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English Language Bookstores in Amsterdam


Amsterdam has a number of large bookstores selling English language books. Both US and UK published books are well represented - however you will pay a local premium over the usual dollar or pound cover price. The Dutch book market is strictly regulated and prices tend to be quite high.

There are a number of bookshops located around the Spui square area - a weekly book market is also held there every Friday.

The American Book Center (ABC) - Spui 12 (T: +31(0)20 625 5537) - this Amsterdam institution has been here since 1972 with a huge selection of American (and British) titles spread over 3 floors. They also have a second book store in The Hague.

abc bookstore amsterdam

ABC gives a 10% discount to: students, teachers and over 65s. Over 55s get the discount on Mondays only. Others can buy a yearly discount card for €7 which also gives you the 10% discount.

ABC usually has a good range of books on special offer in each section.

ABC also sells magazines and newspapers on the ground floor. Regular social events such as book readings and open mike nights are held. ABC bookstore is open daily: Mon (1100-2000), Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat (1000-2000), Thurs (1000-2100), Sun (1100-1830).

waterstones amsterdam

Waterstones Amsterdam - 152 Kalverstraat (T: +31(0)20 638 3821) - this 4 floor British bookshop has an excellent selection of titles from the UK. You can find it on the corner of Spui and the main shopping street Kalverstraat - the listed building was designed by prominent Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage.

Waterstones Amsterdam has regular '3 for 2' book deals and also sells magazines, games and cards. It is open daily: Mon (1000-1830), Tue/Wed/Fri (0930-1830), Thurs (0930-2100), Sat (0930-1900), Sun (1100-1800).


The English Bookshop at Lauriergracht 71 (T: +31(0)20 626 4230) in the Jordaan area is a small shop that sells an interesting range of new and second-hand English books. Children's books are a speciality. There is a coffee bar and a basement with comfy sofas. The staff are friendly and helpful. Regular writing workshops held. Open Tuesday - Saturday 1100-1800.

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum - Spui 14 (T: +31(0)20 624 2972) - across the road from the ABC, this shop has a large range of international newspapers and magazines. Athenaeum's book store next door sells some English titles.

Polare - Koningsplein 10 (T: +31(0)20 523 1411) - massive Dutch bookstore with 125,000 titles in store over 5 floors. You can find many English titles available. There is also a nice cafe (Bagel & Beans) up on the first floor, something which both nearby Waterstones and ABC lack. Being Dutch they shut promptly at 6pm except for Thursday late night shopping.

Open daily: Mon (1100-1800), Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat (0930-1800), Thurs (0930-2100), Sun (1200-1800).

De Slegte is a Dutch discount book chain. You will find quite a few English books in store especially in the travel ('reizen') section, although some editions will be a few years old. They also specialise in old second-hand books. Open daily: Mon (1100-1800), Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat (0930-1800), Thurs (0930-2100), Sun (1200-1700). Located at Kalverstraat 48-52 (T: +31(0)20 622 5933).

Pied a Terre Amsterdam

Pied A Terre - Overtoom 135-137 (T: +31(0)20 627 4455) - large specialist travel book shop with an extensive range of travel guides, maps and globes. Metropole cafe in store. Located on Overtoom, a short walk from Leidseplein. Open: Mon (1300-1800), Tue/Wed/Fri (1000-1800), Thurs (1000-2100), Sat (1000-1700).

The English Bookstore is a cut-price English book outlet on Kalverstraat 223 (T: +31(0)20 624 9789) very near Muntplein. They have a decent range of books including travel guides and you can often find some good bargains in here. They have another store at Leidsestraat 52.

Frontier Bookshop on Leliegracht 42 in the Jordaan (T: +31(0)20 330 9151) sells books on alternative health, new age, UFOs etc. They are open between 1000 and 1800 daily (Sunday open at 1200).