These are the 8 best international bookstores in the Netherlands

There’s nothing cosier than staying inside on a cold day with a cup of tea while reading a book.So, where can you find the best non-Dutch books in the Netherlands?

If you’re looking for English books, Amsterdam has three wonderful English-language bookstores for you to peruse next time you’re in the capital. Don’t fancy the buzz of the big city? The Hague similarly has three must-visit stores for book lovers and the American Book Center has a very good and varied collection in multiple cities across the Netherlands. All in all, lots of choices! 🙌

However, if you’re looking for foreign literature you might not know where the best international bookshops in the Netherlands are.

You can always order online, but you have to pay for shipping and there’s nothing better than touching, feeling, and looking at one book and another before actually deciding which one to take home.

Having that in mind, we’ve made a list of international bookshops in The Netherlands — where you can find some actual foreign literature in different languages.

Broese Boekverkopers in Utrecht

Dating back to 1753, this quant bookshop has a very long history. It has changed owners and names several times but is still standing and now has gone back to its original name: Broense Boekverkopers. It recently moved to a new location in Utrecht’s old post office and it’s really, really, nice — trust us.

While Broese isn’t per se an international bookshop, you can find small sections dedicated to different languages.

Stanza Bookshop in The Hague

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You’ll often see a fresh buquet of sunflowers when peeking through the window! Image: Amanda Steck/Supplied.

Stanza is one of those cosy little bookshops that are always a delight to find when you are strolling through the centre of a city.

It’s an independent bookshop, owned by Karina, who’ll always make you feel at home and give you personal recommendations according to your needs.

She has a background in and a passion for international law, so if that is your jam she will be more than happy to advise you. Also, she facilitates cultural events like poetry readings, debates, book presentations, and children storytelling in different languages.

International Bookshops in The Netherlands
Now, this is community! Image: Amanda Steck/Supplied.

Browsing the shelves of Stanza, you’ll find mainly English, Spanish, and French books but there are also small German and Italian sections.

Serendipity Libros (online and mobile)

If children’s literature is what you’re after, Serendipity Libros is the place to go. It’s an independent online and mobile bookshop with a very carefully curated selection of picture books and literature for the youngest members of the household.

They specialise in Spanish, French, and Italian books.

You can buy the books online but they also arrange home visits, or you can meet in the city or at one of their events.

What is also interesting is that, in the spirit of promoting bi or multilingual development, they organise meetings between children and parents of similarly culturally diverse backgrounds, such as free readings and storytelling evenings. This takes place in different locations in The Hague and Voorburg in all three languages.

You can find out about these events on their Facebook page Serendipity literatura infantil.

Duli Delft in Delft

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The interior is super cute. Image: Amanda Steck/Supplied.

For children books, there is also Duli Delft. They offer after-school workshops for children of all ages and have a selection of international books, mainly in Portuguese and English but also in other languages. They cater to teens and pre-teens and have a good selection of informative books as well.

El rincón del libro in Amsterdam

Specifically for Spanish books, there is El Rincón Del Libro in Amsterdam. It is one of the only bookshops in The Netherlands that carries only Spanish books for adults and children.

Le temps retrouvé in Amsterdam

When on the hunt for French books in Amsterdam, you should definitely visit Le Temps Retrouvé, who also organise very interesting debates and cultural working together with the foundation for the promotion of French culture in the Netherlands: L’echappée Belle.

La librairie nomade (mobile)

In The Hague, there’s also La librairie nomade, a mobile bookshop started by Marie and Fanny. They specialise in French books and also work together to promote culture and language through readings with authors and other events. You can learn more about this lovely and inspiring project in this article (in French).

Bookstor in The Hague

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Yes, they spell ‘Bookstor’ without an ‘e’ on purpose. Image: Amanda Steck/Supplied.

Another must-visit for book lovers is the café and bookstore appropriately named Bookstor, in The Hague. It’s such a beautiful place to sit and have good coffee or a bite.

They have a good selection of English books, but as they also have second-hand books it’s not unusual to find some interesting books in different languages as well. You just have to look! As you walk through the café, towards their small garden, you’ll enter a room with a huge mural by the renowned Dutch children book illustrator, Marije Tolman.

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We could (and do) spend hours here! Image: Amanda Steck/Supplied.

Did we miss anything? What are your favourite international bookshops in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Amanda Steck/Supplied. 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2018, and was fully updated in November 2021 for your reading pleasure.

Amanda Steck
I am a Mexican girl, born to a Swiss father and married to a Dutch guy, living in The Netherlands for 9 years (oh how time flies!). I have a background in Biology and Veterinary medicine and a passion for travel, writing, baking, reading, discovering bookshops jumping around like crazy and red dresses. I also blog at Poppies and Ice-cream.

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