Bars & cafés in Amsterdam

Whether you’re after soaking up the atmosphere of a traditional Dutch brown café, lounging in a city luxurious grand café, enjoying a summer cocktail on one of the city’s many terraces or checking out the thriving bar scene, Amsterdam is the perfect place to enjoy a drink.

With its rich heritage in brewing and distilling, you could say that Amsterdam likes a tipple. It’s impossible to walk for more than 50ft in the city without stumbling across a bar or café, and indeed watching the world go by from the comfort of a canal side terrace bar is one of the most pleasurable ways to while away an afternoon in Amsterdam.

Bars in Amsterdam: From brown cafés to cocktail chic

For a taste of authentic Amsterdam bar culture, head to one of the city’s many ‘brown cafés'; so-called because of their nicotine stained walls and cosy wooden décor. Here you’ll find good Dutch beer, locally distilled (often on-site) jenever and a warm welcome in historic surroundings. Serious beer fans are also well catered for in Amsterdam thanks to a plethora of microbreweries and tasting rooms dotted around the city. Read our guide to the top 10 speciality beer bars in Amsterdam

If you’re looking for something a little more shaken and stirred, then explore Amsterdam’s vibrant cocktail scene at one of its many buzzing cocktail bars; covering everything from swanky hotel bar chic to tatt-and-tache hipster hotspots.

Cafés and coffee  

But of course it’s not all about the booze. Amsterdam’s burgeoning coffee culture is one of Europe’s finest, and the term 'coffee shop' is slowly beginning to take on a whole new meaning in the city as more and more serious bean roasters ensure that you’re never far from a lovely cuppa. For a brew with a difference, check out our guide to 10 arty coffee spots in Amsterdam, where you can enjoy a finely roasted cuppa whilst indulging in some very arty surroundings, or take a look at our favourite 15 coffee spots in Amsterdam

Bars and cafes in Amsterdam

V C CocktailBars Marie Charlotte Peze

Cocktail bars

For a delightful evening out, stop by one of Amsterdam’s best cocktail bars to sip some well-made classics or inventive new mixes. There’s plenty of c...
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V C BrownCafes NC

Brown cafés

For a taste of authentic Amsterdam flavour and Dutch culture, don't miss a visit to a traditional Dutch pub known as a 'brown café' (bruin café). Thes...
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V C GrandCafes NC

Grand cafés

Occupying a steadfast place within Amsterdam's long tradition of café culture, the city's grand cafés are spacious and stylish places to unwind. Nothi...
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Top 10 arty coffee houses

Amsterdam is full of great art museums and galleries, and there is certainly no shortage of cool cafés, either. But what about combining the tw...
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V C BeerSampling NC

Beer sampling

Our neighbours in Belgium get most of the credit, but did you know that the Netherlands is also a haven for finely-crafted local beers? From rich trip...
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Best terraces across Amsterdam

Soaking up the sun with a drink in hand is one of the most popular summer pastimes in Amsterdam. There are excellent terrace bars to be found in every...
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CC BY 2.0 Daniel Persson via Flickr

Tasting rooms

The Dutch are known for beer, but lesser known outside the Netherlands is another spirit: jenever, a precursor to gin. For a unique tasting experience...
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Amsterdam Conservatorium hotel cocktail bar Tunes, Elisah Jacobs

Hotel bars

Hotels aren't just for sleeping. With plenty of fantastic hotel bars on offer in Amsterdam – ranging from decadent to über-cool – they are now an exci...
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Stork cafe Amsterdam Marie-Charlotte Pezé

Bars and cafés

Browse through a complete list of Amsterdam's top bars and cafés, and search by neighbourhood.
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