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Amsterdam Nightlife


With its expansive decked terrace overlooking one of Amsterdam's more modern canals, Edel is the perfect spot to kick back in the sunshine after a hard day's cycling. The remarkable building is a former jewellery workshop and the venue, nestled behind a flower stand, is something of a hidden gem in itself.

Address: 1 Postjesweg | Telephone: 020 799 5000 |

De Zotte
An encyclopaedic Belgian beer cafe situated in a quiet cobbled street behind the city's (in)famous Melkweg music venue, De Zotte is the perfect cosy hidey-hole for some post-gig analysis. Try a Kwak beer from Derndermonde in East Flanders: the glass, with its bulbous, hour-glass shape and wooden stand, is a showstopper in itself. 

Address: 28 Raamstraat | Telephone: 020 626 8694 |

Hannekes Boom
In summers of yore, it was practically impossible to get a seat at this trendy if slightly ramshackle harbour bar and hangout just across the bridge from the city's distinctive climbing hall building. Now that the hype has calmed down a little, it's the perfect place for a sundowner.

Address: 4 Dijksgracht | Telephone: 020 419 9820 |

Café de Sluyswacht
Built into a dinky bridge opposite the Rembrandt House museum, this tiny pub is picture-postcard perfect. Sit outside with a beer and watch the canal boats drift by or, if you're in a party mood, head inside to brave the Friday night drinking games of the local preppy fraternities.

Address: 1 Jodenbreestraat | Telephone: 020 625 7611 |

Café Hoppe
From bon-viveur brewery magnate Freddie Heineken to adored former queen Beatrix, all kinds of Dutch dignitaries have visited this atmospheric, dead-central café that dates back to 1670. One gets the impression that very little has changed since those early days: the drinks are pumped out of ancient wooden barrels, the bar staff are the chattiest in town and the crowd represents all of Amsterdam.

Address: 18-20 Spui | Telephone: 020 420 4420 |

As the (inexplicably French) name of this rustic corner café in the vibrant Oud-West implies, the walls here are festooned with posters from gigs and exhibitions. Hopefully they'll give you some inspiration for your next move as you feast on hard-boiled egg washed down with a dinky beer. Proost! 

Address: 39 Jacob van Lennepstraat | Telephone: 06 473 22051 |

De Jaren
A grand cafe in every sense of the word, this multi-storey drinking destination boasts some of the best canal views in Amsterdam and the cosmopolitan crowd it attracts means it's a great place for people-watching, whether over a newspaper, a coffee or something a little stronger.

Address: 20-22 Nieuwe Doelenstraat | Telephone: 020 625 5771 |

Café Toussaint
This small corner café, situated in the family-friendly Helmersbuurt neighbourhood, is almost absurdly picturesque and acts as the perfect pitstop between the central Canal Belt and the (very slightly) wilder West. Order a piping hot chocolate and watch the bikes and perfect dogs go by - often at the same time. 

Address: Bosboom Toussaintstraat 26 | Telephone: 020 685 0737 |

Wynand Fockink
Despite the amusing name, it's gin, not wine, that populates both the menu and the heaving 17th century shelves at this extraordinary 'tasting room', hidden just behind the tourist drag of Damstraat. The 45 minute tasting tour takes in two genevers, two liqueurs, a brandy and a bitter: definitely not cycling compatible!

Address: Pijlsteeg 31 | Telephone: 020 639 2695 |

Jack Dish
The spirit of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher seems to have inhabited the decor at this pleasant bar with its graphic black-and-white tiles. On a corner in the newly regenerated Stadionbuurt neighbourhood (so called because of its proximity to the venue that hosted the 1928 Summer Olympics), this is a great place to sample the full-bodied output of Amsterdam's legendary Brouwerij 't IJ brewery.

Address: Stadionplein 19 | Telephone: 020 223 8333 |


This popular Red Light District gay bar is straight-friendly, with lashings of camp fun and very little pretension. DJs spin frequently from a lofty cupboard and cocktail specials are often on offer. If you're in the mood for food, the burgers here are named after popular local drag queens.

Address: 51 Warmoesstraat | Telephone: 020 421 5151 |

Pacific Parc
Restaurant by day and evening, this buzzing, warehouse-style venue on the border of the city's Westerpark cultural hub welcomes up-and-coming bands on weekend nights. As long as you don't mind jostling enthusiastically for the bar staff's attentions, this is a great place to get to know Amsterdam's muso crowd.

Address: 23 Polonceaukade | Telephone: 020 488 7778 |

You won't be guaranteed a particularly warm welcome at this legendary rockers' bar, but people don't come here to be fawned over. Serving endless draught biertjes, it's a brilliant place to catch a live band after the more respectable-looking venues have closed up shop. The waterside terrace area is always abuzz. https://www.cafesoundgarden.nl/

Address: 164-166 Marnixstraat | Telephone: |

De Bekeerde Suster
What a difference a few hundred years makes. Originally a women's shelter, this well-loved real ale pub now embraces the good times via an extensive menu of authentic Dutch tipples and some of the best chips and hearty bar grub in town.

Address: 6 Kloveniersburgwal | Telephone: 020 423 0112 |

Bar Bukowski
Named after the free-wheeling dirty-realist author and loyal to his assertion that "courage comes from the belly", this relative newcomer to the edgy Oost district is suitably fun-loving. Don't be afraid to dance with the bartenders after they've served you a glass of excellent local Brouwerij 't IJ beer.

Address: 10 Oosterpark | Telephone: 020 370 1685 |

Pulitzer's Bar
Nestled in the dark but delightful heart of Amsterdam's recently renovated Pulitzer Hotel, it surely won't be long before this bar scoops some prizes for its cocktail connoisseurship. Try the Silk Road, which features authentic Dutch genever (of which gin is just a pale imitation!).

Address: 234 Keizersgracht | Telephone: 020 523 5282 |

Even when the weather is dark and stormy, this central cocktail joint offers a taste of Amsterdam al fresco, thanks to its sheltered and heated outdoor tables. The award-winning bartenders are adept at the classics, of course, but they're also dab hands at more creative concoctions, including tipples featuring the exotic fruit that gives the place its name.

Address: 39 Vijzelstraat | Telephone: |

Boom Chicago
Amsterdam's only English-language improvisational comedy theatre relocated from its former home on the bustling Leidseplein three years ago. The ascendence of a certain former reality star to the White House has certainly supercharged the political repartee of late. 

Address: Rozengracht 117 | Telephone: 020 217 0400 |

This shooter bar was is Amsterdam's first, and the aim was to recreate the vibe of similar spots in Barcelona. Down a chupito ("shot" in Spanish) named after a cult legend such as Bob Marley and Che Guevara. It attracts a young crowd, and the staff aren't averse to cocktail-style showmanship.

Address: 25 Zieseniskade | Telephone: |

De Clercqstraat is fast becoming one of west Amsterdam's most popular corridors for drinking and dining, and Fier - a self-styled "Brooklynese" bar located on a corner overlooking the canal - has snagged one of the best locations. Sink one of the wide selection of G&T varieties and you'll soon forgive the whole "Brooklynese" thing.

Address: 79 De Clercqstraat | Telephone: 020 221 7449 |

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