Entertainment in Amsterdam

Boom Chicago – If you are looking for a few hours of non-stop comedy, Boom Chicago is the place to go. Started by a group of Americans, Boom Chicago has been a prominent name in the Amsterdam entertainment scene for over eight years now. The show is a mix of improvisation and sketch comedy, with has a lot of audience participation.

Bimhuis Amsterdam – If you want to listen to jazz while you are in Amsterdam, Bimhuis is the place to head to. It is one of the best jazz places you can have in this part of the world. It was started in the 1970s by a group of Dutch jazz musicians and have, over the years, attracted many well known names including Chet Baker, Kenny Wheeler and Steve Solo.

Melkweg – One of Amsterdam’s biggest entertainment venues, Melkweg is located in a former diary, and offers everything from dance, music, bar, disco to movies, drama, restaurant and even a tearoom. Most weekends see live music and dance events. The clientele is young and mixed, and the atmosphere is casual and cool.

Paradiso – Commonly known as the “pop temple” of the Netherlands, Paradiso offers an eclectic mix of music – from pop to hip hop to contemporary to jazz to multimedia festivals to even poetry and films. Housed in an old church, Paradiso is just a stone’s throw away from Leidesplein, making it a very convenient location to get to.

Movie Theaters – Amsterdam has over 45 cinemas. Most movies are shown in their original language with Dutch subtitles, except for those that may appeal to a younger audience, in which case make sure you go for the OV version. Some of the more popular cinemas are Pathe De Munt, Pathe Tuschinski and Rialto.

Sinners in Heaven – Sinners in Heaven is the place for the jet-setters in Amsterdam. Of all the places in Amsterdam, this is the one you are most likely to bump into a celebrity. And if you want to party with the locals, this club offers a happy respite from the usual touristic crowds. Its not very big but the decor is expensive and chic, with lots of mirrors and designer furniture.

Concertgebouw – Built in the late 19th century, the home of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is known for outstanding acoustics. In addition to orchestras, jazz and world music groups perform here. The concert season runs from September through March and tickets run anywhere from about 15 to 100 Euros. They also have a free lunch concert every Wednesday at 12:30.

Muziektheater – The Muziektheater is a relatively recent addition to the Netherlands arts scene, but it quickly took up a prominent place thanks to the grand classic decor, its capacity to seat more than 1500 people and the events hosted which include international opera, ballet, and orchestra performances.

Holland Casino – You might have seen a smaller version of the Holland Casino even as you stepped off the plane at the airport. But the bigger, and the original version is at the Leidseplein, across the entrance to the Vondel Park. The Casino offers Roulette, Carribean Stud Poker, Black Jack, Sic Bo, Big Wheel, Poker, Punto Banco and many others.

Red Light District – No top ten list of Amsterdam is complete without a mention of the Red Light District. Located right in the middle of the city, where normal every day life happens right next to sex and prostitution, the Red Light District is as much a Dutch symbol as clogs and cheese. Regardless of whether you are interested in paying for services on offer, a walk down the red light district, with semi-nude women (and men, on some streets), just walking down RLD is a recommended Dutch experience.