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a canal in amsterdam at night

9 of the Most Interesting Things You Can Do at Night in Amsterdam

July 13, 2023

Amsterdam is a city that comes alive at night. When the stars come out, make sure you get out and explore all that the magical Amsterdam nightlife has to offer!

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting things you can do at night in Amsterdam!

1. See the city light up

Amsterdam is beautiful by day, but at night, when the sun goes down, the magic really starts to happen. Stroll along the city’s cobbled canal-side streets, lit up with romantic street lights, and soak in the romance of it all. If you’re lucky, the Amsterdam Light Festival might be in town too. During the city’s darkest days, a host of innovative light installations brighten up the canals and streets. Check out the website for all the routes you can take.

night time lights by one of Amsterdam's many canals

2. Soak up some culture

Amsterdam’s famous ‘Concertgebouw’ is internationally renowned for its exceptional acoustics, making it one of the city’s great prides. The concert hall, designed by A.L van Gendt, first opened in 1881 and has been sympathetically renovated over the years. Even if you’re not a music aficionado, it’s worth going along to experience a night of top quality performances in a stunning setting. Bear in mind that The Concertbouw is one of the most-visited concert halls in the world, so it’s best to book in advance if you’re planning on going.

an orchestral musical performance in one of Amsterdam's many beloved venues
Image courtesy of bachtrack.com

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3. Dance Dance Dance!

It’s no secret that Amsterdam is the place to be for EDM. If dance music is your thing then there’s no better place to dance the night away. You’ll find many of the world’s top DJ’s (many of whom are Dutch) busting out tune after tune at mega clubs open until the sun comes up. With a host of venues on offer – from Club Hartje to Melkweg – you’ll never be short of choice on where to spend your night.

Enjoy discounted access to Amsterdam’s finest bars & nightclubs with an exclusive Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. Use code ‘clink’ for 10% discount.

a youthful crowd gathers together for dancing and entertainment in an Amsterdam night-club
Image courtesy of Anne Lakeman

4. Get lost in the Red Light District

Everyone has their own ideas about what to expect when they visit the Red Light District (and it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea!) but if you’re in Amsterdam, it’s definitely worth an evening visit. When it gets dark, the neon lights come up, illuminating ladies in street-side windows, plying their trade. The atmosphere feels more carnival-like than seedy though, with crowded bars, clubs and ‘adults only shops. To escape the rabble, you can always duck down a side street and into one of the city’s many Asian restaurants.

One of the most famous canals in Amsterdam's city centre, in the Red Light District
Image courtesy of travelandleisure.com

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5. Catch some Live Music

Whilst Amsterdam is probably more well-known for its EDM scene, there’s some incredible live music venues where you can catch a well-known act or an up and coming band. Paradiso is a former church-tuned music venue. With its big stained glass windows behind the band and two balconies overlooking the crowds below, it’s an amazing setting to soak in the sounds of some great music. Make sure to also check out the smaller room upstairs which hosts up and coming or independent acts. Melkweg (meaning ‘Milkyway’) is another live music favourite. Once a dairy factory, the venue was taken over by a theatre collective in 1970. Now, you’ll find two concert halls where rock, reggae and hip-hop acts (although anything goes!) along with a cafe, cinema, photography gallery and theatre.

a live musical performance at the historic Paradiso venue in Amsterdam
Image courtesy of paradiso.nl

6. Indulge in the spirits at Cafe de Dokter

If you’re looking to experience a little of the history of Amsterdam without traipsing around too many museums, then head to Café de Dokter. This minuscule bar was founded in 1798 by a Dutch surgeon who worked at the former Binnengasthuis hospital nearby. For good quality spirits, it’s one of the best places in central Amsterdam. With the vintage interior still in tact and classic jazz played all day long, you can feel the city’s past in every corner of Café de Dokter.

guests gather together for some drinks in an Amsterdam bar
Image courtesy of 10bestmedia.com

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7. Seek out a secret bar

On first inspection, Amsterdam may seem like a city that hasn’t got many secrets left. However, if you know where to look then you’ll be lucky enough to discover some of the city’s little known watering holes. To escape the crowds, head to the sophisticated Door 74, one of Holland’s first speakeasy-style bars. ‘The Butcher’ has a few venues across the city, offering some mighty fine burgers. However, dig a little deeper, and you’ll find their ‘secret kitchen’ in their Albert Cuyp premises, in the trendy area of De Pijp. Book in advance, give the password, and you’ll be whisked off behind a silver door into a grown up world of plush velvet leather and cocktails, where you can also tuck into their special dinner menu.

8. Take in the views at A’DAM Tower

Twinkle twinkle little star, where will you find Amsterdam’s highest bar? Up the A’DAM Tower of course! Just next to ClinkNOORD, MA’DAM sky bar, is the place to head for panoramic views of the city after dark. Grab a cocktail and watch the lights sparkle across the city. The bar operates a no-reservations policy and their only rule if you want to swing by for drinks? Show up thirsty!

the view of Centraal Station from the A'dam lookout tower in Amsterdam
Image courtesy of adamlookout.com

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9. Visit the city’s museums by night

If culture by night is your thing, then you should take advantage of the fact that quite a few of the best museums in Amsterdam stay open late at the weekend. The Van Gogh Museum and The Stedelijk Museum are open until 10pm on Friday. The Eye Film Museum (just one minutes’ walk from ClinkNOOORD) is open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. If you happen to be visiting in November, Amsterdam really ups the cultural ante with ‘Museum Night.’ On the first Saturday of the month, around 50 museums open their doors from 7pm – 2am. With special events, concerts, tours and performances it’s a night not to be missed. Oh and there’s plenty of delicious food and drinks to keep you going all night long!

We hope our selection of things to do in Amsterdam at night inspired you!

Are you looking for accommodation in Amsterdam? Find out more about ClinkNOORD youth hostel in Amsterdam or visit our cheap group accommodation in Amsterdam page to find out more about our rates and best deals.