12 Must-Visit Pubs, Bars, and Cafes in Amsterdam

12 Must-Visit Pubs, Bars, and Cafes in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is world-renowned for its rich history, picturesque canals, vibrant nightlife, and eclectic bar scene. As one of Europe’s top destinations, Amsterdam draws over 6 million international visitors every year.

The city’s laidback atmosphere and abundance of cozy pubs, lively bars, and charming cafes make it easy to see why Amsterdam is such a popular choice for weekend city breaks and longer holidays.

Whether you’re a first-time tourist or local looking for a new neighborhood gem, Amsterdam has a diverse array of drinking establishments to suit any taste. From historic brown cafes and local proeflokaals to sleek cocktail lounges and buzzing nightclubs, the city has it all.

To help you make the most of Amsterdam’s incredible bar scene, we’ve put together this list of 12 must-visit pubs, bars, and cafes guaranteed to give you a great taste of what this dynamic city has to offer.

1. De Drie Fleschjes

Established: 1650

Address: Gravenstraat 18, 1012 NM Amsterdam

With origins dating back to 1650, De Drie Fleschjes is Amsterdam’s oldest pub and one of the city’s most fascinating and historic drinking spots.

Housed in a tiny brick building along the Keizersgracht canal, this atmospheric pub specializes in jenever – a traditional Dutch gin that was hugely popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. De Drie Fleschjes has an extensive selection of jenevers, including young, old, and barrel-aged varieties.

Beyond jenever, De Drie Fleschjes also serves a variety of beers, wines, and other spirits in a cozy, dimly-lit setting. With antique bottles lining the walls and shelves, this historic gem offers a glimpse into Amsterdam’s rich distilling past. It’s a must-visit for any spirit lover exploring the city.

2. Brouwerij ‘t IJ

Established: 1985

Address: Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without visiting Brouwerij ‘t IJ, the city’s most iconic brewery. This small artisanal brewery, founded in 1985, is housed in a Rembrandt-era windmill dating back to 1725 along the banks of the IJ river.

Brouwerij ‘t IJ brews around 5 different beers including a Belgian-style tripel, Indian pale ale, and seasonal offerings. The most popular is the Columbus Amber Ale, an American-style pale ale. Brouwerij’s outdoor seating area offers picture-perfect views of the windmill brewery, making it one of Amsterdam’s most postcard-worthy spots to grab a cold, refreshing beer.

Beyond great brews and atmosphere, Brouwerij ‘t IJ also hosts live music and other cultural events, from blues nights to art exhibits. It’s a must-see Amsterdam institution.

3. Gollem

Established: 1974

Address: Raamsteeg 4, 1012 VZ Amsterdam

With one of the most extensive beer selections in the Netherlands, Gollem is a paradise for beer aficionados visiting Amsterdam.

This friendly neighborhood institution stocks over 350 different bottled beers from across the globe, with a particular emphasis on Belgian beers. Beyond bottles, Gollem has 16 rotating taps pouring hard-to-find draft beers from esteemed Dutch, Belgian, and international breweries.

While the interior is quite compact, Gollem has ample outdoor seating perfect for sampling flights of their unique draft and bottled offerings. They also serve tasty pub fare like bitterballen, sausage platters, and cheese boards.

For the true beer geek, a trip to Gollem’s adjoining specialty beer shop is also a must. The shop stocks over 1,000 bottled beers for takeaway.

4. Gollem’s Proeflokaal

Established: 2005

Address: Overtoom 160, 1054 HP Amsterdam

Attached to Gollem pub, this cozy tasting room provides the perfect opportunity to dive deep into Gollem’s incredible beers.

With a more extensive tap list than the main bar, the Proeflokaal pours over 30 draft beers you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Flights are highly recommended. Beyond unique beers, the Proeflokaal offers pairings with small plates like beer bitterballen, cheese, and smoked sausage.

With knowledgeable bartenders and a relaxed atmosphere, Gollem’s Proeflokaal is beer lover’s paradise in Amsterdam. Weekly events like Meet the Brewer Nights make this a great place to nerd out over rare brews.

5. Café de Jaren

Established: 2000

Address: Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20-22, 1012 CS Amsterdam

Situated right on the water overlooking the Amstel River, Café de Jaren is one of Amsterdam’s most scenic spots to unwind with a drink. The cafe’s huge outdoor terrace offers unbeatable views of the river flowing through the city.

Beyond ambiance, Café de Jaren boasts one of the best beer selections in Amsterdam with 30 taps pouring draft beers from local Dutch breweries and abroad. They also mix up excellent seasonal cocktails along with classic favorites.

While a perfect spot for a sunny afternoon drink, Café de Jaren also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring fresh local ingredients. It’s an ideal place to spend a whole day relaxing by the water.

6. In de Wildeman

Established: 2004

Address: Kolksteeg 3, 1012 PB Amsterdam

Tucked away down a tiny alleyway, In de Wildeman transports visitors back in time with its authentic 17th century setting and extensive catalog of traditional Dutch beers.

This atmospheric brown cafe boasts 18 constantly rotating taps as well as nearly 200 bottled beers primarily from the Netherlands and Belgium. Styles range from Trappist ales to obscure wild ales aged in wine barrels.

Beyond world-class beers, In de Wildeman offers traditional Dutch bar fare like bitterballen, cheese plates, and smoked sausage. For beer enthusiasts, In de Wildeman is a must-visit for the quintessential classic Dutch pub experience.

7. The Waterhole

Established: 1989

Address: Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 49, 1017 RC Amsterdam

Popular amongst locals and tourists alike, the Waterhole offers a lively yet laidback atmosphere complete with quality beers, cocktails, and live music every night.

While compact, the Waterhole makes great use of the space with bench-style seating maximizing capacity. In addition to a solid beer and cocktail menu, they serve surprisingly good pub grub like burgers, nachos, and wings.

Music ranges from open mic nights to DJs to full bands cranking out rock, blues, funk, or soul. With quality drinks, live music, and a buzzing but friendly vibe, the Waterhole is an excellent option for a fun night out in Amsterdam.

8. Café de Dokter

Established: 2005

Address: Rozenboomsteeg 4, 1012 PD Amsterdam

Embodying the casual, neighborhood charm of Amsterdam’s cafe culture, Café de Dokter is a low-key local favorite.

The corner cafe offers an extensive selection of draft and bottled beers alongside wines, cocktails, and bar snacks like croquettes, cheese, and salads. While drinks and food are top-notch, the real appeal is Café de Dokter’s quintessential cafe vibe.

There’s ample outdoor seating for prime people watching. Inside, locals gather at the bar to chat over quality brews. With its laidback atmosphere and solid beer list, Café de Dokter offers a true local Amsterdam experience.

9. The Dubliner

Established: 1974

Address: Lijnbaansgracht 270, 1017 WP Amsterdam

While Amsterdam has no shortage of cozy pubs, none match the quintessential Irish warmth and hospitality of The Dubliner.

This lively pub in the heart of downtown, just off Leidseplein, delivers all the charm and character you’d expect from an authentic Irish pub in the Emerald Isle itself. Beyond perfectly poured pints of Guinness, The Dubliner offers Irish whiskeys, a thorough selection of Irish beers, and classic pub fare like fish and chips or Irish stew.

There’s live music almost every evening from trad sessions to singer-songwriters to full Irish bands cranking out jigs, reels, and ballads. For a true taste of Ireland in the Netherlands, spend an evening taking in music and pints at The Dubliner.

10. The Hoppe

Established: 1670

Address: Spui 18-20, 1012 XA Amsterdam

Dating back to 1670, The Hoppe is one of Amsterdam’s oldest and most iconic “bruin cafés” (traditional pubs).

Despite its central location near the bustling Spui square, The Hoppe maintains a cozy, vintage atmosphere where you’ll often spot locals reading the newspaper or chatting over drinks.

In addition to quality beer and wine, The Hoppe is renowned for its selection of jenevers served in traditional tulip-shaped shot glasses. Be sure to try the “Hopje Jenever” – the pub’s custom-made juniper-flavored jenever.

Beyond drinks, The Hoppe offers tasty Dutch bar snacks like croquettes and ossenworst sausage. For history and classic Dutch drinks in an unbeatable setting, add the The Hoppe to your Amsterdam itinerary.

11. Proeflokaal de Ooievaar

Established: 1885

Address: Sint Olofspoort 1, 1011 KT Amsterdam

Tucked away on a quiet side street near Amsterdam’s Central Station, this tiny neighborhood gem embodies the charm of Amsterdam’s classic “brown cafes.”

While compact, Proeflokaal de Ooievaar punches above its weight class with 18 taps pouring rare and exciting beers from small Dutch craft breweries that can’t be found elsewhere in town. Their knowledgeable staff will happily provide beer recommendations, flights, and pairings with Dutch bar snacks.

With its quintessential bruin cafe vibe and hyper-local draft beer lineup in a neighborhood setting, spending an evening at Proeflokaal de Ooievaar offers a true locals’ Amsterdam experience.

12. De Bekeerde Suster

Established: 2010

Address: Kloveniersburgwal 6-8, 1011 KA Amsterdam

One of Amsterdam’s newer drinking establishments, De Bekeerde Suster stands out for its unique combination of history, character, and an excellent selection of beer and cocktails.

Housed in a former 15th century convent, this stylish bar retains the historic character of the building with its soaring ceilings and courtyard dotted with olive trees. Along with monk-themed cocktails and a thorough beer list, they serve refined pub fare at indoor and outdoor tables.

Cultural events like readings, acoustic concerts, and art exhibits add to the unique vibe. For history and atmosphere alongside quality drinks and food, De Bekeerde Suster is a great pick.

Experience Amsterdam’s Vibrant Bar Scene

Amsterdam’s diverse array of bars, cafes, and pubs makes the city a fantastic destination for any traveler in search of quality drinks, lively nightclubs, and quintessential Dutch hospitality.

From historic institutions like De Drie Fleschjes and The Hoppe to local favorites like Gollem and The Waterhole, our list offers a broad mix of must-visit drinking establishments to experience during your time in Amsterdam.

Whether you’re planning a guys weekend, romantic city break, or general holiday in the Netherlands, be sure to experience Amsterdam after hours by visiting some of these top-rated pubs, bars, and cafes.

You’ll find cozy bruin cafes, specialty beer bars with hundreds of world-class brews, lively music venues, and more – the perfect places to unwind with a pint or cocktail after a day spent exploring Amsterdam’s wealth of cultural attractions and scenic canals.

So next time you’re in the Venice of the North, put these 12 spots on your Amsterdam bar bucket list. Santé!

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