Arcade and game halls in Amsterdam
Adept with a joystick? Know your way around the pétanque pitch? Fancy showing off your trick shots? With an array of arcades, pool bars and gaming halls, Amsterdam has plenty of options to 1UP your weekend plans. Here are a few great places for a competitive night out, so get a group together and keep some trash-talk one-liners up your sleeve!
Darts is traditionally associated with warm pints and pork scratchings in a dingy British pub. Oche changes all this, elevating the classic game into a more stylish experience complete with digital screens, signature cocktails and delicious bites. Get a group together and head down to their location on Utrechtsestraat to rediscover this fun bar sport. The kitchen concept is inspired by street food from all over the world, with colourful dishes that are perfect for sharing.
This retro arcade hall at NDSM Wharf is packed with gaming classics like Donkey Kong, Mario and Pacman. A trip to Blast Galaxy promises a novelty experience for Millennials and Gen-Zers and a nostalgia whirlwind tour for grown-ups starting each conversation with 'back in my day...' Conveniently, you don't need coins to play. You simply pay a fixed entrance fee of €15. Then you're set to enjoy as many games as you want or until your wrists get tired!
Amsterdam welcomes a first in the field of French competitive entertainment: Jeu-de-boules (pétanque) paradise Mooie Boules. Not only does Mooie Boules hold 500 square metres of sandy grounds for the sport, but there’s also a food court with six different food concepts by renowned chefs. And when you’ve had enough of throwing those balls around, how about throwing down some moves on the dancefloor with live music and DJs every Friday and Saturday?
What happens when your initial plan for the evening falls apart? Well, there is always Plan B! Whether you’re an old hand who has mastered all the tricks or holding a cue for the first time, this pool café on the Overtoom is the place to be. Participate in the beginner's tournament on Mondays, then move on to the competition on Thursdays. The bar also has three darts lanes and table tennis upstairs.
Living up to its motto as the ultimate gaming paradise for adults, TonTon Club is the place to feed your arcade nostalgia. Try your hand at Dance Dance Revolution, Mega Tetris, Button Bash, and Pacman - just a handful of games on the line-up here. Check the menu for milkshakes, burgers and bites. There are two locations, one in Westerpark and one in De Baarsjes called PUCK, which is all about air hockey.
Pong | House of Ping
What game is more fun, exciting and nostalgic than a bit of table tennis? Paddle your way to victory at Pong | House of Ping, located at the end of Jan van Galenstraat in Bos en Lommer. Besides ping pong, you can also play darts and board games whilst the kitchen serves an extensive food menu, including delectable vegan kebabs. Check the agenda for competition nights, tournaments, live music parties and bottomless brunches.
Ah yes, the end-point of many an alcohol-fueled office party. Tropical-themed games paradise, Aloha, is the one-stop shop for a competitive night out with friends or colleagues. Inside you’ll find several ten-pin bowling lanes, laser tag, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, karaoke booths and a colourful cocktail bar. The Hawaiian-inspired restaurant has a menu loaded up with bites and burgers, and the various drinks packages include snacks too.
Chez Miné in Bos en Lommer is a local hotspot that offers something slightly different. In addition to serving delicious sourdough pizzas and some excellent wines, you'll also find ping pong, table football, darts, boules and good old-fashioned games of Rummikub. And, to top it off, why not swing by for a boogie on the 80s vintage dance floor?
This sprawling pool hall in De Baarsjes has a (charmingly) divey aesthetic and is well-loved by pool fanatics and amateurs alike. With 17 pool tables and three snooker tables, Club 8 is the biggest billiard room in Amsterdam, making it an excellent spot for anyone who wants to shoot some trick shots or embarrass themselves for a few hours. Mid-week you can take advantage of various discounts, including pitcher and cocktail deals served at your table, and the bar is open until 03:00 at weekends.
As the name suggests, you can, of course, play pool at The Poolbar, but there is also a wide selection of board games to fill up an evening out in the city centre. You also have the option to play an old-fashioned game of shuffleboard. The staff are warm and welcoming, the vibes are cosy and international, the drinks are well-priced, and the beer can be ordered in pitchers.
Poollokaal De Gracht
Poellokaal De Gracht, housed in an old printing house on a canal in De Planatage, boasts over 14 tables and has been in operation for over 40 years. Head down for the tournaments organised every Wednesday and Sunday. You can also swing by for a game of billiards, darts, chess and cards - or simply enjoy a few drinks and observe from the sidelines.