Amsterdam

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

Beyond the smoke and red-lighted windows, Amsterdam is a city teeming with music, dance, theater, and art, which has given it the epithet "nightlife capital of the world." Think outside the box—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 since the city fathers 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, plus 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.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Sort by: 123 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL CLEAR ALL
Loading...
Loading...
  • 1. 't Smalle

    Jordaan | Bars/Pubs

    Set with Golden Age chandeliers, leaded-glass windows, and the patina of centuries, this charmer is one of Amsterdam's most glorious spots....Read More

  • 2. Alto

    Leidseplein | Bars/Pubs

    Hear top notch local ensembles in the jam-packed and ultraintimate environment of one of Amsterdam's oldest jazz joints. A little Latin can...Read More

  • 3. Bimhuis

    Oosterdok | Music Clubs

    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...Read More

  • 4. Café Krom

    Rembrandtplein | Bars/Pubs

    Bruno the bartender is as much a fixture at this local café as its lovingly restored Art Deco features. High ceilings give a more spacious feel...Read More

  • 5. Café Tabac

    Jordaan | Cafes–Nightlife

    One of the best modern cafés in the Jordaan commands a charming corner between Brouwersgracht and Prinsengracht. The staff are friendly and...Read More

  • 6. De Nieuwe Anita

    Music Clubs

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

  • 7. Hannekes Boom

    Oosterdok | Cafes–Nightlife

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

  • 8. Hiding in Plain Sight (HPS)

    Plantage | Bars/Pubs

    The speakeasy-esqe HPS is a properly indie cocktail mecca whose infamous rum-based concoction, "The Walking Dead," has indeed left many locals...Read More

  • 9. PRIK

    Centrum | Bars/Pubs

    This highly popular bar is situated rather off-the-beaten-path—which was exactly the intention of its founding gay couple, as they aim to be...Read More

  • 10. The College Hotel

    Museum District | Cafes–Nightlife

    Looking for a little New Amsterdam in Old Amsterdam? Stop by the lounge-bar of this hotel, where dark oak floors, a fireplace, sleek black tables...Read More

  • 11. Wynand Fockink

    Centrum | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 12. Abraxas

    Centrum | 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 hobbits...Read More

  • 13. Air

    Rembrandtplein | Dance Clubs

    Although spacious, Air aims for an intimate vibe, with loads of dimly lighted nooks and multiple bars. If you're traveling with a crowd, know...Read More

  • 14. Amnesia

    Jordaan | Cafes–Nightlife

    The dark interior is more than compensated for by the canalside terrace, where you can smoke your weed while watching the boats pass by. Off...Read More

  • 15. Amstel Fifty Four

    Rembrandtplein | Bars/Pubs

    Formerly known as Amstel Taveerne, this is still a gay-friendly bruine kroeg . Tankards and brass pots hanging from the ceiling reflect the...Read More

  • 16. Amstelhoeck

    Nieuwmarkt | Cafes–Nightlife

    Jutting out of the music theater Stopera, this grand café is the perfect point for a pre- or post-performance drink or meal. The staff are as...Read More

  • 17. Bar Bukowski

    Amsterdam-Oost | Bars/Pubs

    This local hot spot in the up-and-coming East has a sunny corner terrace facing the Oosterpark and a weekend cocktail spot, Henry's Bar, in...Read More

  • 18. Bitterzoet

    Centrum | Dance Clubs

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

  • 19. Bourbon Street Jazz & Blues Club

    Leidseplein | Music Clubs

    Mainstream blues and jazz are served up to a largely out-of-town clientele, but it does the job—and a late one at that, open until 5 in the...Read More

  • 20. Brouwerij 't IJ

    Amsterdam-Oost | Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

    Perched under a windmill on the eastern outskirts of the city is an evocative, if out-of-the-way, microbrewery where Kasper Peterson offers...Read More

No nightlife Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

Around the Web