9 GREAT THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM
How and where? Let us show you 9 great things to do in Amsterdam during your visit.
THE CITY WITH A LOT TO OFFER
During your stay in our beloved capital city, enjoy the best of Dutch cuisine or visit one of the many coffee shops around as you chill and enjoy a good puff of marijuana. Walk around to take in the charm you’re surrounded with, or sit back and let the canals take you from one highlight to the next. Music, drinks, fun, and laughter; there’s plenty to see and do, so you can start your night out on the town in any way you like. Try seeing the city from different perspectives, because Amsterdam looks great from all angles.
Listen to Jazz at the Bimhuis
Jazz nights in Amsterdam? Absolutely! The Netherlands knows a lively jazz scene and some of the great names in the industry have lived in Amsterdam. Chet Baker was one of them and on the Prins Hendrikkade, you can find a bronze plaque memorial.
Not too far from the best jazz spot in town. The Bimhuis is located on the Ij lake, where it has been since 2005 when the original location closed due to exceeding the new sound standards in the city. The building is impossible to miss and a great example of modern Dutch architecture that has won several prizes. A fixed part of the weekly schedule is the Tuesday night, admission free, improvisation workshop that’s been on since 1975.
Urban jazz, rising stars, electronic, cutting edge and free jazz are just a small selection of their extensive range of performances. Order a refreshing drink, or a full meal, as you get lifted up by the smoothness of the music right next to the soothing currents of the lake.
Check in at the Melkweg
One of the best things to do in Amsterdam is to visit the Melkweg. What started out as a sugar factory, later a milk factory, was converted to a concert hall in 1973. The only reference to its former purpose can be found in the name, which translates as the ‘milky way’.
Located on the Lijnbaansgracht, it is among the most popular nightlife venues in Amsterdam and comprises of a restaurant, cinema, and two music halls. Pop culture is the central theme, which translates into regular club nights and concerts, but also movie nights theatre, exhibitions, and other events.
Clearly, a place that doesn’t like beaten paths and well-defined concepts, but nightlife lovers and party animals are always welcome. Hit the dance floor for the best in techno and electronic music from local and international DJs and skip the cash register with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket.
Visit an Amsterdam Brewery
We all know what Amsterdam is famous for, but a good selection of pot is not the only light narcotic we have on display. Heineken probably sounds familiar, and perhaps you’ve seen it on the menu outside the Netherlands once or twice? The roots of this famous brand, however, can only be found in one spot, and that is Amsterdam.
Take a tour around the Heineken brewery and find out how it all started in 1893. A glass of beer, actually a few more than one, is part of the experience of course. And when their inevitable trick question ‘what is the color of Heineken beer?’ is asked at one point, don’t make the mistake of saying it is yellow. You should never drink anything yellow and luckily our beer is gold.
Do you prefer something local? Brouwerij ‘t Ij has been brewing specialty beer since 1985. Their beers are widely available throughout the city, but they have two locations of their own where you can try their unique brews. They make seasonals, one-off specials and have a fixed selection of classics. Try their ‘Ijwit’ beer, a fresh brew with the surprising ingredients lemon and coriander. It might sound a bit strange, but many call it their favorite.
Take a Cruise on the Canal
You can’t leave Amsterdam without having set foot on board. The city looks completely different from the water and during this relaxing experience, you will hear some fun facts about the city. It’s a perfect way to take it all in without having to worry about getting hit by a tram or bicycle.
A cruise after sunset is pure magic and Amsterdam will reveal many of its hidden beauties. The lanterns on the arches and nightlights cast their beautiful light onto the water creating a spectacular, unforgettable experience. And as the Dutch hardly ever close their curtains, feel free to take a peek into the charming houseboats to see what people are up to at night.
Several companies offer different canal tours. A very special one is the Supperclub cruise, which includes a 5-course meal, performances, and DJ”s. You’ll be back on shore at 1 am, a perfect time to continue the party at the Supperclub itself. Add your special events at this club when selecting your 2 or 7 day Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket, without any extra costs, and get on board.
YOU'LL NEVER GET BORED
Watch a Comedy Show
Amsterdammers don’t beat around the bush. They’ll tell you exactly what’s on their mind in a straightforward way, often wrapped up in a joke. A bold sense of humor is one of many things the Dutch pride themselves on and a great way to put your abs to work while enjoying your holiday.
Boom Chicago has been a trusted supplier of jokes, fun, and entertainment for over 25 years. At their regular comedy show, nothing and no one is spared. Comedians make fun of everything, but mostly all things Dutch.
Bar Players enThe Netherlands may be innovative and advanced in some areas, there are plenty of things we better make jokes about before they make us cry. Taxes, the weather, trains that are somehow always delayed, strange customs and of course politics.
Most shows are entirely in English but check in advance to make sure as Dutch is definitely not a universal language. Secure a seat and get your 2 for 1 entrance to a comedy show at Boom Chicago with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket.
Take a Walk Through the Red Light District
Amsterdam is known the world over for its Red Light District which comprises of 3 main areas; De Wallen, Singelgebied and Ruysdaelkade. Its history dates back to the 1300s during a time when women looking to attract customers at night would carry red lanterns.
Nowadays there are plenty of brothels where sex workers display themselves behind large, red-lit windows. You can find most of them in smaller alleys in the area and at night you will see a big stream of people, curious to experience what this place is all about. The area is also well supplied with sex shops, bars, a sex museum, peep shows, and coffee shops. Where in other countries a coffee shop is just a location to drink a hot cup of caffeine, in the Netherlands this name is exclusively reserved for places that sell and allow you to smoke weed.
You simply cannot miss the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, which serves as a church built in the 1400s. Walk around and take in the unimaginable atmosphere. When you’re in need of a pit stop, make sure to walk past Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket hotspots Players for a free shot and Sportsbar Heffer for a double-up on your beer.
Some locals used to think the Ij lake is a hot, boiling pot of lava and wouldn’t risk their lives crossing it to ‘the other side’ in a million years. But times have changed, Amsterdam North has changed. Nowadays locals actually love going there for the industrial vibe and growing range of entertainment.
Accessibility has greatly improved with the opening of the North-South metro line, but we would still recommend taking the (free!) ferry and enjoy the view as you quickly make your way across.
A’DAM Toren, Amsterdam Tower, provides the views. It re-opened in 2016 and houses a lookout, revolving restaurant, bar, nightclub and (quite literally) on top of that; Europe’s highest swing. You didn’t think smoking weed was the only way to get high in Amsterdam, did you?
Visit the Eye Filmmuseum, even if it’s just to see that remarkable building up close or appreciate the stunning views while enjoying a drink. There’s always an interesting exhibition on and when it closes at 7 pm you can stick around to watch a movie in this ‘house of film’.
Beat your Friends at Game Night
Also, one of the best things to do in Amsterdam. A small detour on your way back brings you to the Amsterdam Powerzone, just a few minutes’ walk from Central Station where the ferry docks. Let this indoor game-hall bring out your competitive side and challenge your friends for a round of bowling, mini-golf or laser tag.
All game areas have their own theme. Michiel de Ruyter, who was a Dutch admiral, rules the mini-golf course. Laser tag is all about underground and the white bowling alleys are brought to life with LED-lighting. Ready to play? The loser pays the next round!
Reserve your group time in advance and get 2 for 1 for golf and laser tag and 2 hours bowling for the price of 1 with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket.
Take a Shot at Fortune
What’s in the cards for you tonight? A bit of luck at the gambling table perhaps? Holland Casino is the only legal place in the Netherlands to get in the game and we’ve teamed up with them to get you acquainted. Your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket gives you free entrance, a cocktail or beverage of choice and free entry to the casino’s club Lido.
American Roulette, Black Jack, poker, bingo and a variety of slot machines are among the many options you have for a night of opportunities. So get ready to try your luck, choose your game and play. Maybe you’ll leave Amsterdam as a millionaire.