When one talk about comics, usually countries like America and Japan springs to mind. But little do most people know that Europe, and in the case of this article Amsterdam, is also a place bustling with games and comic stores to explore.
Without further ado, here are some of our recommendations for stores to visit in Amsterdam for all things to do with toys, games, and comics.
Henk Comics & Manga
Zeedijk 101, 1012 BG Amsterdam, Netherlands
In Central Amsterdam and not sure where to go shopping for some comics? You can head on down to Henk Comics and Manga, which is definitely one of the biggest comic stores you will be able to find there. Do not be fooled by it’s small looking storefront as the shop actually takes up quite a bit of space. Plus, all that space is specially dedicated to graphic novels, comics, and manga.
The store divides its content into two floors, each connected by a small staircase. On the lower floor, you will be able to find European and American comics whereas the Asian manga can be found on the upper floors, along with film, comics, and gaming memorabilia.
Having been established for over 20 years, Henk Comics and Manga has evolved to become a mainstay in Amsterdam’s comic scene. If you are in the area, be sure to check it out!
Koningsstraat 27D, 1011 ET Amsterdam, Netherlands
Founded in November 1968, Lambiek prides itself on being Europe’s first comic book store, and is most probably the oldest comic shop in the world that is still in operation. Kees Kousemaker, the founder of Lambiek, was among the first in Europe to take underground comics seriously. Hence, he opened the store as a platform for comic collectors, experts, and artists.
Situated on the streets of Koningsstraat, Lambiek can be found inside a nondescript looking shop, with only a bright red banner hanging by the shop and the comics displayed by the window the only sign that you are at the right place.
Inside the store, you can find shelves of comics lining the walls, along with figurines and displays for you to take photos with. Such as a giant Hobbes just chilling beside the window, a genial smile on its face. If you are a fan of comic books, be it underground comics, graphic novels, or autobiographical comics, Lambiek is a definite must-visit store for you.
Kalverstraat 9, 1012 NX Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you are looking to deck yourself out in geek apparel then Popcult will be the one-stop shop for you. Operated by geeks, for geeks. Located on a central street just off Dam Square, Popcult sells clothes that are all officially licensed so you can be sure that they will be of a certain quality. Popcult has products from a wide range of comics and videogames, including Marvel, Pokemon, and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cowabunga indeed!
Here are just some of the many geeky apparels and accessories you will be able to find at Popcult,
De Tonton Club
Sint Annendwarsstraat 6, 1012 HC Amsterdam, Netherlands
A nondescript club in the heart of the Sint Annendwarsstraat, barring a giant coin slot by the door, you just have to take a step into the club to realise that it is more than it seems. The club consists of two ‘barcades’, with multiple arcade machines placed around the bar for customers to play with when they are not munching down on the food the bar has to offer. If arcade games are not your thing, De Tonton Club also comes with Air Hockey tables as well as Jenga sets on every table in the bar.
With a motto of “to create and recreate”, De Tonton Club will be the ideal place for you to dine and wine, while also beating your friends in a Mortal Kombat match, or in a (not-so) friendly match of Mario Kart.
Comics Import Amsterdam
Keizersgracht 190, 1016 DW Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you are shopping around Amsterdam on a budget then you will definitely want to visit Comics Import Amsterdam, or CIA as it is commonly abbreviated. In there you will be greeted by rows upon rows of boxes stuffed with comics, and the thing is, they are very, very cheap. How cheap are we talking? Many of the comics sold in CIA only cost 50 eurocents, which is approximately 77 cents in Singapore.
In the boxes you will be able to find thousands of Marvel and DC comics from the early sixties all the way to today, so it is a great place to fill in any gaps in your comic collection. A note of caution though as the store can be a little cluttered, with the many boxes around the store making it difficult to find the one particular comic you are looking for. However fret not as if you really are lost in the shop, you can always ask the owner to help you look for your comic.
Aside from comics, you will also be able to find some action figures in the shop, such as Marvel’s X-Men, and Transformers, which are always cool to look at.
A Space Oddity
Prinsengracht 204, 1016 HD Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you are into collecting action figures, be it Western or Eastern, both vintage and new, then A Space Oddity will be the place for you.
The shop has a wide collection of collectable toys, and receives a regular shipment of brand new Gunpla and Japanese anime figurines that are often sold right next to its second-hand vintage toys. Some series that are featured in A Space Oddity includes Star Wars, Transformers, Gundam, and Zelda.
Just a stone throw away from one of Amsterdam’s main tourist attraction, the Anne Frank museum, the store is relatively easy to find and even if you get lost a few times while trying to find the store, the rare toys you might find in the shop will make the journey worth it.
Hartenstraat 14, 1016 CB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tabletop games are the name of the game in The Gamekeeper, a shop that specialises in all things to do with both tabletop and card games. In the store, you will be able to find traditional games such as Backgammon and chess, as well as newer board games such as Dominion and Munchkin.
If you have trouble finding a specific board game or are not sure how to play a particular board game, you can always ask the friendly store owner who will gladly help you out. Aside from board and card games, you can also find a selection of toys for young kids, as well as books and toys for you to learn simple magic tricks.
There you have it, here is a short guide to get you started on your geek-tastic journey through Amsterdam. Granted, with how big Amsterdam is, there will bound to be shops that we have not explored but this guide should be sufficient to get you started. Have fun shopping!
Also, do note to double-check the closing hours for the stores you will be visiting as it can be pretty early. Especially if you are planning to squeeze in a tour or two in between.
Germaine is a fun-sized introvert who loves nothing better than sleeping in on rainy days. She can be found reading fanfiction and manga while still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’ll come eventually.