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Anything goes when it comes to Amsterdam nightlife – whatever your preference, you'll find it somewhere between the Red Light District, the coffeeshops that sell soft drugs, the Holland Casino, the velvet-roped clubs, the gay bars on Reguliersdwarstraat, and the casual local haunts.

Amsterdam Nightlife

’t Smalle Pub

Sail up to this former historic distillery’s boat dock for a heady bier; then sit outside and watch the moonlight reflected in the canal. 

Egelantiersgracht 12, 1015 RL, +31 20 623 9617,
Tags: nightlife | editor pick | patio | cafe

Bar Arc

With a gorgeous contemporary design style and a crowd that dresses the part, Bar Arc is the city’s most fashionable gay lounge and club. It’s mostly a youthful and hip male clientele, but Bar Arc’s crowd is welcoming and mixed. Nightly cocktail hours – from 5-7 p.m. – are very popular affairs and the trendy throng spills out in to the street when the weather allows.  

Reguliersdwarsstraat 44, 011-31-20-689-7070,
Tags: nightlife | lounge | gay


Branford Marsalis has lauded the Bimhuis as one of the world’s three best venues for live Jazz. Nightly concerts in all styles from mainstream to avant garde are complemented by improv sessions held in an acoustic (and contemporary architectural) gem.

Piet Heinkade 3, 011-31-20-788-2188,
Tags: nightlife | smart splurge | live entertainment | things to do | architecture | jazz

Boom Chicago

Sure you can come for dinner but those in the know arrive late to catch the city’s only nightly, English language comedy review. Themed nights which touch on current events add to the laughs at this Leidseplein institution.

Leidseplein 12, 011-31-20-530-7310,
Tags: nightlife | comedy

Cafe 't Sluisje

Have your pick of three-course menus consisting of staples like steak frites with mushrooms and baked salmon with cream of parsnips. 

Torensteeg 1, 1012 TH, +31 20 624 0813,
Tags: nightlife | gay

Café Nol

Pretty it ain’t, but it oozes authenticity. A boisterous local crowd will sing along to the tearjerker “Jordaanse” music – even if they don’t know the words – but you’ll want to show up on a weekend evening when live accordion music sets an only-in-Amsterdam mood.

Westerstraat 109, 011-31-20-624-5380,
Tags: nightlife | great value | pub | traditional | dutch

De Drie Fleschjes

Sand carpets the floor and wooden casks adorn the wall at this historical “tasting bar” (its name translates to “Three Little Bottles”) – an institution since 1650. Liqueurs and Dutch gins are the house specialties.

Gravenstraat 18, 011-31-20-624-8443
Tags: nightlife | things to do | traditional | bar | dutch

De Trut

For over 20 years De Trut (“The Bitch”) has been attracting the city’s gay and lesbian crowd with its very popular underground Sunday night dance party. Cheap drinks, great music, and an uncomplicated fun crowd of locals and visitors has seen this volunteer-staffed party earn a legendary status among the dancing and flirty 20- and 30-somethings. 

Bilderdijkstraat 165,
Tags: nightlife | gay | nightclub | dance music


If you’re young, trendy, and in the know, or if you’re just looking for big name rock acts and cinema/art scenes, you’ll end up in this storied venue off Leidseplein at some point.

Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 011-31-20-531-8181,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | live entertainment | gallery | cinema

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ

The city’s newest big-time music venue, sitting on IJ River with great city views, includes two concert halls, one for classical concerts and the other for jazz.

Piet Heinkade 1, 011-31-20-788-2010,
Tags: nightlife | live entertainment | cafe | jazz


Opened in 1662 as a brewery and later converted into the city’s first concert hall, this space now hosts one of the chicest clubs in town. Slink past murals of models on the ground floor and up to the present “concert hall,” where there might be a stage show or a DJ spinning the latest.

Singel 460, 011-31-20-521-8555,
Tags: nightlife | live entertainment | dancing | nightclub


World class deejays from Holland and abroad spin all styles of electronic music at this fashionable hipster club that doubles as a lounge and restaurant. Restaurant open every day; club open Thursday-Sunday.

Oostelijke Handelskade 4, 011-31-20-311-8686,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | dancing | cover charge | nightclub


Follow the mix of locals and tourists as they hop among the bars, clubs, cafés, and restaurants on this two-block-long stretch that’s become known as Amsterdam’s gay hub.

Tags: nightlife | lounge | dancing | things to do | open late | bar | gay | nightclub


So you want to try an Amsterdam “coffee shop” but don’t want to slum it like a college kid? This place could pass for a cool coffee shop in Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco were it not for its chief wares which come with poetry nights, live music, and DJs.

Brouwersgracht 11, 011-31-20-623-5909,
Tags: nightlife | live entertainment | cafe


Looking to get up-close and personal with Amsterdam’s storied gay scene? Soho may attract some of the most handsome crowds in the city, but it’s the crammed quarters and wall-to-wall patrons that have earned this boudoir meets English pub venue its reputation as the center of the gay party – and cruising – scene. DJs spin records on weekends and a nightly two-for-one drink deal, lasting from midnight until 1 a.m., adds to the mature-meets-clubby vibe.

Reguliersdwarsstraat 36, 011-31-20-422-3312,
Tags: nightlife | gay


Glass-fronted coolers, chrome bar stools, leather benches, and a design-chic wall of backlit wine bottles set the mood for the city’s most stylish wine and tapas crowd. Dress to impress.

Prinsengracht 411, 011-31-20-344-6408,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | notable wine list | wine bar

YouII Lady’s Dancing

The Draw: When most other clubs are preparing to close for the night, this serious dance spot with a mostly gay and lesbian clientele is just heating up. The Scene: They come to dance. An unpretentious, youthful, and good-looking crowd grooves and flirts all night to the sounds of classic and current club hits. Fri-Sat 10pm-5am. Hot Tip: Come between 1am and 2am to avoid lining up until sunup.

Amstel 178, 011-31-20-421-0900,
Tags: nightlife | gay | nightclub | dance music

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