Amsterdam is one of the best places in the world to go clubbing. In general, the night life in Amsterdam is centred around Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. However, some of the best clubs in Amsterdam for techno, house and trance you’ll find outside of the centre.
The last 10 years, the underground club scene moved mostly to Amsterdam West. Clubs like De School, Radion and VLLA are so popular, people are willing to cycle the extra mile to party all night long.
Let’s take a look at the most popular places to go clubbing in Amsterdam.See also for the best summer festivals: Amsterdam music festivals 2017
1. Discotheque Escape
One of the biggest and more commercial clubs of Amsterdam, with big international DJ’s is Escape. Escape has been playing a major role in Amsterdam night life since 1986. This is the place where Dutch trance DJ’s like DJ’s Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and house legends like Bob Sinclair, Kevin Saunderson, Marco V., Todd Terry and David Guetta all stood behind the decks.
Saturday nights is Brainwash, prepare some serious visual effects. Expect a queue and a dress code where trainers and jeans are not appreciated.The programming is largely dependent on party organisers. Club Escape is an Amsterdam night club where it’s likely that you will have to queue. Dress code: no jeans or trainers
2. Big Club Air
Years went by, possible investors came and went, and finally, the home to the once renowned gay Amsterdam club IT has opened its doors again. The new name is Club Air. In the couple of years it’s been open, Amsterdam Club Air has become one of the best clubs in Amsterdam.
With a maximum capacity of 1300 party people, this is another spacious club, but the new owners have tried their best to give this Amsterdam night club an intimate feel by partitioning the space into different areas. If you want a decent night of Amsterdam clubbing, Club Air is recommended.
Around Dam square
3. Club NL
Don’t let the stylish interior full of red velvet walls fool ya, Club NL, just around the corner of Amsterdam’s Dam Square, is an easy going club with a nice vibe and friendly staff. Because of its long lasting status and out of the ordinary (and slightly older) crowd the club has a bit of a cult status.
Amsterdam Club NL fills up late on weekends and on weekdays it sometimes doesn’t fill up at all. It doesn’t matter though, the house music dj’s are very good and will get you dancing. Drinks are pricey. Open on Mondays as well.
4. Disco Dolly
Disco Dolly is the place where you will end up when you have no more place to go. The later you arrive, the longer the queue. It’s open every day of the week and people mostly come to dance. Because of the late hour, people tend to be rather drunk. On the web you can read about there being Persian carpets and velveteen, but honestly I’ve never even noticed. Dj’s spin mostly disco, soul, funk and house as long it’s danceable.
Handboogstraat 11, Amsterdam
A bar with nice, intimate dance area with a stage that occasionally is used for bands at Bittersweet (Bitterzoet). Amsterdam nightclub Bitterzoet attracts a young, alternative crowd. Check out the website for the programming, which ranges from rock, punk tot hip hop, funk and soul. Upstairs there is a bar and smoking room.
6. Nightclub Winston Kingdom
Nightclub with a history, Winston Kingdom has gone through some changes in the last year. Though it used to be frequented by a strange mix of students, artsy weirdo’s and party people, it now seems tourists are the main attraction.
On Sunday night Amsterdam Winston Kingdom presents dubstep, dub & jungle antics hosted by the Cheeky Monday crew. Every Monday it’s drum ‘n bass. Tuesday Winston has an open mic night with hip hop, R ‘n B, Soul & Dancehall. Thursdays is for house music.
Entrance is from €3 to €7,50.
During weekend the small bars that line up in the side-streets of Leidsestraat, are crowded with a local, young crowd that drink a lot and eventually behave badly as a result of that. Music is Euro pop music, or Euro trash as some call it and Dutch sing-a-long. For dancing and a more night life feeling, some of the best clubs of Amsterdam are around as well.
7. Jimmi Woo
Dress up fashionably to get in Jimmi Woo, because the door bitches can be pain in the ass. If you’re not famous, but you are staying in a nice hotel, ask the hotel if they can arrange to put you on the guest list.
Expect a modern Japanese style lounge area and a dance floor downstairs. The audience can be a bit posh, but it’s still an excellent club to dance the night away.
8. Club Up – De Kring
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Amsterdam artist society of De Kring opens its doors for non-members for parties. The Amsterdam society had been suffering from an elitist attitude, but now welcomes all kinds of people, no dress code. Party nights are organised under the name of Club Up. Dance music is eclectic and so are the people.
Club Up, Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 7-9. Doors open sometimes at Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 26 I.
9. Concert venue De Melkweg
Amsterdam’s Milky Way (Melkweg) is a legendary concerts hall, night club, cinema, café, restaurant and it even hosts (modern) dance performances. Generally there’s a concert first, after which dj’s play records. Every Saturday night a multicultural crowd fills up the Melkweg for the popular Encore, a club night loaded with hip and R ‘n B. Till 5 am.
Check out programming at Melkweg.nl.
10. Sugar factory
Sugar Factory, located opposite of Melkweg, calls itself ‘a cutting edge multi-disciplinary night theatre’. Apart from just a dance club, Sugar Factory intends to ‘integrate art, music and poetry’ into their club nights. Sunday night has for years been Amsterdam’s own Wicked Jazz Sounds-night, a mix of jazzy live music with lounge beats.
Sugar Factory, Entrance €6-€10. No dresscode.
11. Concerts venue Paradiso
Famously called the pop temple of The Netherlands, squatted in the sixties by hippies, Paradiso was the first place where smoking weed was tolerated.
The popular club is now Amsterdam most important and legendary concert hall. All the main pop, rock and punk icons have performed in this old church. For the last 16 years, every Thursday night swarms of students invade Paradiso for the popular tunes of Noodlanding. During the weekend dance, electro and techno DJ’s take the stage after bands have played.
Check programming at Paradiso.nl.
12. Chicago Social Club
Late night bar and club at the Leidseplein with a varied musical taste. The low profile interior (with wooden floors) and different areas with stairs, balcony, smoking area, two dance rooms and bars the crowd can walk around. Most popular are Super Social every Thursday night (free entrance before 12) and Backstage, every first Saturday of the Month. Backstage is a classic house music club night in Amsterdam, with a casual (hip) crowd.
Out of the centre
13. De School
De school is the continuation of legendary clubs Amsterdam Club 11 (11th floor of a former Post office) and Club Trouw (in former newspaper Trouw building) but in a different location. Again the name refers back to the building that it once served. This time, it’s an old school. It’s located rather outside the centre in Amsterdam West.
The building is quite big and holds a concert venue, a café, a restaurant, an exhibition space and a gym. Dj’s are mostly local. In the hip and happening, cool Amsterdam club scene, De School is the place to be. Restaurant also gets very good reviews. Open 7 days a week.
De School. Entrance: around € 15
14. Volkshotel / Club Canvas
Volkshotel is a hotel, a restaurant and a club blessed with a fantastic view over the city; it is located on the 7th floor. On the rooftop there is even a hot tub and sauna. But let’s talk about the club. Volkshotel started known as Canvas on the 7th. It had an artistic smell. After a while the huge building (old newspaper building) got renovated on a rather grand scale, turning the artists workplaces into hotel rooms. Luckily, the diversity in the crowd didn’t get a make-over. Hipsters, locals, tourists and students mix really well at Club Canvas. Music is funky, but you will find no big techno dj’s here. It’s just a lot of fun.
Canvas has friendly prices (€6 for the club), friendly crowd.
Westergasfabriek lies West of Amsterdam Central Station. For tourists without a bicycle it might not be easy to reach, but in fact, it is not far from the centre of Amsterdam. The converted gas plant-to-cultural hotspot is home to several clubs, bars and restaurants. Pacific Park serves breakfast lunch and dinner and turns into a light club during weekends. High flirt level. The Gashouder further up the road hosts the famous Awakenings techno raves. The buildings around the Westergasterras, restaurant and bar also host many club nights of different organisers.
Check calender of event of Amsterdam Club Westergasfabriek.nl.