Don’t know what to do at night in Amsterdam?
Whether you’re a party animal or a quiet night owl, a fan of bars, pubs, concerts or other lively places, what better way to feel the atmosphere of a neighborhood than to go out in Amsterdam?
Here is my selection of the best places to spend a good evening.
A classic of Amsterdam outings: the Red Light District
The list of nightlife in Amsterdam would not be complete if we did not tell you about the famous Red Light District. Also known as the Rosse Buurt, it consists of three different areas: De Wallen, Ruysdaelkade, and Singelgebied.
The Red Light District is of course a paradise for vice, and has been since the 1300s, when women of ill repute hung red lanterns in their windows to attract customers.
The streets are dotted with brothel windows where sex workers expose themselves and entice the customers who pass in front of them, but also with a multitude of adult stores and coffee shops.
In the middle of these places of perdition, you will find incredible tourist sites like the OudeKerk, a church that dates back to the 1400s, making it the oldest building in the city.
As you walk through the neighborhood, you’ll arrive directly in Zeedjik, Amsterdam’s Chinatown.
Red Light District
Opening hours: open 24 hours a day.
Time on site: visitors spend about 3 hours there.
Contact: 8 minutes from Centraal station.
Nearby restaurants: The Grasshopper
Have a drink at Café De Dokter
For many, Café De Dokter is an integral part of Amsterdam’s history. No wonder, as it was first opened in 1798, having been founded by a surgeon who worked at the former Binnengasthuis hospital nearby.
Since then, this picturesque Amsterdam bar at the end of the Rozenboomsteeg alley has welcomed all visitors who love quality spirits.
Every inch of Café De Dokter transports you into history – the owners have kept much of the original decoration intact, and you’ll definitely get into the mood with the classic jazz soundtrack playing during the day.
The bar is also in close proximity to some of Amsterdam’s most popular sites, such as the Amsterdam Museum and the Amsterdam Dungeon.
Cafe De Dokter
Address: Rozenboomsteeg 4, 1012 PR Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 4pm to 1am. Closed on weekends and Mondays.
Time on site: Allow at least 1.5 hours to enjoy the atmosphere.
Access: 7 minutes from Centraal station.
Contact: +31 206264427
Nearby restaurants: Oriental City
Website :Cafe De Dokter (in Dutch)
Sit back and take your time at Cafe Sound Garden
The Cafe Sound Garden offers its visitors a very relaxed, but sometimes more boisterous atmosphere, and positions itself as an oasis open to all those who know how to gather around healthy values: good beer and good music.
Located right on the border with the Jordaan district, Cafe Sound Garden is first and foremost a music bar, whether it’s DJs on the decks or acoustic musicians playing live.
Many visitors drop by for a drink and a seat on the garden terrace, which overlooks one of the beautiful canals that make Amsterdam so legendary.
Cafe Sound Garden
Address: Marnixstraat 164-166, 1016 TG Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: from €6
Opening Hours : Tuesday to Thursday from 1 pm to 1 am. Friday from 1 pm to 3 am. Weekends from 3 pm to 3 am.
Access : 11 minutes by cab from Leiedsplein
Contact: +31 206202853
Website: Cafe Sound Garden
Have a drink at the bar/bar De Nieuwe Anita
Looking for a place to drink and listen to a concert in Amsterdam at the same time? This nightclub/bar is located in the trendy Oud-West district, and can give you a real flashback to a bygone era.
Why? For starters, you have to ring a bell to get in. When you enter the establishment, the first room you walk through looks like a real living room, with a well-stocked bar and even a few lamps that look like they’re straight out of a 70s sitcom.
It’s all about the back room, where you can hear live music, from folk to experimental electronica.
De Nieuwe Anita
Address: Frederik Hendrikstraat 111, 1052HN Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: from € 7,50
Opening Hours: 8 pm – 1 am 8 pm – 2 am on Saturday.
Time on site: partygoers spend an average of 3 hours on site.
Access: 17 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal station.
Contact: +31 207744922
Website :De Nieuwe Anita (in Dutch)
Spend the evening in Amsterdam watching a show at HetMuziektheater
The HetMuziektheater, or the Dutch National Opera and Ballet, is a favorite hangout for all culture lovers visiting Amsterdam.
Located in a building of impressive proportions overlooking the Amstel River and not far from the HetRembrandhuis museum, the HetMuziektheater offers up to three different productions each year.
Other avant-garde performances are also presented in the theater. Visitors will marvel at the large balconies and eclectic artworks that line the entire complex.
Address: Amstel 3, 1011 PN Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: from € 25
Opening Hours : From noon.
Time on site: allow at least 3 hours.
Access : 5 minutes from Centraal station
Contact: +31 205518117
Attend a jazz concert at the Bimhuis
The Netherlands has been a haven for jazz musicians and their fans for decades. In Bimhuis, this refuge even becomes a real sanctuary.
Perched on the waterfront, the Bimhuis was first launched in 1974 as a place where Dutch and international musicians could meet and perform for their audiences wishing to go out in Amsterdam.
The current structure was completed in 2005, but the concept hasn’t changed, it was just a matter of having more seating and adding more technological improvements to the venue.
The result is a large building from which emerges a rather elegant black box, where the audience can enjoy performances with exceptional acoustics and even listen to broadcasts of the Europe Jazz Network (Bimhuis is a founding member of the network).
Address: Piet Heinkade 3, 1019 BR Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: from €18
Opening hours : from 11 am
Time on site: music lovers spend an average of 3.5 hours on site.
Access: 10 minutes from the Centraal station with a few extra minutes walking.
Contact: +31 207882150
Nearby restaurants: Hannekes Boom
Go out in Amsterdam with a cocktail at the Vesper bar
If you want to go out to a bar in Amsterdam and you like retro atmospheres to sip a cocktail, you will definitely find your happiness at Vesper. Located in the Jordaan district, Vesper has been steadily growing its clientele since it opened in 2010.
The bar area is intimate, with a decoration featuring mahogany and copper elements for an incomparable “speakeasy” atmosphere.
The drinks are all well-named and offer powerful mixes, like the Leap Of Faith cocktail.
The bartenders will even show you a taste scale so you can find the perfect drink for your palate.
And it’s impossible to talk about this bar without mentioning the many James Bond memorabilia that dot the walls.
Keep in mind that if you’re going out with a group of friends in Amsterdam, the place might not be very suitable for partying – unless you sign up for one of their cocktail-making workshops.
Address: Vinkenstraat 57, 1013 JM Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 8 pm to 1 am. Friday & Saturday 5 pm to 3 am. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
Time on site: Bar patrons stay approximately 2.5 hours on site.
Access: 5 minutes by cab from Centraal station.
Contact: +31 687244056
Nearby restaurants: Tazzina
See you at the Ultimate Amsterdam Pub for an electric evening
Many people say there’s nothing better than spending the evening in a good old-fashioned pub to take the temperature and experience the atmosphere of a city.
Those who believe in this relentless logic will definitely want to check out the Ultimate Amsterdam Pub Crawl in Amsterdam.
The pub crawl has 5 branches that are all different versions of this bar that offers some of the most electric atmospheres in the capital.
You can even dine in two of these crawls to eat between drinks, and all of these bars are run by real tourist guides who know the whole city by heart and will be able to point out some good night out plans for the rest of your stay in Amsterdam.
Ultimate Amsterdam Pub Crawl
Address: Leidsekruisstraat 35, 1017 RG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Price: from €18
Opening Hours : Monday from 12 am to 6 pm. Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Time on site: please allow at least 5 hours.
Access: 17 minutes from Centraal station.
Contact: +31 207767888
Website: Ultimate Amsterdam Pub Crawl
Spend the evening at the Melkweg (Milky Way)
Don’t know what to do at night in Amsterdam? The Melkweg (Milky Way) has been a cornerstone of Amsterdam’s entertainment scene for over four decades. Located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near one of the main nightlife centers in Amsterdam, the Melkweg is a huge place that used to be a milk factory in the 19th century.
After first being converted into a concert hall in 1973, the Melkweg has now expanded to offer four different rooms inside as well as a restaurant, cinema, and exhibition space. Depending on the artists performing there, you can see a portion of the canal right in front of it.
Address: Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 1017 PH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Time on site: Visitors spend an average of 3 to 4 hours on site.
Access: 16 minutes from Centraal station
Contact: +31 205318181
Nearby restaurants: Trattoria Fantasia
Where to go out in Amsterdam to relax?
Hannekes Boom is a cafe that caters to anyone looking for a bar to hang out in and who has already been to a few funky music festivals.
Just a few minutes from Centraal station, the café, which looks more like a beach hut than a traditional bar, sits right on the waterfront.
It’s inspired by the old guardhouse system that still existed on this same land in the mid 1600s.
The outdoor space is surrounded by colorful benches and resembles a pontoon. You’ll even see boats stopping there to buy a drink to go before heading back.
The Hannekes Boom was built with salvaged materials, which gives the place its unique and inimitable style. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds of tourists that populate the streets of Amsterdam.
Address: Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: from € 6
Opening Hours : Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 1 am. Friday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 am.
Time on site : Customers spend an average of 2.5 hours on site.
Access: 14 minutes from Centraal station
Contact: +31 204199820
Website :Hannekes Boom (in Dutch)
A few more words about the magic of Amsterdam and the best places to go out.
The city of Amsterdam is home to hidden treasures and places to go out that are only accessible to visitors who take the time to get lost in the winding streets between the buildings.
Whatever your mood or interests, you’ll always find something to do to immerse yourself in the rich and enchanting atmosphere of this mysterious city.
I hope this list of my favorite places will give you some ideas for going out if you don’t know what to do in the evening in Amsterdam. If you have any other suggestions for bars, restaurants etc. to have a good time, please let me know in the comments.
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