I'm having an ongoing love affair with Europe. This is no secret. Until last month, I didn't think any European place could come between me and my number one -- Italy. But then I decided to pay a visit to Amsterdam, and the game changed. Why do I love Amsterdam? It's a city that's comfortable in its own skin, it's effortlessly cool and the shops. Oh, the shops. They inspire even a shopping-phobe like me to break out my Euros. As I biked up and down the canals of the Nine Streets and Jordaan, I made dozens of stops in and out of boutiques, vintage shops and markets, putting together a mental list of places I will forever and always be returning to on future trips to Amsterdam. Here they are:
- Cos: If you are wondering where young Amsterdammers stock up on clean-lined classics and timeless trends, look no further than Cos. With three locations in Amsterdam, the more sophisticated, older sibling of H&M is a go-to for the everyday pieces that won't break the bank, but will always keep you looking polished.
So I said five, but here's a sixth fave that is too good to leave off the list:
- Rituals: One sniff of the Rituals collection of soaps, lotions and candles, and you'll be hooked. The luxury home and body cosmetic line started in Amsterdam, but is based on traditional Eastern rituals, my favorite being their Sakura ritual, infused with rice milk, cherry blossoms. Now, if they only sold their products in the U.S., I'd have all my holiday gifts sorted!