The Best Bars in Amsterdam
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Holland may be synonymous with beer, and brewpubs certainly abound along Amsterdam's canals—but travelers shouldn't miss a taste of the local spirit, genever, as well as the chance to sample some of the craft cocktails around town. Proost!
Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amazing brew and an even better view—what's not to love about Hannekes Boom, a relaxing beer garden in the revitalized neighborhood surrounding Amsterdam's Central Station? In addition to drinks and hearty nachos, sandwiches, and burgers...
Pulitzers Bar, Keizersgracht 234, 1016 DZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unlike in many European cities, the craft-cocktail movement is just catching fire in Amsterdam. This swanky watering hole, tucked inside the historic, canal-fronted Pulitzer Amsterdam hotel, is one of the best examples. The vibe is...
Jacob Bontiusplaats 1, 1018 LL Amsterdam, Netherlands
This funky spot stands out among Amsterdam’s many urban "beach bars." You can laze away a sunny afternoon at one of the picnic tables or chairs set up on a wide stretch of sand. Cocktails and beer slake your thirst, while decent pulled-pork...
Wibautstraat 150, 1091 GR Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its relatively low skyline, Amsterdam doesn’t have many rooftop bars; this one, seven stories up on peak of the Volkshotel, offers a panoramic look at the city from both its spacious, windowed interior and its generously sized terrace....
Pijlsteeg 31, 1012 HH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wynand Fockink founded his namesake distillery on this narrow alleyway off Dam Square in 1724 (and the building is even older, dating to 1679); some 70 varieties of jenever (Dutch gin), fruit brandy, and liqueur are still produced here today. In...
T.T. Neveritaweg 59, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hop on the free ferry from the city’s Central Station for the 15-minute ride to the NDSM wharf, an old shipyard that’s transformed into a hipster haven with restaurants, bars, and artists' studios. The waterfront “beach...
Gravenstraat 2, 1012 NM Amsterdam, Netherlands
With just a few tables and a handful of barstools, this bar may be tiny, but it packs a lot of character into its diminutive space. Walls are decorated floor-to-ceiling with a mix of beer posters and racy street art; at the small wood bar, eight...
Herengracht 255, 1016 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
By day, the low-slung leather chairs and chesterfield sofas at this spacious bar-restaurant in the trendy Hoxton hotel on the Herengracht canal belong to the laptop-and-coffee crowd. By night, the same lofty, mod-chic space morphs into a buzzy but...
Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unexpected surprises abound in Amsterdam. On the city's east side, you'll find one denoted by a tall windmill: Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery), a small brewery and pub situated in the former Funen bathhouse, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Opened...
Warmoesstraat 129, 1012 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cocktail bar-restaurants typically excel at one or the other, rarely both tipple and nibble. Four month old Tales & Spirits, located in the beating heart of Amsterdam, manages to succeed on both fronts. The cocktails are both creative in name...
NDSM-Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a hopping night, Noorderlicht (Northern Lights) blazes with colorful lights visible clear across the IJ River—hence its name. For those drinking and jamming to live music on a waterfront terrace warmed by a roaring bonfire, the setting is...
Warmoesstraat, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ah, Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam's heart of darkness, the street that never sleeps. Well, maybe...between 5:00–8:00am, after the junkies leave and before tourists arrive.Set adjacent tode Wallen, the city's most famous Red Light District, this lively...
Marnixstraat 164-166, 1016 TG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Don't dress up to visit this grunge bar tucked on Marnixgracht in Amsterdam's Oude West. Don't be put off by the abundant graffiti covering its gritty exterior, either. Inside, Café Soundgarden is a welcoming, unpretentious pub with a spectacular...
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 39-A, 1012 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
In a city that prides itself on its reputation as Europe’s Sodom and Gomorrah, Koningsdag (King's Day) is the one day of the year when everyone gets f*cked-up. It's when Dutchies honor their monarch by parading down canals in festooned...
Herengracht 90, 1015 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Arendsnest is a pub specializing in Dutch beer. There are many, as it turns out—the Belgians get all the glory, but the Dutch are also fine brewers. They also serve a really great variety of cheese, a reminder that nothing goes with cheese as...
Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
Javastraat 67, 1094 HA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Set along Javastraat, in the heart of the hip Amsterdam Oost (East) neighborhood, this Italian hotspot from chef-owner Tom Gallizia draws a lively local crowd to its rustic-meets-industrial-chic dining room. The antipasti is a favorite, while the...
Zeedijk 47, 1012 AR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Founded in 1519, In’t Aepjen is one of the city’s oldest brown bars (the Dutch version of an English pub), and the cozy room regularly draws a large crowd given its proximity to the main train station. It’s also curiously...
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