Underground clubs in Amsterdam are something of an experience. The city is famed for its night time entertainment; whether you’re visiting the many cocktail bars, spending a wild night in the red light district or hanging out at the coffeeshops for a smoke, it is unlikely you will find yourself short of anything to do in Amsterdam. In clubland, the trance and techno scene is audibly influenced by the ever-increasing number of locally-reared producers that are emerging from Amsterdam, many of which are of international repute. That said, most Amsterdam clubs, no matter how big they are, will strike the foreigner as underground. If you want to go for the really off the beaten track experience, you go here:
Bitterzoet, right next to the Centraal Station, is a small, intimate club featuring new, freshly emerging talent. Styles vary from hip-hop, indie to reggae and the programme is always something of a surprise. Locals who go there tend to develop ‘a thing’ for this club, which
sets a standard of sorts for red raw talent. Mainly a young public. Definitely a club to go to if you want a break from everything you’ve experienced before and are craving an authentic underground feel.
Korsakoff in the centre of Amsterdam is a bit of a landmark on the party scene and can be typified as an underground venue. It hosts two live evenings every week, and both well known artists and fresh, local talent performs. When the raw talent hits the stage, drinks are priced down.The scene is enormously relaxed as partying is what it’s all about at Korsakoff. “There are smokers dens, but they’re more of a formality than designated spaces”, the owners report on their website. Woah, that makes me almost want to throw out my lollipop ciggy and buy a decent pack of smokes again for the occasion. Music styles? Hard rock. Find this place at the Leidseplein. Ask the locals, they will know where it is. Should be right next to a driving school too.
Deeply underground, literally, this club is a true gem if you manage to find it. Club
80 is considered Amsterdam’s most underground club and only has a capacity of
300. It has been dug right underneath the Rembrandt square and you need a torch
to find it, but in reality its entrance is right next to Escape. It features an alternative techno club scene with lots of established and new talent, DJs and live acts. Mostly techno (minimal). There’s an arty vibe, and the atmosphere is relaxed and open-minded as well as fashionable. One of the trendiest clubs in Amsterdam.
This is one of Amsterdam’s smallest clubs and if you crave to express yourself through dance, this is the spot to hit. Music is an art in the Sugar Factory, where everything goes and the programme varies from DJs to swing bands to soul music. Themes change continuously. Great place for a great evening. You pay a ticket fee to get in but don’t worry about that because the drinks are relatively reasonably priced. And this is also a place where you can show up before midnight because before the dancefloor emerges, the Sugar Factory frequently hosts theater, live music, cabaret and poetry performances.
This is a huge establishment, located in the former printing house of one of the Netherlands’ national daily newspapers Trouw. The industrial setting renders a characteristic experience, which you won’t soon forget, especially if you have also taken in the musical experience. Other than Paradiso, which is even known internationally for its brilliant sounds, the acoustics of any club can not be better than in Trouw. DJs tend to spin minimal and techno mostly and partygoers dress creatively and off beat. Located at Wibautstraat 127.
You generally pay at the door to get in the clubs. Tickets vary from €5,- during the week to up to €25,- on Friday or Saturday. Tip the bouncer when you leave. Drinks are way more reasonably priced than in the UK and only slightly more expensive than in Dutch cafés.
The dresscode is hugely relaxed, with many places allowing sneakers and jeans even, but at the smaller or classier venues you might want to avoid those. Smoking a joint is usually okay in the smoking areas of a nightclub. All other drugs are illegal. Generally don’t turn up before midnight.