Experiencing Amsterdam’s nightlife is an essential part of visiting the city. Sure, you can go to the Rijksmuseum and see a dozen Rembrandts, but there’s nothing like stumbling out of a bar at 5am and seeing the great man staring down at you from his pedestal in the middle of Rembrandtplein. That square and its debaucherous cousin, Leidseplein, have all the glitzy clubs, rowdy tourist bars, and live DJs you could ever hope for. For a mellower night out, bruin cafes are cafe-pub combinations populated by old Dutch men or hipster students, depending on which neighborhood you’re in. The closer you get to the Red Light District, the fewer locals you’ll find, and the more British bros on bachelor party trips you’ll be forced to interact with. GLBT venues are a very visible and prominent part of Amsterdam’s nightlife, and it’s worth bearing in mind that in this city famous for tolerance, virtually every bar and club is GLBT-friendly.

NL20 is a free publication that lists the week’s happenings—it’s only in Dutch, but it’s pretty easy to decipher the names of clubs and DJs. You can find it outside most stores, supermarkets, and tobacco shops. The English-language Time Out Amsterdam provides monthly calendars of nightlife, live music, and other events. It can be purchased at newsstands and bookstores.

Rembrandtplein

Westerpark and Oud-West

Jodenbuurt and Plantage

Amsterdam Nightlife was last modified: October 24th, 2015 by Will Holub-Moorman