The Best Bars in Amsterdam in 2024 – From the most iconic to insider tips

Amsterdam’s bar scene beckons as a cocktail-lovers paradise!

Welcome to your go-to guide for the best bars in Amsterdam! This city, with its blend of traditional charm and modern vibrancy, offers a diverse range of watering holes. From historic brown cafes to trendy microbreweries and upscale cocktail lounges, there’s something for every taste.

But remember, the true magic of Amsterdam’s nightlife often lies off the beaten path. So whether you’re a beer lover, a cocktail enthusiast, or just seeking some tasty cocktails in a cozy spot, there’s a bar here waiting to be discovered. Without further ado, let our Amsterdam adventure begin!

My Amsterdam bar tip

Drinking like a local in Amsterdam

If you’re looking for an insider tip in Amsterdam, make sure to visit Tales & Spirits on Lijnbaanssteeg. Order their signature cocktail “The Smoking Mirror” for a truly unique experience. This speakeasy-style bar is renowned for its impeccable mixology skills and theatrical presentations of classic cocktails. The drink itself is a mesmerizing blend of mezcal, cacao-infused Campari, orange bitters, and hints of cinnamon, served with a smoking cloche. Amazing and memorable!!! Tales & Spirits’ attention to detail and dedication to crafting exceptional cocktails make it a must-visit spot for cocktail enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable night out in Amsterdam. Cheers!

Best Bars in Amsterdam

Here you will find the best bars in Amsterdam. From the city’s most iconic bars to the bars that only the locals know. We have selected among the best neighborhoods, the best bars in Amsterdam.

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    Dutch Courage

    Bar & Pub in Red light District
    14. Dutch Courage – photo by Ming Chao – interieur
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    Dutch Courage is a vibrant and lively bar located in the heart of Amsterdam, in the Red Light District. Known for its unique and cozy atmosphere, Dutch Courage is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The bar boasts an impressive selection of spirits, with a focus on Dutch gins and traditional cocktails. From classic gin and tonics to innovative concoctions, the expert bartenders at Dutch Courage are masters of their craft. Whether you’re a gin enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable night out, Dutch Courage is the place to be. The bar is open every day, ensuring an enjoyable experience during your visit.

  2. 18

    Tales & Spirits

    Bar & Pub in Amsterdam Canal Belt
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    Ever had a story served in a glass? Tales & Spirits serves narratives in the form of innovative cocktails that are a treat for all senses. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the bar presents a cocktail lover’s dream, with offerings from traditional favorites to creative new mixes like “Pretty in Pink.”

    And the best part is that if you’ve got a soft spot for tiki drinks, their Zombie cocktail, a delicious mélange of rums and fruits, will win you over. Ultimately, within the landscape of Amsterdam’s bars, Tales & Spirits stands out as a chapter of its own and is a must-visit for anyone looking for a good time.

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    Pulitzer's Bar

    Bar & Pub in Jordaan
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    At Pulitzer’s Bar, elegance meets sophistication. Nestled within the plush Pulitzer Hotel, this bar radiates with Art Deco charm. Prepare to sink into a jewel-toned chair or perch at the golden bar as you indulge in classic drinks with a modern twist.

    The cocktail menu cleverly categorizes each concoction by flavor profile instead of ingredients, making each sip a delightful surprise. So, when you’re seeking the finer side of Amsterdam’s bar scene, Pulitzer’s Bar is your go-to spot.

  4. 16

    Distillery ’t Nieuwe Diep

    Bar & Pub in Amsterdam Oost
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    Have you ever thought about sipping a glass of artisan jenever in a historic polder pump station, all while soaking in the beauty of a serene lake? Welcome to Distillery ‘t Nieuwe Diep, a unique gem among Amsterdam’s bars that’s situated in the picturesque Flevopark.

    Whether it’s the summer sunshine on their charming terrace or the winter warmth in their cozy tasting room, the distillery offers a delightful experience year-round. Don’t forget to try their distinct fruit-flavored jenevers, and remember to check their seasonal hours as they close early.

  5. 15

    Bar Hot or Not

    Bar & Pub in Red light District
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    Let’s talk about a place that truly brings the heat – Bar Hot or Not. Located right in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, it’s a haven of delicious drinks, fantastic food, and unforgettable memories.

    No matter where you hail from, the warm, inviting vibe and friendly staff make you feel right at home. And what can beat a breakfast served with great music and an impressive cocktail list that screams mixology magic? This hotspot promises a night to remember, and I can truly say that Hot or Not exemplifies the infectious energy of Amsterdam’s bar scene.

  6. 14

    Rayleigh & Ramsay van Wou

    Restaurant in De Pijp
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    Imagine walking into a candy store as an adult, but instead of candy, it’s wine! That’s exactly the vibe at Rayleigh & Ramsay van Wou. At this bar in Amsterdam, you can curate your wine-tasting adventure by loading up a ‘wine card’ and sampling from over 100 bottles at your own pace. With wines sorted by flavor profile and spanning a variety of price points, this bar has certainly redefined the wine-tasting experience among bars in Amsterdam.

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    Bar & Pub in Amsterdam Canal Belt
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    Ever wondered what it feels like to lounge in a stylish and vibrant bar right in the heart of a trendy hotel? Lotti’s, tucked inside The Hoxton Hotel, lets you live that dream. It’s a perfect blend of retro and modern, with warm wooden floors, exposed brick walls, and plush leather sofas.

    At Lotti’s you’ll find yourself sipping a cocktail under a retractable glass roof or charging your phone at your table while a local DJ sets the weekend vibe. And did I mention there’s a hidden photo booth to capture your fun times; isn’t that just Instagram-worthy? Lotti’s truly raises the bar for social hangouts in Amsterdam, so don’t miss this spot!

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    Vesper Bar

    Bar & Pub in Amsterdam Canal Belt
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    Do you remember James Bond’s go-to drink, the Vesper Martini? Well, Vesper Bar is an ode to that very legacy. Situated in the heart of Jordaan, just off the buzzing Haarlemerstraat, this bar has an eclectic, playful vibe. You’ll love this Amsterdam bar because they put a twist on cocktails by adding unique ingredients from around the world, like licorice. Here, it’s not just about cocktails; it’s about providing a memorable experience.

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    Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal and Spirits

    Bar & Pub in Red light District
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    The next stop on our list of the best bars in Amsterdam is Wynand Fockink, which is more than just a bar – it’s an homage to Amsterdam’s deep-rooted Jenever distillery history. Established in 1679, the bar emanates a distinct 17th-century charm with its wooden shelves teeming with jenever bottles. From liqueurs and Jenevers to an Amsterdam dry gin, every bottle tells a story, making it a must-visit among bars in Amsterdam for both history buffs and spirit enthusiasts.

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    De Druif

    Café in Amsterdam Canal Belt
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    If it’s a taste of history that you’re after, then De Druif, or ‘The Grape,’ is a must-visit. It’s like stepping into a time machine – literally – this place has been around for 400 years! With wooden casks adorning its walls and earthenware Jenever bottles behind the bar, this enduring establishment serves as a nostalgic reminder of Amsterdam’s rich bar culture throughout time.

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    Bar & Pub in NDSM
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    Over in the trendy Noord district, you’ll find Pllek – a hybrid beach, bar, and restaurant that’s got a vibe you won’t find anywhere else. Think of it as a beach party with beers and rosé mixed with summer movie nights under the stars. And when the sun sets, the party continues inside, under a disco ball surrounded by panoramic views of the IJ river. Trust us; it’s the definition of cool!

  12. 08

    Alex + Pinard

    Bar & Pub in Plantage
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    Do you plan to wander around the Dappermarkt in Amsterdam East? If so, you’ll probably spot Alex + Pinard. With its inviting yellow awning and terrace tables, this charming wine bar has become a communal beacon. Offering a wide selection of European boutique wines and complemented by a seasonal menu of shareable dishes, Alex + Pinard is a delightful find among bars in Amsterdam that’s not to be missed.

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    Hiding in Plain Sight

    Bar & Pub in Nieuwmarkt en Lastage
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    If you love a speakeasy vibe, Hiding in Plain Sight is your go-to Amsterdam bar. Situated smack-dab in the middle of Amsterdam, this bar has a true speakeasy vibe with its cozy corners and personalized cocktails. Oh, and did we mention the music is always top-notch?

    But it’s not just a bar; it’s a hideaway from the city’s bustle where class and sophistication blend seamlessly. So, reserve a spot soon and enjoy an unforgettable night of good music, cocktails, and an ambiance that truly lives up to its name.

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    Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

    Bar & Pub in Amsterdam Old City
    3. Flying Dutchmen Cocktails – Interieur 1
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    Step into the heart of Amsterdam, and you’ll find the Flying Dutchmen Cocktails. Yet, this is not just your everyday cocktail bar. It’s co-owned and run by Tess Posthumus, the genius mixologist who is a multi-nominated international bartender. Talk about bragging rights!

    With an impressive lineup of over 500 spirits, it’s a definite stop for connoisseurs searching for classic bars in Amsterdam. So, stop by and sip a centuries-old cocktail recipe in the soft glow of the bar—it’s a vintage charm you can’t resist.

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    The THE BUTCHER Nine Streets

    Restaurant in Amsterdam Canal Belt
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    Are you looking for one of the best-kept secrets on the Amsterdam bar scene? Then look no further than The Butcher, as it’s more than just a premium burger joint – there’s a speakeasy hiding in the back!

    Sounds fun, right? The only catch is that you must ring a buzzer and give the secret password, so arrive prepared! Once inside, you’ll find yourself inside a dimly lit bar that’s as exciting as it is mysterious. With locations dotted across Amsterdam, it’s an exciting twist to your regular night out.

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    In 't Aepjen

    Bar & Pub in Red light District
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    Are you ready to transport back in time? That’s precisely what you’ll do at In ‘t Aepjen, one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam that’s been serving patrons since 1519. This lively bar is full of curios and 17th-century art replicas and is renowned for its rich history involving sailors paying their tabs with monkeys.

    Today, you’ll find In ‘t Aepjen bar decked out with quirky monkey-themed decorations, injecting a unique twist into Amsterdam’s bar scene. It’s the kind of place you simply can’t miss if you’re up for a drink and a fascinating story.

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    Hannekes Boom

    Bar & Pub in IJ Waterfront
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    For a true Amsterdam waterfront experience, Hannekes Boom is the perfect choice. This bar is an oasis of relaxation, offering colorful picnic tables, a dock for boaters, and a warm, friendly vibe.

    If you’re lucky enough to stop by in winter, cozy up in their cottage-like space adorned with salvaged materials and warmed by a roaring fireplace. But regardless of when you visit, If you’re seeking a casual, laid-back atmosphere among the bars in Amsterdam, Hannekes Boom should be on your list.

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    Bar Bukowski

    Bar & Pub in Oud-Oost
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    Immerse yourself in the worlds of literature and libations at Bar Bukowski, a trendy spot near Oosterpark. Named after the famous writer Charles Bukowski, this bar combines the writer’s love for alcohol and literature.

    On your visit, order a classic cocktail or peruse their robust beer list as you sit under the typewriter-inspired light installation. With its relaxed, friendly atmosphere, Bar Bukowski could easily become your favorite literary haunt among Amsterdam’s bars.

  19. 01

    Brouwerij 't IJ

    Bar & Pub in Plantage
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    Brouwerij ‘t IJ brings the Belgian beer tradition to the heart of Amsterdam. Nestled at the foot of the city’s largest windmill, this old bath house-turned-brewery has been serving up its distinctive brews for over three decades.

    Here, you can not only taste their renowned beers on-site but also enjoy the sun-soaked terrace under the towering windmill. A visit to this original outpost of Brouwerij, ‘t IJ, is a must-do for any beer lover exploring the bars in Amsterdam.

Bar tips in Amsterdam: Do’s & Don’ts

After embarking on our bar-hopping journey through Amsterdam’s diverse and vibrant nightlife, it’s only fair to equip you with some tips to make the most of your experience. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Amsterdam drinker, understanding the do’s and don’ts of the city’s bar scene will ensure you enjoy each sip and avoid any hiccups.

The Do’s in a Bar in Amsterdam

From embracing local spirits to appreciating the happy hour culture, let’s dive into some of the “do’s” that will make your Amsterdam bar-hopping adventure even better.

  • Try Local Spirits: The Dutch are proud of their homegrown drinks. Embrace the local culture, and don’t miss trying Jenever, a gin-like Dutch spirit that comes in various flavors.
  • Explore Neighborhood Bars: Don’t just stick to the city center. Venture out to Jordaan, De Pijp, or East Amsterdam, where some of the city’s hidden gems lie. From Vesper’s playful cocktails to the lively scene at Lotti’s, there’s so much to discover.
  • Embrace Happy Hour: Many bars in Amsterdam offer fantastic happy hour deals. Be sure to take advantage of these to sample a wider variety of drinks.
  • Check the Closing Times: Some bars close earlier than you might expect, especially the more traditional ones. It’s always a good idea to check the closing times to avoid disappointment.
  • Tipping is Appreciated: While not mandatory, tipping for good service is a common practice in Amsterdam. A rule of thumb is to leave a tip of around 10% of your bill.

The Don’ts in a Bar in Amsterdam

Now, let’s navigate the potential pitfalls: the “don’ts” to keep in mind to ensure your experience in Amsterdam’s bars remains unforgettable for all the right reasons.

  • Avoid Tourist Traps: Stay clear of the bars that solely cater to tourists, especially in the Red Light District. They can often be overpriced with sub-par service. Instead, aim for spots like Tales & Spirits that offer a genuine taste of Amsterdam’s bar scene.
  • Don’t Overindulge: The Dutch have a modest approach to drinking. While the cocktails are tempting, remember to pace yourself. Enjoy the flavors, the atmosphere, and the company you’re with.
  • Don’t Disrespect the Locals: Remember, Amsterdam bars are beloved by locals too. Respect their space and keep your volume at a conversational level, especially in smaller, quieter bars.
  • Don’t Forget to Reserve: Some popular bars, like Bar Hot or Not, may require a reservation, especially on weekends. Always check their policy ahead of your visit.
  • Avoid Street Drinking: Drinking alcohol on the streets is prohibited in many areas in Amsterdam. So stick to enjoying your drink within the cozy confines of the bar.

While these pointers will help you navigate Amsterdam’s bar scene, remember that the most important rule is to enjoy yourself. Each bar in the city offers a unique experience and a chance to dive deeper into Amsterdam’s culture. So, take your time, explore different neighborhoods, try new drinks, and make some fantastic memories along the way. Just remember to do it responsibly and respectfully!

What Are The Best Neighborhoods In Amsterdam For Bars?

As you’ve probably noticed, Amsterdam is a maze of exciting neighborhoods, each one offering a different kind of nightlife and unique set of bars. To get the most out of your Amsterdam bar hopping experience, it helps to know the character of these distinct locales. So let’s stroll down the canal-side streets of some of Amsterdam’s best bar-friendly districts.

  1. 01


    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Old City
    Jordaan Amsterdam
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    Known for its picturesque canals and narrow streets, Jordaan is the perfect neighborhood to start your bar-hopping journey. The area is home to some iconic bars, often nestled within historic buildings. Check out places on streets like Prinsengracht and Haarlemmerstraat. While you can find great bars here throughout the day, the area truly comes to life in the evenings when the locals come out to socialize.

  2. 02

    De Pijp

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam-Zuid
    Stadtteile in Amsterdam
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    An artsy neighborhood brimming with hip bars and cafes, De Pijp, is a haven for the young and the young-at-heart. The streets around Ferdinand Bolstraat and Albert Cuypmarkt are packed with a variety of bars, each with a unique offering. It’s a great spot for late-night bar hopping, especially on weekends.

  3. 03

    Red light district in Amsterdam

    Neighborhood in De Wallen
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    Despite its notorious reputation, the Red Light District is a vibrant nightlife area boasting some of the city’s most traditional bars and pubs. Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk are streets you can’t miss. And though the area is buzzing virtually all the time, it reaches its peak in the late evening hours.

  4. 04


    Neighborhood in Amsterdam-Centrum
    Amsterdam Leidseplein
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    Leidseplein is the heartbeat of Amsterdam’s nightlife, with its array of bars, clubs, and live music venues. The streets radiating from the central square, such as Leidsekruisstraat and Korte Leidsedwarsstraat, are packed with great places to grab a drink. The best time for bar hopping here is definitely at night, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

  5. 05

    Amsterdam Oost

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam
    Stadtteile in Amsterdam
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    Oost, or Amsterdam East, is an upcoming neighborhood with a diverse bar scene. It’s a bit off the beaten path compared to other areas, which gives it a local and authentic feel. The area around Beukenplein and Javastraat is particularly lively and worth checking out. Most people find that Oost is great for a relaxed evening of bar hopping, starting from the late afternoon till late into the night.

  6. 06

    Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Oost
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    This rejuvenated area of Amsterdam has a more modern feel, with many of its bars located in converted warehouses and industrial buildings. Here, you can enjoy a cocktail while looking over the IJ River.

  7. 07


    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Oost
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    If you fancy a more beach-like vibe, head over to IJburg. It’s a relatively new neighborhood with a relaxed feel and modern architecture. In the summer, its beach bars are the perfect place to enjoy a drink.

    But ultimately, just remember that each neighborhood in Amsterdam has its own unique charm. Whether you’re seeking a cozy pub, a sophisticated cocktail bar, or a trendy brewery, you’re bound to find a spot that suits your style in one of these neighborhoods.

FAQs: The Best Bars in Amsterdam

Does Amsterdam have good bars?

Amsterdam boasts an exceptional bar scene that caters to all tastes. From trendy cocktail lounges and craft beer pubs to traditional brown cafés, the city offers a plethora of options. Whether you’re seeking a cozy, laid-back atmosphere or a vibrant nightlife experience, Amsterdam’s bars are known for their quality drinks, diverse offerings, reasonable prices, and welcoming ambiance.

What are bars called in Amsterdam?

In Amsterdam, bars are commonly referred to as “cafés” or “kroegen.” The term “café” in Amsterdam can encompass a range of establishments, including those serving alcoholic beverages. These can vary from cozy neighborhood pubs to stylish cocktail bars. On the other hand, “kroegen” is a Dutch term used to describe small, local bars that often have a food menu and a more traditional and intimate ambiance. No matter what they’re called, you’ll find a multitude of bars to explore and enjoy in the vibrant city of Amsterdam.

What is nightlife like in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam’s nightlife is renowned for its exciting and diverse offerings like friendly bars. From bustling clubs and live music venues to cozy bars and cultural hotspots, the city comes alive after dark. The nightlife scene caters to a wide range of preferences, whether you’re into electronic music, jazz, alternative rock, or simply enjoying a drink with friends. More importantly, Amsterdam’s nightlife is known for its inclusivity and welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike seeking memorable evenings filled with entertainment and excitement.

Where in Amsterdam is best for nightlife?

Amsterdam’s nightlife thrives in various areas. The city center, particularly Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein, pulsates with bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. Jordaan exudes a local and relaxed vibe, featuring lively pubs, rooftop bars, whereas the Red Light District offers a unique experience with its mix of bars, clubs, and adult entertainment. These areas promise a diverse range of nightlife options to suit different preferences and create unforgettable evenings.

Is there a dress code for clubs in Amsterdam?

Most clubs in Amsterdam do not enforce a strict dress code. While some upscale venues may expect more formal attire, many clubs have a relaxed policy, allowing visitors to dress comfortably. Hence, casual attire is generally acceptable, but it’s recommended to avoid wearing sportswear or flip-flops. It’s always a good idea to check the specific club’s website or contact them directly for setting any dress code guidelines.

Is Amsterdam strict on drinking?

Amsterdam has a relatively relaxed approach to drinking, with a tolerant and open culture. It is legal for adults over 18 to consume alcohol in public places, such as bars and terraces. However, public intoxication and disorderly behavior are not encouraged or tolerated. It’s important to drink responsibly and be mindful of your surroundings.

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About the author

Das Reisen ist meine große Leidenschaft. Ich liebe es, die Wanderwege in Rio de Janeiro zu erkunden, die besten Strände in Miami zu entdecken, die ältesten Museen in Rom zu besuchen und noch die besten Gerichte in Paris zu verkosten.

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