My top 5 bars/hangouts to visit in Amsterdam

I feel as though my ideal night out has matured. I now no longer want to drink as much as possible at pre-drinks in order to save money in the O2 or Mosh, nor do I want to down as many VK’s as possible when in the club. Now I actually prefer a few social, genuinely enjoyable drinks with my friends.


Thankfully, Amsterdam has plenty of options for this and so I thought I’d share with you my top five favourite bars that I keep returning to, particularly when I have a friend visiting me.



1. St James’s Gate Irish Pub:

I’m half Irish so wherever I go, I always seek out the Irish pubs as I just always love their atmosphere and vibe and they tend to be that bit cheaper than non-irish pubs/bars in Amsterdam. I have been to several of the Irish pubs in Amsterdam now, but I always return to this one. Located in Remdrandt Square, it’s slightly quieter than the other squares (Dam Square, Leidseplein for example) so it can be a bit of a nice breather away from the mass of people. It has a lovely outside seating area, equipped with heaters and blankets for when it gets chilly. I think I’ve met all of the staff now because I’ve been so many times and they’re all lovely. They have a decent food menu and always put sports on the several TV’s they have! Definitely worth a visit.



2. Canvas/ Volkshotel

On the 7th floor of the Volkshotel is Canvas- a student orientated rooftop bar. The outside seating area is lovely for the warm, sunny days and an inside rooftop bar for when it gets a bit chilly! The prices are very reasonable for a rooftop bar, you can get yourself a glass of house wine for just €4! As well as this, the ground floor has a quirky study area where you can get some work done before you have a few drinks maybe? In summer, they throw free hot tub events as well so look out for them!



3. Zoku

I have to say, this place amazed me. We didn’t have high expectations but decided to give it a go anyway, but wow. Zoku is also a rooftop bar that is at the top of a hotel (the hotel has amazing reviews online also). We walked up to the top and it is designed like a botanical garden with tables outside. Not only this, but it is also huge study area inside, equipped with comfy throws, table tennis, chess and a restaurant. I would absolutely study there if it was closer to my flat, but I will definitely be returning for a night or day with friends!



4. Pllek

A somewhat hidden gem across the river in Amsterdam North, catch the free ferry over the river and Pllek is a two minute walk away. An old converted storage container, it’s definitely quirky and cute. It has such a lovely vibe, some people there just reading by the fire, some having drinks and food with friends. It has its very own urban beach that looks out onto the Amsterdam skyline. I can’t wait to return here in summer but even in winter, it’s a very enjoyable place. It even has its own cat, ‘Pllekky’ who took a liking to me!



5. Slainte 

Another Irish pub, it was the first pub I came to when I arrived in Amsterdam almost three months ago and remains a favourite. Situated in the red light district, it always has a decent crowd. The staff are the nicest here, always having a laugh with you and they just make you feel so welcome. It also has an outside seating here that faces a beautiful church.



I have visited these places time and time again! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do if you visit/move to Amsterdam!

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About Louise

Hey, I’m Louise. I am currently studying on an Erasmus year in Amsterdam at VU University! I am a third year Criminology student and will be blogging about Criminology at Leicester, studying abroad, student life in Amsterdam specifically and student life in general all in aim of providing some insight and useful information!

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