claire amsterdam interior

Quirky clubs with 24-hour licences, concept venues with art galleries, film screenings, exclusive DJ sets or simply a craft ale by the canal – take a sip at one of Amsterdam’s notorious nighttime spots.

Café De Heuvel

The heart of local drinking culture in Amsterdam are the brown cafés, and if you’re looking to avoid the tourists at Hoppe then head to Café De Heuvel. Situated on a busy corner in the Spiegelkwartier, Café De Heuvel overflows with rosy-faced drinkers every afternoon. Signs and stickers plaster the walls and ceilings and polaroids of patrons are tacked up in every nook and cranny, letting you know this place is for regulars. Though you won’t drink any fancy cocktails here, a biertje and a bowl of nuts are all you need.

Waterkant

When the weather is good, there are few spots better than Waterkant. This canal-side bar serves a mean G&T and an even meaner view of the water. Not to mention the lekker (that’s “tasty” in Dutch) Dutch and Surinamese fare. If all the picnic tables are taken, swing your legs over the edge of the quay and drink up.

De School

What used to be a technical school in Amsterdam West is now the city’s answer to Berlin’s Berghain. With a 24-hour licence, De School is an ideal spot for those looking to boogie into the wee hours (or the next day). The DJ stage, located within the crowd, mostly hosts local acts and you won’t find any external promoters here; even though 500 movers and shakers can fit on the dancefloor, De School always feels intimate. Wearing a collared shirt? Flip it inside for a faux Mao collar, and pray you get in.

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Claire

One of Amsterdam’s newer clubs, Claire took over what was formerly Studio 80 in Rembrandtplein. Though tourists normally flood this square, you’ll be partying among locals at Claire. With an indoor smoking area and an impressive line-up of fresh talent and big-name name DJs (think vibey house and disco) this club is definitely the place to be.

Café de Wetering

Slip behind the Rijksmuseum and away from the crowds to this back street brown café. Split between two levels with a fireplace upstairs, Café de Wetering is about as cosy and inviting as they come. If you’re hungry – and lucky – the bar’s owner will come around with trays of cheese and crackers or delicate slices of cured meat. Be sure to swing by an ATM before you trundle here, as it’s cash only.

Claire

De School

Waterkant

Café de Wetering

Café De Heuvel

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