From live music joints to 1940s bunkers and 24-hour warehouse raves, these are the top spots for your next night out
Written by Kyle MacNeill, Derek Robertson & Callum BoothTuesday 19 September 2023FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailWhatsAppAdvertising
Though Amsterdam is trying to move away from being a tourist party destination, it’s still known for being very, very fun. From hen dos and party boats to the red light district and those infamous coffee shops, Amsterdam is a seriously good time, and one you’ve likely had on your bucket list for a while.
So if you’re ready for a night out that never has to end, you’ve come to the right place. Dam has a diverse nightlife scene to suit all tastes, from DJ sets at 24-hour thumping clubs to live music at a trendy 1940s bunker. Like Berlin? You’ll find the influence of its gritty nightlife scene right here. Budapest? Find ruin bar equivalents a-plenty. Read on for the best clubs in Amsterdam right now.
Best nightclubs in Amsterdam
1. De School
What is it? An incredibly cool club in a former school building. Here you’ll find a restaurant, cafe, and a ton of education and arts programmes running all year round.
Why go? De School has somewhat of a cult following, not just in Amsterdam but across the rest of the world too for its legendary club nights. Plus this could be your last chance to visit — its temporary lease runs out in 2024, when the team will look for another venue. Act fast.
2. Garage Noord
What is it? An old car repair shop that transforms into a club after 10:30pm.
Why go? Situated across the IJ in the north of Amsterdam, Garage Noord is an intimate club with a non-commercial feel. It plays a diverse range of music and prides itself on its progressive environment, one that channels the history of dance as a place that welcomes anyone.
What is it? A club that was taken over as a squat in 1999, 0T301 is the city’s most iconic night out. It’s now a legal venue, but hasn’t lost its rebellious vibe. Amidst it all, 0T301 has stayed true to its character (and cheap).
Why go? This is a no-judgement space, and one where you can completely let loose. But it’s also a social enterprise which is worth supporting, heavily involved with the activism and squatting scene in Amsterdam.
4. Radio Radio
What is it? A hidden gem nestled in Amsterdam’s Westerpark.
Why go? What happens when you mix a radio station, pizza restaurant, and night club? That’s right, Radio Radio. One of the newer clubs in Amsterdam, Radio Radio plays a mix of modern sounds from a cutting-edge array of DJs through a beefy sound system. It’s cosy and intimate, which only adds to its charm.
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5. Club NYX
What is it? NYX is known for its cracking drag and LGBTQ+ nights, but every night here is gloriously welcoming to all. Expect three floors of dancehall, Dutch hip-hop and pop tunes.
Why go? With a playlist of crowd-pleasing anthems and a friendly atmosphere, NYX is guaranteed to plant a toothy grin on your face. Plus, there’s a DJ in the open-plan bathroom – where else has that?
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What is it? An industrial haven for ravers in an unassuming slab of the city’s Nieuw-West district. Expect a banging sound system and ‘mini parties’ that kick off in the underground smoking room.
Why go? It hosts the kind of pulsating techno that clobbers clubbers around the face and leaves them drenched in sweat from non-stop dancing. The club also has a 24-hour licence, meaning the dancing really can be non-stop. Take it from us; this is a seriously big night out. Oh, and you can even cop an ice lolly at the bar to cool down.
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What is it? After dinner, the seventh floor of this former newspaper office – now a hotel, bar and restaurant complex – is cleared of tables and transforms into one of the city’s coolest clubs.
Why go? If your dancing feet are feeling the strain, grab a cocktail and head out onto one of the terraces to enjoy panoramic views across the city. The music caters to a fashionably young, multicultural audience, entrance is free, and there are even hot tubs on the roof (though they’re not always in use).
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What is it? If you like a side of vintage with your night out, you’ll love this 1940s bunker. Tucked beneath a bridge, the Vondelbunker space was originally constructed as an atomic bomb shelter in the wake of the Second World War.
Why go? Two words; free entry. There’s an all-inclusive DIY vibe here, allowing for some truly punk nights.
What is it? Set in an old bus warehouse, this club strives for something different.
Why go? With a spacious courtyard and a raw inside space, Lofi is a creative oasis in the Sloterdijk area of Amsterdam. Its goal is to bring culture and music together, creating a scene that differs from polished clubs, making something more authentic and, well, lofi.
Photograph: Paul2 / Wikimedia Commons
10. Jimmy Woo
What is it? An exclusive two-floor club with an Asian-themed bar and a dancefloor lit by more than 12,000 bulbs that pulse in time to the music. Clubbing really doesn’t get more stylish.
Why go? The ultra-hip surroundings are only half the story – Jimmy Woo really knows how to throw a party. COCO is the best R&B and hip-hop night in town, while the Thursday Back To The ’90s party is a riot of guilty pleasures. Be warned, though – the door policy is strict, and it isn’t clear what the criteria are.
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What is it? Brutally brutalist, Shelter looks and sounds like it’s been stolen from Berlin and plonked in the Dutch capital. Find it in the basement of the A’dam Toren, a ferry away from Centraal.
Why go there? Head to Shelter for an intense, unforgettable night out. It’s not for the faint-hearted. A 24-hour licence, all-black décor and a bassy sound system at ear-drum-perforating levels make this club one for the ’eads. So much hertz it hurts (in a good way).