Visit to Amsterdam
The Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are the liveliest nightspots, with coffeeshops, loud bars, and tacky clubs galore, but in all locations, bars frequently become more clubby as the night goes on check listings. Near Leidseplein, pricey discos abound on Prinsengracht, near Leidsestraat, and on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat. Some clubs charge a membership fee in addition to normal cover. Amsterdam’s finest cafes are the old, dark, wood-paneled bruine cafe (brown cafes) mainly on the Jordaan; those lining Prinsengracht usually have outdoor seating. In Amsterdam, the concept of a completely straight nightlife versus a gay nightlife does not really apply. Essentially all establishments are gay-friendly and have a mixed-orienta-tion crowd. Around Rembrandtpl. gay bars almost exclusively for men line Ams-telstraat and Reguliersdwarsstraat. Kerkstraat, five blocks north of Leidseplein, is a gay hotspot. Pick up a wallet-sized Clu guide, free at cafes and coffeeshops, for a club map of the city, and Gay and Night, a monthly magazine, for more info.
BARS AND CAFES
11 Cafe de Jaren, Nieuwe Doelenstr. 20-22. This fabulous 2 floor cafe’s air of sophistication doesn’t quite mesh with its budget-friendly prices. It’s a bona fide student haunt as well. Cocktails and beer ‚1.80-3.10. Open M-Th and Su lOam-lam, F-Sa 10am-2am.
H NL Lounge, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 169. This is the unmarked destination where some of Amsterdam’s slickest, best-dressed, and most savvy insiders hang out. Cocktails (‚6). Music varies, but at lam, the beat invariably switches over to trippy techno. No cover. Open M-Th and Su 10pm-3am, F-Sa 10pm-4am.
Lux, Marnixstr. 403. Kitschy but classy with red plush walls and leopard-print curtains. There’s not much dancing, but DJs spinning Th-Su will get you pumped to go hit the clubs later on. Beer ‚2. Cocktails ‚4. Open M-Th and Su 8pm-3am, F-Sa 8pm-4am.
Absinthe, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 171. With layers of magenta leather couches, Absinthe, bathes in purple light and trancy music. May be more touristy than you’d like. Open M-Th and Su 8pm-3am, F-Sa 8pm-4am.
Cafe de Wilde Zee, Haarlemmerstr. 32. Elegant, black-clad literati congregate in this maroon-colored wine bar to sip Italian espressos (‚1.70), and great wines (‚2.60-3 per glass), and converse to cool jazz. Open M-Tu llam-8pm, W-Su llam-lam.
Cafe Kalkhoven, Prinsengrt. 283. Old Amsterdam in all its brown, wooden glory: Old oak barrels on the wall behind the bar, darkly painted ceilings, and food choices all have a markedly Dutch flavor. Tostis (ham and cheese sandwich) and appeltas (apple strudel) both ‚1.80. Heineken pint ‚4. Open daily llam-lam.
Arc Bar, Reguliersdwarsstr. 44. A hip, cutting-edge spot done up in leather. Cocktails ‚6.50-7.50. Black tabletops in front are lowered to form dancing platforms later in the evening. Open M-Th and Su noon-lam, F-Sa noon-3am.
Montmartre, Halvemaarsteg 17. Rococo interior bedecked with flowers and rich draperies houses some of the wildest gay parties in the city. Voted best gay bar in Amsterdam by Gay Krant 6 years running. Open M-Th and Su 5pm-lam, F-Sa 5pm-3am.
Cafe’t Smalle, Egelantiersgrt. 12. Founded in 1780 as the tasting room of a neighboring distillery, and one of the most popular cafes in the west end. Summertime canal-side seats. Draft beer ‚2.50. Open M-Th and Su lOam-lam, F-Sa 10am-2am.
Visit to Amsterdam Photo Gallery
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