Shops here have an artsy, eclectic, homemade feel. The area around Elandsgracht is the place for antiques and art, as well as speciality shops covering everything from hats to cats. Straddling the Jordaan and Western Canal Ring, the Haarlemmerbuurt, incorporating hip Haarlemmerdijk in the northern Jordaan, teems with trendy food and fashion boutiques. The Jordaan also has some fabulous food and flea markets.


The Dutch love their sweets, the most famous of which is drop, the word for all varieties of liquorice. It may be gummy-soft or tough as leather, and shaped like coins or miniature cars, but the most important distinction is between zoete (sweet) and zoute (salty, also called salmiak). The latter is often an alarming surprise, even for avowed fans of the black stuff. But with such a range of textures and additional flavours – mint, honey, laurel – even liquorice sceptics might be converted. Het Oud-Hollandsch Snoepwinkeltje is a good place to do a taste test.