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Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Q-Factory music performance gig
Image from Rein Kooyman

Amsterdam's smaller music venues

Going out in Amsterdam is not all about big crowds and world-famous dance festivals. One of the musical thrills is that you can find a wide array of pop, R&B and singer-songwriters performing at intimate live music stages all over the city.


Amsterdam, The Netherlands - February 17, 2016: concert of african band BKO Quintet at Paradiso Bitterzoet concert hall.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands - February 17, 2016: concert of african band BKO Quintet at Paradiso Bitterzoet concert hall.

Bitterzoet ("bittersweet") has established itself as one of Amsterdam's core music venues and clubs, both in collaboration with pop temple Paradiso, as well as an independent party location. Due to an incredibly varied daily music program, Bitterzoet attracts a musically eclectic fan base: from rock through punk, hip-hop, soul and funk to reggae – and everything in between. Make sure to check their event calendar ahead of your night out, or visit on spec and be surprised.

Music style: Various.

Bitterzoet | Spuistraat 2 


Musical performance in Tolhuistuin.
Image from Fina Fotografie

The Tolhuistuin ('Tollhouse Garden') is one of Amsterdam Noord’s liveliest cultural hotspots. Cultural activities take place throughout the year, both in the idyllic garden and the three smaller concert halls inside. You will find the Tolhuistuin next to the former Shell site on the IJ, which is nowadays named the ADAM Toren, featuring subterranean nightclub Shelter.

Music style: Various.

Tolhuistuin | IJpromenade 2


Waalse Kerk interior
Image from Foppe Schut

In Amsterdam, ancient churches are also used to worship the sounds of live music. Churches like the Vondelkerk, Waalse Kerk and De Duif are beautiful spots for delicate acoustic music. For example, De Duif regularly hosts a free afternoon organ concert. In this way, Amsterdam’s heritage remains open to the public

Music style: Opera, classical, acoustic, etc.

Vondelkerk | Vondelstraat 120

De Nieuwe Anita

De Nieuwe Anita restaurant exterior
Image from De Nieuwe Anita

De Nieuwe Anita literally translates to 'The New Anita'. And we're not sure who Anita is, but we certainly like her style. From the welcoming living room at the front of the bar, which often hosts intimate acoustic nights and live entertainment, the space extends through to the back where it opens out into a large, two-tiered venue for larger gigs, club nights and other events. 

Music style: Live music.

De Nieuwe Anita | Frederik Hendrikstraat 111


Cinetol is not only a working environment for creative enterpreneurs, designers and musicians, it is also a small pop venue where, in addition to live music, there is room for other cultures such as film and literature. In Summer, be sure to grab a drink at Tolbar's sun-soaked terrace next door.

Music style: Live music.

Cinetol | Tolstraat 182


Once it was a horse tram depot, now OCIII (Independent Cultural Centre) is a venue for special arts, especially live music and theatre. You can drop in here most nights to delve into the underworld of the global music scene (think queer punk nights, hardcore, glitchcore, new wave, experimental hip-hop, metal, indie and obscure jazz). 

Music style: Various

OCCII | Amstelveenseweg 134

'T Zonnehuis

The Zonnehuis, situated on Zonneplein in Amsterdam North, is a historic theatre. Initially, it served as a gathering place for the workers' association of the NDSM shipyard, but it has since transformed into a versatile theatre venue. The Zonnehuis offers a diverse program that includes family-friendly musicals, musical performances, and the opportunity to explore the building through guided tours.

Music style: Various

'T Zonnehuis |  Zonneplein 30

Jazz Cafe Alto

Image from Facebook Jazz café Alto

This intimate jazz cafe near Leidseplein hosts a variety of jazz and blues artists, from emerging talents to seasoned professionals, attracting both regulars and tourists. Monday evenings host jazz sessions from 18:00 to 20:00. Discover a mix of jazz and blues artists in this cosy bohemian setting near Leidseplein, perfect for both regulars and tourists.

Jazz Cafe Alto | Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115

Mulligan's Irish Bar

Irish Flag At The Mulligans Pub At Amsterdam The Netherlands 2020
Image from Adobe Stock

For those with a deep passion for Irish folk music, Mulligan's is the ultimate destination. Nestled by the Amstel River, this quaint pub not only serves up a fine glass of Guinness but also offers the enchanting sounds of a Fiddle, a banjo, and a Bodhrán (an Irish drum) on most days. It's the perfect spot to transport yourself to another world for a while.

Other venues

p60 gig venue Amstelveen interior and exterior
Image from Dion Plasmeijer

One of the musical thrills in Amsterdam is that you can find a wide array of pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, electronic and singer-songwriters performing on any given day. Be sure to venture out to the greater Amsterdam Area for the real hidden gems, like P3 in Purmerend, Patronaat in Haarlem and P60 in Amstelveen. 

Search all gigs & concerts in Amsterdam to explore all musical genres.