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


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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Gay and Lesbian 17

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Amsterdam Nightlife

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  • Cafes–Nightlife

Down a small alley, just a stone's throw from the Dam, you'll come upon what would seem to be the multilevel home of a family of hip...


  • Dance Clubs

An adventurous and diverse program of entertainment includes DJs, live bands, and even theater. When it comes to music, hip-hop, funk,...

Cafe Casablanca

  • Music Clubs

On the edge of the Red Light District sits this neighborhood's classic club, dating back to the 1940s. For better or for worse, cracks...

Cafe Kobalt

  • Cafes–Nightlife

Occupying a 17th-century canalside warehouse, this beam-ceilinged bar with a large terrace serves beers, cocktails, and meals from morning...

Café Gollem

  • Bars/Pubs

Quite popular with students and locals, the well-known brown café near Dam Square has far too many beers to try in one go. Gollem also...

Café Belgique

  • Bars/Pubs

As the name suggests, this welcoming little café, located right behind Nieuwe Kerk, has an excellent selection of Belgian ales. ...

Café Luxembourg

  • Cafes–Nightlife

The original Art Deco interior has been brought back to its full glory, and the glassed-in terrace is perfect for people-watching. Those...

Café Sluyswacht

  • Bars/Pubs

Beware: the slant of this oldie-but-goodie can lead to nausea after one too many beers on the patio. A quintessential Amsterdam view...

Café de Jaren

  • Cafes–Nightlife

This light and airy multilevel café with a lovely terrace overlooking the Amstel is popular with a big cross-section of the population,...

Cuckoo's Nest

  • Bars/Pubs

Back in 1984, this bar was so leather-lined it put San Francisco's Folsom Street to shame. Today it attracts a more diverse crowd, many...