Amsterdam is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with so many options for Best Bars and Clubs in Amsterdam. As a local, I want to share my insider tips on the top spots to drink, dance, and party like a true Amsterdammer! Get ready for an unforgettable night out in this magical city.
The Best Bars and Clubs in Amsterdam range from old brown cafés to trendy craft beer bars to underground techno clubs. Each area has its own vibe, so you can bar hop to a few spots and get a feel for what you like best. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you to the top hidden gems in each neighborhood!
Cozy Brown Cafés
Brown cafés (known as “bruin cafés” locally) are my favorite place to start the night with a few drinks. These are traditional Dutch pubs with cozy, rustic decor and a chilled atmosphere. The perfect spot to sip local draft beers, wines, and spirits while chatting with friends or taking in the historic ambience.
Cafe Hoppe on Spui square has been around since 1670! Sink into the wooden booths under the stained glass windows and taste their house gin. Regulars come to play chess over pints at the bar. A pint of beer costs around €5. Take tram line 9 or 14.
For a true local experience, head to Cafe de Dokter in the old Jewish quarter. Locals call it “Docky” and the dark wood panels, candles on each table, and jukebox tunes give it so much character. Order the flaky Dutch bitterballen to snack on. A round of drinks and snacks will be about €10-15 per person. Take bus 18 or 21.
Right around the corner is Cafe de II Prinsen, one of my favorites to end the night with live jazz performances and potent Belgian beers. The brick walls are covered in old paintings and photos that tell stories from decades past. You can take tram line 14 to get here. A beer costs around €4-5.
Trendy Craft Beer Bars
If you want to experience Amsterdam’s booming craft beer scene, these bars offer unique brews and a lively ambiance. Many are located in old factory buildings turned modern hotspots.
Set in a former bath house, Brouwerij ‘t IJ brews their own Belgian-style beers right next door. Don’t miss their limited edition IPAs and the delicious cheese platter to pair with your drinks. A flight of beers costs around €12. Take bus 22 from Centraal Station.
One of my new favorite spots is Brouwerij Troost Westergas, set in a vast former gasworks. Grab a seat in the tasting room or hang out in the neon-lit bar area and chat with fellow beer lovers over a flight of their fruit-infused sours. A tasting flight is €15. They also serve bar bites like burgers and fries. It’s located right by Westerpark.
For the experimental types, Oedipus Brewing Tap Room always has wacky new concoctions on tap. Try something like their Thai basil IPA or sour ale aged in red wine barrels. Their outdoor canalside terrace is perfect on sunny days. Beers cost €5-7 each. It’s walking distance from Centraal Station.
Cocktail Bars with Unique Drinks
To mix up your night, Amsterdam has some speakeasy-style cocktail bars where talented mixologists create magic. The mysterious ambiance and innovative drinks menus make for a world-class experience.
Hidden down an alleyway, Door 74 feels like an exclusive secret. Let the knowledgeable bartenders curate a custom tasting flight for you based on your flavor preferences. Their foam creations are works of art. Cocktails cost around €10-12 each. Reserve online to guarantee a spot.
For award-winning cocktails in a classy lounge setting, go to Tales & Spirits. Try “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” made with Finlandia Grapefruit vodka, elderflower, grapefruit, and jasmine. Cocktails here average €12-15. It’s located in the heart of the Canal Ring.
At Vesper Bar, master mixologists use homemade infusions, herbs, spices and rare liquors to craft their ever-changing cocktail list. The James Bond-inspired interior is sleek and stylish. Expect to pay €15 or more per cocktail. Make sure to dress nicely to match the upscale vibe.
Underground Techno Clubs
If you want to experience Amsterdam nightlife like a true local, you have to check out our underground techno scene. These industrial clubs stay open late with cutting-edge electronic music and an eclectic crowd.
Housed in a former school, aptly named De School throws wild 24-hour parties on the weekend. With an art exhibit, diner, and labyrinth of rooms, you’ll get lost in the music and vibe. Cover is around €15. De School is located outside the city center in Westergasfabriek.
For techno purists, Radion is a warehouse-style club owned by local DJs. Let the pulsing beats take over as lasers and visuals immerse you on the high-tech dance floor. Expect to pay around €10-15 cover. Radion is in East Amsterdam, take tram 14 from Centraal Station.
Tucked under the train tracks, Warehouse Elementenstraat is a gritty club with the hardest techno and electro music. Follow the beat of the drum and enjoy the underground vibe of this raw space. Cover is usually €5-10. It’s in the hip De Pijp neighborhood.
Lively Dance Clubs
Amsterdam has no shortage of vibrant dance clubs playing top 40 hits and the best remixes. These popular spots get crowded on weekends as locals and tourists alike come to dance the night away.
Escape Amsterdam is the biggest club in the city, with world-famous DJs, chart-topping music, and special events like silent discos. The energy here is unbeatable. Cover ranges from €10-20 depending on the event. It’s just outside the Red Light District.
For a taste of live music, Paradiso is a legendary concert hall and nightclub that hosts both emerging and famous acts. Even without a concert, their DJs and light shows create an electric dancefloor. Cover is usually €10-15. Paradiso is located right on Leidseplein.
To experience the true meaning of a “club,” check out Jimmy Woo – three floors of music from disco to funk to hip hop. Dress to impress and line up early to join the lively local crowd. Cover is around €15. Take tram 16 or 24 to get here.
Hip-Hop and R&B Clubs
For fans of urban music, Amsterdam has some bumping clubs playing the hottest hip hop, R&B, rap, and trap. Dance to your favorite hits and enjoy a more chilled, laidback vibe.
Bitterzoet blends a live music venue with a basement club. Groove to old school and contemporary hip hop beats across their intimate yet vibrant spaces. Cover varies by event, usually €10-20. It’s right in the heart of the city center.
At the aptly named Sugar Factory, four unique rooms let you choose your music – from Top 40 to Latin beats. This inclusive club welcomes people from all walks of life. Expect to pay €10-15 cover. Take tram 13 or 17 here.
Club NL keeps the Latin vibes going every evening, fusing reggaeton, hip hop, and house music. Their outdoor terrace overlooks the harbor, perfect for taking a break from the energetic scene inside. Cover is around €10. It’s located in Amsterdam Noord, so take the free ferry from Centraal Station.
Party Streets and Areas
In addition to individual venues, there are entire streets and nightlife areas in Amsterdam where you can bar hop from one spot to the next. It’s easy to walk around and follow the music you enjoy.
Leidseplein is surrounded by bars, pubs, and clubs playing live music and pumping DJ beats that spill into the streets. It has an electric atmosphere any night of the week. Walk through the iconic gate entrance to join the action.
For a wide variety of nightlife, head to Rembrandtplein. You’ll find rowdy Irish pubs, lively Latino clubs, cozy jazz cafés, and more all centered around the bustling square.
And you can’t talk about Amsterdam nightlife without mentioning the notorious Red Light District (De Wallen). While taking in the neighborhood’s signature window brothels, pop into laidback bars and strip clubs. It’s always lively until dawn.
Tips for Experiencing the Best Bars and Clubs in Amsterdam
To make the most out of experiencing the Best Bars and Clubs in Amsterdam, keep these tips in mind:
Dress code varies by venue – some clubs are casual while others require more stylish outfits to get through the door. Avoid sneakers and shorts just to be safe.
Getting past bouncers – Act confident, have a good attitude, don’t be overly intoxicated, and arrive with evenly mixed guy/girl groups. Speaking Dutch might help too!
Drinks and cover charges – Expect to pay €10-15 cover at the most popular spots. Drinks are around €3-5 for beer, €10 for cocktails. Bring cash to avoid ATM fees inside.
Late night food – Soak up the night with bitterballen, fries, or grab a shawarma or falafel from a late night spot. My favorites are Febo and Maoz Vegetarian.
Getting home safely – Don’t walk alone at night. Uber and public transport stop around 1-2 am, so plan ahead. Some clubs offer shuttle buses to help you get home.
That covers the main things to know before a big night out clubbing and bar hopping in Amsterdam! From cozy pubs to underground techno temples, this city really does have it all when it comes to diverse and lively nightlife.
As you can tell, I love exploring the best bars and clubs in Amsterdam and finding hidden hotspots off the tourist trail. I hope my tips help you discover new favorites and make unforgettable memories here. Any time spent dancing, drinking and soaking up Amsterdam’s electric energy is time well spent.
Have an amazing night out in this one-of-a-kind city!