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Amsterdam Travel Guide

The 10 Best Bars in Amsterdam

Look beyond the Red Light District to discover Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan bar scene.

Amsterdam, the whimsical capital of the Netherlands, is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and diverse bar scene. While the city’s tolerant policies on substances like cannabis and the existence of legalized brothels have contributed to dominating nightlife stereotypes, Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan and eclectic bar scene has much more to offer.

Beyond the neon-lit windows and smoky coffee shops, Amsterdam’s bar scene embraces and reflects the city’s diverse social scene. From chic cocktail lounges with master mixologists to elegant wine bars with curated lists worldwide, Amsterdam offers many options for locals and tourists seeking an evening out.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work and provided you with ten of Amsterdam’s most coveted drinking establishments. Despite the inevitable aftermath of a hangover, rest assured that these are some of the best bars in Amsterdam and should be added to your itinerary.

Related: A Guide to Amsterdam’s Best Neighborhoods

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Tales & Spirits

Tales & Spirits has established itself as one of Amsterdam’s most esteemed cocktail destinations, renowned for its commitment to creativity and inviting ambiance. As you may have guessed by the name, Tales & Spirits embodies the art of storytelling, with every libation and interaction weaving together a narrative that captivates and sparks the imagination. The bar’s dedicated mixologists are masterful storytellers, skillfully crafting concoctions that are a symphony of flavors, textures, and aromas. But beyond merely serving libations, this extraordinary bar crafts an experience transcending the ordinary. When you step into Tales & Spirits, you are enveloped by an atmosphere that blends whimsy and wonder. Every corner of this quirky establishment is meticulously curated, with each detail adding a theatrical flair that goes far beyond taste.

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Pulitzer Bar

Located within the prestigious Pulitzer Amsterdam, this timeless hotel bar is a celebrated destination for cocktail enthusiasts and a refuge from the buzz of Amsterdam’s city center. Embodying the distinguished spirit of the Pulitzer Prize—in 1960, the grandson of Pulitzer Prize founder Joseph Pulitzer envisioned the hotel—the bar transcends mere bookworm allure. Pulitzer Bar exudes an atmosphere of refined elegance and sophisticated charm. The seamless fusion of classic and contemporary design elements, like the Art Deco style bar, creates a captivating ambiance. Plush seating, dim lighting, and a cozy fireplace add to the relaxed vibe as expert mixologists craft a variety of creative and expertly executed cocktails, showcasing both timeless classics and innovative creations. And spirit connoisseurs will appreciate the extensive selection of whiskeys, gins, and liqueurs.

3 OF 10

LuminAir Amsterdam

Regarded as one of Amsterdam’s premier bars, LuminAir offers a uniquely elevated experience. Situated on the 11th floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station, this rooftop establishment provides breathtaking panoramic cityscape views. Guests can enjoy sipping on cocktails while looking at Amsterdam’s iconic landmarks, including the historic canals, the IJ River, and the vibrant city below. LuminAir Amsterdam reaches for the stars, quite literally, with modern interiors that evoke floating through a dream, with loud-shaped installations, luminous projections, and accents of plush designer furniture. Skylounge takes the art of mixology to soaring heights with a discerning bartending team that crafts an extensive Lumen Menu, combining premium spirits, fresh ingredients, and flavors.

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Hiding in Plain Sight (HPS)

Located on the edge of the Red Light District, Hiding in Plain Sight (otherwise known as HPS) lives up to its name. With an unassuming facade that seamlessly blends into its surroundings, you’d walk right by if you weren’t looking for it. Upon entering, guests are transported to an intimate space with intrigue and sophistication. The dim lighting, exposed brick walls, and vintage decor create an ambiance reminiscent of a bygone era, evoking nostalgia and mystery. This bar prides itself on its innovative approach to mixology, with a carefully curated cocktail menu featuring unique flavor combinations and creative presentations. HPS feels like a hidden gem discovered by a select few.

INSIDER TIPThe limited seating capacity maintains an exclusive and intimate atmosphere, making reservations highly recommended to secure a spot.


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Amstel Bar

Situated in the heart of Amsterdam’s city center, the Amstel Bar offers a contemporary luxury experience within the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam. With a modern yet refined drinks menu and a terrace with some of the most comprehensive views of the Amstel River, it is one of the most inviting cocktail bars in the metropolis for momentary solace.

INSIDER TIPTo sample three styles of the Netherlands’ famous liquor for an authentic Dutch experience, visit on a Jenever Monday.





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The Butcher

Behind an unassuming facade lies The Butcher, a hidden gem that combines a burger joint with a secret bar. The Butcher initially gained its reputation as a high-quality burger joint, serving delicious burgers made from prime cuts of meat. However, it is way more than your average fast-food joint. If you’re cool enough to know the passcode, you’ll soon discover a stylish, trendy space adorned with vibrant artwork and modern design elements–including eyepopping green stools. The menu features classic cocktails with a twist and signature creations that reflect the secret bar’s quirks. The Butcher also boasts an extensive selection of craft beers and premium spirits.

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Cafe de Dokter

Cafe de Dokter is not just a bar; it’s a living testament to Amsterdam’s cultural heritage. Founded and established in the 18th century by a surgeon, this bar feels like a journey back in time and is considered the smallest pub in the city. It retains its original wooden interior and cozy atmosphere, transporting visitors to an era of literary gatherings and intellectual discourse.  The comfy seating, intimate nooks, and warm lighting create an atmosphere perfect for conversations and contemplation. Cafe de Dokter has become a beloved haunt for locals, artists, writers, and curious travelers seeking a respite from the bustling city streets. The bar offers an impressive selection of fine spirits, inviting patrons to savor drinks in a welcoming ambiance.

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 Door 74

Concealed behind an unassuming entrance, Door 74, one of the pioneers of speakeasy bars in Western Europe, transports guests into the clandestine world of speakeasies. This intimate bar exudes nostalgia and elegance, offering a curated menu of classic and innovative cocktails that pay homage to the golden age of mixology. The dim lighting, vintage decor, and expertly mixed libations contribute to its allure.

9 OF 10

Super Lyan

Super Lyan is a casual cocktail bar with playful nostalgia. This swanky spot checks off every quintessential Amsterdam stereotype (minus the clogs): it is located in a historic 17th-century Dutch house within postcard-worthy Central Amsterdam, blending industrial and artistic elements with an added touch of rebellion. And for those who enjoy a drink or three, Super Lyan is for you. At its heart lies an impressive menu of cocktails that showcases the bar’s innovative and imaginative spirit. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the libations combine house-made ingredients, sustainable practices, and unconventional flavor combinations that challenge expectations and push the boundaries of traditional mixology.

10 OF 10

Taiko Bar

The Conservatorium Hotel, an impeccably restored bank building, houses the trendy Taiko Bar, a mecca for contemporary Asian cocktails with the energy of a trendy nightclub. Taiko Bar proves an ideal place to indulge in delectable cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. While its design and sophisticated ambiance create an inviting atmosphere, the bar’s expertly crafted cocktails make you feel like you’re sitting in a speakeasy in Roppongi. Somehow the bar melds the sophisticated nightlife of Shanghai, Tokyo, and Bangkok and brings that authentic coolness to an unassuming street in Amsterdam. Don’t ask us how; we’re just bewildered spectators, too.