There’s nothing cosier than staying inside on a cold day with a cup of tea while reading a book. ✨
Of course, you can always order online. Buuut then you have to pay for shipping, and to be fair, there’s nothing better than touching, feeling, and looking at one book before deciding to take it home.
With that in mind, we’ve made a list of international bookshops in the Netherlands where you can find some foreign literature in different languages.
1. Broese Boekverkopers in Utrecht
Dating back to 1753, this quaint bookshop has a very long history. It has changed owners and names several times but is still standing and has now 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 technically an international bookshop, you can find small sections dedicated to a bunch of different languages.
2. Stanza Bookshop in The Hague
Stanza is one of those cosy little bookshops that are always a delight to find when you’re strolling through the centre of a city.
It’s an independent bookshop, owned by Karina, who will always make you feel at home and give you personal recommendations according to your needs.
She has a background in international law, so if that’s your jam, she will be more than happy to advise you. She also facilitates cultural events like poetry readings, debates, book presentations, and children’s storytelling in different languages.
Browsing the shelves of Stanza, you’ll find mainly English, Spanish, and French books, but there are also smaller German and Italian sections.
3. 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’s 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.
4. 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.
They have books of all genres but have an especially great selection of Latin American literature and Spanish-related books.
In addition to the lovely bookstore that’s existed for more than 10 years, they now have a website to easily order your books online if you already know what you want.
5. Le Temps Retrouvé in Amsterdam
The bookstore sells all kinds of books in French for both adults and children.
Besides selling books, they also organise interesting debates and cultural work together with the foundation for the promotion of French culture in the Netherlands: L’echappée Belle.
6. Bookstor in The Hague
Another must-visit for book lovers is this 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 great selection of English books at the store — both old and new. It’s not unusual to find some interesting ones in different languages as well in the second-hand book section. 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’s book illustrator, Marije Tolman.
Did we miss anything? What are your favourite international bookshops in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2018, and was fully updated in April 2023 for your reading pleasure.