff at Amsterdam’s main flea market although this stuffed grouse was the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a while (and we bought it). If you miss the IJhallen monthly flea market, check out De Bazaar, a weekly flea market that is about 40 minutes from Amsterdam by train.
A magnet or a postcard
These two classics are my go to souvenirs no matter where I go. I love having a refrigerator door full of all of my adventures around the world. :)
Have you been to the Netherlands? What souvenir from the Netherlands was your favorite?
Karen and Jacob. American expats and cat lovers from New York City and Kentucky who lived in Amsterdam.... Now in Paris with moving back to the Netherlands this month.
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