Pied à Terre is a geographical bookstore (yes, that’s an apt description) on de Overtoom in Amsterdam-West. They’re not only one of the biggest travel book stores in the world but absolutely unique in that they sell almost anything of interest to the avid traveler. It’s a real treasure trove. There’s 400 sq meters (!!) full of travel-related print – bizarre novels, the latest city guides, dictionaries, endless cycling- and trekking routes, aeronautical charts, maps of the Andes, you name it. They also sell notebooks, postcards (not just of Amsterdam), a selection of world music, photography books, books on flora and fauna, DVDs with wildlife series and about sixty globes in varying shapes and sizes.
Whether you’re planning a coming-of-age trip to the far end of Patagonia or just wanting to know which enormous hill in the Dutch countryside is best to climb, the amazingly knowledgeable staff will help you plan all your future itineraries.
The store serves coffee, sandwiches and cake in their on-site cafe, and you might not even have to leave Pied à Terre at all to feel like you’ve traveled the earth. Good parts of my day have been spent here getting lost in the Sumatran jungle or memorizing which berries in the Swedish forests should definitely be avoided. I always walk out completely inspired and terrified at the same time, because there’s far too much ‘out there’ still to explore.