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Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

Under the awning at Athenaeum

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum is a magazine shop in a cozy square at the inner edge of the canal belt. Adjoining its fully fledged bookseller sibling, the bijou Athenaeum is a mouthwatering proposition for anyone with a love for print and who looks for titles they haven’t seen before, or seeks the titles they long for.

Athenaeum stands at Spui, a square that springs up midway along the horrendously busy high street, Kalverstraat. It’s a Mecca for Amsterdam’s book lovers with a few big booksellers facing into it.

Why so many have congregated here we don’t know, but we’re happy they have; Spui (pronounced a bit like ‘sp-ow’ rather than ‘spoo-ee’) is a nice reprieve from the city centre bustle and as print-obsessives willing to bust our money nuts over a nice smelling mag, Team Kompas is always enthralled by the Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum’s stock of inspiring new publications, and the titles we would otherwise miss from home.

Tip: while you’re here, seek out the Begijnhof; a mews inhabited for centuries by women who devoted their lives to the church. This hidden habitat feels a little like a museum (backing onto the Museum of Amsterdam could have something to do with that) but is still lived in to this day. It contains the oldest house in Amsterdam and athough the Begijnhof is in all the guidebooks and is on all the maps… good luck finding it!

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