Fun places to explore | 7 Hot Dance Clubs Amsterdam has to Offer
By: Valerie Holyoak
Drugs, prostitution, Anne Frank and fatty street snacks aren’t the only things worth doing in Amsterdam. When it comes to the nightlife over there, you will find every kind of music there is. There are festivals and clubs and dance venues to suit every taste. Enthusiastic DJ’s keep people dancing all night long in this city! Any empty place is likely to get turned into a dance venue. Old newspaper offices, art galleries, and theaters are just a few that have been transformed into dance halls and music clubs. Whether you are traveling with a friend or traveling solo, Amsterdam has fun places to explore!
Amsterdam has been voted the 12th most fun city to visit in the world and with all the entertainment around; it is easy to see why! If you thought that the only thing to see in Amsterdam was the Red Light District, then think again! There are many more places that deserve a visit. I have put together a short list of some you may not have heard of. Go ahead and check them out; I think you will be surprised at them.
You’ll find a mixture of artsy types and fashionistas here at this club. It’s a small intimate place, which lurks behind very distinctive black doors. It only has a capacity for 500 over two floors. The club is nestled between some other rather uninteresting bars in the touristy area. It’s quite dimly lit inside but the DJ’s and the charismatic audiences make it possibly one of the hippest clubs in the city. It’s a place that has become known for showcasing new talent; up and coming designers and DJ’s are often around here. It’s quite likely that you will see fluorescent eye make up here along with glittery garments, as that is what this club does best! It has a very open-minded attitude so bear that in mind when you go there. You’ll see some serious techno heads and dancing divas here! This club was formerly known as Studio 80 but changed mid-2016.
Address: Rembrandtplein 17, 1017 CT Amsterdam – View on map
If jazz and soul are more your taste, then this is the place for you! You’ll be able to escape the fist- pounding techno heads and listen to something a little jazzier here. Their idea is to have something different every night and mostly they get this right. This place has a very cozy atmosphere; the bar is a sort of crimson-lit area, with a nice casual beat. The audience here is pretty young and dynamic and knows where to buy the very latest sneakers! The entrance fee is actually very reasonable and they stay open till 4 am on weekends.
The dance floor does fill up at weekends with a certain amount of hip grinding. Friday is a funk and soul night with nothing more than vinyl being played. Their motto on this night is about having a good time; drinking, dancing flirting and enjoying quality soul. If that’s your scene, then this is a place that will make you very happy.
Address: Spuistraat 2 HS, 1012 TS Amsterdam – View on map
This club opened up in 1970 and has two main music rooms, a restaurant, gallery and another two rooms upstairs. It is actually a multi-purpose venue, often used for other events as well as dancing. As far as music goes, they seem to cater to all different types. Reggae, drum, and bass all fit in here with no problems. It is not unusual to see new talent here since they encourage this. One interesting thing you may want to try is the ‘Breakfast Club’ where you can grab a fresh organic breakfast and then hit the dance floor for a boogie! As you’ve probably gathered from the name, it used to be a milk factory. It’s a very popular dance spot right in the heart of Amsterdam. Over the course of a year, this place attracts over 400.000 visitors so that gives you an idea of how popular it is!
Address: Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 1017 PH Amsterdam – View on map
Chicago Social Club
It seems like this bar is a ship on a sea of chaos! It’s quite a small, has just two floors and is one of the few bars in the area that has a license to stay open till 4 am so that’s a point worth remembering! They also have a cocktail menu that will make you want to come back again and again! Actually, it’s quite central and convenient. It has a great sound system but I don’t find it too overpowering. Electric, contemporary, the music style is always entertaining and enjoyable to listen to. They do make the most amazing cocktails here and their license means that they can keep serving them until 4 am so this is a place you might stay all night!
Address: Leidseplein 12, 1017 PT Amsterdam – View on map
Paradiso is one of Amsterdam’s larger music joints and has hosted many big names over the years. It opened in 1968 and has been busy ever since! It is actually housed in an old church building, which dates back to the nineteenth century. In 1967 it was filled with squatting hippies who wanted to turn it into a leisure center and for a while, it was associated with the hippie culture. It became one of the areas where soft drugs were introduced.
You’ll be pleased to know that they now ban smoking in the public areas. You can freely smoke in the smoking room if you like. Glen Matlock played his last gig with the Sex Pistols here at the Paradiso. The fact that the whole place used to be a church hall means that the acoustics are fantastic here. It only holds 250 people so if there is a concert you want to see you must be sure to book early as it sells out really quickly. Lines outside are not uncommon to see so you must get there early for any event.
Address: Weteringschans 6-8, 1017 SG Amsterdam – View on map
Air is one of the few purposes built clubs here; it’s been around for a few years now and has its own style of ‘underground music’. They also like to bring in many local stars to get things going. One thing you should remember here is that you can only use ‘Air cards’ so you must make sure to get one beforehand and then load it up with cash to buy drinks.
It has a capacity for around 1300 and has five bars and once was the main discotheque scene in Amsterdam. Now it varies in the styles of shows but likes to be on the diverse side here. Anything from underground to upscale shows happens here and you will agree, I think that they have great audio-visual facilities. Even though it is such a large space, it seems to have a sort of intimate atmosphere; I think that is why it is so popular.
Address: Amstelstraat 16, 1017 DA Amsterdam – View on map
This is another factory that has turned into a club and is now the hub of Amsterdam’s nightlife. It is often thought of as the ‘poor cousin’ to Melkweg and Paradiso, although I never worked that out. I think it is one of the hidden gems of the whole area. Sugar Factory sort of sees itself as a night theater. They like to blend nightlife, performance, and art and they really do get this right. It has actually produced some of the best local talents Amsterdam has to offer.
You will find it open every day of the week. Because of where it is, you will also find that it is very popular and sometimes very busy. It attracts locals and tourists alike. Techno Tuesday is a weekly feature that gets seriously crowded. They like to showcase upcoming talent so this is the place to go if you want to hear different styles and live acts. It really is not a very big club but has a great atmosphere. You will find that it gets very hot inside so dress accordingly!
Address: Lijnbaansgracht 238, 1017 PH Amsterdam – View on map
From classical to clubbing, and jazz to techno, Amsterdam is filled with music venues of all kinds. There is a place for every type of music you can imagine. You will find a vast diverse music scene that you may never see anywhere else. It seems that there is always a festival going on somewhere, a new group appearing or a new act around.
The dance music festivals stretch from the beginning of summer right through to the end of autumn. You can find the best nightlife in this city; there is no doubt about that! The sheer numbers of live performances that are around are mind-boggling! Being a major European capital you will find that there is an array of fantastic music venues here. Whether you want bars, clubs or massive arenas, traveling with a friend, or looking for places to travel solo, Amsterdam can offer them all to you!