The vibrant city of Amsterdam is famous for its colourful nightlife and there is something for people from all walks of life here. The only problem is, with so many establishments to choose from it can be tricky for people who are new to the city to know where to start. Here is a selection of some of Amsterdam’s best watering holes to get you started.
This laidback bar is a huge hit with lovers of literature and Café Brecht is a great place to sit and sip one of the many German beers that are served here, such as Berliner Pilsner, while enjoying a good book. Café Brecht can be found at Weteringschans in the very heart of Amsterdam and this is also a good place to sample traditional German snacks such as bratwurst. Visitors who speak German may also want to stop by on the last Sunday of the month to catch one of the open mic literature sessions.
Bickers aan de Werf
People who want to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city can head to the Western islands to soak up the charming atmosphere of Bickers ann de Werf. This ultra-modern glass cube building offers visitors the perfect opportunity to gaze at the picturesque surroundings while choosing from a huge selection of drinks from around the world, while people who have a taste for the truly decadent can treat themselves to snacks such as caviar and coffee served with Jordino truffles.
What this tiny establishment lacks in size it certainly makes up for in character and the quirky décor makes this Café Belgique a popular haunt among local artists and DJs. Café Belgique is situated down a narrow alley just off Dam Square and is a great place to escape from the tourist scene and discover the ‘real’ Amsterdam.
This establishment is particularly popular with the late night crowd and visitors are sure to receive a warm welcome from the couple who manage this quirky establishment. Loud rock and soul music is provided by the bar’s neon 50s-style jukebox, while the life-sized wax statues of the larger-than-life landlords of Pollux look on.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Situated inside an actual thatched windmill towering over the terrace of Funenkade 7, Brouwerij ‘t IJ is known locally as the ‘windmill brewery’. This is one of the best places in the whole of Amsterdam to sample freshly brewed beer, while people who are on a tight budget are offered the chance to take their choice from five high-percentage beers that are offered at surprisingly low prices.
This charming pub originally served as a Hoppe distillery in the 18th century and part of the original style of the establishment has been incorporated into the design of ‘t Smalle. In addition to admitting the original old oak casks and vintage brass furnishings, drinkers head to ‘t Smalle to enjoy views of one of the prettiest canals in the whole of Amsterdam and the outdoor tables are particularly popular in the summer months.
This atmospheric establishment is sure to be a hit with bourbon and whiskey drinkers, who are invited to choose from more than 1,400 brands sourced from all over the world. People who are new to the world of whiskey can also seek guidance from the pub’s knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff and the atmosphere is extremely sociable.
Chet’s Jazz Café
As the name suggests, Chet’s Jazz Café is one of the best places in Amsterdam to listen to live jazz and the house band plays an excellent set packed with classic tunes for drinkers to tap their toes to while they sit and sip fine wine.
Of course, this is just a small selection of some of the exciting bars and pubs that are just waiting to be discovered in Amsterdam. The great thing about this city is that new venues are being established all the time, which means that visitors will always find something to discover whenever they return. If you’re looking for an exciting city break, book a flight to Amsterdam, and sample some of Europe’s best pubs and bars. Just remember to drink in moderation and enjoy them sensibly!