The Venice of the North, Amsterdam's attractions are considerable. Besides the famed red-light areas where window-shopping takes on a whole new meaning and the coffee bars that are more popular for their other wares, Amsterdam is also home to hundreds of great bars and clubs: style bars, cocktail bars, bistros, restaurants and casinos, and the famous brown cafes where you can linger long over a beer and watch the people of Amsterdam go about their business.

Cool bars to try in Amsterdam

Famous for its cycle-friendly streets and smoky coffee shops without a coffee in sight, Amsterdam is also home to some of the most intense nightlife in Europe. A huge exporter of dance music, its nightlife is fittingly live.

For a raw, industrial ambiance with driving house beats and hard-partying company in the hundreds, Westerunie out in Sloterdijk is your Amsterdam spot. A bit out of the way of the busy centre, on the site of the gasworks-turned-cultural-haven known as Westergasfabriek, it’s a club on an industrial scale.

If you like your vibes eclectic then Bitterzoet, a bar on the famous Spuistraat back in the centre, melds punk, reggae, hip-hop funk and more with its daily-changing DJ line-up and expansive drinks selection. For striking Indonesian-influenced decor with ceilings adorned in 11,000 blinking lights, not to mention regular star company, try Jimmy Woo. Be sure to have a back-up plan, though: this bar’s super-strict, secretive door policy means not everybody gets in.

If fresh air and inventive cocktails are your thing, then meet up with like-minded souls at Canvas op de 7e, on Wibautstraat in East Amsterdam. A seven-floor climb to the rooftop is rewarded by an all-in-one bar, club and gallery. It offers a purist-approved underground hip-hop and dancehall soundtrack and great views of this city’s quirky architecture.

Whatever your scene, Amsterdam is brim-full of bars built to your taste.

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