High culture meets good times in Amsterdam, a city as popular for museum-hopping mini-breaks as it is for raucous hen or stag trips.
Its iconic 17th-century canal houses, delightful cafés and fleets of vintage-style bikes project an air of wholesome, timeless charm. In between sampling local food and drink, there are some truly unmissable sights and events to discover. Make no mistake: there’s more to this destination than Rembrandt and tulips.
Amsterdam’s nightlife is legendary, and whether you’re looking for a big night out at a club, a few quiet drinks or a drag show, this city has got you covered. Don't believe the stereotypes, which typify Amsterdam's nightlife by the lurid, in-your-face atmosphere of the red-light district – the city has a lot more to offer besides coffee shops and sex shops.
Leidseplein is the ideal area for a pub crawl, with a serious density of bars that tend to attract a young and noisy crowd. Rembrandtplein is its rival for the crown of most beloved nightlife district, and also has a good variety, from major clubs and cocktail bars to cheap-and-cheerful Irish pubs. Touristy Dam Square draws massive crowds after dark. All of these areas offer larger clubs alongside more intimate bars. Across the city, a wide array of buildings such as gasworks, schools and warehouses have been repurposed as clubs and venues.
De Pijp is another key nightlife district, and with the concentration of great restaurants here, you can find plenty of places to fuel up before heading out for the night. This area is more about coffee shops and bars than mega-clubs, but it’s easily walkable and filled with character.