Small Bar Amsterdam – A Beginner’s Guide


Amsterdam is a vibrant city known for its buzzing nightlife and cozy bars. Among the many options, small bars hold a special charm. These intimate venues provide a unique experience and are perfect for those looking to enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore what makes small bars in Amsterdam so special and provide you with some valuable tips on finding and enjoying them.

Characteristics of Small Bars

Small bars in Amsterdam differ from traditional pubs or larger establishments in a few key ways:

  • Intimate Setting: Small bars often have limited seating, creating an intimate and cozy ambiance.
  • Unique Decor: These bars are often adorned with quirky decorations and have a distinctive character.
  • Local Feel: Many small bars are frequented by locals, allowing visitors to experience an authentic slice of Amsterdam’s social scene.
  • Quality Drinks: Despite their size, small bars take pride in serving top-notch craft beers, unique cocktails, and carefully selected wines.

Finding Small Bars in Amsterdam

Discovering hidden gems in a city can be an exciting adventure. While large bars and clubs are often more visible, small bars require a bit of exploration. Here are some ways to find small bars in Amsterdam:

  1. Research Online: Use review websites or blogs to find curated lists of recommended small bars.
  2. Local Recommendations: Ask locals, hotel staff, or other tourists for their favorite small bar recommendations.
  3. Neighborhood Strolls: Explore Amsterdam’s different neighborhoods, and you’ll likely stumble upon charming small bars along the way.

Best Small Bars in Amsterdam

Now that you know how to find them, here are a few small bars in Amsterdam worth checking out:

1. Café de Jordaan

Located in the trendy Jordaan district, this cozy bar features an extensive selection of Dutch and Belgian beers. Enjoy a locally brewed pint while listening to live music performances, creating a warm and lively atmosphere.

2. Door 74

If you’re a fan of craft cocktails, Door 74 is the place to go. Tucked away behind an unassuming door, this speakeasy-style bar offers a range of inventive drinks. Be sure to make a reservation as it’s a popular spot.

3. Café de Pels

A beloved local favorite, Café de Pels provides a cozy atmosphere with wooden interiors and dim lighting. This authentic Dutch brown café serves quality beers and delectable Dutch snacks like bitterballen.

Tips for Enjoying Small Bars

To make the most out of your small bar experience in Amsterdam, consider the following tips:

  • Arrive Early: Small bars can fill up quickly, so arriving early ensures you can secure a seat.
  • Engage with Locals: Strike up conversations with the bartenders and locals to enhance your experience and get insider recommendations.
  • Try the Local Specialties: Explore the diverse range of Dutch beers or sample some traditional spirits like jenever.
  • Respect the Atmosphere: Small bars are often quieter and more relaxed, so keep noise levels low and be mindful of other patrons.


Small bars in Amsterdam offer a unique and intimate experience for those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere. With their cozy ambiance, quality drinks, and local charm, these hidden gems can be the perfect spot to unwind and immerse yourself in the city’s rich social scene. Remember to explore different neighborhoods, ask for recommendations, and engage with locals to truly discover the best small bars Amsterdam has to offer. Cheers!





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