Amsterdam has been a magnet for liberal and eccentric types since the days of Vermeer and Rembrandt.
As one of the best-connected cities in Europe, Amsterdam always attracts an interesting mix of people, so it's no surprise then that the city today is absolutely brimming with great hipster bars. While the city has a fantastic electronic music scene and is rightly famed for its clubs, it can often be harder to navigate the bar scene. With that in mind, we've provided you with a list of the best lower-key locations to hang in Amsterdam and have a few drinks.
Though this bar/eatery is located close to the Red Light District, this bar is far removed from any seediness. Getto is renowned for its cocktails, and they have an interesting food menu too (all burgers are named after famous drag queens of the city). A gay bar with an intriguing mixed crowd.
This is a friendly neighbourhood hangout in the fashionable de Pijp area; a great place for laid back cocktails. The terrace is a popular local spot during the summer.
A well-liked spot just by Leidseplein Square. This place is typically packed out during weekends. Lux is considered the edgier of the two sister bars. It has a nice split-level design and is a great hub for those not native to the city.
7. Tales & Spirits
This restaurant/bar is tucked away in a side street in a very central location. T&S is known for its fantastic customer service, with attentive staff who are very knowledgeable about both the drink and food menus. The whole place has a very homey feel to it. It also boasts an intriguing literary focus – the bill is often served inside a hollowed-out piece of classic literature.
6. De Nieuwe Anita
This is a really nice, quirky bar to the west of the city. Ringing a doorbell is your means of entry. There's usually a small cover charge, but it’s a great place to catch a gig; a very lively atmosphere.
Basis is typically packed with a raft of eager-to-talk eccentrics and has a strong relationship with the local art scene, hosting lots of performance events. €2 homebrew beer keeps everyone well-oiled and ensures a certain wildness to the night.
One of the best hangouts in the city. It draws an endlessly interesting crowd from the western Jordaan district. Struik is pretty small but makes good use of space, especially in warmer weather when the front benches are packed and conversations spill out onto the street encompassing passers by.
A whopper location in the centre of the city. Bloemenbar is tastefully lit, with neat floral pattern throughout and plenty of oddities placed around the venue to compliment the busy stream of bodies moving through the place. A buzzing little bar.
2. Café Brecht
This café/bar is handily situated just by the Rijksmuseum. The effort put in to the décor is obvious upon entry, with nods to German culture evident in both its furniture and of course its name. The constant presence of interesting people flowing through its doors makes Brecht a very versatile spot: equally perfect for working away online with a coffee during the day or engaging in some relaxing drinks late in the evening.
1. Hannekes Boom
This place is both a bar and restaurant, but retains a refreshing informal atmosphere. Conveniently located a short walk from Centraal Station yet off the beaten track, Hannekes prides itself on its comfortable atmosphere and its secluded feel. Need more convincing? This place has its own port for customers to park their boats and join the fun.
The perfect place to post up for a day during the summer months.