It is almost impossible to put together a top 5 of best bars in Amsterdam because there are far too many good places to go. This is our latest attempt and though the bars listed below are excellent, the list is by no means exhaustive.
5. rick’s Cafe
Location: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 252
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu: 8am to 1am | Fri & Sat: 8am to 2am
Rick’s Cafe is often mistaken for Rick’s coffee-shop, which is right next door. Its strong coffee-shop affiliation makes it one of the most smoker friendly spots in the city, whose upstairs smoking room boasts great window views of the RLD. Rick’s isn’t too spacious inside, but the canal side terrace gives it a bit of an extension which is a big plus. It’s chilled-out and gets the sunshine for the best part of the day, so you can sit and watch the boats pass while enjoying your frosty €3 happy hour pints, from 4pm-6pm.
4. susie’s saloon
Location: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 254
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu: 10am to 1am | Fri & Sat: 10am to 3am
Susie’s Saloon is one of those bars which has a deep-running ‘biker- connection, especially from the day Amsterdam’s Hell’s Angels had a bigger influence in the RLD. Today it still has a biker bar feel to it, but in the most welcoming way possible. There is a friendly atmosphere inside,with older classic rock and new hard rock blasting, as well as tattooed locals sitting at the carved wooden tables, friendly blonde barmaids, a cracking canal side terrace and one of the best, biggest and brightest smoking rooms you will find in Amsterdam. There’s plenty of space to enjoy your €3 happy hour pints from 3:30pm-6pm and 10:30pm-12am, 7 days a week.
3. Irish Pub Durty Nelly’s
Location: Warmoesstraat 117
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri & Sun: 9am- 1am | Sat: 9am – 3am
Nondescript Irish pubs tend to pop up all over the world, especially where there is an abundance of British tourists, but Nelly’s is every inch the authentic Irish deal, usually harbouring a local Scottish and Irish contingent. It has TVs always showing the sport of the day, and so is a good choice when the football’s on, but the outside summer terrace is the highlight. You can sit at your table with your happy hour option of ‘2 for 1’ Heinekens, from Monday to Thursday: 3pm – 4pm., and have a peek down a couple of the prime red light alleyways where you can watch the world go by in the most dramatic and colourful way possible.
2. The last Waterhole
Location: Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 49
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs: 2pm to 3am | Fri – Sat: 2pm to 4am
The Waterhole is the most established rock n’ roll bar in Amsterdam. It’s a dingy, smoky combination that works. This is the local haunt for both natives and expats, and is a bit of a biker hang out, so it’s less of a tourist spot. The Waterhole is known for three things, the first being it’s nightly live music and band sessions. The second is the €5 unlimited pool offer, a nice compliment to the third and the most important highlight: the daily 2pm – 9pm happy hour(s) and the fact that your €3 pints come in chunky frozen pint mugs that keeps them frosty while you play pool and listen to a massive variety of music.
1. Belushi’s Bar
Location: Warmoesstraat 129
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs: 10am to 1am | Fri – Sat: 10am to 3am
Belushi’s Bar is known for being the drinking spot attached to the most popular backpacker’s hostel in the city. Consequently, it is usually packed with young, international globe hoppers, but it’s also popular with Amsterdam’s seasonal expat community, providing a good, mixed crowd
of travellers and honorary Amsterdammers. The extensiveness of the Belushi’s “happy hour” alone makes it deserving of a spot on our list. Day long deals start at 11am which include 2 for 1 Becks until 9pm and 2 for 1 mixes until 11pm. Cheap Jäger bombs and shots. The best deal of all,
though, is the famous monster Belushi’s Burger and beer for just under eight bucks, from 12pm to 5pm. The leafy, private beer garden at the back is the gem of the bar and means you can enjoy the sun, an impressive burger and your drinks out in the open. What’s more, if there was to be a
special mention for the best bar staff in Amsterdam, that privilege would have to go right here.