Drinking in Amsterdam falls into 3 categories - a nice warm cup of tea or coffee, a stronger drink in a cozy bar, or a cold beer on a sunny terrace. These are our favorite places in all three categories.
COFFEE AND TEA
De Koffieschenkerij at old church
Cafes don’t get much cosier than this. This building was where the priests of the church used to prepare their services - today it is a warm and welcoming place to sit, enjoy a coffee and read about the Rosicrucians. When the sun is shining, check out the medieval garden. If it’s raining, the gezellig attic is the best place in the city to enjoy a warm drink.
In de Waag
First a city gate and then a weighing house, the upper floors used to creak with the bustle of busy guilds. Today, this 15th century fortification is a charming cafe, a lovely place to enjoy a warm or cold drink.
Cafe de Prins
Brown cafés like this one offer a warm place to escape from the rain. If it’s sunny, do as the Dutch do and enjoy beer and bitterballen on the terrace as you watch the boats pass by.
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like inside a crooked Amsterdam house, head to this cafe. This 1695 building has a serious tilt, but don’t let that frighten you. It’s cosy and stable!
Prins Hendrikkade 94-95
Only three parts of the old city wall remain. This corner tower was the point of departure for countless adventurers seeking their fortunes across the seas! Today it is an old, traditional Dutch cafe.
This distillery has been making traditional Dutch ‘Jenever’ since 1679. It is the quintessential cosy local bar. Go enjoy a centuries old tradition that’ll leave a warm feeling in your stomach - and your heart!
Nearby Belgium often gets the beer glory, but the Netherlands is home to hundreds of breweries as well! This speciality bar only carries national drinks, and they have over 400 to choose from. Proost!
In de Olofspoort
If you want a taste of Jenever (and a place to sit) head to this old tasting room. The variety is great, the staff are very friendly, and Jenever is, as always, a traditional (but excellent) choice.
In’t Aapjen (zeedijk)
One of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam (notice how it’s made of wood!), this bar has been frequented by thirsty sailors for hundreds of years. It’s rumored that the barman used to accept monkeys as payment, and though you won’t get away with that today, you can still find stuffed animals hanging out in the rafters. Get an authentic experience and a cultural buzz.
Oudezijds Armsteeg 26
The only modern location in this guide, this brewery is a must visit. Not only is the beer delicious and the atmosphere amazing, but it is run as a social project for the underemployed so you’ll be helping a lot of people out. It’s a good deed!
Brouwerij 't IJ
The Netherlands is famous for windmills and beer. Here, you can kill two birds with one stone - it is a brewery underneath a windmill! This is the place that kicked off the current craze for micro breweries in the city.
The original waterside bar. The large terrace is often busy, but the view is spectacular. Watch in amazement as boat after boat full of hip Amsterdammers cruise up and dock to enjoy a sunny beer.
Jacob Bontiusplaats 1
Amsterdammers love to take over former warehouses and turn them into bars.This place (called ‘Rust’) is one of the best. Plus, they built a beach outside! Crazy Amsterdammers even swim here!
cafe de Ceuvel
Korte Papaverweg 4
A few years ago some industrious Amsterdammers dragged a bunch of houseboats onto the land and turned this old industrial site into one of the nicest alternative waterside terraces in town.
Tt. Neveritaweg 59
Take a short ferry ride to NDSM and visit this cafe.You’ll notice that it’s built by stacking shipping containers. It has a terrace unlike any other and the view is hard to beat.