Nightlife in Amsterdam: Where to Dance, Drink, and Have a Good Time

Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is renowned for its bustling nightlife scene. From trendy nightclubs to cozy pubs, there is something for everyone to enjoy after the sun goes down in this vibrant city. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, enjoy a few drinks with friends, or simply soak in the lively atmosphere, Amsterdam has plenty of options to satisfy your nightlife cravings. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best places to experience the nightlife in Amsterdam, so you can make the most of your visit to this exciting city.

Dance the Night Away

For those looking to dance the night away, Amsterdam has a variety of nightclubs and dance venues to choose from. Whether you’re into house music, techno, hip hop, or something in between, you’ll find a spot in Amsterdam that caters to your taste in music and dancing. Here are a few popular spots to check out:

1. De School – This former technical school turned nightclub is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With a top-notch sound system and a diverse lineup of DJs spinning everything from house to techno, De School is the place to go for an unforgettable night of dancing.

2. Shelter – Located beneath the A’dam Tower, Shelter is an underground nightclub known for its intimate atmosphere and top-tier electronic music. With a strict no-photo policy and a commitment to creating a safe space for dancers, Shelter is a must-visit for anyone looking to let loose on the dance floor.

3. Paradiso – Housed in a converted church, Paradiso is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic music venues. With a mix of live performances and club nights, Paradiso offers something for everyone, from indie rock fans to electronic music aficionados.

4. Escape – This sprawling nightclub in the heart of Amsterdam features multiple dance floors, each with its own music style. With a mix of mainstream hits and underground sounds, Escape attracts a diverse crowd of partygoers looking to have a good time.

Drink and Socialize

If dancing isn’t your thing, Amsterdam also offers plenty of options for socializing over drinks. Whether you prefer a cozy pub, a trendy cocktail bar, or a laid-back coffee shop, there is no shortage of places to kick back, relax, and enjoy a drink or two. Here are some top spots to check out:

1. Café ‘t Smalle – Located along one of Amsterdam’s picturesque canals, Café ‘t Smalle is a quintessential Dutch brown cafe known for its cozy atmosphere and extensive beer selection. Grab a seat by the canal and watch the boats go by while sipping on a local brew.

2. Hiding in Plain Sight – This hidden gem of a cocktail bar is tucked away in the bustling Jordaan neighborhood. With a menu of expertly crafted cocktails and a speakeasy vibe, Hiding in Plain Sight is the perfect place to impress a date or catch up with friends over drinks.

3. Coffeeshops – Amsterdam is famous for its coffeeshops, which legally sell cannabis products for recreational use. While not everyone’s cup of tea, visiting a coffeeshop can be a unique experience for travelers looking to immerse themselves in Amsterdam’s laid-back culture.

4. Wynand Fockink – For a taste of traditional Dutch jenever (gin), head to Wynand Fockink in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic distillery district. This cozy tasting room offers a wide selection of jenevers and liqueurs, perfect for those looking to sample some local spirits.

Have a Good Time

In addition to dancing and drinking, Amsterdam offers a wide range of activities for those looking to have a good time after dark. From late-night dining to cultural events, there is always something happening in this vibrant city. Here are a few ways to make the most of your nights in Amsterdam:

1. Late-night dining – Craving a midnight snack? Amsterdam has you covered with plenty of options for late-night dining, from street food vendors to upscale restaurants. Be sure to try some traditional Dutch snacks like bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs) or stroopwafels (syrup-filled waffles) to fuel your night out.

2. Canal cruises – See the city from a different perspective by taking a nighttime canal cruise through Amsterdam’s iconic waterways. Many tour companies offer evening cruises with dinner and drinks, making for a memorable and romantic experience.

3. Red Light District – While not for everyone, the Red Light District is a unique part of Amsterdam’s nightlife scene. Stroll through the narrow streets lined with red-lit windows and soak in the atmosphere of this historic neighborhood known for its adult entertainment venues.

4. Cultural events – Amsterdam is a cultural hub with a vibrant arts scene. Check out local theaters, galleries, and music venues for live performances and events happening throughout the city. From stand-up comedy to classical concerts, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to enjoy in Amsterdam.


Q: Is it safe to go out at night in Amsterdam?
A: Amsterdam is generally a safe city for tourists, but it’s always wise to take precautions when going out at night. Stick to well-lit areas, avoid walking alone late at night, and be mindful of your surroundings. If you’re planning to visit the Red Light District, keep in mind that it can get crowded and rowdy, so exercise caution and respect local customs.

Q: What is the legal drinking age in Amsterdam?
A: The legal drinking age in the Netherlands is 18 years old. Some venues may have a higher age requirement, so be sure to carry a valid ID with you when going out at night.

Q: Are there any dress codes for nightclubs in Amsterdam?
A: While most nightclubs in Amsterdam are relatively casual, some may have dress codes in place, especially for special events or VIP areas. Dress to impress if you’re planning to visit upscale clubs or cocktail bars, but for the most part, you can get away with casual attire in Amsterdam’s nightlife scene.

Q: How late do bars and clubs stay open in Amsterdam?
A: Bars in Amsterdam typically close around 3 am, while nightclubs can stay open until the early hours of the morning. It’s common for clubs to have a cover charge or entry fee, so be prepared to pay a bit more for late-night entertainment.

In conclusion, Amsterdam’s nightlife offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors looking to have a good time after dark. Whether you’re into dancing, drinking, or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere of this vibrant city, Amsterdam has something for everyone to enjoy. From trendy nightclubs to cozy pubs, there are plenty of places to explore and make memories in this bustling European capital. So next time you find yourself in Amsterdam, be sure to check out some of the top nightlife spots mentioned in this article for a night to remember. Cheers to a great night out in Amsterdam!

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