Ditch the heels because the hours you sweat upon the dance floor is a workout for the ages.
Trust me with my Amsterdam nightlife tips when I say this is THE city to party in! So, get your feet off the pedals and place them firmly on the dance floor because Amsterdam is one place where the party does not stop. From old technology school buildings to circus tents, Amsterdam’s houses of fun come in all shapes and sizes across all regions of the city. It may all sound discreet but let me open the doors for you to have a drink (could suggest a locally brewed glass of Brouwerij het IJ) with my Amsterdam nightlife tips.
For all educational purposes, this is Amsterdam’s premier nightlife spot. Housed in a former technology school in Amsterdam’s West, De School opened its doors in 2016 and has been a hit on the club scene ever since as a successor to Trouw; a much loved and innovative nightclub that sadly closed its doors after five years in early 2015. Keeping it local, the programming gives way for local house and techno DJs to spin their tunes and play extended sets. Occasionally international guests are invited also drop in to lay down their beats on the basement dance floor – a former bike shed. If you are lucky, you may catch yourself at De School when it is opened around the clock as it holds a 24-hour licence (selected weekends) – just be prepared to face the day sleep deprived!
The venue itself is a mixed venue that includes artistic studios, a school-themed café, restaurant and concert venue. With the club’s capacity at 700, this club has a strict door policy that may result in you being turned away without reason (just like Berghain folks!)
Be on your best behaviour and do your research on how to get in as this is a class you do not want to skip.
De School, Doctor Jan van Breemenstraat 1, 1056 AB Amsterdam
Time to get out the pocket money and take a friend to the start of the line as this is the ultimate trip to the canteen. An ode to its beginnings as a market canteen built in 1936 for Dutch market traders, De Martkantine has evolved over the years from hosting music, theatre and food to now incorporating all three as Amsterdam’s most loved mixed spaces.
Fresh from renovations, this 3000 square space has proven itself popular with the young Dammers as a top spot to dance the night away with its many dance areas and stages. With the venue a temporary fixture until 2019 in Amsterdam’s West, you best try to skip the queue and get in early!
De Martkantine, Jan van Galenstraat 6 1051 KM Amsterdam
This place is sweet for all the right reasons. Located centrally just off the Leidseplein area, the Sugar Factory fuses theatre, nightlife and artist spaces. It is ever so supportive of homegrown and upcoming talent with club music and live music taking centre stage both intimate and large scale. With this dynamic space open 7 days a week, it hosts a mixed bag of club nights of all genres including jazz, techo, disco nights and more. Time to treat yourself!
Sugar Factory, Lijnbaansgracht 238 1017 Binnenstad, Amsterdam
Welcome to the circus where instead of clowns it’s the partygoers, the performers on stilts and DJs making this colourful and animated dance space something to rave about. With a seasonal schedule of parties’ kick-starting during the day, this hidden venue, Thuishaven is a key fixture on the clubbing circuit since its inception in 2013 in the western outskirts of Amsterdam.
This venue has a case of a split personality where come summertime, the ground is covered in sand, outdoor seating is scattered and it just screams chill with its inland beach oasis atmosphere. Forget those chills for when winter arrives, the party is taken indoors in Amsterdam’s most thumping circus tent to become ‘Het Wintercircus’ (Winter Circus). With its Funktion One sound system sending clubbers and the dance floor alight with its electronic music beats pumping in both vibrant summer and winter settings, this is a party haven like no other.
Thuishaven, Contactweg 150, 1014 BW Amsterdam
Image credit: Marktkantine