Leidseplein is a busy square chocked full of shops, bars, clubs and pubs not too far from the picturesque Vondelpark. Similarly to London’s Covent Garden is it a popular haunt for street performers and you can regularly catch a free show, from impromptu jazz performances to dance troupes. In the summer, Leidseplein really comes into its own with the many bars erecting their beer terraces where locals and tourists alike gather to soak up the sunshine.
Top club: The Sugar Factory, located just off of Leidseplein, is a great place to go if you’re looking for something a little different. Offering live music, art, poetry, cabaret and of course a dance floor, no night at The Sugar Factory is ever the same.
Top tip: Make sure you check out Paradiso, an old church that has been converted into a club, a true staple of Amsterdam nightlife. Paradiso also offers regular gigs and concerts from huge international bands, indie bands local bands, making it a popular haunt for alternative music fans.
Rembrandtplein is another highlight of Amsterdam’s nightlife. Rembrandtplein and its surrounding streets showcase bars and clubs that meet every clubber’s requirements, from the chic to the cheesy and the cool. Those looking to sample Amsterdam’s gay and lesbian scene will find a selection of bars and clubs in Reguilersdwarsstraat, which is close by.
Top club: Studio 80 is a popular student club with a laid back vibe, a welcome alternative to nearby clubs such as Escape which are higher end. It plays a range of music from indie to commercial pop depending on the night – and the DJ – drinks are also reasonable.
Top tip: If you are planning to go to Amsterdam’s more exclusive clubs, such as Escape and Supperclub, make sure you consider the smart dress code when packing for your holiday.
Red Light District
No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to the Red Light District. A once in a life time experience, there is nothing quite like strolling through the quaint streets for the first time. The Moulin Rouge and other such theatres that line the canal offer live sex shows for those who are not so easily offended.
Do not take photos of the windows; it will not be received well.
Make sure your bags a secure and you have nothing valuable in your pockets as the narrow streets can get very crowded.
Where To Stay in Amsterdam
If you are looking for something a little different from the norm, then a stay at the Friesland ‘boatel’ might be the place for you. Docked by the Nemo museum, it is great value for money and the owner is most helpful. However, it is very simple and though the beds in the cabins are comfortable, they are small.
If luxury is what you are after then the 5 star Hotel L’Europe on the Amstel River is perfect. Not only is it visually stunning, but you will also be treated to first class cuisine during your stay and there is a swimming pool and gym facilities.