Unique Bars in Amsterdam for a Fun Night Out

Areas such as Leidseplein and the red light district of Amsterdam need no introduction. But to drill it down further, check out some of the best bars in the city. 

Would you like to have schnapps at a remodeled former pirate radio and TV station? Or maybe cocktails at an 11th floor lounge?  

Whatever your guilty pleasure, the best bars in Amsterdam will deliver beyond your wildest expectations. Discover all the best bars to drop by and brace yourself for an unforgettable night out in one of Europe’s hippest cities. 

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

REM Eiland

Perched above a river is an oil-rig-like structure known as REM Eiland. 

Famous Amsterdam architectural company Concrete is responsible for the groundbreaking design, and the fire engine red accents on the exterior make the building even more eye-catching. 

REM Eiland is a booth, bar, and restaurant with a menu to suit any taste. The most popular seating areas are the wraparound platform and the rooftop helipad, for which you might have to reserve in advance. 


The aptly named SkyLounge has one of the best views of Amsterdam’s canals. In fact, this is only one of several bars and restaurants offering a 360° panoramic view of the city. 

The lounge is part of the DoubleTree hotel and great to visit at any time of the day. But if you arrive just before sunset, you’ll be able to catch the cityscape’s transformation from sun-washed to glittery. 

For an even more immersive yet relaxing experience, the SkyTerrace has plenty of sofas on which you and your company can relax with a tasty cocktail in hand. 

‘t Smalle

Situated on the UNESCO-listed Golden Age canal, Café ‘t Smalle is located in a converted 18-century gin distillery. Its unique setting includes a canal-banked terrace at the bar where patrons can dock their boats. 

As soon as you step inside the bar, you’ll be greeted by the lead-framed windows characteristic of Amsterdam’s canal ring. Some of the vintage beer pumps are even still operational. 

And in case you’re wondering, yes, the gin produced at the facility in its previous incarnation is still available for order. 


This bar is in western Amsterdam and within the revamped Westergasfabriek complex. Formerly a gasworks plant, it is now a hotspot frequented by the locals and tourists. 

Among all the attractions in the city, Westergasterras is a definite highlight. The location is a large outdoor terrace overlooking a neighboring weir that’s complete with ponds. 

The bar puts its sizable space to good use, as it hosts events, art exhibitions, and some of Europe’s best DJs. 

Brouwerij ‘t IJ

For those with a taste for craft beer, know that Brouwerij ‘t IJ is one of the best beer bars in Amsterdam. The location is a converted mid-18th century windmill with the sails intact and imparting a unique charm.

The organic microbrewery stocks a range of seasonal, standard, and limited-edition beers. And as you might suspect, some of these are far more potent than Budweiser and Coors. 

Brouwerij ‘t IJ also offers half-hour beer-tasting tours. But if you prefer, you can drink at your own pace in the indoor tasting room. 

You may want to hang out at the bar’s tree-shaded outdoor terrace if the weather permits. 

Door 74

Door 74 has the feel of a Prohibition-era speakeasy adjacent to the iconic Rembrandtplein square. But what’s most interesting is that you can’t just walk into this bar. 

For a start, the doors are unmarked. You’re going to have to text or call beforehand to get in. It’ll all be worth it, though. 

Besides the speakeasy charm, the pressed-tin ceiling and the liberal use of dark wood add a classy flair to the place. Keep in mind that the menu changes every few months. Just to give you an idea, some of the more unique themes include Tarzan jungle and 1920s horror. 

And here’s an important tip: whenever you feel like drinking, never ask for a mojito. 

Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

Out of all the cocktail bars in Amsterdam, the Flying Dutchmen is definitely on the busier side. The crowds gather here for the Art Nouveau interior and award-winning cocktails. 

As if the bar needs any more hype, the Spirited Awards made one of the co-owners a nominee for the best bartender award four years running. 

The Flying Dutchmen serves classic cocktails based on centuries-old recipes. Avid drinkers will have a good time deciding on one or more of the 600 labels that the bar routinely keeps in stock. 


When it comes to partying and fun, Belushi’s is it. 

The bar is on the outskirts of the red light district and a great place to start off a night on the town. It’s a place where many arrive and wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. 

If for nothing else, Belushi’s has the longest happy hour in Amsterdam. Budget-conscious partygoers will delight in the fact that it’s on the affordable side.  

Belushi’s also serves snacks and burgers before the party officially kicks off – that would be 10 pm on most nights. The bar can get absolutely packed and the music is consistently great, though you may want to look up the DJ schedule before heading over. 

In the end, its patrons are probably Belushi’s best assets. This hostel bar is a melting pot of people from all over the world. 

Let’s Tango in Amsterdam

Now you know all the bars in Amsterdam that you can’t afford to miss. So, feel free to hop from one place to another until you find a place to dock. But keep in mind that the above only scratches the surface of what Amsterdam has to offer. 

As you make your way around town, you’re bound to run into some cool bars on your own. And that’s a very good thing, seeing as half the fun is in the search.

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Unique Bars in Amsterdam for a Fun Night Out