Amsterdam

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Amsterdam - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Bar Bukowski

    Amsterdam-Oost

    This local hot spot in the most gentrified part of East has a sunny corner terrace facing the Oosterpark and a weekend cocktail spot, Henry's...

    This local hot spot in the most gentrified part of East has a sunny corner terrace facing the Oosterpark and a weekend cocktail spot, Henry's Bar, in an adjoining space—all invoking the spirit of its namesake, the hard-drinking writer Charles Bukowski.

    Oosterpark 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1092 AE, Netherlands
    020-370--1685
  • 2. Bimhuis

    Oosterdok

    The best-known jazz place in town occupies the utterly awesome Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Everyone from fans of the old legends to those of the...

    The best-known jazz place in town occupies the utterly awesome Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Everyone from fans of the old legends to those of the latest avant-gardists agrees: the space is close to perfect. Views of the city are breathtaking, the acoustics great, the chairs comfy, and the house rules laid-back; all drinks ordered at the bar, even full wine bottles, can be carried inside.

    Piet Heinkade 3, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1019 BR, Netherlands
    020-788–2188-for box office
  • 3. Cafe 't Smalle

    Jordaan

    Complete with Golden Age chandeliers, leaded-glass windows, and the centuries-old wooden ceiling, this corner café is one of Amsterdam's most charming spots. Once home to...

    Complete with Golden Age chandeliers, leaded-glass windows, and the centuries-old wooden ceiling, this corner café is one of Amsterdam's most charming spots. Once home to one of the city's first jenever distilleries, there's almost always a crowd at their canalside terrace, although the historic interior certainly has its charms, too.

    Egelantiersgracht 12, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1015 RL, Netherlands
    020-623–9617
  • 4. Café de Sluyswacht

    Nieuwmarkt

    Beware: the slant of this oldie-but-goodie may leave you a little unsteady on your feet after one too many beers on the patio. A quintessential...

    Beware: the slant of this oldie-but-goodie may leave you a little unsteady on your feet after one too many beers on the patio. A quintessential Amsterdam view of the Oudeschans, however, has been bringing relief since 1695.

    Jodenbreestraat 1, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1011 NG, Netherlands
    020-625–7611
  • 5. Café Hesp

    Amsterdam-Oost

    A neighborhood classic since 1890, this inviting brown café with a huge terrace on the Amstel has an amazing selection of beer—including 20 on tap—and...

    A neighborhood classic since 1890, this inviting brown café with a huge terrace on the Amstel has an amazing selection of beer—including 20 on tap—and after its 2019 renovation now also offers a bistro menu.

    Weesperzijde 130-131, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1091 ER, Netherlands
    020-665--1202
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  • 6. Café Tabac

    Jordaan

    One of the best cafés in the Jordaan commands a charming corner between Brouwersgracht and Prinsengracht. The staff are friendly, have a funky taste in...

    One of the best cafés in the Jordaan commands a charming corner between Brouwersgracht and Prinsengracht. The staff are friendly, have a funky taste in music, and serve Indonesian-inspired bites. It's packed at night but is also the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon drink outdoors with a canalside view.

    Brouwersgracht 101, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1015 GC, Netherlands
    020-622–4413
  • 7. De Nieuwe Anita

    Oud-West

    The quirky Nieuwe Anita, darling of the alternative crowd, is home to screenings of cult classics, spoken-word nights, and live gigs put on by underground...

    The quirky Nieuwe Anita, darling of the alternative crowd, is home to screenings of cult classics, spoken-word nights, and live gigs put on by underground magazine Subbacultcha!. They also do cocktails, haircuts, and club nights.

    Frederik Hendrikstraat 111, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1052 HN, Netherlands
    020-774–4922
  • 8. De Zotte

    Leidseplein

    This intimate pub just around the corner from Leidseplein is a local favorite. With a name that translates to "the drunk" in Flemish, the pub...

    This intimate pub just around the corner from Leidseplein is a local favorite. With a name that translates to "the drunk" in Flemish, the pub is aptly titled: there are more than 100 Belgian beers available and plenty of Dutch brews, too. Balance out all that beer with a hearty meal or thick slices of bread and cheese on the side.

    Raamstraat 29, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1016 XL, Netherlands
    020-626–8694
  • 9. Hannekes Boom

    Oosterdok

    This hippie hot spot offers a waterfront terrace, boat access, and live music some nights....

    This hippie hot spot offers a waterfront terrace, boat access, and live music some nights.

    Dijksgracht 4, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1010 BS, Netherlands
    020-419–9820
  • 10. Het Blauwe Theehuis

    Museum District

    The Vondelpark's quietly pulsating epicenter is a blue flying saucer–shape "teahouse" dating back to 1937. In step with the style of Nieuwe Bouwen (the Dutch...

    The Vondelpark's quietly pulsating epicenter is a blue flying saucer–shape "teahouse" dating back to 1937. In step with the style of Nieuwe Bouwen (the Dutch version of Bauhaus), the building was erected from concrete, glass, and steel, and with its minimalist forms it still looks strikingly modern. It's now owned by the famous Amsterdam brewery Brouwerij 't IJ, serving organic craft beer and pizza al taglio from morning until late. Its park-center location and enormous terrace, where DayGlo parakeets fly overhead, make this warm weather nightlife at its finest.

    Vondelpark 5, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 AA, Netherlands
    020-235–7170

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closes at 6 pm in winter
  • 11. Het Elfde Gebod

    Red Light District

    Right in the heart of the Red Light District, this cozy specialty beer bar has 14 beers on tap and more than 120 bottled brews....

    Right in the heart of the Red Light District, this cozy specialty beer bar has 14 beers on tap and more than 120 bottled brews. Engaging staff and a relaxed, mixed crowd of locals and tourists are only too happy to abide by the eponymous 11th commandment "thou shalt enjoy."

    Zeedijk 5, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 AN, Netherlands
    020-358--5021
  • 12. Hiding in Plain Sight (HPS)

    Nieuwmarkt

    The speakeasy-esque HPS is a properly indie cocktail mecca whose infamous rum-based concoction, "The Walking Dead," has indeed left many locals limping away. Cocktails are...

    The speakeasy-esque HPS is a properly indie cocktail mecca whose infamous rum-based concoction, "The Walking Dead," has indeed left many locals limping away. Cocktails are always spendy in Amsterdam, but here high prices are compensated for by almost familial service standards.

    Rapenburg 18, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1011 TX, Netherlands
    06--25293620
  • 13. Jazz Cafe Alto

    Leidseplein

    Hear top-notch local ensembles in the jam-packed and ultraintimate environment of one of Amsterdam's oldest jazz joints. Along with live jazz every night, a little...

    Hear top-notch local ensembles in the jam-packed and ultraintimate environment of one of Amsterdam's oldest jazz joints. Along with live jazz every night, a little Latin, funk, and salsa can also be enjoyed here.

    Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1017 PX, Netherlands
    020-626–3249
  • 14. Lokaal 't Loosje

    Nieuwmarkt

    Artists, students, and businesspeople unite in this popular brown café installed in a building from 1900 that used to be a waiting room for the...

    Artists, students, and businesspeople unite in this popular brown café installed in a building from 1900 that used to be a waiting room for the horse-drawn trams. Much of the turn-of-the-20th-century interior, including the tile-covered walls, remains.

    Nieuwmarkt 32-34, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 CS, Netherlands
    020-627–2635
  • 15. Melkweg

    Leidseplein

    In a former dairy factory—hence the name, "Milky Way"—is one of Amsterdam's foremost entertainment venues, attracting over 540,000 visitors a year. Here, you'll find a...

    In a former dairy factory—hence the name, "Milky Way"—is one of Amsterdam's foremost entertainment venues, attracting over 540,000 visitors a year. Here, you'll find a varied live program in two concert halls with everything from upcoming acts to internationally renowned names in music and dance. There is also a theater, cinema, a multidisciplinary hall, exhibition space, and a café.

    Lijnbaansgracht 234A, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1017 PH, Netherlands
    020-531--8181
  • 16. Paradiso

    Leidseplein

    This former church—vaulted ceilings and stained glass still intact—has become the country's most famous "pop temple," an epic venue for legendary musicians, new bands, and...

    This former church—vaulted ceilings and stained glass still intact—has become the country's most famous "pop temple," an epic venue for legendary musicians, new bands, and club nights. Paradiso also has a sister location, Tolhuistin, in Amsterdam Noord, just across the river from Central Station.

    Weteringschans 6-8, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1017 SG, Netherlands
    020-626–4521
  • 17. PRIK

    Centrum

    This highly popular pink bar is situated rather off-the-beaten-path (for the gay scene, that is)—which was exactly the intention of its founding gay couple, as...

    This highly popular pink bar is situated rather off-the-beaten-path (for the gay scene, that is)—which was exactly the intention of its founding gay couple, as they aim to be as all-inclusive as possible. Whatever their intentions, they keep winning "best gay bar" awards. The staff and clientele are as cheerful as the venue's name—prik means "bubbles" in Dutch and refers to the prosecco on tap (among other things). They serve great cocktails and finger food, too.

    Spuistraat 109, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 SV, Netherlands
    020-320–0002
  • 18. Proeflokaal Gollem

    Oud-West

    Popular with locals and visitors alike, this tasting room has dozens of imported beers on offer along with a variety of local brews including Two...

    Popular with locals and visitors alike, this tasting room has dozens of imported beers on offer along with a variety of local brews including Two Chefs, Oedipus, Gebrouwen door Vrouwen, and Lowlander Beer. Naturally, the food menu pairs well with a pint—think cheese platters, frietjes (fries), and hearty stews.

    Overtoom 160–162, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1054 HP, Netherlands
    020-612–9444
  • 19. Queen's Head

    Red Light District

    You won't find Her Majesty the Queen here, but a mainstream crowd, fun-loving princes enjoying DJ beats, theme nights, drag bingo, and parties that pour...

    You won't find Her Majesty the Queen here, but a mainstream crowd, fun-loving princes enjoying DJ beats, theme nights, drag bingo, and parties that pour out onto the sidewalk.

    Zeedijk 20, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 AZ, Netherlands
    020-420–2475
  • 20. Wynand Fockink

    Centrum

    This is Amsterdam's most famous—and miraculously its least hyped—proeflokaal (tasting room). Opened in 1679, this dimly lighted, blithely cramped little bar just behind the Hotel...

    This is Amsterdam's most famous—and miraculously its least hyped—proeflokaal (tasting room). Opened in 1679, this dimly lighted, blithely cramped little bar just behind the Hotel Krasnapolsky has a menu of more than 60 Dutch liqueurs and genevers that reads like poetry: Bruidstranen (Bride's Tears) and Boswandeling (A Walk in the Woods) are two favorites. Call ahead for a guided tour of the distillery.

    Pijlsteeg 31 and 43, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 HH, Netherlands
    020-639–2695

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