Amsterdam Nightlife Guide has been written by our Netherlands content specialist – Alara Benlier, who has lived in the country.
If you are looking for an unforgettable night out, this dazzling city offers the best one. The capital of the Netherlands has grown to become one of Europe’s coolest cities to party since Amsterdam clubs are appealing to everyone.
Nightlife in Amsterdam is not limited to one place either, there are a lot of nightclubs and bars in every district of the city – and not only the Red Light District. The most known (and expensive) bars in Amsterdam are, of course, in the epic Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein areas, but you can find other awesome nightclubs on every corner.
From posh nightclubs to abandoned warehouses, Amsterdam nightclubs are always overflowing with wicked people who like to party. Amsterdam might be a small city, but it has several districts.
Suggested: Amsterdam Weekend guide – itinerary, tips, and budget
Every area has a different vibe and different party culture. So, if you don’t want to miss out on any of the hot tips of Amsterdam’s nightlife areas, here are the best nightclubs in Amsterdam.
Best Amsterdam Nightclubs
Table of Contents
Bars in Amsterdam Central (including Leidseplein)
And it is time for the legendary Amsterdam Center! Everyone knows that this famous city center offers a one-of-a-kind night out. Europe’s nightlife capital has a lot of options when it comes to nightclubs, venues, and bars.
The most famous ones are, of course, in the Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein areas. So, if you are ready to party in the center of the city, here are my favorite nightclubs!
Being known as a former church, Bitterzoet offers party animals an intimate atmosphere and amazing shows! With its stained-glass windows, and walls full of cool graffitis, this nightclub has a spacious bar and a massive space for dancing.
In Bitterzoet, you can not only enjoy epic hip-hop battles, and skateboard shows, but also listen to the splendid Afro-Cuban jazz fusion and funk jam!
Cafe de Dokter
Want to time travel and enter history? Visit Cafe de Dokter. This isn’t a dance club but a vintage bar that has been in business since 1798. It is in Amsterdam Centraal near Rokin station. It is a gem in Amsterdam’s busy area which many say is the best bar in the world.
With jazz music in the background, Cafe de Dokter is a romantic place to visit in Amsterdam. They actually play old jazz vinyl on a record player. The fact that it is tiny in size helps and is cozy.
Drink gin or ask for Texels beer – it is a limited distribution from Holland.
Located in Leidseplein, the Paradiso Club is considered as a cultural mecca for art in North Amsterdam. With its spacious dance hall, many small rooms, and exhibition halls, this club has established itself as a community hub! If you want to party while enjoying the waterside terrace, then head to the Paradiso Club!
Being one of the best Leidseplein nightlife centers, Melkweg attracts younger crowds with its tasteful program. Melkweg aka milky way in English is one of the most well-known dance clubs in the city center.
Believe it or not, this place was once a dairy factory – hence the name! It is a popular live performance venue and hosts 2200 people in its epic concert halls. If you want to party while enjoying the famous performers and progressive rock bands, you have to check out Melkweg.
And last but not least, the club Paradiso! This eclectic club is by far the most famous nightclub in Amsterdam. Being a former church, Paradiso opened its door to the party people in 1967, and since then it has hosted many legendary DJs.
Due to its beautiful interior with stained-glass windows, and open balconies, Paradiso offers an amazing view and epic parties.
Club Hartje (Bar ‘t Hartje)
Club Hartje is a popular party spot in Leidseplein. The drinks are cheap, the atmosphere is insane and you will not just find tourists but also plenty of locals.
Ever tried a body shot? Try one here because Club Hartje is famous for its body shots. There is also a VIP area. Entry is free every day, even on Fridays and Saturdays.
Amsterdam West (Oud-West)
Being known as the most diverse part of the city, the West offers a nice time for every taste. With its busy shops, fine dining, cool pubs, and cozy cafes, this district is always fun, whether it is day or night.
If you are looking for an epic night out, Oud-West is a great spot to start the party. When the night hits, there’s nothing more exciting than wandering around the streets of Amsterdam West and finding the best nightclub! Here are some of the best nightclubs in the West district!
If you are a techno-enthusiast, you will love De School. This massive club also hosts many incredible concerts, so don’t forget to check its schedule.
De School is an art cafe, restaurant, nightclub, and also a concert venue. As can be seen from the name, this club was built as a technical school, but later it was converted into a massive nightclub. In this cool club, you can enjoy many local DJs, but international DJs often visit here as well.
De School is actually in the basement of the school, which has a capacity of 700 people all at once. So plenty of room to let loose! If that is not enough, the club also has a music venue, cultural center, and restaurant! Another great part of this club is that it has a 24/7 permit, which means that here is open every single time!
Club VLLA is notorious for its unique electronic music nights in Amsterdam. This former funeral home offers a small, intimate place, and the best music of all time.
With its very cool regulars, this place is a more “cozier” nightclub option. The best part? VLLA is also budget-friendly. You can find the best cheap drinks while enjoying great music.
If you are looking for a very spacious dance hall with epic laser, strobe lights, and excessive light shows, you have to check out the WesterUnie nightclub. This massive industrial-style club is located on the beautiful grounds of Westerpark, and it is one of the most popular clubs for party people in Amsterdam.
With its over-the-top performances, techno, and house music, WesterUnie is a great club for “hardcore” partying. The interior of the WesterUnie consists of no-frill concrete and brick walls, which gives the club a modern vibe. So, if you are looking for a legendary night out that you will never forget, check out WesterUnie.
OT301 is one of the main nightclubs, which is famous for its deafening techno nights in Amsterdam. This former cinema academy is known for its unpretentious and insane cultural events and incredible dance parties.
It is a perfect fit if you are looking for a club where you can release the stress of work and meet extraordinary people on the dance floor.
Want to enjoy a mini-festival during summer and a magical wonderland during winter? If your answer is hell yes, then you have to check out the Thuishaven.
Thuishaven is an outdoor & indoor club which is located in the far west of Amsterdam. With its unique program and amazing day & night parties, this club stands out among other clubs in the West district. The site of the club is surrounded by massive oil tankers, and scrap metal yards, which creates a raw and industrial atmosphere.
From October till April, you can enjoy the heated tents of the club, and between May and September, you can enjoy the wicked stage performances in the open air! If that is not enough, you can also have a quiet hilarious time at the laughing gas bar with your friends.
BRET is made of bright-red shipping containers, this super cool venue is for people who are looking for not only dance parties but also calm dinners & drinks.
Located right next to the Amsterdam Sloterdijk train station, BRET offers an impressive musical agenda for everyone. Especially on Friday nights, you can enjoy nice, soulful music around 7 pm, and dance like nobody is watching after midnight! If you are into house and techno music, you will love BRET.
During the 90s, this massive old warehouse has been used for one of the biggest house nights in Amsterdam which is called “Multigroove” for years. Unfortunately, it lost its fame to other amazing industrial nightclubs in Amsterdam.
Thanks to GZG, who is a young collective of techno artists, Warehouse Elementenstraat is once again home to the biggest techno promoters in The Netherlands! If you are into techno, house, and other EDM genres, you will love Warehouse Elementenstraat!
If you love especially deep-house and other house music genres, you will love this nightclub. Not only that, but De Marktkantine also plays a lot of techno, Drum & Base, and funky music.
De Marktkantine is famous for having one of the most original, and high-quality music collectives in the Netherlands, which is called the Gardens of Babylon. With its big and round dance floor, amazing sound system, and high-end artists selections, here is another popular choice among music lovers of all ages! Just note that De Marktkantine is open every Friday and Saturday from 11 pm to 5 am.
With its deafening techno nights, RADION is another extremely popular nightclub and cultural hotspot among the young generation in Amsterdam. Here, you can enjoy many occasional concerts, live performances, and incredible exhibitions as well.
RADION has a 24-hours permit, but the club is closed at 7 am. But don’t worry – this means that you can get to enjoy other cultural activities within this epic industrial warehouse.
Places to Party in Amsterdam East (Amsterdam-Oost Bars)
The eastern part of Amsterdam is also known as Amsterdam Oost by the locals. It has the perfect mix of modern and traditional buildings and places and should be a part of every Amsterdam itinerary. With its more of a hipster vibe, here you can enjoy the fresh air and greenery of Oosterpark, Amsterdam’s beautiful scenery, and of course, the wild nightlife!
Bar Bukowski is just outside the entrance of Oostpark and is perhaps the liveliest bar in the area. The service is amazing and so is the craft beer. I highly recommend you order “Lellebel” beer from the tap – it is super delicious.
So what’s up with the name? It is named after a writer called Charles Bukowski, and an artwork of his face is on the coasters that are amazing. I visited this bar while I was in Amsterdam for a weekend in 2021.
I’d like to mention that you can also order plenty of yummy bar food in Bar Bukowski after hours when a lot of restaurants are closed. Yayy!!
Spacious clubs are cool, but if you are looking for a more friendly and intimate club, you have to check out Oosterbar. Located under the Generator Hostel, you will have one of the best nights of your life in the Oosterbars buddy-buddy basement!
Here, you can enjoy hip-hop, R&B, funk, soul, and house music in an incredible industrial atmosphere. P.S. Oosterbar also has the best cocktails!
If you are a big fan of collectives like Madness Cr3w, you have to check out the De Tropen Bar at De Tropen Museum! In its elite location, you can enjoy famous DJs playing a wide selection of jazz, future beats, hip-hop, and house music! So, don’t forget to wear your best party dress and enjoy the rhythm.
Interested in the pool and beach parties during summer, and dancing by the water during winter? Then you have to visit the Roest!
With its industrial hang-out by the water, and epic program that varies from reggae and afro beats to house and disco nights, you can dance like an animal starting from 10 pm every weekend!
Looking for impressive shows, and some sensational beats? If yes, then you have to check out Panama Club in the East district of Amsterdam! In this massive venue, you can get to enjoy the most famous names of house music while gazing at the amazing view of the IJ River.
Panama Club has a nightclub, concert venue, lobby, and restaurant all in one place. This means you can start your evening with a delicious meal, and then let loose on the colorful dance floor while listening to trance, techno, urban, the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.
Places to Party in Amsterdam North: Amsterdam Noord Bars
Amsterdam-Noord is Amsterdam North, it was home to craftsmen, merchants, and shipbuilders 300 years ago. This has created a kind of separation from the rest of the city. On today’s date, Amsterdam-Noord is the city’s hipster neighborhood with an amazing art scene. Be sure to check out our post about Amsterdam Noord for everything you want to know about this awesome neighborhood.
Just like other districts of Amsterdam, here has also great local pubs, bars, and incredible nightclubs. So, here are some epic nightclubs in Amsterdam Noord!
Pllek was once a shipyard but is now an amazing party venue. There is a massive outdoor sitting area by the beach, so you can enjoy beach parties during the summer months.
The sunset time in summer in this part of Europe is as late as 9:30 pm or 10 pm, so you can have an amazing beach sunset cocktail scene at Pllek before you start to party.
The restaurant menu is 75% vegan and delicious. They have a Live Stage with a dance floor, that’s equipped with professional D&B sound. You can enjoy unique musical performances throughout the year here.
THT / Paradiso Noord
THT / Paradiso Noord is an amazing venue that’s spacious. There are concerts regularly here and the sound setup is insane.
Paradiso Noord has a stage for performers and often there are accompanying visuals with laser and projectors.
Located on NDSM Plein, Café Noorderlicht, aka Northern Lights Cafe in English, is actually a greenhouse with an epic view. In this gorgeous and chill cafe, you can have great food and enjoy many musical programs all year round. Here hosts many fascinating concerts, music jams, and festivals. Café Noorderlicht also offers you a beautiful outside garden, which you can enjoy during the summer!
Just behind the Amsterdam Central Station, you will find one of the coolest underground venues called Garage Noord! This nightclub not only has a bomb musical agenda but also has the most delicious food and cocktails. Garage Noord is famous for its electronic music, so if you are into that, don’t miss this club! And also, you have to taste its juicy burgers and Kombucha cocktails!
Located in the basement of Amsterdam Toren tower, Shelter is a 24/7 nightclub that hosts the craziest party people from all around the World! This new nightclub has gained a huge reputation as one of the best clubs in Amsterdam due to its epic music mix of harder genres of electronic and techno music. So, if you are into techno, you have to check out the Shelter!
Amsterdam Nightlife Tips
I have shared information about where to party in Amsterdam, but make sure you read THIS section. Here you will find my tips to help you make the most of your party night.
Amsterdam nightlife dress code
Amsterdam’s nightlife scene is pretty simple and casual. A nice pair of jeans, a cool top, and comfy shoes are all it takes to make your night epic.
Normally you can enter most of the nightclubs in Amsterdam wearing casual clothes and sneakers – as long as you are sober. Very few clubs enforce a strict dress code. One of them is Jimmy Woo – a high-end club with an impressive VIP lounge.
Getting into Clubs in Amsterdam
You may get turned away if:
- You don’t look extremely drunk, high, and not sober at all.
- You arrive in a large group of people that are mostly men.
- You’re wearing a baseball cap, ripped clothes, and like a total mess.
Carry a Photo ID
If you are at least 18 years old, getting into clubs in Amsterdam is not that complicated. Just don’t forget to bring your ID and you are ready to party.
What time do Bars Close in Amsterdam?
And you are ready to dance till 3 am during the week and 4 am during the weekend! If you are a laid-down type of person, you can enjoy many cool bars till 1 am during the week and 3 am during the weekend. After you are done partying, you can stay in many budget-friendly hostels or some incredible hotels.
Bars in Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are Expensive
Everything in Amsterdam’s main city center is expensive and so are the bars. The bars in Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are expensive, so party in the other areas if you don’t want to burn a big hole in your pockets. For more information, check out this page by the Amsterdam Tourism board.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam for Nightlife?
If you want to stay and party in the city center, then keep in mind you can walk and reach everywhere within just a few minutes. Still, if you want to stay right next to a party place, then pick a place to stay near Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein – they’re the party areas. In Rembrandtplein, check out NH Amsterdam Schiller for luxury or Coco’s Outback apartments for an affordable option. In Leidseplein, consider booking American Hotel Amsterdam for a luxurious experience, or Leidse Square City Center Apartments for an affordable option.
If you want to enjoy the pubs in Noord, then pick a place that’s close to the A’dam tower, like Sir Adam Hotel or ClickNoord Hostel. A’dam Tower is close to the ferry point that goes to Amsterdam Centraal, so in case you want to visit the city center during the day, it will be easy.
Did follow our nightlife recommendations for Amsterdam?
About the writer:
My name is Alara Benlier, and I am a passionate traveler who is in a constant search for delicious foods and historical places. Currently living in Germany, I visited many places in Europe and met lots of lovely people from different cultures. Before Germany, I lived in Rotterdam for a year and traveled all around the Netherlands. I am excited to share all my experiences on Drifter Planet.
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