A beautiful view of Amsterdam at dusk showing a canal surrounded by grand buildings and trees

The Most Awesome Cocktail Bars in Amsterdam

09 Apr 2019 By Adele Grant
A beautiful view of Amsterdam at dusk showing a canal surrounded by grand buildings and trees

Celebrated for its beer culture, you can’t come to Amsterdam without sampling its world-famous nightlife scene. But did you know the Dutch capital has some surprisingly cool cocktail spots? Hidden among its dance clubs, quirky coffee shops and old pubs are a whole host of trendy hangouts servings premium concoctions.

With talented bartenders whipping up everything from menu classics to creative blends and Instagram-worthy mixers served in quirky glassware – get ready to discover some interesting flavours.

Whatever your preferences, here are the most awesome cocktails bars in Amsterdam.

Vesper

 

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Location:  You’ll find this swanky venue just off the trendy neighbourhood Haarlemmerdijk.

Why Visit? With a name inspired by James Bond’s favourite tipple, Vesper is a must-stop during your time in Amsterdam. Of course the Vesper Martini remains a popular choice, but with bartenders convincing you to try their specialities, we can’t recommend these tailor-made blends enough!

In terms of decor, the whole place has a cinematic feel with Bond memorabilia adorning the walls and a large projector playing Hollywood classics. Expertly made tipples grace its playful menu, and with seasonal changes promising new flavours – there’s always a reason to return.

Must-try cocktail: The Vesper Martini – This tasty favourite is a combination of three shots of gin, one of vodka and half a measure of Kina Lillet. It is then garnished with a thin slice of fresh lemon.

Best for: One-of-a-kind blends

Opening times:

Tuesday to Thursday from 8pm – 1am

Friday and Saturday from 5pm – 3am

Top tip: This small venue can get extremely busy on weekends, so we suggest arriving early or visiting during the week.

Tales & Spirits

 

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Location: You’ll find this bar at Lijnbaanssteeg hidden in a slender alleyway, which links the Spuistraat area with the Singel.

Why Visit? Away from the main tourist drag sits the sophisticated cocktail bar Tales & Spirits. Filled with classy decor, drinkers are surrounded by dark wooden beams, vintage furnishings and statement chandeliers – it’s safe to say this trendy hangout takes its high standards seriously.

Tales & Spirits isn’t the kind of venue where you can grab a drink and stand at the bar, you must have a table. So we advise booking in advance if you don’t want to be turned away. That said, it never feels over-crowded making it the perfect spot for couples seeking a romantic ambiance.

Plus, the cocktail menu is incredibly creative with a story behind every beverage. Whether you’re looking for drinks topped with flaming passionfruit, mixers served in tiki glasses or custom-made drinks crafted right in front of your eyes – this premium venue pulls out all the stops.

Must-try cocktail: Fallen Lady – A shot of vodka with Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, raspberry syrup, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and Bittermens Burlesque bitters.

Best for: Cosy date nights

Opening times:

Tuesday to Thursday from 5.30pm – 1am

Friday and Saturday from 5.30pm – 3am

Sunday from 5.30pm – 1am

Did you know? There is a restaurant upstairs where the food offerings match the high-quality cocktails. This is ideal for anyone looking for a pre or post-drink snack.

Hotels nearby:

  • Avenue Hotel: This great value hotel sits close to the train station and offers everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay in the city. Housed in a 17th century building, its rooms come in different shapes and sizes.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam: Away from Amsterdam’s busiest streets, this 4 star stay can be found in a quiet part of the city. With free Wi-Fi and contemporary rooms, this is the perfect spot to relax after a day of sightseeing.

Door 74

 

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Location: Although sold on its hidden location, Door 74 can be found in Rembrandtplein, one of Amsterdam’s busiest areas. Just look out for the house number 74.

Why Visit? It doesn’t get much more covert than Amsterdam’s very own speakeasy, Door 74. With no sign outside and a peephole to see who is entering, the sense of secrecy makes it seem all the more exclusive. If you want to visit, you need to ring or text to make a reservation and the address will be given over the phone.

Once inside, the atmosphere has probation era written all over it with moody dim lighting, Art Deco items, a tin ceiling and cosy booths ideal for socialising with friends. With an extensive list of themed tipples, which are updated four times a year, not to mention a delicious cocktail of the day – get ready for expertly crafted cocktails.

Must-try cocktail: Searching the Black Matter – This delicious blend is a mix of Botran Solera rum, marzipan syrup and dried pineapple bitters.

Best for: Casual drinks

Opening times:

Sunday to Thursday from 8pm – 3am

Friday and Saturday from 8pm – 4am

Did you know? To fit in with its 1920s interiors, this bar has a strict no phone calls policy, which instantly makes you feel like you have stepped back in time.

Flying Dutchman Cocktails

 

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Location: Lesser-known than Amsterdam’s other canals, this venue is located in the Signal area close to the water.

Why Visit? With a number of awards under its belt including Best Cocktail Bar 2018, you can expect great things from Flying Dutchman Cocktails. Housed in an historic Odeon building, this trendy bar is owned by Tess Posthumus, who has been listed among the world’s top 10 bartenders alongside Timo Janse, the former manager of the city’s prestigious cocktail spot Door 74.

So with Amsterdam’s most well-known mixologists running the show, top-quality beverages are guaranteed. And with a 500-bottle collection, the flavours are amazing. Now, watch in awe as professional shakers blend signature cocktails before adding a fun garnish. 

Must-try cocktail: Flying Dutchmen Cocktail – As the bar’s signature cocktail the drink blends Bols Barrel Aged Genever, lemon juice, ‘Speculass’ Gum Syrup, orange bitters and orange flower water.

Best for: Delicious flavours

Opening times:

Daily from 5pm – 4am

Did you know? This top-rated bar is also known for its workshops, where you can learn all about its premium drinks from the spirits used to make them to the stories behind their creations.

Hotels nearby:

  • Acostar Hotel: Conveniently located close to the train station and next to a bike rental, you’re in a prime location when it comes to exploring the city. When you’re not unwinding in your well-equipped room, you could be indulging in a continental breakfast.
  • NH Amsterdam Museum Quarter: Close to the centre with Museum Square nearby, this top-rated hotel has everything you need in one place. Featuring an outdoor courtyard with a convenient onsite restaurant – there’s plenty of spots to kick back when you’re not hitting Amsterdam’s packed-out cafes.

W Lounge

 

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Location: Known for its street art history, Spuistraat is home to W Lounge and is found just on the corner of Dam Square.

Why Visit? This elevated bar offers unbeatable panoramas of the city with the stunning Royal Palace demanding your attention. Occupying the 6th floor of the stylish W hotel, this swanky setting comes with a stunning rooftop pool, which is a suntrap on Amsterdam’s warmest days.

But when the weather isn’t on your side, the indoor bar is just as impressive with floor-to-ceiling windows guaranteeing unobstructed views. It may not be the highest venue in the city, but it’s certainly one of the chicest. Drinkers can choose from an extensive cocktail menu as they listen to the sound of chilled DJ sets.

Must-try cocktail: Aperol Spritz – This Italian favourite includes Prosecco, Aperol and soda water with a slice of orange.

Best for: City views

Opening times:

Sunday to Thursday from 8pm – 1am

Friday and Saturday from 8pm – 2am

Top tip: The drinks here are a little on the pricier side. That said, if you’re holidaying on a budget we suggest making a sweeping visit in between sightseeing.

House of Bols

 

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Location: Situated in the Paulus Potterstraat area, it’s fairly close to the popular attractions Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum.

Why Visit? This exciting interactive experience is so much more than a cocktail bar – it’s one of Amsterdam’s most unique alcoholic attractions. Named after the oldest distilled spirit in the world, Lucas Bols which comes in 38 varieties, try a range of mixers created using this antique beverage.

Most people love the Hall of Taste where your senses are put to the test as you see how smell and colour play a huge part in the creation of cocktails. The self-guided tour ends in the Mirror Bar where staff will mix a beverage of your preference. Bringing you 12 bars in total, there’s plenty of tasting opportunities available in this one-of-a-kind venue.

You will need a ticket to visit, which can be purchased online or on the door. Costing €16 per person, this includes your admission and a free drink in the Mirror Bar.

Must-try cocktail: Strawberry Cheesecake – This dessert-like drink combines Bols Yoghurt,  Bols Strawberry and fresh lemon juice.

Best for: Unique experiences

Opening times:

Monday to Thursday from 1pm – 6:30pm

Friday to Saturday from 1pm – 9pm

Sunday from 1pm – 6:30pm

Did you know? Cocktail lovers can also take advantage of Flair Booth where you can experience how it feels to be a bartender as you learn how to flip bottles while creating great tasting blends.

Hotels nearby:

  • Max Brown Hotel Museum Square: Found in one of Amsterdam’s most sought-after neighbourhoods, this traditional townhouse setting comes with contemporary touches and free Wi-Fi in public areas. Not to mention a buffet breakfast served daily.
  • Hotel JL No76: This modern meets traditional hotel has something for everyone. Found in a antique building and fitted with contemporary features from art adorning the walls to iPod docking stations – get ready for a first-class stay.

5&33

 

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Location: Find 5&33 in Art’otel Amsterdam close to Martelaarsgracht and Prins Hendrikkade and just a short stroll from the the city’s main train station.

Why Visit? This in vogue hangout has a buzzing atmosphere day and night. The venue itself has an artsy vibe with quirky light fittings and funky decor inspiring you as you sip flavoursome tipples. Just like its decor, the cocktails here are extremely creative with uncommon ingredients  used in a number of concoctions.

And for those feeling peckish in between drinks, 5&33 also serves food such as sharing plates, an ideal choice when making your way through the cocktail menu. Try unique favourites like Whizz Bang and Freaky Monk, or if you refuse to break your brunch tradition stick to what you know and order a Bloody Mary.

Must-try cocktail: The Night Owl – Bareksten Botanical Gin, London Essence Tonic, grapefruit and pomegranate seeds.

Best for: Art lovers

Opening times:

Sunday to Thursday from 7pm – 1am

Friday and Saturday from  7pm – 2am

Did you know? This venue is home to one of the biggest interactive art installations in Europe.

The Butcher

 

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Location: Found in heart of one of the city’s largest markets, look out for a restaurant selling fast food.

Why Visit? It doesn’t get much more exclusive than this hidden gem situated at Albert Cuyp Market. From the outside it looks like nothing more than a fast food joint, but that’s not quite the  case once you step inside. As you arrive head for a door towards the rear of the restaurant. Here you’ll find a buzzer, which you will need to ring to gain access.

Only the odd few get to enter and you’ll need to email in advance if you fancy your chances. If your booking is successful, a password will be provided. The fun starts behind a silver door, which once open, will reveal your hostess. Velvet and Chesterfield sofas invite you in, while the stylish bar instantly steals your attention.

With a capacity of just over 100 people, this concealed setting is extremely relaxed, and with its 3am closing time come weekends long drinking sessions are strongly encouraged.

Must-try cocktail: Spicy Crusta – A must-try beverage which mixes gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Zuidam orange and lemon juice.

Best for: Exclusivity

Opening times:

Sunday to Wednesday from 12pm – 11pm

Thursday from 12pm – 1am

Friday and Saturday from 12pm – 3am

Top tips: Those who want to try the spot’s house drinks, Spicy Crusta always goes down a treat with its mix of gin, elderflower and orange.

Hotel nearby:

  • Omega Hotel: Situated in the heart of the city next to its largest park, Omega Hotel is a top choice if you want to discover Amsterdam’s biggests attractions. All of its 32 rooms offer maximum comfort with carpeted floors and cosy beds.

So if you consider yourself a cocktail connoisseur, make these bars your priority on your next visit to the Netherlands.

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