Clubs and Live Music in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s nightlife is legendary, not just across Europe, but the world and it’s easy to see why. Not only does the Dutch capital have an incredible heritage of dance music, but it also has magnificent classical music venues, as well as atmospheric jazz bars and more.

Header image credit: Clara Jordan

De School

De School

A new entertainment complex opened by the people who brought you the sadly deceased Trouw nightclub, De School consists of a bar, restaurant, gym, club and more, all in the grounds of a disused school. Club nights take place in the school’s old bike shed and the 24 hour license of the club means that opening times are flexible, so your party could last ‘til 3am, or even go on until 10am the next day!

Melkweg

Melkweg

An old dairy factory which has now been turned into a cultural centre, Melkweg has 2 venues inside, hosting 1,500 and 700 people each, as well as a cinema, a theatre and space for photography and art and more. Melkweg’s club nights include a whole range of genres, and huge international acts such as Prince and the Arctic Monkeys have performed there. During October, it is an important part of the Amsterdam Dance Event festival.

Image credit: Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten

Occii

OCCII

Tucked away at the back of Vondelpark, OCCII is perhaps Amsterdam’s most important venue for independent and underground artists. OCCII has a proud history of being independent and autonomous, and has been run almost entirely by volunteers since first opening. The venue has no specified program, genre or market, and instead focusses on allowing its volunteers to set the agenda. This means you’re due a surprise every time you go, making it one of Amsterdam’s most interesting venues.

Image credit: eightysixx

Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

Certainly the most important contemporary music venue in Amsterdam, if not in the whole of Holland, Muziekgebouw is an extremely modern structure made largely of glass which includes moveable ceilings, walls, seats and floors, all of which help to ensure the acoustics are perfect, no matter who is performing. This venue hosts shows from classical, electronic, jazz and world music artists, plus more, performing both intimate shows and large ensemble pieces.

Image credit: Andre P. Meyer-Vitali

Paradiso

Paradiso

One of Amsterdam’s most prestigious venues, Paradiso is a former church which has been converted into a cool nightlife centre. Artists who have graced the Paradiso stage include Adele, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, the Foo Fighters, James Brown and many, many more. Recently, however, the venue has begun to include more eclectic performances and events, moving away from just rock and pop music, and has featured plays, classical music, raves and more.

Image credit: Roland

Bimhuis

Bimhuis

Part of the Muziekgebouw complex, Bimhuis bills itself as the “best jazz club in the world”. Focussing on new talent, the venue aims to stay at the cutting edge of the jazz world, and puts on 150 performances every year. Many of the performances are entirely improvised, meaning you’re likely to see an exciting, one-off show at Bimhuis, rather than something that has been overly rehearsed.

Image credit: Taco Ekkel​​

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