Things to do in Amsterdam

Things to do in Amsterdam

Whereas "Dam" and "Museumplein" are the places to be during the day, this shifts to Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein at night. There are several things to do in these areas. Leidseplein is home to many pubs, restaurants and some theatres, cinemas and clubs, whilst Rembrandtplein’s cafes and clubs are more focused on the partying. In the tram, Leidseplein is even officially announced as the entertainment area. The most interesting building on the square is the coffee shop The Bulldog. If you look carefully at the building, you will be able to detect that the building used to be a police office. Apart from the many pubs and restaurants, not all from the same quality, the town theatre is located on the square. Also, you will find great clubs as Melkweg, Jimmy Woo and Paradiso here. The biggest name of Rembrandtplein is the nightclub Escape, but this flanked by many smaller competitors.

Amsterdam restaurants

The Netherlands are famous for many things, but less for their exquisite culinary traditions. Sometimes the Dutch might even say they don’t even have a national typical dish – which possibly is a reflection of their tendency to see their ‘nationality’ as a strange, outdated factor, unless the Dutch soccer team is winning. Having said that, the Dutch cuisine generally resembles the Northern German one, being based on potatoes and including many winter stews. A typical meal, traditionally consumed as early as 5.30 P.M., would be potatoes, meat and vegetables, but you will have a hard time finding Dutch restaurants. Since one cannot rely on potatoes and the occasional raw herring with onions, the Dutch kitchen underwent influences of the former colonies of Indonesia and Suriname, but also of many other traditions, such as French, Italian, Mexican and Asian. You will find some affordable restaurants in the area around Leidseplein, but beware that in this tourist area, not all restaurants offer value for money. The student streets near Spui (Handboogstraat and Voetboogstraat) and "de Pijp" can be an alternative.

Amsterdam nightlife

As the capital of the Netherlands, most of the nightlife is concentrated in Amsterdam. The city is the location of the trendy clubs as Jimmy Woo, but also of big pop temples like Paradiso. Amsterdam being the gay capital of the world, gays will definitely find an enjoyable club. Especially the Reguliersdwarsstraat is crowned as the place to be for gays. The central area of the town is stuffed with pubs with all kinds of concepts and type of clientele. Nieuwmarkt and de Pijp are probably the nicest areas to take a beer, but Jordaan and Leidseplein are good competitors. The small streets near Spui are popular with students, also because prices are generally lower. Among all the choices, one of the most genuine places is De Bekeerde Suster at Nieuwmarkt. In this pub, you will see some old kettles used to brew beer. The enterprise still brews its own beer, which obviously got a prominent place on their menu. If you are into whisky, the place to be is whisky bar L&B. Situated in one of the side streets of Leidseplein, this cosy place takes a lot of pride in whisky list containing more than 900 names. Apart from Scotch and Irish whisk(e)y, there are American, French and even Japanese brands in their collection.


De Bekeerde Suster, Nieuwmarkt 32
Whiskybar L&B, Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 82-84

Amsterdam clubs

In the Leidseplein area, Melkweg and Paradiso are the biggest and most popular clubs. Melkweg is a great place for a cool night out, but Paradise probably even has a better reputation. Paradiso is located in an old church – how often have you looked at a rosary while dancing? The club programmes bigger and smaller Dutch and international bands, but also has some great special evenings. Noodlanding on Thursday is one of their best. But in the Leidseplein area, you will find many other clubs, such as Sugar Factory and Jimmy Woo. The last one generally considered the most fancy one and also the place where soap stars and other publicly known Dutchmen go partying. Unfortunately, the doorbitches seem to use rather non-transparent criteria in their admission policy. Other traits are Odeon near Koningsplein, Escape at Rembrandtplein and Panama, situated to the east of main station. Another interesting place breathing a lot of creativity is Canvas op de 7e. This place is situated in the building where formerly the newspaper Volkskrant had its offices. Now, the building is used for ateliers, exhibitions, and this club on the last floor.


Melkweg, Lijnbaansgracht 234-A
Paradiso, Weteringschans 6
Sugar Factory, Lijnbaansgracht 238
Jimmy Woo, Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 18
Odeon, Singel 460
Escape, Rembrandtplein 15
Panama, Oostelijke Handelscade 4
Canvas op de 7e, Wibautstraat 150

Amsterdam theatre

Being the place where the artistic and cultural elite tends to live, Amsterdam has the best of theatre to offer. The main theatre (Stadschouwburg) is situated on Leidseplein and stages plays and performances by the biggest national theatre groups. The opera house is located in the town hall, which is called Stopera for it combines the stadhuis (town hall) with the opera. Next to these places, there are some smaller theatres to find in the areas around Leidseplein, like Bellevue and the Nieuwe de La Mar Theater. Outside the very centre, in Jordaan, you will find the Rozentheater. In case you like a comedy show, the American style Boom Chicago at Leidseplein does all its performances in English. The best place to see a movie is Pathe Tuschinksi. This cinema is housed in a wonderful art deco building with oriental influences. A good suggestion if you want to see some play or concert, but want to save on money and if you don’t have a very strong preference what to see is to go the Amsterdams Uitburo at Leidseplein. If you come here after 12.00, you’ll be able to get unsold tickets for selected plays and concerts of the same night with a 50% discount.


Stadshouwburg, Leidseplein 26
Stopera, Waterlooplein 22
Bellevue, Leidsekade 90
Nieuwe de La Mar theatre, Marnixstraat 404
Rozentheater, Rozengracht 117
Boom Chicago, Leidseplein 12
Pathe Tuschinski, Reguliersbreestraat 26
Uitburo, Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 21

Amsterdam concerts

Jazz, classical music, or big pop concerts: when you know where to go, you’ll find it. To start with classical music, the Concertgebouw (Concert House) at Museumplein and its own orchestra are top of the bill. For jazz and contemporary music, the Bimhuis and the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, both in the area eastwards of the main station, are the best suggestions. The biggest podium of Amsterdam for concerts is the Heineken Music Hall. To see international super stars, you’ll have to be at this huge hall next to the Amsterdam Bijlmer station and the Ajax Amsterdam stadium in the south-eastern part of the city.


Concertgebouw, Concertgebouwplein 2-6
Bimhuis, Piet Heinkade 3
Muziekgebouw, Piet Heinkade 1
Heineken Music Hall, De Corridor 9

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