Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Amsterdam – reviewed anonymously by experts



Best beers and local atmospheres

't Arendsnest

  • Critics choice

A temple to the humble hop, the 'Eagle's Nest', in a lovely canal house, sells only Dutch beer. Many of the customers are real-ale types, but even amateurs will enjoy the 350 standard brews and 250 seasonal, from cheeky house ale Herengracht 90 to Texelse Skuumkoppe.

  1. Herengracht 90
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Hannekes Boom

  • Critics choice

With a huge terrace and its own haven with a view of the harbour, the Boom rates as one of the city’s hottest hot spots – even though it was made of scrap lumber. Not only street art friendly, it’s also a treat for kids.

  1. Dijksgracht 4, Waterfront & North
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Proust

  • Critics choice

Still trendy after all these years, and great for a market pit-stop or bar crawl kick-start. Inside is sleek and pared down in style - like the punters. If full, try Finch next door; on warm days, both bars' terraces merge into one convivial whole to lend an atmosphere than is pure Amsterdam.

  1. Noordermarkt 4
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Mankind

  • Critics choice

Mankind is a quiet locals' place tucked down a side-street near the Rijksmuseum and the antique shops and art galleries of Spiegelstraat. Not just an excellent stop for culture cruisers, this bar also provides delicious sandwiches and a cheap dish of the day. In summer the canal-side patio is perfect to catch some sun, read the international magazines or simply to watch the world go by.

  1. Weteringstraat 60
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Sophisticated drinking

Vyne

  • Critics choice

A tasteful - in every sense of the word - addition to the city's drinking scene. The gorgeous, slimline interior is dominated by an amazing wall of wine, and emphasis is put on pairing drink with nibbles; for example, Weissburgunder with fine sausage, or smoked eel and Sancerre. It's a streamlined version of sister-restaurant Envy.

  1. Prinsengracht 411
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Lion Noir

  • Critics choice

Inside, the velvet and artfully weather-beaten leather furnishings, stuffed birds and (yes) ornamental dog skeletons, combined with the genetically perfect staff, give the impression of an Abercrombie & Fitch shoot curated by Tim Burton. Outside, the terrace here is one of the best places to nurse a (pricey) gin and tonic – weather permitting.

  1. Reguliersdwarsstraat 28, Canals
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Bubbles & Wines

  • Critics choice

This long, low-ceilinged room has the feel of a wine cellar, albeit one with mood lighting and banquettes. There are more than 50 wines available by the glass and 180 by the bottle, and accompanying posh nosh (Asetra caviar, truffle cheese, foie gras). Wine flights are served, assembling the products of particular regions in several samples.

  1. Nes 37
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Twenty Third Bar

  • Critics choice

On the 23rd floor of Hotel Okura, this cocktail bar offers fantastic views of the Pijp and the compact Amsterdam School architecture of the Rivierenbuurt. Be prepared to pay for the view - and the 17 different varieties of champagne on offer.

  1. Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
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