11 best cocktail bars in Amsterdam

11 best cocktail bars in Amsterdam

If you want to shake things up and take a break from Dutch beer, a cocktail bar in Amsterdam is just what you’re looking for. There is a large selection of bars to choose from in the Dutch capital, so call up your friends and get ready for happy hour!

Find a cocktail bar in Amsterdam

No one can blame you for dreaming about sipping cocktails with friends while you’re stuck in the office. It’s not just about the booze, it’s the atmosphere that makes the experience complete. Here are some of the best cocktail bars in Amsterdam that are waiting to stir up your post-work drinks. Bottoms up!

Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

Searching for a very Dutch cocktail? One sip of the signature drink at Flying Dutchmen Cocktails will leave you in no doubt that this is the drink of the Netherlands, with traditional Dutch jenever, speculaas gum syrup and splashes of orange-flavoured bitters. 

This award-winning cocktail bar focuses on classic cocktails and shows how they have evolved over the years. From an espresso martini to a sunset strip, you’ll want to try everything on their menu — even their non-alcoholic cocktails. The cosy and intimate atmosphere means you can comfortably chat with your friends late into the night while you sip on some of the best cocktails Amsterdam has to offer.

Video: YouTube / Tess Posthumus

Vesper Bar

For cocktails that give you a taste of the season you’re in, Vesper Bar has you covered with their imaginative multi-themed menu that changes monthly. Not only is the bar's name and signature vesper martini inspired by James Bond, but you can also see memorabilia of the popular 007 character lining the walls. 

The unique laid-back, neighbourhood environment of Vesper makes it a comfortable spot for locals and tourists alike to gather and connect over cocktails. With a convenient location in central Amsterdam, you can easily use public transport on your way home after a great evening out.


A post shared by Vesper (@vesper_amsterdam)

Hiding in Plain Sight

Cocktails with a side of mystery? That’s what you’ll find at Hiding in Plain Sight. Just like the name suggests, this bar can be hard to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. A cocktail menu that changes frequently means you’ll be surprised with what’s on offer and get the chance to try something new. 

The Walking Dead cocktail served in a flaming skull glass is a hit at Hiding in Plain Sight. Cocktails with straws made from pasta and snacks in the form of popcorn round off a welcoming and easy experience at this hidden gem. If you want to prepare yourself for a visit to this speakeasy cocktail bar, you’ll have to trust the reviews and recommendations of previous visitors given in hushed tones. 

Tales & Spirits

Every bar has a story and in this instance Tales & Spirits has multiple. Each cocktail on the menu - and there are a lot of them - comes with its very own quirky story. With some eccentrically named house specials and a whole page dedicated to old fashioneds, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Exquisite cocktails, entertaining tales and some delicious food to line the stomach — this unique spot has it all wrapped up in a mix of contemporary and vintage styles. Set in a cosy interior with dim lighting, crystal chandeliers, a nostalgic feel and a whole lot of alcohol, who could resist?

Twenty Third Bar

If you’re looking for some high-quality cocktails in a spot that is sophisticated and elegant, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere at Twenty Third Bar at Hotel Okura. Sip on cocktails with home-made syrups and purees, while taking in a panoramic view of Amsterdam from 23 storeys up. 

The menu has a wide selection of speciality drinks, classic cocktails with a twist and mocktails for the designated driver. You can also enjoy some tasty Dutch snacks from one of the hotel’s restaurants to complete your evening. 

Calle Ocho

When life gives you lemons, make margaritas! But luckily, you don’t have to make a margarita yourself, instead you can escape the realities of life with the best frozen margaritas in Amsterdam at Calle Ocho. Tequila and rum form the core of the cocktail menu which is based on different Miami cultures.

From the pornstar margarita to the Escobar cocktail, things will heat up quickly and not only from the drinks. Street food from a melting pot of Latin-American cultures will add some spice to your life. A night at Calle Ocho is bound to be warm, fun and full of buzz, so grab your friends and enjoy!

Pulitzer’s Bar

The glamour of long-lost times meets the modern day at Pulitzer’s Bar. You can find the easy elegance of this cocktail bar in the world-renowned hotel, Pulitzer Amsterdam. Overlook the Amsterdam canals in a comfortable armchair while you cosy up to the fireplace. To cap it off, there is an extensive cocktail menu which is inspired by Amsterdam itself. 

Sip on a navy highball or a New Amsterdam cocktail and take in the impressive Art Deco style of the bar. Make your elegant cocktail experience extra ritzy by enjoying some extravagant bites, such as oysters and caviar. 

Super Lyan

Neon-pink lights and red upholstered bar stools let you know that this cocktail bar is going to funk it up. Super Lyan creates an eclectic atmosphere with unique colours used in their decor while adding their own riffs on well-known cocktails. The drinks menu could never be boring!

Your teetotal friends won’t miss out on the fun either, with the bar's yummy boozeless cocktails and tasty bar bites. Super Lyan also hosts their own events, so keep your eyes peeled for a super party! 

Bar Mokum

For classy cocktails in a relaxed and non-pretentious atmosphere, Bar Mokum has you covered. Located under MOAK Pankcakes De Pijp, this bar is the perfect opportunity to have some pre-drink snacks to line your stomach before an evening out.

Enjoy a range of drinks categorised according to Amsterdam’s motto: heroic, compassionate, determined. From the mai tai style drink Apekop to the whisky sour style cocktail Wortel Schieten, the whole menu at Bar Mokum serenades the city, locals and visitors. To go with the drinks, there are also some bar bites to nibble on and some old-school music to jive to.

Rosalia’s Menagerie

If you enjoy cocktails with a jenever or korenwijn base then the cocktails at Rosalia’s Menagerie will hit the spot. While the menu changes seasonally, there are old favourites to enjoy along with whimsically themed cocktails that bridge the gap between timeless classics and contemporary cocktails. 

You can take a breather from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam and relax in the quirky yet cosy atmosphere of this seated-only cocktail bar, with velvet cushions and unique art decorating the walls. There are also some food options to go alongside your drinks.   

Bar Bukowski

As Charles Bukowski said, “There is always a reason to drink!”, and Bar Bukowski has used that as inspiration for their bar showcasing Bukowski’s love for alcohol, women and literature. This is a great spot to enjoy a delicious cocktail with friends in a neighbourhood-type environment with friends and family

For those who struggle to choose from a wide selection of cocktails, you can opt to have either the cocktail of the week or go for the dealer’s choice where the bartender takes the choice out of your hands. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Bar Bukowski, one of the hottest places for drinks and even food. 

Where to get cocktails in Amsterdam

Your next night out with friends will be a blast at some of the best cocktail bars Amsterdam has to offer. Cheers! Do you have a favourite place to drink cocktails in Amsterdam? Tell us about it in the comments!

Simone Jacobs


Simone Jacobs

Editor for the Netherlands at IamExpat Media. Simone studied Genetics and Zoology at the Univeristy of Pretoria in South Africa before moving to the Netherlands, where she has been working...

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