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The 16 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam at Night

When the sun sets over the Dutch capital, Amsterdam undergoes a remarkable transformation. The city’s wide range of nocturnal offerings ensures that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re seeking romantic moments by the canals or thrilling adventures in vibrant neighborhoods.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll unveil the 16 best things to do in Amsterdam at night. For cultural enthusiasts, you may want to attend a concert at the Concertgebouw or head to one of the museums with extended hours. Or, if you’d like to experience the city’s nightlife, we recommend going on a pub crawl or listening to live music at Paradiso. 

We also review hidden gems in Amsterdam at night, like secret speakeasies and places to eat. So, without further ado, join us as we delve into the heart of “the Venice of the North” and everything it has to offer after dark!

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Walk through the famous Red Light District

View of the Red Light District in Amsterdam, showing canal and street lit up with red lights in windowsA nighttime stroll through the iconic Red Light District is an experience like no other and easily ranks among the best things to do at night in Amsterdam. This historic neighborhood, known locally as De Wallen, comes alive in the evening. In fact, it’s famous for its labyrinthine alleyways, coffee shops, and the distinctive red-lit windows that beckon curious onlookers.

For those yearning to delve deeper into the district’s compelling history, consider taking a guided walking tour. These two-hour tours offer profound insights into the Red Light District’s rich past and shed light on the women who work behind those renowned windows.

This neighborhood is a must-see if it’s your first time visiting Amsterdam. After all, it stands as a testament to the city’s unique ability to interweave culture and a hint of the unconventional. However, it’s essential to remember that capturing photographs of the workers here is strictly prohibited! Please respect the privacy and dignity of those who call this district home.

Take an evening canal cruise

Canal cruise boat floating along river in Amsterdam with historical homes in the backgroundIf you’re wondering what to do in Amsterdam at night, canal cruises undoubtedly rank among the most fun things to do here. As the sun sets and the city lights up, these picturesque canals transform into a mesmerizing wonderland.

Certain boat tours even include wine and cheese, elevating your experience to a delightful level of sophistication! In particular, we highly suggest this evening canal cruise. Drifting along the serene canals, you’ll pass by historical attractions such as the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, and Hermitage Amsterdam.

After your one-hour boat ride, you should be much more familiar with the city’s landmarks. Plus, these tours tend to be capped at 30 people. So, they’re often an excellent way to escape the crowds! Note that if you’re traveling in a large group, you can actually book a private boat.


See a concert at the Concertgebouw

Front view of the Concertgebouw concert hall in Amsterdam.Home to the world-renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, this illustrious venue is ranked among the finest concert halls in the world. You can actually find three different concert halls here, two of which are highly famous. The Grote Zaal seats 1974 people, while the Kleine Zaal has 427 seats.

With a rich history dating back to 1888, the Concertgebouw has hosted legendary conductors and artists like Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Bernard Haitink. Acts like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Who have also performed here, adding a rock ‘n’ roll touch to its classical repertoire. Today, it continues to be a hub of musical excellence, with more than 700 concerts each year.

Thanks to all of these events, the Concertgebouw receives around 700,000 visitors annually. Whether you’re a fan of classical compositions, jazz, or contemporary music, the Concertgebouw promises an unforgettable night! Take a look at the official concert schedule to see what’s on during your visit to Amsterdam.

Visit museums that are open late

View of the Van Gogh Museum at nightExploring Amsterdam’s rich cultural heritage takes on a unique charm when you visit museums that keep their doors open late. While many museums typically close early, there are exceptional opportunities for night owls and culture enthusiasts.

The Van Gogh Museum, for instance, usually closes at 6 p.m. However, on the last Friday evening of each month, it extends its hours from 7 to 11 p.m. for “Vincent on Friday.” You can visit the Eye Film Museum until 7 pm. Meanwhile, the Red Light Secrets Museum is always open late, closing its doors at 10 p.m.

Plus, if you’d like to beat the crowds, you can visit the Anne Frank House until 10 p.m. Just remember to book tickets beforehand! Tickets become available six weeks in advance.

If you happen to be in Amsterdam in November, don’t miss “Museumnacht”! Participating museums stay open from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. the following day during this event. Participants not only gain access to multiple museums, they also get to see concerts and other performances.

Live music at Paradiso or the Melkweg

View of the performance venue at Paradiso in Amsterdam with a band performing on stageFor an unforgettable night of live music in Amsterdam, look no further than the iconic venues of Paradiso and the Melkweg. These music temples and cultural hubs, both conveniently located close to Leidseplein, offer an electric atmosphere that’s unrivaled.

Paradiso, with its origins as a nineteenth-century church, has earned a reputation as the most famous rock venue in the Netherlands. It’s hosted a dazzling array of artists, including the Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, and Snarky Puppy.

On the other hand, the Melkweg, meaning “Milky Way” in Dutch, is a former milk factory turned music oasis, boasting four distinct music halls. With a history of performances by iconic acts like U2, Nirvana, and Prince, the Melkweg promises an eclectic lineup that caters to diverse tastes.

Both music venues host a mix of high-profile artists as well as up-and-coming acts. So, whether you’re into rock, pop, indie, or electronic beats, you won’t want to miss the chance to catch a live show.

Grab cocktails at a speakeasy

View of the bar area at the speakeasy Door 74 in Amsterdam.Amsterdam’s nightlife has a secret worth uncovering–its enchanting speakeasy scene. Tucked away behind unassuming facades, bars like Door 74, Bar Oldenhof, and Hiding in Plain Sight transport you to a bygone era of clandestine indulgence.

The allure of these speakeasies lies in their intimate ambiance, masterful mixologists, and carefully crafted cocktail menus. Door 74, for example, is a well-known gem, requiring a reservation to access its creative concoctions. This prohibition-era-style speakeasy has earned a place on The World’s 50 Best Bar list twice.

Meanwhile, Bar Oldenhof is another excellent option, evoking the charm of a traditional gentlemen’s club with its dim lighting and high-end cocktails. Last but not least, Hiding in Plain Sight is a must-visit for those who enjoy mixology. 

Read More: Amsterdam Foodie Guide

Bike through Amsterdam

Tourists riding bikes down the street in Amsterdam in the evening.Discovering Amsterdam by cycling through its bike-friendly streets is undeniably one of the best night activities the city has to offer. Renting a bike in the city center is a breeze, with numerous bike shops to choose from. Our top suggestions are Bike City in Jordaan or MacBike, near Amsterdam Central Station.

While a deposit and a minor fee might be required, it’s a small price to pay for the freedom to explore this charming city on two wheels. After all, Amsterdam boasts an extensive network of bike paths. Just don’t forget to lock your bike securely when not in use!

You can typically only find guided bike tours during the daytime. However, many tourists choose to cycle on their own. Remember: the sun sets late during the summer here, so you’ll have daylight even into the evening in Amsterdam. As for your cycling destination, we highly recommend Vondelpark.


See a movie at Pathé Tuschinski

View of the cool architectural exterior of Pathé TuschinskiFor a cinematic experience like no other, catching a film at Pathé Tuchinski near Rembrandtplein ranks among the best Amsterdam evening activities. This famous movie theater, dating back to 1921, is a stunning example of art deco architecture.

Most films are shown in English with Dutch subtitles, ensuring a welcoming experience for international visitors. However, the true charm of Tuschinski lies in its grandeur! If you want to see a movie in the most famous theater room, choose a showtime in the Grote Zaal, also called Zaal 1.

Tickets on the first balcony offer the best views of the stunning auditorium. You’ll have to pay a little more to sit in this section; however, you’ll also receive a complimentary drink and snack in your ticket price.

The Great Hall auditorium in Pathé Tuschinski in Amsterdam

Take a tour of the Heineken Experience

View of the exterior of the Heineken Experience building in Amsterdam.Located at Heineken’s oldest brewery, this interactive journey offers a captivating insight into one of the most famous Dutch beer brands worldwide. The former brewery has been tastefully transformed into a museum filled with fascinating exhibits, making it a must-visit destination.

While the Heineken Experience is primarily self-guided, knowledgeable guides are strategically placed at critical points to enrich your understanding. Here, you can delve into the brewing process and customize your Heineken bottle or glass.

As the tour concludes, the tasting room awaits, where you can exchange tokens for Heineken drinks of your choice from the tap. However, if you prefer a more serene setting, consider paying extra for the ticket that includes the rooftop bar!

Please note that the last entry is at 6:45 p.m., and the experience closes at 9 p.m. So, plan accordingly to savor every moment of this immersive beer journey.

Read More: Amsterdam in a Day

Watch the sunset from A’DAM Tower

Couple sitting on swing at the top of A'DAM Lookout in AmsterdamPerched 22 stories high, the A’dam Lookout offers an unrivaled panoramic view of this picturesque city, from its historic center to the bustling port and iconic canals. You can choose to explore an interactive exhibition here and enjoy a free audio tour.

Or, thrill-seekers can take a daring ride on “Over The Edge,” Europe’s highest swing, dangling 100 meters above the ground with the city beneath their feet. Another option is to experience the Amsterdam VR ride, a virtual reality rollercoaster through the city.

Nonetheless, our favorite thing to do here has to be the Sky Deck. This area hosts daily DJ sessions during the summertime, making it the perfect place to enjoy music and elevate your Amsterdam experience.

You can reach A’dam Tower via the free ferry F3 from behind Amsterdam Central Station. However, please note that the last admission is at 9 p.m., and this attraction closes at 10 p.m.

Watch a Dutch National Opera & Ballet performance

View of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet building along the water in Amsterdam Attending a Dutch National Opera & Ballet performance is a cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed. Located by the waterfront in the iconic Stopera building (also called Het Muziektheater), this venue offers world-class performances in both opera and ballet.

The acoustics and ambiance of the theater make every show a remarkable experience. With around fourteen opera productions and eleven ballet productions each year, there’s a diverse range of performances to choose from. Plus, if you’re seeing opera, English subtitles ensure you can follow along with the storyline!

The doors open an hour before the show. However, remember to use the restroom before the performance starts and the doors shut. Seeing a performance at Het Muziektheater is one of the most unique things to do in Amsterdam in the evening. 

Explore Amsterdam’s canals

Historic canal in Amsterdam decorated with a purple bike in front.Amsterdam, often dubbed the “Venice of the North,” is renowned for its captivating canals–most of which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Exploring these iconic waterways is one of the most popular free things to do in the city and one of the best nighttime activities. 

The canals of Amsterdam are a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and its heyday during the Dutch Golden Age. With this in mind, the Grachtengordel, or “Canal Ring,” was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

If you’re unsure where to start, remember that Amsterdam city has four main canals: the Singel, the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht, and the Keizersgracht. Our favorite is the Singel, the city’s oldest canal, followed by the Keizersgracht, which boasts luxurious mansions and townhouses.

See the Amsterdam Light Festival (Dec-Jan only)

Boat riding through canals in Amsterdam where light installations are on display for the Amsterdam Light Festival in the winterA winter delight for art enthusiasts and anyone seeking a magical nighttime experience, the Amsterdam Light Festival (available in December and January only) is a must-see attraction. This popular event breathes life into the dark winter months by adorning Amsterdam’s city center with captivating light art installations.

The twenty tailor-made pieces on display–crafted by contemporary artists, designers, and architects–transform the city into an open-air light museum. During the experience, you can either choose to experience these mesmerizing light artworks on display via a walking route or on a special canal cruise.

What makes it even more exciting is that the theme changes yearly. So, each visit promises a unique and enchanting adventure. Keep in mind that tickets go on sale each year beginning in October! 

Experience Amsterdam’s nightlife

Nightlife along the Red Light District in AmsterdamExperience the vibrant pulse of Amsterdam’s nightlife, and you’ll quickly understand why it’s one of the best nocturnal activities in the city. If you don’t know where to start, consider joining an Amsterdam pub crawl through the Red Light District with Ultimate Party. 

Another way to make the most out of your time in the city is with an Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. Starting from just €10, these tickets grant you access to over 30 participating bars, clubs, and special events, including Melkweg, Paradiso, and Club Prime.

Delve into a diverse nightlife scene that caters to various tastes, from electronic dance music enthusiasts to hip hop lovers. Or, for a truly unique experience, venture into the Amsterdam Icebar, where you can sip drinks in sub-zero temperatures while surrounded by ice sculptures. 

Eat at Foodhallen

Inside of the Foodhallen in Amsterdam, showing food stalls and tablesHoused in a refurbished tram depot, this food haven boasts over 20 stands serving various cuisines to satisfy every palate. From Dutch favorites like bitterballen to international delights like dim sum, tacos, sushi, and more, it’s a paradise for street food enthusiasts.

Plus, if you’re traveling in a group, everyone can pick different things to eat! Foodhallen is open from noon until midnight, Sundays through Thursdays, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m. Then, on Fridays and Saturdays, it stays open until 1 a.m., with the last call for food at 11 p.m. 

Luckily, Foodhallen is conveniently accessible from various parts of the city. For example, from Amsterdam Central Station, all you have to do is board tram 17, heading to Osdorp Dijkgraafplein, and get off at Ten Katestraat.

Read More: The Best Pancakes in Amsterdam

Go to a craft brewery

Brouwerij ‘t IJ brewery in Amsterdam in old windmill buildingAmsterdam’s craft brewery scene is a hidden gem worth exploring, especially if you’re tired of the ubiquitous Heineken and Amstel. One standout is Brouwerij ‘t IJ, situated beneath Amsterdam’s iconic De Gooyer windmill.

Since its inception in 1985, this brewery has pioneered the Dutch microbrewing scene. Another must-visit is Brouwerij De Prael, nestled in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Founded in 2002, it’s known for offering 11 different brews, from popular Bitterblonde and I.P.A to the 11.5% Quadrupel.

Meanwhile, Oedipus Brewing is a bit farther afield, across the IJ in Amsterdam Noord. Their inventive creations include beers like Thai Thai and Mannenliefde! Other noteworthy craft breweries include Brouwerij Troost, Walhalla, and Butcher’s Tears.

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Explore Amsterdam's captivating nightlife, from canal walks to hidden gems like speakeasies and late-night museums. Dive into the city's rich culture, whether it's live music, canal cruises, or historic districts like the Red Light District. This guide unveils the best nighttime experiences in the Dutch capital. Don't miss out on the chance to discover Amsterdam's after-dark charm!

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