The Amsterdam Bar Guide

From traditional Dutch beer to new designer cocktails, these are some of the best Amsterdam bars to grab a drink.

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Amsterdam is a city like no other. It’s brimming with culture, art and history, boasting an array of museums, music venues and, of course, bars. These bars have a long history within the city, with its distinguished drinking culture tying back to the Dutch Golden Age. Jenever, sometimes known as Dutch gin, is the juniper-flavored traditional liquor of the Netherlands, and is often served alongside beer in Dutch cafes. 

Over the past few years, Amsterdam has started to further expand into the craft cocktail space, which has allowed newer bars and lounges to open in the city, alongside traditional establishments. They have elevated the craft, and showcased new drinks that are distinctly Dutch, such as the Oranjebitter. 

This vibrant cocktail culture has gained increased recognition on the international stage, with both tourists and locals eager to make the most of Amsterdam’s cocktail scene. From classic, historic Dutch cafes to bold, new cocktail lounges, these are the best bars to visit in Amsterdam.

Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

  • Singel 460, 1017 AW Amsterdam, Netherlands

Located inside the Odeon, a three-story canal house that happens to be a national monument, the Flying Dutchman Cocktails features the largest selection of spirits in Amsterdam. Mixologist Tess Posthumus, who was nominated for Best International Bartender at the Spirited Awards, has used the Netherlands’ experimental cocktail culture to bring a neo-classic experience to the bar. Popular amongst cocktail newbies and spirit connoisseurs alike, this revolutionary aesthetic is tied together by the artistry of the space, which features murals covering the walls and ceiling.

Flying Dutchmen Cocktails. Ming Chao

Brouwerij ‘t IJ

  • Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you don't mind a true tourist attraction, head to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a brewery tasting room and Belgian bar found inside an old bath house. With views of the canals and one of the largest windmills in Amsterdam, this is a great spot to sit outside and enjoy a classic Belgian-style beer. There's also a tour of the brewery available, for those interested in the process.

Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Maarten Willemstein

Proeflokaal A. van Wees

  • Herengracht 319, 1016 AV Amsterdam, Netherlands

After a long day of shopping on The Nine Streets, home to Amsterdam’s largest collection of vintage and designer boutiques, take a break at Proeflokaal A. van Wees, a traditional Dutch restaurant and bar. Built in 1973, this cafe is located inside a circa-1800s distillery and stable, and is known for its beer and jenever. Proeflokaal A. van Wees reminds guests of its history by having tiles on the ground from the old Amsterdam Canal Belt and an oak barrel as the entrance to the restrooms. 

Pulitzer Bar

  • Keizersgracht 234, 1016 DZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

With its own separate grand entrance, guests may not realize that this gold-and-jewel toned bar is even a part of its namesake hotel. Located in the city center, the Pulitzer Bar is designed to emulate Amsterdam’s artisan culture through its style and menu. To add to the mystery, Pulitzer doesn’t list ingredients for each of its drinks; it describes them based on its flavor profile and texture. 

Pulitzer Bar. James McDonald

Freddy’s Bar

  • Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, 1012 AC Amsterdam, Netherlands

Freddy’s Bar, which is named after Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, is the perfect mix of classy and fun. With its live jazz performances and mix of beers and cocktails, this interpretation of a high-end gentlemen's club is like no other spot in the city. It is a part of the world-renowned Hotel De L’Europe and pays tribute to its namesake through art, memorabilia and personal items.

Freddy's Bar. Hotel De L'Europe

Café Hoppe

  • Spui 18-20, 1012 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands

For a more casual drinking experience, check out Café Hoppe. Since 1670, this bar has been known for its events, such as their street parties and Herring Festival celebrations, which draw both locals and tourists alike. They also have a breakfast menu, and speciality jenevers and wine.

Café Hoppe. Wiki Commons

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