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Best Amsterdam Nightlife

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You’ll find bars and nightclubs all over the city and its suburbs but most of the best Amsterdam nightlife is located in the city center. The heart of the nightly entertainment in Amsterdam can be found at the Leidseplein and Rembrantplein squares. Around the Leidseplein, you really will find something for everyone—bars, a Burger King and restaurants from all around the world. Just off the Leidseplein is a movie theater, a casino and several music venues. The Rembrandtplein is home to more authentic Dutch pubs, as well as several nightclubs and a Häagen-Dazs store. In the middle of the square are statues representing the Night Watch—the most famous painting by the artist the square is named after. There are also tram lines running down the middle of both squares, so finding a line that takes you to or from Amsterdam's entertainment is quite easy. When wandering down the canals, you’ll find countless bars and dance venues that are extremely welcoming to travelers. Most of Amsterdam's bars in the city center open before lunch, and close at 1AM on weekdays and 4AM on the weekend.

Melkweg

Neighborhood: Centrum (Center)

Melkweg (the Milky Way) is another old-timer in the Amsterdam entertainment scene. Since 1970, Melkweg has been home to a very wide variety of performers. The two halls here can host up to 1,500 people, showing music, theater, cinema and even photo shows. Most music is a bit more “indie” than other venues, and the cinema usually focuses on international works.

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Leidseplein

Neighborhood: Centrum (Center)

The Leidseplein (Leiden Square) is a fantastic place to enjoy your evening. With its many bars, restaurants and street performers, finding an open spot at a terrace and watching the world go by in the presence of a nice cold beer or two is just a great way to relax. Located around the square are the city municipal theater, two music venues (Paradiso and Melkweg), the Holland Casino and an entertainment ticket office.

Sugar Factory

Neighborhood: Centrum (Center)

The Sugar Factory describes itself as a cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary night theater. If you’re not passed out in your hotel room by midnight, this is a great place to enjoy some of the best Amsterdam entertainment. Just keep in mind that things get started late here (we're talking about a party that heats up at midnight and can go on until 5AM). The program at Sugar Factory is extremely varied with music from all over the world.

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Panama

Neighborhood: Easterm Docklands

The cool thing about Panama is that it’s a restaurant, nightclub and theater. You can show up for a late dinner, and then head into the nightclub to enjoy music by world-renowned DJ’s like Tiësto and Armin van Buuren or musical performances from artists like Colbie Caillat and Alicia Keys. The restaurant serves a variety of international dishes, but given its popularity, reservations for both the restaurant and the nightclub are highly recommended.

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Paradiso

Neighborhood: Centrum (Center)

Paradiso opened its doors back in 1968, and has since hosted everyone from the Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga. In fact, Keith Richards says his Paradiso concerts are the best live shows the Stones ever did. The venue is located just off the Leidseplein. Performing at Paradiso is so popular that their calendar is almost always booked solid—with performances every day. With a schedule like this, there’s a good chance something great will be going on during your trip to Amsterdam. Be sure to look ahead and book your tickets in advance because things can sell out quickly for popular performers.

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