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These Are 15 Bars and Clubs Dominating Amsterdam Nightlife Right Now

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Like other modern European cities, Amsterdam has many clubs and fun venues for late-night dancing, eating, and bar-hopping. However, Amsterdam has reigned supreme as one of the wildest party towns on the continent due to its famous (or infamous?) Red Light District and “tolerated” marijuana.

During the day, Amsterdam offers a wealth of historical tours, venues, and museums, but there is an assumption that the entire town turns into a party zone after dark. Amsterdam has some amazing variety in its nightlife scene, but it’s no more rowdy than other popular tourist destinations.

If you’re headed to Amsterdam and want to fill your nights with as much fun as your days are filled with wandering through museums, here are some of the best clubs, bars, and venues in Amsterdam, as well as where to find them.

Top Picks for The Best Nightlife in Amsterdam

Best For Venue Neighborhood Key Amenities Price
Generation Z Radion Nieuw West District Big parties, smoking, pub food $$
Early partiers Canvas City Center Great view, early dinner, rooftop hot tubs $$
Brown cafe scene Cafe Chris Jordaan Cozy atmosphere $
Couples Secret Garden Amsterdam City Center Good food and atmosphere $$$

The Best Bars and Clubs in Amsterdam

1. Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

 Flying Dutchmen Cocktails interior
Flying Dutchmen Cocktails / Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

Address: Singel 460, 1017 AW Amsterdam, Netherlands

The claim to fame of the Flying Dutchmen Cocktails is its huge selection of spirits, and you’ll definitely want to make a reservation when you visit as the bar is quite popular. You’ll find yourself elbow-to-elbow with whoever you decide to visit with, and you’ll have your pick of any drink you can imagine.

If you’re not an expert on cocktails or want to try something new, the bartenders offer excellent recommendations based on your interest. The bar is not sleek and modern and offers old-school charm and local character.

2. Cafe Chris

Front of Cafe Chris, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Bloemstraat 42, 1015 TB Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mix history and fun when you spend an evening at Cafe Chris, a “brown cafe” that opened in 1624. It’s a personal go-to of mine and one of the best brown cafes in Amsterdam. What’s a brown cafe, you might wonder? It’s the Dutch version of an English pub.

You’ll find local brews and Dutch food at your average brown cafe in Amsterdam. The historic spot has a great ambiance and is incredibly cozy and fun. Make sure you chat with locals or other travelers during your visit.

See Related: These Are the Best Shops in Amsterdam

3. Radion

Radion, Amsterdam sign and exterior
RADION Amsterdam / Facebook

Address: Louwesweg 1, 1066 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands

RADION Amsterdam in the Nieuw West District is a high-energy establishment with multiple stages. This fun menu features entrees like pizza, burgers, and a healthy bar scene with fun mixed drinks and beers on tap.

The crowd tends to run a little younger than some of the clubs in Amsterdam near the city center, but you don’t necessarily need to party at midnight here.

Enjoy the lounge room and admire the decor early in the evening before things get crazy, or head down later for a massive night out. This club even has an underground smoking room if you’re into that.

4. Hill Street Blues

Cafe Hill Street Blues, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Warmoesstraat 52A, 1012 JG Amsterdam

A personal favorite of mine is that both offer a coffeeshop-like vibe (they don’t sell cannabis on-site), but you are allowed to smoke and order alcoholic beverages. For those seeking a place where they can unwind, socialize, and have a good time, Hill Street Blues is definitely worth checking out during your visit to Amsterdam.

5. Canvas

Part goers at Canvas, Amsterdam
Canvas / Canvas

Address: Wibautstraat 150, 1091 GR Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you want an expansive view of the Amsterdam skyline, sit on the outdoor patio at Canvas. If you’re considering an early night, you can visit during the day for a meal or arrive after dark when all the tables are cleared away, and the place transforms into a hip club.

The club offers free entry, and one of the coolest features is the row of hot tubs on the roof. The club is in the building of a former newspaper office, and there’s even a hotel if you want to stay on-site.

See Related: Famous Landmarks in Amsterdam to Visit

6. The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden interior in Amsterdam
The Secret Garden / Facebook

Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 38, 1017 BM Amsterdam, Netherlands

To conclude our list of the best nightlife in Amsterdam, we recommend Secret Garden, a unique restaurant covered in greenery with a super cool atmosphere. The Secret Garden is a little pricey, but you’re paying for great food in a space with excellent ambiance, so it’s worth a few extra Euros over other spots.

You don’t have to eat at the establishment, however. You can visit for an evening of cocktails surrounded by plants. The restaurant’s interior is relaxing, with extra subtle lighting and awesome plant-based décor.

7. Boom Chicago

Table in Boom Chicago Amsterdam
Boom Chicago / Facebook

Address: Rozengracht 117, 1016 LV Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you’d rather watch someone else perform rather than get out on the dance floor yourself, Amsterdam is home to some comedy clubs that will have you in stitches. A prime example is Boom Chicago, which is best visited during the improv nights on Saturdays at 10:00 PM.

Located in the city centre, Boom Chicago is a super high-energy experience. It caters to English-speaking patrons (the founders are Americans), so you don’t need to know Dutch to laugh at the jokes. Boom Chicago is an ideal venue if you’re traveling with older youths (say 12+) and want some evening fun that can come across as a tad crass but is always hilarious.

8. Club NYX

Club NYX in Amsterdam
Paul2 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 42, 1017 BM Amsterdam, Netherlands

Club NYX is a gay-friendly club in the Rembrandtplein area on Reguliersdwarsstraat and hosts the best drag nights in the city with a wide range of tunes that range from electronic music to Dutch hip-hop to techno music.

You’ll get to explore several themed rooms within the club, all of which feature unique decor. The club is strict about IDs, so don’t forget to bring your passport, or they might not even let you in the door.

9. Crane at Hotel Faralda

Exterior of Crane Hotel Faralda, Amsterdam
Crane Hotel Faralda / Booking.com

Address: NDSM-Plein 78, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your average club in Amsterdam features a few rooms, maybe a stage, a bar, and a DJ, but the Crane at Hotel Faralda is another animal with insane views of the Ij River.

The property features a hotel with suites that are somewhat on the expensive side, but the property also features music events with internationally famous music makers and local DJs. The kicker, though? The hotel and the club are in a giant crane that overlooks the port.

See Related: Best Hotels in Amsterdam, Netherlands

10. The Comedy Cafe

Interior of the The Comedy Cafe in Amsterdam
The Comedy Cafe / Facebook

Address: IJdok 89, 1013 MM Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Comedy Cafe is a stand-up comedy showcase that usually features comedians with a hilarious perspective on being Dutch. Guest comedians are also a little younger than veteran performers, so the venue is an excellent place to see new talent and enjoy traveling comedy groups.

Located north of the city center, The Comedy Cafe routinely hosts the local comedy group The Comedy Embassy, which you can also see perform at Boom Chicago. If you’re keen on a fun couples night or night parties, try the venue’s comedy and cocktails event.

11. Club AIR

Party at Club AIR, Amsterdam
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: Amstelstraat 24, 1017 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands

Some clubs offer a fun and intimate experience, while others are squarely in the giant rave category. AIR is the latter kind, an internationally renowned club that offers rousing hip-hop, dance music, and thumping R&B sets.

The club is outfitted with a superior custom-built sound system and an LED wall, and party people will find plenty to explore with the club’s three separate rooms and five bars. The cost to get in is a little high, but it’s worth seeing the club scene here at least once. Club Air feels like a giant concert hall and is an excellent place for big groups.

12. Shelter

Party at Shelter Amsterdam
Shelter Amsterdam / Facebook

Address: Overhoeksplein 3, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you want to party like you’re in an underground club in 1970s East Germany, Shelter will offer you an unforgettable night. The brutalist architecture and décor are accompanied by some of what is probably the loudest sound system in Amsterdam North.

Maybe the entire city. You can enjoy non-stop dancing the entire night or wander around with your eardrums bleeding, people-watching, and feeling like you’re at a huge concert venue.

13. Jimmy Woo

Crowd clubbing at Jimmy Woo, Amsterdam
Jimmy Woo, Amsterdam / Facebook

Address: Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 18, 1017 RC Amsterdam, Netherlands

For a complete 180 from the all-black décor of Shelter, visit Jimmy Woo, an Asian-themed bar that offers one of the most stylish experiences of any nightclub in Amsterdam.

If you can time it right, enjoy these ultra-hip surroundings on R&B and hip-hop night, where you’ll enjoy a dance floor illuminated by more than 10,000 bulbs. We won’t tell anyone if you decide to visit when they host their Back to the ’90s night with their bevy of pop tunes and audial guilty pleasures.

14. De Vondelbunker

Perfromers at Vondelbunker, Amsterdam
Vondelbunker Amsterdam / Facebook

Address: Vondelpark 8A, 1071 AA Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you’re searching for something unexpected, try De Vondelbunker, a club that inhabits a space that once existed as an atomic bomb shelter after World War II. This club is quite a unique part of Amsterdam nightlife since volunteers run it, and you’ll enjoy free entrance when you arrive (they do appreciate tips, though).

The feel is very punk rock and anti-establishment, but the vibe is seriously friendly and features an incredible multicultural audience. The beers are cheap, too, and the relatively relaxed atmosphere makes for a fun night out with great music and great people.

See Related: Essential Travel Tips for Visiting the Netherlands

15. Escape

Party at Escape Nightclub
Peter A / TripAdvisor

Address: Rembrandtplein 11, 1017 CT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Escape is a well-regarded club in Amsterdam that’s easy to reach when you choose a hotel in the city center or near Rembrandtplein.

It’s best to consider Escape as just a place for fun, drinks, and dancing any night of the week. Make sure you have some Euros in your pocket when you enter because it costs €1 to use the bathroom, and the fancy mixed drinks are a little pricey, too.

Overall, the clientele runs a little older than some other clubs in Amsterdam. Still, the convenient location and energetic environment make it one of the best nightclubs in the city.

Neighborhoods Where You’ll Find Nightlife in Amsterdam

Leidseplein

Leidseplein in Amsterdam
ArTo / Adobe Stock

If you want to party like a local, head to Leidseplein, an area near the Museum District that is usually quite busy after dark throughout the week and weekend. Leidesplein is an excellent place to bar-hop and explore the local beer culture, and you’ll always find special events, even on weeknights.

Rembrandtplein

Rembrandtplein monument in Amsterdam
Leonid Andronov – stock.adobe.com

You can certainly fill more than one night with bar and club hopping around Rembrandtplein, where you’ll find Escape and Club Air and some of the best of the city’s nightlife scene.

You can also find LGBTQI+-friendly venues along Reguliersdwarsstraat, right beside Rembrandtplein. Club NYX, one of the most entertaining clubs in the city, is found on Reguliersdwarsstraat, just to the west of Rembrandtplein. 

See Related: Best Vacation Rentals in The Netherlands

Red Light District / Dam Square

Busy Area of Zeedijk, Red Light District, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Dam Square area, which runs beside the Red Light District and contains several bars and cafes, is often the first place tourists think of when they want to find Amsterdam nightlife.

If you’re primarily interested in seeing the infamous neighborhood rather than visiting the clubs the natives might visit, a stroll around the Red Light District is a fun and unique experience.

Outlying Areas

Radion, Amsterdam sign and exterior
RADION Amsterdam / Facebook

If you’re willing to take a taxi to your destination, you’ll find some of the best nightlife in Amsterdam outside the city center.

For example, RADION Amsterdam, with its killer sound system and better-than-you’d-expect menu, is about 12 kilometers outside the city center in the city’s Nieuw West District. Amsterdam-Noord is another area outside the city center, to the north and the home of.

Tips for Fun & Safety During a Night Out in Amsterdam

Plan Your Route

You might find yourself walking to the clubs you want to visit, especially if you’re staying in the city center, and that’s fine as long as you know where you’re going, and you’re not walking alone.

Trams don’t run after midnight, so you might need to consider a taxi or have some walking shoes on hand after your big night. If you plan on partying while the mass transit system is active, an Amsterdam City Card is a great way to save on transportation.

Know Your Drinks

Heineken in the Red Light District, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

If you’re traveling from America and normally consume the mass-market beer you might find in the grocery store, don’t assume you’ll find the same drinks in Amsterdam on tap.

Many mass-market beers in America are around 5 percent ABV, but some Belgian ales you’ll find in Amsterdam ramp it up to 8 or 9 percent. You’ll probably fit right in if you’re used to the alcohol content of an IPA, but always keep on top of what you’re imbibing.

See Related: Best Breweries in Amsterdam (Including Beers to Try)

Check the Door Policy

Red Light District in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Don’t assume every club will let every visitor in. Make sure you know the policy for entry and the fee (if there is one) so you’re not stuck out in the cold with nothing but a view over the bouncer’s shoulder of the fun inside. When in doubt, dress nicely and always act friendly with whoever’s guarding the front door.

Coffeeshops & Beer Don’t Mix

Abraxas Coffeeshop, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

A coffeeshop in Amsterdam is where you buy cannabis, but you can’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes inside a coffeeshop.

Many coffeeshops also have a minimum age of 21 to enter and ask for ID. Amsterdam recently banned public marijuana smoking due to rowdy tourists, too, so make sure you’re careful and respectful when you visit.

FAQs

Are there any entrance fees for clubs in Amsterdam?

Most nightclubs in Amsterdam charge an entrance fee that usually ranges from 10 to 20 Euros. Sometimes, clubs will only charge entrance fees from Thursday to Sunday, but it’s best to carry some cash when going out clubbing just in case your chosen destination charges an entrance fee. Having cash on you in Amsterdam and the Netherlands is a good idea since some places don’t deal with credit cards.

What is the legal drinking age in Amsterdam?

There are two drinking ages in Amsterdam. The minimum age for drinks that contain less than 15 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) is 16 years old. The minimum age for drinks that contain more than 15 percent ABV is 18 years old. Amsterdam clubs and bars do request ID to verify age.

How late do bars and clubs stay open in Amsterdam?

Small bars and restaurants will mostly remain open until 1:00 AM on the weekdays and 3:00 AM on the weekends. Clubs will often operate in the late evening from 11:00 PM (22:00) until 3:00 AM. A few bars and clubs scattered around the city are open even later, until 4:00 or 5:00 AM.

How safe is it to go out at night in Amsterdam?

Late-night revelers can get a little rowdy in Amsterdam, and it’s best to travel with a friend or partner during nighttime clubbing adventures. Although Amsterdam is relatively safe during the day, it’s best to remain alert while out after dark to avoid potential crime.

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