Amsterdam has its fair share of excellent watering holes. But which to choose? Have a read of our guide to the best bars in Amsterdam to see if we can help you decide…
1. Amsterdam Roest
Where? Jacob Bontiusplaats 1, 1018 LL
Why go? For a city beach feel and laid back vibes
Amsterdam Roest is a pretty cool place to hang out and arguably one of Amsterdam’s best bars. Tucked away in the East of Amsterdam, this is a gem of a bar with all sorts going on. With a relaxed, industrial vibe, you can enjoy drinks on their city ‘beach’ in the summer and dance the night away to some sweet tunes when the sun goes down. The venue also hosts markets, warehouse parties and festivals, so there’s plenty to get involved with at Roest.
2. ADAM Tower
Why go? For cracking cocktails and the best views across the city One of our neighbours at ClinkNOORD is the amazing ADAM Tower and its panoramic bar and restaurant ‘Madam.’ At 20 floors up, this swish bar offers some stunning views across the city. During the day, the bar is part of the LOOKOUT experience where you can hop aboard a giant swing and check out the views from the rooftop observation deck. By night, the venue transforms into Amsterdam’s highest bar and nightclub. If you want to guarantee a table and a great view, hop over to the website and make a booking.
3. Wynand Fockink
Where? Pijlsteeg 31, 1012 HH Amsterdam
Why go? For a quirky and characterful find in the city centre
If you thought you couldn’t find a half decent bar in the Amsterdam city centre, think again. Wynand Fockink is a great little hidden gem right in the centre of Amsterdam. The bar dates way back to 1679 and specialises in the traditional Dutch drink jenever along with plenty of other liquers. The staff really help to make the experience here with their humour and knowledge, helping you choose from the impressive array of tipples on offer!
4. Hiding in Plain Sight
Where? Rapenburg 18, 1011 TX
Why go? For long and winding conversations and delicious drinks
If quirky cocktail bars are your thing then Hiding in Plain sight (HPS) is the one for you. With seductive chandeliers, crystal glasses and old school ice coolers, this bar has a proper roaring twenties feel. Once a traditional Amsterdam ‘brown cafe’ the space has been transformed into a decadent den where you can sip on an array of quality cocktails like the Voodoo Child and the Vieux Carré, all made with love and expertise. It can get busy in here, especially at the weekend, so it’s worth booking a table and hunkering down for a few hours to sample at least a few drinks …
5. Cafe Nol
Where? Westerstraat 109, 1015 LX
Why go? To say you’ve been at least once …
Kitsch, wacky, a bit out there … is how you might begin to describe Cafe Nol. From the outside, it appears to be just another traditional brown cafe in the Jordaan, but step inside as the sun goes down and Nol comes to life in full blown neon-lit glory … With thick red carpet, frilly curtains, mirrored walls and glitzy chandeliers, the decor is an experience in itself. This place gets pretty jam packed with a mixture of older patrons who grew up in the neighborhood and younger clientele who come for the fun and novelty – all of them raucously singing along to the old oompah ballads with drunken abandon. One of those Amsterdam establishments that everyone knows or has visited (at least once!)
6. ‘T Blauwe Theehuis
Where? Vondelpark 5, 1071 AA
Why go? For its amazing architectural history and cool events programming
A truly unique spot, this Amsterdam bar come events space sits in the middle of famous Vondelpark. Designed in 1937 by the Baanders brothers in the Nieuwe Bowen style, it has a huge terrace which offers gorgeous views across the park and has capacity for over 700 guests, making it one of Europe’s largest! With regular parties, yoga lessons, film nights and club nights, ‘T Blauwe Theehuis is really much more than a bar – but it’s on our list anyway!
7. Brouweij ‘t IJ
Where? Funenkade 7, 1018 AL
Why go? To sample local beers in a quintessentially Dutch setting
If you’re looking for a drinking experience that feels decidedly Dutch then head to Brouwerij ‘t IJ (the IJ Brewery). This small Amsterdam brewery is housed in the former Funen bathhouse, just next to the De Gooyer windmill. You can enjoy one of their locally brewed, organic beers in their own pub or on the large outdoor terrace. If you’re looking for a little more insight into the brewing process then they also offer guided tours. The pub is open daily from 15:00 to 20:00.
Where? T.T. Neveritaweg 59, 1033 WB
Why go? For great views and a cracking events programme
Arts and music venue, Pllek, is just a short bike ride from ClinkNOORD. A structure made out of old shipping containers, and sitting on the banks of the River IJ, this venue has a cool industrial feel to it. With its own man made beach, lots of seating and various events running all year round it’s one of our favourite Amsterdam bars in which to while away a few hours. You can also get here on the free short ferry that leaves every few minutes from the back of Centraal Station.
9. Café de Ceuvel
Where? Korte Papaverweg 4, 1032 KB
Why go? For its eco credentials and gorgeous river-side setting
Another Amsterdam Noord favourite, this is a quirky river-side hangout is made completely out of recycled materials. Grab a drink and chill out on the deck or, if you’re peckish, choose something from their fresh, sustainable menu. With various events happenings – from live music to film screenings and pop up parties – you’ll always find some entertainment at Cafe de Ceuvel.
10. Cafe Hoppe
Where? Spui 18-20, 1012 XA
Why go? To experience
If you’re looking to experience one of Amsterdam’s traditional ‘brown cafes’ then head to Cafe Hoppe. The space dates all the way back to 1670 when it was originally a jenever distillery and, since then, has been a gathering place for the city’s intellectuals – similar to the eighteenth century coffee shops of London. These days, Cafe Hoppe is abuzz with tourists and locals alike. The former tend to head to the smaller bar area with its dust strewn floor and stained glass windows. So if you’re looking for the local vibes, head there too!