Best Nightlife in Amsterdam

10 Best Places to Admire Amsterdam at Night and Enjoy an Evening Out

At night, Amsterdam transforms into something totally different than in daytime. Many will stroll along the canals, admiring the elegance and peacefulness of the city. However, inside the numerous cafes, bars and clubs, Amsterdam is teeming with excitement. Whether you’re a frequent visitor to the nightlife scene or are just visiting, Amsterdam will make you feel at home.

Nightlife is not confined to one spot. While the main areas are Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, you can also find other great places scattered around the city. Amsterdam provides music of all types, various performances, places that you can let loose, as well as comedy clubs and low-key establishments. No matter what you’re looking for or the mood that you’re in, the city caters to everyone.

At Boom Chicago, you will not stop laughing. Catch a performance, show or concert at the Concertgebouw, Melkweg or Bimhuis; your ears will thank you. Or take the free ferry to Amsterdam Noord for a low-key evening out at Café Noorderlicht. If musical talent is more your thing, definitely check out Jimmy Woos, Paradiso or Studio 80.

The trams stop around 00:30, but there are also night buses that go every half hour to various parts of the city. So at the end of the night, keep the time in mind when you’re contemplating walking back or finding alternative transportation.



Jazz up your night at the Bimhuis – one of the best jazz clubs in the city. Located on the IJ River in the Muziekgebouw, the Bimhuis is known for its focus on music since 1974. Attend one of the many shows and see jazz music at it's finest. Additionally, every Tuesday night at 20:00 and 22:00, the Bimhuis holds a workshop and session. Watch musicians work on their improvisation skills; it's free for both musicians and visitors. The first Monday of the month at 20:30 also offers a lab where musicians and dancers can come together. The sessions are in collaboration with and led by the Music Conservatory of Amsterdam. If you love jazz, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without visiting the Bimhuis.

Jessica's expert tip: Stop by on Tuesday nights at 20:00 and 22:00, where you can watch musicians work on their improvisation skills; entrance is free.

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If you love electronic music, Studio 80 is the place in Amsterdam to dance the night away. Listen to a variety of DJs, from seasoned veterans and renowned artists to new talent and experimental initiatives. However, this club is more than just a place to let your hair down; it's also a great place to learn. Studio 80 aims to educate and support young aspiring talent. The venue offers workshops, internships and seminars. For instance, in one of the workshops, you can learn the tricks of the trade and acquire the basic skills to be a great DJ. At Studio 80, immerse yourself in the electronic and contemporary music culture.

Jessica's expert tip: If you want to get an idea of what Studio 80 is all about, check out their Internet radio program, as well.

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Cafe Weber Lux
Photo courtesy of Cafe Lux

Cafe Lux and Cafe Weber, both located near Leidseplein, provide an intimate and cozy atmosphere for a fun evening out. Whether you're looking for a place to have a few drinks before going dancing or want to wind down after a long night, Cafe Lux and Weber are good for any occasion. With three open levels, both cafes provide plenty of seating. Be aware that Fridays and Saturdays are extremely packed; these two bars are popular. When you're at Cafe Lux and Weber, you're at a favorite of artists, musicians, students and foreigners. Guaranteed, the audience and experience is different each night.

Jessica's expert tip: Fridays and Saturdays are extremely packed, so make sure to catch a spot early.

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Bo Cinq
Photo courtesy of Bo Cinq

Bo Cinq is one of Amsterdam's best-kept secrets, tucked away near Leidseplein. The second you walk in, you'll feel at home. The space offers a restaurant and two lounges, one of which is a smoking lounge. The restaurant serves a fusion of French and Arabic cuisine, and the lounges make you feel as if you're sitting in the comfort of your own living room. Instead, you're surrounded by people full of life and excitement, all ready to enjoy their evening out. The d--cor, with brick walls, old flooring and quirky, comfortable chairs, helps contribute to the atmosphere. So if you want a low-key evening out, try Bo Cinq.

Jessica's expert tip: Arrive early; the funky chairs fill up fast.

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Head to the Melkweg and experience five different disciplines in one place. It doesn't matter what you find fantastic – photography, music, dance, theatre, films or something else art related – Melkweg has a little something for everyone. Housed in an abandoned dairy factory, Melkweg was originally founded in 1970 as an outlet for the arts. Now, the venue welcomes young and old, amateur and experienced, with its multi-faceted mix of experimental and classical programming. For most night programs, you must be at least 16 years old. A Melkweg membership is required for most events, as well. You can purchase a monthly or annual membership; the annual option provides many benefits, including free admission to select concerts and performances, discounts and pre-sale advantages.

Jessica's expert tip: An annual membership provides many benefits, including free admission to select concerts and performances, discounts and pre-sale advantages.

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Amsterdam - North
Café Noorderlicht
Photo courtesy of Jessica Lipowski

Take the free ferry to the NDSM-werf in Amsterdam Noord, and you will find Cafe Noorderlicht. Admire Amsterdam from the "other" side of the IJ River. Cafe Noorderlicht is like no other place in the city; you walk into another world when you're here. Relax on the terrace, soak up some sun and gaze over the sparking blue water. Grab a quick bite to eat – make sure to try the nachos – or have a drink with friends. At night, surround yourself in a sphere of color, as the cafe has carefully hung strings of lights around the venue. Check out the agenda ahead of time; NDSM-werf is known for its creativity, and various artists play at the cafe throughout the year. At Cafe Noorderlicht, the night is what you make it.

Jessica's expert tip: Depending on where you need to go, and how late you want to stay out, make sure to check the times for your transportation, such as the ferry.

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Jimmy Woo
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Woo

At Jimmy Woo, a luxurious night club located near Leidseplein, you'll be dazzled by the design and blown away by the sound; the club won the "Dutch Design" prize and was awarded the "best club sound in the Netherlands." Come for one of the themed club nights, dance to the DJ downstairs or relax and have a drink upstairs. Every night is a unique experience at the Woo. The space is intimate and cozy, fitting only 600 or 650 people. Tip: Be sure to arrive early or reserve a table. Dress to impress. As it's a members club, Jimmy Woo is known for its door policy and likes to minimize the guest list. Enter the Woo and embark on a night of fun.

Jessica's expert tip: Come early or reserve a table. Jimmy Woo is a members club and likes to minimize the guest list.

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Since 1968, Paradiso has been a location for creative talent. Now, Paradiso, once a church, has evolved into a concert hall, club and cultural center, attracting people of all ages. World famous musicians, such as Al Green and Lady Gaga, have played in the Main Hall, while several other artists, such as Franz Ferdinand and Kings of Leon, have made their start in the Small Hall. The entire music spectrum is covered: rock, folk, soul, country, reggae, eclectic and blues. Five nights a week, Paradiso is also a club, providing an outlet for people to let loose and dance the night away. The venue also offers non-musical events, such as lectures, fashion shows and dance performances. It's truly a place for everyone.

Jessica's expert tip: The summer cafe party programs, featuring musicians, songwriters and DJs, offer free entrance.

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Attend one of the many concerts at the Concertgebouw and lose yourself in the sound of sweet, classical music and modern compositions. Internationally renowned for being one of three halls with the best acoustics in the world, the Concertgebouw is a place you cannot miss. With three different halls, the main hall, recital hall and choir hall, the Concertgebouw program offers a wide range of shows, from piano music to chamber performances and jazz to children's concerts. Turn the experience into a complete evening out; have dinner in the Mirror Hall before certain concerts or enjoy one of the many delicious restaurants nearby. If you don't want to go in the evening, try a Sunday morning concert followed by brunch or visit for free on Wednesdays at 12:30 – the lunch concert series (queue early).

Jessica's expert tip: Visit for free on Wednesdays at 12:30 – the lunch concert series. Make sure to queue early.

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If you're looking for something that will make you laugh, or if you simply want an entertaining evening out, look no further than Boom Chicago. This comedy club, founded by American expatriates, will make you laugh so hard that it'll knock your socks off. Situated in the heart of Amsterdam, it's the perfect place to start or end your night. Boom Chicago offers different types of shows, with topics ranging from the Dutch people and American politics to pure improvisation. There is even a show called "Deep Undercover" that is part theatre, part journey and part real life. With various packages to accompany the shows, you can complete your evening out with drinks, a canal tour and more. Student discounts are available on Wednesday nights.

Jessica's expert tip: Shot of Improv is extremely fun and always different. Plus, you can earn a free shot. The show is Saturday nights at 22:30.

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Meet Jessica Lipowski

Jessica has fallen in love with the Netherlands. She moved in 2011, seizing an opportunity to live abroad, a long-time dream.

In May 2016, she published a non-fiction book, "Flavors of...  More About Jessica