Amsterdam Nightlife

Beyond the smoke and red-lit windows, Amsterdam is a city teeming with music, dance, theater, and art, that has given it the epithet "nightlife capital of the world." Think outside the box, and even outside the Grachtengordel, and you'll be amazed at what this city that (almost) never sleeps has to offer.

Many people know that The Night Watch is the name of Rembrandt’s most famous

painting, but not everyone remembers that, back in the early 2000s, it was also the nickname of a bunch of "Night Mayors." This group of cultural leaders saw their role as fighters against the frumpiness that had cast a shadow over Amsterdam’s night scene, thanks to the fact that the city fathers had cleared away the "squats"—the deserted buildings that were the settings for city’s wildest nighttime events and raves. Now, 15 years later, Amsterdam has happily reclaimed its reputation as a true nightlife capital. The city is a must-stop on the international DJ circuit, and new pop-up clubs and dance venues and a plethora of homegrown festivals keep all walks of life shaking until the wee hours of the morning. The city is rich with inspired folk who are willing to organize a video arts festival in a cruise-ship terminal, a gentle Bach recital on a canal, an arts festival in an abandoned factory, a house party in a football stadium, or some heart-stopping spectacle in a park. So get ready to savor Amsterdam’s giant cultural wallop through its numerous venues—from former churches and industrial monuments to the acoustical supremacy of the legendary hall of the Concertgebouw.

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Centrum 26

Leidseplein 13

Jordaan 13

Canal Rings 13

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Rembrandtplein 10

Western Canal Ring 3

Oud-West 10

De Pijp 8

Oosterdok 7

Museum District 6

Red Light District 5

Amsterdam-Oost 5

Nieuwmarkt 4

Plantage 3

Western Islands 1

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Bars/ Pubs 38

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 3

Cafes–Nightlife 46

Dance Clubs 15

Gathering Places 3

Music Clubs 16

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Best For

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Gay and Lesbian 17

New 4

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Amsterdam Nightlife

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  • Bars/Pubs

Leather, piercings, and tattoos predominate, but meeting one's soul mate at this cruise bar is not out of the question. On Sunday evenings...

Vive-la-Vie

  • Bars/Pubs

For more than three decades, pretty women have been vying for space in these petite quarters on the edge of Rembrandtplein. Today this...

Wildschut

  • Cafes–Nightlife

This 1920s Amsterdam School edifice is a delightful place for a pre- or postrecital stop, with the Concertgebouw just down the road.

Winkel 43

  • Cafes–Nightlife

This corner café's famous appeltaart (apple pie) beckons locals and travelers alike. Those without a sweet tooth will most probably...

Winston Kingdom

  • Music Clubs

Deep in the 1990s this was kind of a rough late-night bar where artists, students, and prostitutes mingled. Things have cleaned up since...

Wolvenstraat 23

  • Cafes–Nightlife

Wolvenstraat 23 née Cafe Cake née Bar With No Name may have identity issues, but this popular Nine Streets mainstay continues its recipe...

Wynand Fockink

  • Bars/Pubs

This is Amsterdam's most famous—and miraculously least hyped— proeflokaal (tasting room). Opened in 1679, this dimly lit, blithely...

Yo-Yo

  • Cafes–Nightlife

This recently renovated, quintessential friendly neighborhood coffeeshop is in the heart of the multicultural Pijp. They have a patio...

Zaal 100

  • Cafes–Nightlife

Podium voor ongehoord geluid " ("A stage for unheard sounds") is how this former squat describes itself. It's one of the few places in...

Zouthaven

  • Cafes–Nightlife

Whether you have the musical motivation to visit the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, the building's bar-restaurant is worth the hike alone. Stop...

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