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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Fodor's Choice

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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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Café Bloemers

  • Cafes–Nightlife

This popular neighborhood café is warm and kitschy inside with a fabulous corner terrace outside. Tasty food and snacks and a welcoming...

Café Mazzeltof

  • Bars/Pubs

This is a place to continue the revelry after the usual haunts have closed. The nacht café, or night café, fills up with all walks...

Chocolate Bar

  • Cafes–Nightlife

The 1970s-inspired decor—think flowered lamps and patterned wallpaper—makes this übertrendy bar a standout on a street chock-full...

Het Paardje

  • Cafes–Nightlife

On a corner square right off the Albert Cuyp market is this bistro/bar that packs them in so tight it makes walking through the market...

Katsu Coffeeshop and Gallery

  • Cafes–Nightlife

This de Pijp mainstay, steps from the Albert Cuyp market, is known for its quality weed, homey feel, and, believe it or not, coffee.

Kingfisher

  • Cafes–Nightlife

For a flavor of the neighborhood's regentrified café culture, check out this favorite corner bar that fills up most nights with parched...

O'donnells Irish Pub

  • Bars/Pubs

If you're still craving more beer after a visit to the Heineken Brewery, this full-service Irish pub a stone's throw away is just the...

Yo-Yo

  • Cafes–Nightlife

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

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