Closing times clubs

by Tanja
Stop de vertrutting

Visiting the Amsterdam Dance Event this weekend? Don’t be surprised when the lights turn on when you feel the party’s just getting started. All Amsterdam clubs close early: at 5.00 during the weekend and at 4.00 during the week, even if it’s a Thursday night and it’s Amsterdam Dance Event.

Amsterdam opening and closing times of bars and clubs is one of the strictest in Europe. Bars close at 1.00 on weekdays and at 3.00 during weekends.

The political party of D’66 tried to persuade the Amsterdam council to be more lenient about the opening times of bars and clubs but this week the mayor of Amsterdam decided not go through with the proposition.

Because all the bars and pubs in the centre of the city close at the same time, people hang out on the streets all at once and this causes many problems with aggression, public urinating and shouting. If the clubs would stay open later, these people can move to a club, which are hugely soundproof in Amsterdam, and stay there till early morning, so D’66 said.

Amsterdam night life important for attracting a young, creative crowd

In their request for more lenient open hours for the Amsterdam night life, D’66 stated a vibrant night life is important for the Amsterdam economy, tourism and employment. The image of Amsterdam as a creative, young city with a lively spirit will go down the drain and its reputation of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll will go first.

Europe’s night life under treat

The party quotes German magazine Der Spiegel who stated in the article Fighting for the Right to Party in Amsterdam, “Europe’s night life is under treat and Amsterdam is no exception. Restricting opening hours, rent hikes and increased policing are all serving to dampen the party spirit in the Dutch capital”. (Der spiegel online, May 2, 2010)

Dutch cities Groningen, Utrecht and The Hague have no limits to the opening and closing times of bars and clubs.

Other European cities such as Berlin and Barcelona also have no restrictions in opening hours for all bars, clubs and even restaurants, resulting in several restaurants where you can eat really late and clubs that open that open their doors around 2 in the morning.


Vertrutting of Amsterdam

Stop de vertruttingThe strict opening hours in the Amsterdam night life is been called another signal of ‘vertrutting‘, meaning “making the city more boring, prim, frumpy, proper”.

Examples of the ‘vertrutting’ of Amsterdam in recent years are the complaints about the nightly tunes of the carillon Bell of the Westertoren, the ban on taking your drink outside with you when you want to smoke a cigarette, the ban on squatting, the ban on drinking alcohol at Oosterpark, the ban on barbecuing at Vondelpark, banning coffee shops near schools and the intense regulation of the red light district.


Vertrutting in the Jordaan

The Jordaan, an old working class area invaded by posh yuppies, the vertrutting has gone completely out of control. In the summer of 2011, neighbors complained so heavily about the terraces, the city council actually considered banning the terraces on Lindengracht and Westergracht. According to research, in 2008 80 percent said they had no complaints about the terraces, in 2010, this had come down to 53 percent.

August 2011 the city council made a big problem about the small benches, price lists, clothing racks and plant pots outside the little shops in the Tweede Tuindwarsstraat. Regulation, stated the council, vertrutting stated the entrepreneurs.

 Fight against vertrutting

To fight against vertrutting, famous and non-famous Amsterdam inhabitants started websites (, ai! Amsterdam and ravebaar Nederland) and made even a you tube video:



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Leave a Comment


David Warn December 6, 2021 - 19:36

So what is the situation now? We have a trip planned Dec 28, 2021 and are staying near city center. Looks like bars close at 5pm. Nothing to do after that?
Dave from Arizona USandA

Tanja December 7, 2021 - 16:00

The closing times rules for COVID were set on 28 november 2021, lasting at least 3 weeks. It’s possible that places will open again when you are in Amsterdam. But for clubs…it’s very unlikely that they will reopen so soon.