Amsterdam is best for...
Unusual bars: Try the local beers at a one of the eight windmills found throughout Amsterdam
Great club venues: From glitzy clubs to industrial buildings, Amsterdam has many places where you can dance the night away
Leidseplein This area of Amsterdam is a real entertainment hub and home to many theatres, restaurants and gig venues
Language: The language spoken in Amsterdam is Dutch
Currency: The currency used in Amsterdam is the Euro
Local time: Amsterdam is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Amsterdam's main airport is Amsterdam Airport Schipho
The Amsterdam nightlife scene serves up a tempting mix of after-dark destinations, featuring everything from traditional cosy cafés to sophisticated cocktails bars and gigantic super-clubs. All this adds up to Amsterdam’s reputation as one of Europe’s top party cities, where pretty much anything goes. Here’s our insider’s guide to what’s on offer.
Best clubs in Amsterdam
Over in the city’s Nieuwe-West district, you’ll find this 24-hour licensed club inside an old dentistry school. The cool club nights and weekenders are a proven hit. But on top of that, Radion also houses a pretty good restaurant and a performance art space.
Location: Radion, Louwesweg 1, Amsterdam
- Disco Dolly
Disco Dolly is a cosy bar-come-club that’s a firm favourite with Amsterdam’s students. It’s open every day until at least 4am, so you could go any night of the week. DJs pump out a mix of tunes, too, including disco, rock and techno.
Location: Disco Dolly, Handboogstraat 11, Amsterdam
This old dairy is now a concert hall and music venue. If you love R&B and hip hop, Melweg is the place for you. On Saturday nights, this place runs the Netherlands’ biggest and best hip hop and R&B night called Encore.
Location: Melweg, Lijnbaansgracht 234A, Amsterdam
On Friday nights, head to Escape for their HouseRules night. Expect Chicago-influenced house music along with light shows, special effects and international guest DJs in this ultra-modern club.
Location: Escape, Rembrandtplein 11, Amsterdam
- Chicago Social Club
Chicago Social Club is split over two levels, open until 4am, and has a friendly, techno-loving crowd. Take advantage of the drinks offers before you join the locals on the dance floor, or just take it all in from the balcony.
Location: Chicago Social Club, Leidseplein 12, Amsterdam
- Sugar Factory
This creative venue plays host to a brilliant mix of performances. Arrive early to see cabaret, theatre or live music before hitting the dancefloor. Our top tip? Sugar Factory’s Techno Tuesday is one of the highlights of the week.
Location: Sugar Factory, Lijnbaansgracht 328, Amsterdam
If you want quirky, you’ve got it. Supperclub rolls a restaurant, club, gallery and ‘experimental nightlife’ into one unique destination. As you might expect, this place is popular among the chic, cool, party crowd.
Location: Supperclub, Singel 460, Amsterdam
Best bars in Amsterdam
Sitting pretty on the eastern side of the river Amstel, Canvas is home to a sky-high bar and one of the best rooftop terraces anywhere in the city. If you’re visiting on a weekend, you can admire the city skyline with a drink in hand before heading to a club night, which kicks off after 11pm.
Location: Canvas, Wibautstraat 150, Amsterdam
- Cafe Hoppe
Cafe Hoppe on Spui Square is one of Amsterdam’s traditional brown bars. This place has been around since 1670, when it started life as a distillery. For centuries it’s been a gathering space for the city’s intellectuals, and you can experience the rich atmosphere and vibrant conversation at any time.
Location: Cafe Hoppe, Spui 18-10, Amsterdam, 1012 XA
- Brouwerij’t Ij
You’ll find this brewery-come-pub is around half a mile east of Central Station, next door to De Gooyer. It’s a little way off the beaten track, but it’s the place to go if you’re after great beer. It’s served up straight from the beer tank here, and you’ll find a selection of seasonal brews on the menu. Just keep in mind that last orders are at 8pm.
Location: Brouwerij’t Ij, Funenkade 7, Amsterdam
- Jazz Café Alto
This cosy café-style bar is all about live jazz (and occasionally blues), seven days a week. You’ll find mostly local acts playing here, but you’ll recognise the occasional big name. Order yourself a cocktail or whisky at the bar and settle in for the evening.
Location: Jazz Café Alto, Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115, Amsterdam
- Hannekes Boom
Head to this beach hut-style bar and you can enjoy a beer out on an amazing waterside terrace as you overlook the canals. Unsurprisingly, this is a particularly popular spot in summer, so arrive early to bag yourself a prime spot.
Location: Hannekes Boom, Dijksgracht 4, Amsterdam