Just round the corner from our hotel we found De Saloon Bar. A very small, wedge-shaped pub frequented mostly by locals watching the footy (Juventus vs Feyenoord). Here it seems beer and chips are the order of the day - but the friendly chef/barman will be happy to oblige with whatever ingredients he happens to have - he makes a great bowl of vegetable noodles - as long as you remember compliment him on his hat making skills :)) Oh and the cheese and pineapple toasties aren't bad either.
Dress Code: Anything.
Zotte is one of the many 'brown' bars in Amsterdam (=pubs with wooden interior and furnitures) located just West of Leidseplein. It is very popular with locals, which I like a lot since it enables me to make new friends.
The best feature about this bar is for its wide selection of Belgian beers, a country which arguably has the best ales in the world :)
It gets busy during the weekend so be prepared to share your table, but then again it's a great way to meet new people.
Grand Café De Kroon has been going strong for years on end. It's still an amazingly beautiful colonial-style bar, but it has also been jazzed up to the 3rd millennium! Flat-screen monitors show soothing images and another section has been redecorated to a modern-yet-antique dining section. The middle part is still old-style with high ceilings and the part overlooking the square is more intimate.
Still, this café upstairs from the Rembrandtplein is still best when sitting on the leather sofas and sipping a cup of coffee or a cocktail after a long day of shopping (or before a long night of clubbing)!
Dress Code: Dress up, you won't regret it!
Not too far south of Dam Square, off a side road is the Cafee t'Gasthuys. It overlooks one of Amsterdams canals and is a pleasant place to sit for a few beers, or some food.
The crowd were almost all Dutch, with a one table of English visitors when we were there (and us Welsh, of course). The bar serves hot food and snacks till around 10pm. There are at least too very friendly black cats that live inside the pub!
It was an interesting place to sit outside and people-watch, or observe the many night boats that passed along the canal. Some were luxury craft, candle-lit with wealthy passengers drinking wine. Others were loud, pumping music into the night, filled with young revellers having fun.
Watch out for the occasional passing car or motorbike - the lane is narrow and if you are sitting near the road you will get a mouth full of petrol fumes!!
Why should I go to an Irish Pub whilst in Amsterdam? Good question and the answer is, I sort of walked into one and found a place with good music and great service. The Irish Pub Slainte is tucked in the middle of the Red Light District, next to the Old Church. I could be wrong but I think the White Tulip backpacker's inn is also located here
No hip hop music or techno is played (thank goodness) and the bartenders have such a fantastic sense of humour & lots of energy. You get a lot of laughs, good drinks, good company in here. You can also get some "home cooked" meals but the kitchen closes at 5.00pm. The place has a comfortable ambiance but you also can find clothes like female bras & football shirts hanging from the ceiling. So, you can stay here for hours and down your favourite poison, beer or one called the Yaga Bomb (Yagameister & Red Bull). Oh yes, no use of marijuana is allowed in this establishment, another plus point for me. This is a cool place and will return again
Dress Code: I guess anything goes
Cafe de Jaren is a bar/restaurant near Dam square. Is is located in a beautiful building with high ceilings and large windows.
The first (ground) floor is the bar area with several 'library' desks in the middle. I used to come here every sunday morning, sit by the window with a book and a pack of cigarette and drink coffee for hours. During the summer they will open the back door to a small veranda on the Amstel river(!) that sits about 12 people.
The second floor is a restaurant - they serve very decent food but be warned that they have 'typical' Dutch service. Don't expect them to come and check on you. You need to call them to get the menu, call them when you are ready to order, call them when you need more drinks, and yes call them when you want the bill :)
Small and cousy club with different kind of music every night. You feel like you're dancing in your own living room. Dj's, even the more famous ones, are one with the group and it's easy to meet new people by the bar. Just be sure to check what they have in each night, as some nights are GREAT and some really suck. Check out Internet pages for known dj's. Saturday's "23 and rising" is always good!
Dress Code: no running shoes, no joints! (unless you manage to get it through bouncers without them finding it)
When in Amsterdam do as the Amsterdammertjes! Actually there are probably more tourists and travelers in the coffeeshops than locals. I would imagine the locals have there own thing going on. Marijuana and hashish are legal enough to be sold in around 400 of these establishments in the city. Coffeshops are throughout the Netherlands not just in Amsterdam. Most have tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and soda. Some have snacks and beer.
Het Papeneiland is a wonderful brown café in a great location overlooking Prinsengracht. The name – Pope’s Island – reflects the time when a tunnel ran between the café and a secret Catholic Church across the canal.
The eclectic decoration includes blue Delft tiles, a mixture of wooden furniture, ceramic beer barrels and a stuffed bird!
Take a seat near the bar downstairs – if there’s room – or venture upstairs and sit, as we did, in the window overlooking the canal and passing cyclists. Give yourself over to the atmosphere and let the beers flow!
Open: Mon-Thur 10am-1am
Ready to party, altough when you are the age of 19-27 I guess.
We remember old times when we go now adays.
Real dutch Party Cafe, some dutch and top 40 music to sing with and have fun.
Dress Code: Casual No sneakers and No cab, sunglasses
Strooling along Zeedike one night and a voice rang out "hello, why dont you come in and have a drink". I promptly ignored it. Then I thought, Im going to have a drink, so why not here. I turned and saw a rather large black man. He directed me into what I later discovered to be his bar. The pub was empty!!!. Before I could say anything, he offered me his hand and said," My name is Mike , they call me Lord Mike. Please sit down, what would you like to drink, here is the "mouse" you can select your own music, wait Ill get you some peanuts". Slightly taken aback I retorted, Ill have a whiskey.L M.. Let me get you a large one!!! I asked what he was charging but he didnt answer!!! We chated and he said he was from Bristol UK. I played my Jerry Lee Lewis and Freddy Fender on his jukebox. Then a few customes came in.A nice couple from Liverpool.Barry and Rachel, and some boys from Bury St Edmunds. They bought some drinks , I likewise and we had a hell of a night. The whiskey by the way, was about normal price. The next night I went and saw this character again with my Dutch friends Chi Chi and Cor, who knew him anyway. Another nice night.
Dress Code: He not too bothered.!!!
If expensive drinks, dulling disco/techno/house music and clubs are your thing:
There are so many clubs of all types, way too many to list here, and they are changing all the time (popularity, venue, and how you are treated by the infamous bouncers), so by the time I post a recommendation, that place will change or become unpopular.
Best recommendation is to keep checking the latest nightlife tips from VTrs, Clubzone, Let's Go Amsterdam, Yahoo, etc etc. and read online Dutch newspapers and websites. It is a dynamic & changing scene.
Dress Code: Dress codes definitely determine whether or not the goonlike and sometimes racist bouncers let you in. Dress up, or better still, go somewhere else.
I love checking out the live music at CC Muziekcafé. It's a cozy place with live music every day and great acoustics. The bar is run by a funny music lover, René. There's a smoking room downstairs where you can chill out with your friends.
I'm always at the open jam on Thursdays, but sometimes I check out the upbeat groups on the weekend. They also have an open mic on Tuesdays for singer-songwriters and a world class Brazilian jazz jam with Ferial on Wednesdays. One of these Sundays I'm gonna take a girl for a romantic date to listen to one of the beautiful singers who perform.
Dress Code: Don't just come in your underwear.
Located close distance to Leidse square, this small pub is turning out to be an amazing night club at nights. Busy with mainly local University students, Cafe de gieter offers very nice music with very cheap prices. Beer is only 1 Euro, which makes the place attractive for youngs.
Each time I have been to the pun its full and lots of energy inside. The pub is open till 03:00 during weekdays, however they stop the music at 02:30 and weekends go till 04:00...
When you are at Leidse plein ( Leidse Square), just take the road between Burger king and Sport Cafe. You will see many restaurants on thatroad. Keep on walking for around 150 meter, after the first corner, keep on walkin on the same direction. it is getting more quiet and suddenly on the left side you can see this small pub. You dont expect much from outside, but its nice inside..
Enjoy in Amsterdam
Dress Code: Come as you are.. No code
On the first night of my first trip to Amsterdam, Brian and Jeroen took me here for Cosmos before dinner. On my most recent trip, we stopped in just as the place had opened, for a couple before heading off to dinner. It's pretty spot with lots of different seating areas. There are small tables and large tables, mini bar-like counters w/bar stools and couches by picture windows that lead out to a really pretty garden.
This time around I tried a fun 'n fruity concoction that was a lot like Mojito and so pretty!
Dress Code: It's a Gay bar. Look your best!
By the way, their website isn't available (at least not now). I've put in a link to an alternate one that has reviews, etc. on it.
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