9 BEST BARS IN AMSTERDAM
Whether you are winding down after a busy day exploring the town and looking for a smooth transition to a night of clubbing and partying, or just want to enjoy some good music with a nice drink, Amsterdam’s bars are the right place to do it.
What do you think about when you picture a bar? Whatever it is, erase the image. In this city, there is no concept that can be put into a box. There are over 1400 bars around and they differ a lot from each other. The best Amsterdam bars can be cozy, fancy, stylish, loud, subtle, downright outrageous and totally out of control.
Whatever you have in mind for your bar adventure, there is one thing you can be sure of. You have come to the right place if you’re looking for the city’s best bars, Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket is your loyal wingman and guides you to the best places in town as usual.
This place knows how to create a perfect balance between a friendly atmosphere and excellent party vibes. Surprise Bar is ready to have fun because it is always the right time to celebrate life. And it has been since 1992, so it is safe to say they’re experts in the field of throwing a good bash. Hits and dance music make you want to get up and move, so get a beer or a shot and let’s dance!
Your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket makes sure you get a warm welcome with a free shot upon arrival. They’re super casual about the dress code here, so looking fancy is not required. Just be you, look like you and have a great time. Think of Suprise Bar as a relaxed get together with your close friends, where you start with a drink and then lose yourself in the party.
We told you Amsterdam bars come in all shapes and sizes, and Sportsbar Heffer is definitely not your typical local bar. Yes, you can watch your favorite sports on one of the 10 large screens, but if you’re that one person in your group who’s not into a game you can still have a great time at Heffer. Because apart from football, tennis, swimming, cycling and other sports, there is much more. Food, desserts, and music.
The menu is the kind that pleases all. From hamburgers and ribs to chicken satay to a poke bowl, whatever you’re craving Heffer will meet your needs. You’re also well taken care of in the drinks department. Your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket gets you two beers for the price of one. So bottoms up, the game is on at Heffer!
A bar doesn’t equal cocktails in Amsterdam and we love our beer as much as we like fancy drinks. Beer plays a central role at Proeflokaal Arendsnest and their faith in Dutch craft beer is solid, it’s the only beer they serve. They have an enormous selection ready on tap so chances are your favorite from one of the 400 Dutch breweries is available. Apart from the 50 beers on draft ready to be poured straight into your glass, another 100 are available on bottle.
Groups are more than welcome and they have the space for it. Sit at the bar for some good stories and background info to be served with that glass of brew and learn some interesting facts about Dutch beer. Not so much into the liquid gold? Don’t worry. The Dutch may not have invented cocktails, we’ve done a pretty good job at whiskey, liquors and gin. The large selection is all from national soil that has proven to be extremely fertile for great booze.
A spot that cannot be left out from a list that names the best Amsterdam bars is definitely ‘Bubbels’. At this joint, partying is a profession and they’re definitely up for the job. The venue is well supplied to take every celebration to the next level. Music wise, drinks-wise and of course the great ambience plays a key role.
The music they play is a diverse mix of nothing but the best to make sure everyone is ready to dance the night away and stays for another round. A round of anything, from the well-stocked bar.
At Bubbels they always party like it could be their last one. Get here early if you want to be secured of a spot on the dance floor and check the events that are on when you’re booking your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket.
Twenty Third Bar
Do you want to be transported to a magical place overlooking the entire city while sipping an exclusive cocktail that was made with the greatest eye for detail? A spaceship isn’t required to go there, simply step into the elevator of the Okura Hotel and ride to the 23rd floor. That’s where it all happens at the Twenty Third Bar, definitely one of the best and most exclusive bars in Amsterdam.
Exclusivity comes at a price, but the spectacular views are thrown in for free. Amsterdam is literally at your feet while you’re being treated like a royal at this five-star hotel bar.
The cocktail menu offers a choice of classics with a twist and inventions based on local icons with names like ‘Walk in the Vondelpark’ and ‘From Amsterdam with Love’. There’s a good selection of champagne and the bar bites are provided by restaurant Ciel Bleu, Okura’s 2 Michelin star restaurant. Smart casual is the dress code so you don’t even have to pack your suit to make an entrance here. That leaves only one thing left to decide; cocktails or champagne?
Hartje can’t choose and calls itself a club/bar, which doesn’t even begin to cover the dose of fun you’ll find past the entrance. It’s a popular place and one of those Amsterdam bars that embrace both locals and visitors and makes everyone feel like their special guest.
It’s located in one of the streets around Leidseplein, tucked away between an almost endless number of bars and clubs but still manages to stand out. Chillin’ in the VIP area, dance to hits and dance music the DJ’s provide and knocking those shots away. Showing your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket at the bar gives you a free welcome shot. The friendly staff will make sure your night at Hartje is one for the books, good moods and fun applies to everything and everyone here.
On every list with the best bars in Amsterdam, you’ll find Vesper. Why? Because it’s pretty much the definition of a fancy bar but at the same time manages to exceed all expectations. It’s located right on the edge of the Jordaan area, a bit outside of the party neighborhood of the city but still, everyone finds their way here at least once in their lifetime.
Cocktails aren’t just a drink at Vesper, they are science and art mixed together carefully by skilled and trained bartenders who aim to reinvent their signatures constantly. Their creations are praised and recognized worldwide yet their success hasn’t gone to their heads. Vesper is anything but pretentious and remains an inviting, genuine and open place where all guests feel welcome.
Boom Chicago Comedy Club & Holland Casino
Do you want your bar experience to come with a little extra? Your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket gives you bar with comedy, or bar with gambling. Which one is it going to be?
At Holland Casino Amsterdam you can start your night by enjoying the free drink you’ll be served upon arrival, and think about where you’re going to try your luck first. Get the game on, win (or lose) some money, have a few more drinks at the bar and perhaps even move on to the casino’s club Lido later on. Lido is equipped with plenty of places to lounge, drink a cocktail at the bar and show some moves on the dance floor.
Boom Chicago is the place to go if you need a good laugh. They’re masters of making fun of everything and everyone, but especially themselves and the tiny country they call home. It’s an excellent way to learn a bit more about the bizarre politics and strange habits of the Netherlands in a not so serious way. And because laughing makes you thirsty, Boom Chicago is furnished with a nice bar to let the jokes sink in and enjoy the after-fun.
Check all the extra’s you get at these locations with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket!
Bar style and drinks
Many bars don’t have a strict dress code, but most of them do appreciate their guests looking nice. Sports apparel is usually not permitted, so leave the sneakers, sweats and caps behind in the hotel. Dutch people are good at a number of things, their style can definitely not match the French. We like dressing up, but we don’t wrestle ourselves in a suit or ultra-tight cocktail dress for drinks out in town. So take a strict dress-code with a grain of salt and don’t make yourself uncomfortable, the most important thing is being able to move and have fun. A nice shirt, little black dress and your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket is basically all you need for an epic night out in the best bars of Amsterdam.
Looking for the ultimate Dutch experience? There are a few drinks we highly suggest you try. In the beer department, Brouwerij ‘t Ij is an excellent choice for a delicious beer that’s slightly different to what you’re used to. Going for something stronger? You’ve possibly heard about the profound love for licorice that can be found in the heart of nearly every Dutch person. Dropshot is a liquor made with licorice, fancy a shot? And last but not least, jenever. Do you like gin? Guess where that came from. Jenever used to be exported to England but when trade stopped due to conflict the English made their own version. Jenever is quite strong and we suggest you try ‘jonge jenever’ first, which is easier to drink.