Amsterdam isn’t short of places to grab a drink, but which one to choose? As the colder weather rolls in, we’ve picked out some of our favourite cosy Amsterdam bars to visit this winter.
From traditional ‘brown’ cafes to quirky cocktail bars and inviting spots with roaring fires, there’s plenty of cosy bars in Amsterdam to visit this winter… Once you’ve found your spot, grab a large glass of your favourite tipple and hunker down for the foreseeable future.
1. Café t’smalle Amsterdam
Where? Egelantiersgracht 12, 1015 RL
Why go? To experience one of Amsterdam’s traditional ‘brown’ cafes
One of Amsterdam’s most famous institutions is The brown Café (“bruine kroeg” in Dutch). There’s many of them dotted throughout the city and most of them could easily feature on this list of cosy bars in Amsterdam to visit this winter! The Dutch would describe the atmosphere in brown cafes as ‘gezellig.’ There’s no real direct translation for this word but it suggests a place where people feel totally at home. Café t’smalle, with its warm wood panelling and stunning stained glass windows that fog up when it’s chilly outside definitely has this vibe. Grab a drink, some tasty Dutch bar bites and settle in for the night.
2. Hiding in Plain Sight
Where? Rapenburg 18, 1011 TX
Why go? For delicious craft cocktails in a luxe yet cosy cocktail bar
Hiding in Plain Sight has a warm and intimate vibe, making it one of our favourite cosy spots to visit in Amsterdam, especially during winter. This quirky cocktail bar makes its guests feel quite at home with velvet covered bar stools, sinking sofas, cabinets lined with antique curiosities and shelves filled with multi-coloured books. Enter on the ground level and friendly staff will greet you with a warm smile. Head up a flight of stairs to the main seating area where you can settle in on a Chesterfield chair for the evening. Take your pick from the 16 craft cocktails on offer and snack happily on the green Cerignola olives and mixed nuts that just keep on coming…
3. Café Brecht
Where? Weteringschans 157, 1017 SE
Why go? For vibes as cosy as a visit to your nan’s lounge!
What could be cosier than your nan’s lounge? Not much! Café Brecht has nana chic by the bucket-load, making it one of our favourite Amsterdam bars to visit this winter. With chintzy floral sofas, funky lampshades, old photo frames and crocheted doilies, a visit here feels a lot like stepping back in time to a much simpler, cosier time. Visit in the daytime and enjoy a cup of tea, freshly made cakes, toasties and croissants. Come night time, the place transforms into a buzzy little bar with decently priced drinks and friendly staff. A perfect spot to escape that winter chill!
Where? T.T. Neveritaweg 59, 1033 WB
Why go? For the roaring fire and great night time views across the River IJ
With its huge outdoor ‘beach’ and al-fresco picnic benches Pllek is well known as a great venue to visit during the summer. However, we love Pllek equally (if not even more!) during the winter. It’s definitely one of our favourite cosy Amsterdam bars. With its big roaring fire and comfy leather sofas, it’s a great place to have a drink and watch the lights of Central Amsterdam twinkling on the other side of the River IJ. Pllek also serve up a tasty seasonal menu with a strong focus on veggie and vegan offerings. It’s worth checking out their event schedule too as Pllek often plays host to events, live music and DJs.
5. Pacific Parc
Where? Polonceaukade 23, 1014 DA
Why go? For drinks, dinner dancing! You can have it all at Pacific Parc.
Pacific Parc is a great all-round venue in Westerpak and a super laid-back place to have dinner, drinks and a dance in a cool and cosy setting. Pacific Parc is an industrial-style space but simultaneously manages to foster a really cosy inviting atmosphere. The fire gets lit on blustery days, so you’ll definitely feel a warm welcome when you need to escape the cold! At weekends, there’s usually some kind of event running too, so check out the event schedule and pop in for a cosy night of fun at Pacific Parc.
6. Bar Oldenhof
Where? Elandsgracht 84, 1016 TZ
Why go? For a super classy, speakeasy experience
Like all good clandestine bars, you’re expected to ring an unmarked bell to get in here. A server will greet you and lead you into this plush two-level bar which is all dark wood and velvet. Swoon! Bar Oldenhof has an extensive drinks menu but is best known for its expertly-crafted cocktails and impressive selection of jenevers, whiskies and rums. Sounds to us like the ideal place to while away a few hours on a winter’s night… It’s worth noting that you may not always be able to get into Bar Oldenhof straight away. This policy is in place to ensure that the bar never gets too crowded and you can enjoy your drink in style. We suggest heading for a tipple at a nearby place and returning a little later.
7. Café Gollem
Where? Daniël Stalpertstraat 74, 1072 XK
Why go? For the extensive beer selection and intimate and friendly feel
Café Gollem is a small but perfectly formed pub that’s a great place to drop in if you’re in central Amsterdam on a chilly winter’s evening. Café Gollem stocks over a hundred special beers from Belgium and various local breweries in the Netherlands. Bar staff here are friendly and informed and always happy to help you make your selection! If you’re feeling peckish they have a small but tasty food offerings, including an impressive cheese plank and a selection of cured meats. You may well stop here for one drink and end up staying much, much longer!
8. Distillery ’t Nieuwe Diep
Where? Flevopark 13a, 1095 KE
Why go? To try fruit versions of classic jenever
Distillery ‘t Nieuwe Diep might look like a church from a distance, but don’t be fooled, it’s a jenever distillery. Situated inside Flevopark, it’s a great place to have a drink in the summer. But if you’re looking for a cosy quiet spot to have a drink in the winter, their tasting room is what you’re looking for! And if jenever is not your thing, they also have beers on the menu and food if you’re feeling peckish.
9. Café Brandon
Where? Keizersgracht 157, 1015 CL
Why go? To people watch with a good beer in hand
Café Brandon is the perfect place to people watch while keeping warm. Traditionally decorated, this cosy bar is popular with the locals and offers a good selection of beers. It’s close to several Amsterdam attractions, including the Anne Frank House and the Royal Palace, so pop for a beer if you’re in the neighbourhood!
Where? ClinkNOORD basement
Why go? For good vibes and good beer
ZincBAR is our onsite bar in ClinkNOORD. It’s the perfect spot for an affordable and cosy pint after a day’s travels. Here you will find heaps of fun events, tasty bar snacks and, of course, plenty of other like-minded travellers.
There we have it, the top cosy Amsterdam bars to visit this winter. If you stumble across any more hidden gems make sure you get in touch with us via our Facebook page or Instagram. For bars to visit on a sunny day, check the best rooftop bars in Amsterdam, and if the drinking made you hungry, here’s a list of the best food places in Amsterdam.
Can’t wait to come and grab a tipple (or two!) in one of Amsterdam’s cosy bars? Then why not book your bed at the ClinkNOORD youth hostel in Amsterdam! Travelling as a group? Then check out everything you need to know about cheap group accommodation in Amsterdam.