Belt out karaoke classics
The Duke of Tokyo karaoke bar is legendary in Amsterdam, and best of all, you can hire a private booth for you to serenade your friends without fear of strangers cringing on the sidelines. Taking inspiration from the backstreets of Tokyo, this bar is fully equipped with zingy cocktails, sake and spirits to keep you singing all night long. Booths hold 4 to 25 people, so if you wannabe the Spice Girls or sing butter than BTS, there's plenty of space to rock out.
Solve cryptic riddles
If you love a themed event and cryptic clues, team up for an escape room adventure. Amsterdam is home to all sorts of experiences; find hidden notes and puzzling conundrums in Xitroom, help a Soviet scientist finish his invention in Back to USSR, battle bloodthirsty zombies in Zombie Escape, or unlock Matilda from her dreams in Wake Up! There’s something for every imagination.
Rent a boat
Cruising Amsterdam’s canals is the best way to see the city, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion – or you want your own space – hire a boat to sail at your own pace. Cruise companies like Those Dam Boat Guys offer private tour packages with a knowledgeable skipper, while Mokumboot lets you navigate the waters yourself.
Do you want to decide, once and for all, who’s the better gamer? Challenge your friends at places like TonTonClub, full of retro arcade games to test your dexterity and dance mat precision, or Ranked eSports Bar, the first bar in the Netherlands for PC and console games.
Test your teammate’s skills in communication and coordination (and forgiveness) on the paintball battlefield. Paintball Spaarnwoude is an open oasis of grassland and woods, just 10 minutes on a train out of Amsterdam, and offers ideal ground for some point, shoot and camouflage action. The location also offers laser tag and BBQ facilities.
Master a pub quiz
Team up or create rival camps for a cosy evening with beers and brain busting quizzes. Who has the sharpest mind in current affairs, the best ear for music intros or a head full of useless facts? Comedy Cafe says it runs the funniest pub quiz (maximum four people) in Amsterdam that’s followed by a stand-up set, while Maxwell Cafe in Amsterdam Oost hosts a pub quiz every Monday night (maximum five people).
Group walking tours
Take a headcount, pack some snacks and step out for a group walking tour around the city. Amsterdam has plenty of options for discovering the city on foot, from alternative tours exploring the Dutch capital’s counterculture to an LGBTQ history route or a green and sustainable route. Be sure to decide on a meeting point should someone lose their way…
Bring history to life
Unlock the city’s history and most fascinating facts through puzzles and games in a city-wide treasure hunt. Mystery City offers two stories to uncover, where participants retrace the steps of revolutionaries through the city centre or the old Jewish neighbourhood, learn the history of Amsterdam and discover must-see architecture.
PLACES TO EAT
Perfect for sharing
For a more informal affair, Amsterdam has countless restaurants ideal for shared dining. From Lebanese mezze to the Venetian concept of ‘cicchetti’ or the Indonesian Rijsttafel, find beautiful tapas plates and abundant food-laden platters in all corners of the capital. Check out our restaurant guide for shared dining.
Smart restaurants for groups
If you want to impress your guests, some of Amsterdam’s top restaurants in gorgeous settings offer enough space and special menus for groups. Restaurant d'Vijff Vlieghen (The Five Flies) serves traditional French cuisine with a Dutch twist and the restaurant’s chef has specially designed a menu for groups of over 10 people. And Hotel de Goudfazant on the waterfront of Amsterdam Noord is massive, making it a great choice for larger group dinners (30-50 people). See more restaurants for groups
Something for everyone
Food halls are the perfect place to go to satisfy different tastes. Places like Foodhallen in Amsterdam West has everything from gourmet burgers to delicious dim sum, World of Food in Zuidoost boasts street food from around the world under one roof, and The Food Department in central’s Magna Plaza, the former city post office, has all sorts of culinary delights with lovely views of Amsterdam’s architecture.
In the warmer months, find plenty of space to throw down a picnic blanket in one of Amsterdam’s many parks. Erasmuspark in the popular Bos en Lommer neighbourhood is barbecue-friendly, Amsterdamse Bos is perfect for a ramble through nature, or stay among the city bustle at familiar favourites Westerpark and Vondelpark, which have cafes and bars to replenish your supplies. Discover more picnic spots in Amsterdam
PLACES TO DRINK
You won’t be short of places to take your group for a drink in Amsterdam, from brown bars to grand cafes and everything in between. Here are some of our spacious favourites:
Proeflokaal de Admiraal is a canalside tasting room for the van Wees Distillery. Here you can sample a range of locally-distilled jenevers paired with bar snacks that will give you the perfect introduction to traditional Dutch cuisine.
Serious beer fans are also well catered for in Amsterdam thanks to its plethora of microbreweries and tasting rooms. Brouwerij Homeland has become a hub of additive-free, honest beer with fresh flavour combos, to be enjoyed on a large waterfront desk overlooking the Eastern Dock. De Bierfabriek is not only known for its world-class, house-brewed beer but its hearty dishes. Better yet, it’s self-serve tap tables make it ideal for stress-free get-togethers.
In the summer months, head to spacious terraces such as Hannekes Boom or De Waterkant for sunshine, tropical drinks and snacks.
Café Americain, located in the famous Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American, is the oldest grand café in the Netherlands, dating back to 1902. As well as a beautiful antique chandelier-lit interior, it boasts a large terrace to soak up the summer sun on Leidseplein.