A relatively small city, Amsterdam is a colourful fair of quaint coffee shops with canvas shelters and bamboo chairs, charming riverside flowerbeds and languorously floating gondolas. At night, it turns into the world's capital of fun, pulsating with the hypnotic rhythm that captivates the minds of revellers from all around the world.
Why not start your night at the Holland Casino, one of the most renowned casinos in the country? Try your luck at the blackjack, poker and roulette tables and slot machines, or enjoy a spectacular dinner in the luxurious dining room. Don't get too involved in the game, though, as the true spirit of Amsterdam’s nights can only be felt at one of its numerous clubs, bars and discos. Live concerts, theme parties and performances by the world's top DJs are all in store for you.
Amsterdam’s pubs and bars come in all forms: from small, cosy pubs with a just a few tables to really large bars with dance floors. During the day, many bars serve as a restaurant and at night turn into a rhythm-pulsing club with live music or a DJ. There are interesting locations to be checked out both in the city centre and the suburban areas.
In order to truly experience the Dutch lifestyle, visit one of the local bars, known as bruine kroeg, where over a glass of Dutch lager or wine you can play cards and chat with the locals. The Dutch are famous for their friendliness and cheerful spirit, so you can be sure of a warm welcome. The decor of these traditional bars and cafes often resembles a 1950s living room, which really contributes to their unique atmosphere. Most bars and cafes open every day around 10am and stay open until at least midnight. Music pubs and clubs stay open until 3am or longer; there are several that accept fun-seeking revellers all night long. Amsterdam will surely keep you out of your hotel room every night.
When you see an establishment marked as a 'coffee shop', be sure that it's not a regular coffee bar. Dutch coffee shops are usually places licensed to sell cannabis products. In the capital alone, there are more than 500 establishments of this kind. As the country has a clear legal distinction between hard and soft drugs (with cannabis belonging to the latter group), it's absolutely prohibited for them to sell hard drugs. In a coffee shop, a single person can purchase a maximum of 5 grams of the product.
Some of the best-known clubs in the city include the exclusive Sinners and Escape, where you can listen to the best music from international and local DJs and enjoy crazy theme parties to the rhythm of pop, Latin, techno, house and R’n’B music. Other interesting places include Cineac, Club Zion and Jimmy Woo. Our suggestion for a late-night dinner is the Chocolate Bar, a comfy place offering a varied menu all day long. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, you can have a meal with the music of great DJs playing in the background. Werck is another recommendable option. In this chic bar, you can find a variety of freshly prepared dishes, a nice selection of wines and an unforgettable atmosphere.
If you're looking for a place in which to indulge in delicious cocktails, you're in the right place. While cocktail classics such as the Mojito, Pina Colada and Tequila Sunrise are widely available in most bars, many of them feature their very own selections of self-prepared cocktail creations. Remember to ask for the cocktail card, or simply ask the bartender to surprise you with something special.