The following is a guide to the various supermarkets (supermarkten) you can find in and around Amsterdam.
Generally you will not find large out-of-town supermarkets or hypermarkets in Netherlands. Most shoppers arrive by foot or bike, so supermarkets tend to be small to medium size stores in residential areas.
Below you will find some tips for shopping in Dutch supermarkets plus a listing of Dutch supermarket brands found in Amsterdam.
Supermarket Shopping Tips in Netherlands
Supermarket prices - Want to know the approximate cost of various food and drink products for sale? See our Dutch Supermarket price guide with English-Dutch translations for everyday items.
Payment - Dutch supermarkets accept cash (notes of €100 or less) or Dutch PIN debit cards. They don't normally accept credit cards. The total price will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents.
Discounts - Some supermarkets offer discounts on fresh items close to their sell-by dates. These are marked by sticker and are generally 35% of 50% off the original price.
Bags - Dutch supermarkets do not offer free plastic bags, although you can take the flimsy fruit/veg polythene bags for free. Strong plastic bags are available for sale (from around €0.35) but it's better to bring your own bag.
Bottle deposits - If you buy glass beer bottles or large plastic water/soft drink bottles you have to pay a refundable deposit (statiegeld) of €0.10 or €0.25 respectively. Beer crates are charged at €1.50. The empties can be returned to a special machine at any supermarket - put all the bottles in then press the button to get a refund receipt which can be used at the checkout.
Peak hours - Supermarkets in Netherlands can get very busy in the early evenings and on Saturday mornings with long queues forming at the checkout. Try to avoid peak times if at all possible!
Organic - Most supermarkets will sell a limited range of organic (bio) products in store. Amsterdam has a good number of dedicated organic stores - see our Organic Shopping Guide to Amsterdam
Freebies - Some supermarkets offer customers free filter coffee or tea in store. You may also sometimes find samples of cheese and cold-cut meats.
Check the receipt - There can be the occasional discrepancy between marked prices and what goes through at the till. If you spot an error against you then go to the till or service desk and ask for the price difference to be refunded.
By shopping at one of Amsterdam's markets you can sometimes find cheaper prices for fruit/veg and other items than in supermarkets.
Dutch Supermarket Brands:
Albert Heijn - This is the premium supermarket chain in Netherlands, run by the multinational Ahold group. Their stores are reasonably well presented and they focus on quality products, both name brands and own label. They have dozens of locations in the Amsterdam area including a number of smaller Albert Heijn To Go express-style stores. Our experience with some Albert Heijn stores is that at times they don't open enough tills up which means queues can be a bit long.
Most stores are open daily, the larger ones between 0800 and 2200. The smaller stores have shorter hours on Sunday.
Some selected Albert Heijn store locations in Amsterdam centre:
There are Albert Heijn To Go stores located at Schiphol airport and at the main stations in Amsterdam - Central, Amstel, RAI, Sloterdijk, Zuid and Bijlmer-ArenA. There are also stores in central Amsterdam on Damrak, Nieuwendijk and Reguliersbreestraat (between Muntplein and Rembrandtplein). Note that prices for products tend to be higher than at the normal stores.
Albert Heijn XL is an expanded version of the standard supermarket store. One can be found at Gelderlandplein 47 (in Buitenveldert, a southern suburb not far from Amsterdam Zuid station). There are also XL stores in the outer suburbs of Osdorp and Diemen.
Dirk van den Broek - A popular budget supermarket chain with 12 stores in greater Amsterdam. They tend to be a bit cheaper than Albert Heijn on branded items. Store presentation is slightly more basic. Open on Sundays.
Jumbo - This is a large family-run supermarket chain from the south of Netherlands which has been expanding into the major Randstad cities. The stores have a reasonable quality feel with both branded and own brand items for sale. Prices are a little lower than Albert Heijn.
Jumbo is renowned for excellent customer service/pricing policies. For example, if you find any discrepancy between the store price and till price you get that item for free. Also, any fresh product on its sell-by date is given for free. They also manage checkout queues well. The stores are open daily.
VOMAR - Short for Vordeel Markt, this is another discount supermarket chain with a reasonable presence in the north of the country. Prices are on par with the Dirk.
ALDI & Lidl - These are the discount supermarket concepts from Germany with very low prices. Store presentation is distinctly no-frills. Quality of the products can be good for the price paid. Lidl stores are open daily; only some Aldi stores are open on Sundays.
Marks & Spencer - The British retailer has a store located at Kalverstraat 226 (near Muntplein) which opened in 2013. The store has a food hall which sells a decent range of high quality British and international-themed food. An excellent place to pick up picnic items and takeaway lunches.
M&S plans to open a large flagship store on Amsterdam's Rokin in 2016.
There are a number of other mid-range Dutch supermarket chains with a small presence in Amsterdam.
Coop has 2 stores in Amsterdam - at Eerste Jan Steenstraat 53 (a side street off Ferdinand Bol straat in De Pijp) and at Dijkgraafplein 409 (Osdorp). It also has a couple of stores in Amstelveen.
PLUS has stores at Nageljongenstraat 150 and Bezaanjachtplein 291 (both Amsterdam North) and Dorpsplein 10 (Duivendrecht).
For other info on shopping check out our guide to Dutch Chain Stores