When on a business trip to Amsterdam, your time does not have to be strictly all work no play. Having your own serviced apartment in Amsterdam means you can relax in your own space anytime. However, for those evenings when you fancy heading out and sampling the lively Amsterdam social scene, we have compiled a list of the best hangout spots in the city. From the best bars in Amsterdam to the most indulgent eateries, this list will ensure you make the most of your business destination.
1. HPS – Hiding in Plain Sight
HPS is an intimate lounge-style bar tucked away by one of the city’s iconic canals. Hidden from the crowds of visitors that frequent Amsterdam at all hours of the day and night, HPS is a relaxing escape from the bustling city and the perfect spot to unwind after a day of corporate commitments. With a team of knowledgeable mixologists behind the bar, serving a list of 16 inventive cocktails within the bar’s eclectic, antique décor, this speakeasy will quickly become your favourite after-work haunt. Visit and discover why HPS has won itself many accolades for being one of the best bars in Amsterdam.
Keep in mind: we weren’t exaggerating about this bar being intimate, so if you want to bring any more than three colleagues along, remember to book in advance.
Just a short fifteen-minute walk away from HPS, Zoku Amsterdam Apartments provide modern studio serviced accommodation with an impressive selection of on-site amenities. Enjoy the rooftop terrace, relax in the hammocks and explore the greenhouse that supplies the on-site restaurant with home-grown herbs.
Named after James Bond’s favourite tipple, Vesper is one of Amsterdam’s finest cocktail bars; exuding class and excellence, while effortlessly retaining a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. The Vesper team are responsible for expertly crafting all the daring mixtures of flavour you’ll find on the house menu and are not only advocates for taste, but for sustainability too. By engaging the local community, Vesper leads a locavore initiative that challenged the city’s top bars to invent closed-loop cocktails made with ‘waste’ ingredients.
Discover some more examples of why Amsterdam is Europe’s greenest city.
An apartment nearby: Yays Zoutkeetsgracht is just a ten-minute walk from Vesper bar and offers one and two-bedroom serviced apartments. Being less than a five-minute walk from the nearest tram stop, guests can easily explore the rest of this business destination.
3. Cannibale Royale
This late-night hangout is a meat lover’s dream. With a ‘come when you want, leave when you want’ mentality, Cannibale Royale is the ideal place to bring some colleagues, let your hair down and properly indulge. Boasting a mouth-watering menu packed full of expertly cooked meat, and some vegetarian options too, as well as a selection of craft beers and cocktails, this is the definition of a dining experience.
Cannibale Royale also features a lunch menu, so add it to your list of top restaurants in Amsterdam for a successful business lunch.
4. Vegan Junk Food Bar
Vegan Junk Food Bar is an award-winning initiative striving to create seriously good food, without harming the planet. Disregard any preconceptions about the lacklustre nature of vegan meals because the Vegan Junk Food Bar boasts an impressively ‘meaty’ menu guaranteed to refuel you after a busy business day. While business trips to Amsterdam might consist of days spent in corporate conference rooms, your nights don’t have to be spent within such unexciting walls. The vibrant, urban style of VJFB is a welcome change and, coupled with the laid back atmosphere, makes for the perfect spot to forget about work and really relax.
Just a warning: there are no reservations here, so perhaps avoid rush-hour meal times. The VJFB on Heinekenplein is open until midnight, so head here for a late-night feast.
Frederiks Square Serviced Apartments are less than a fifteen-minute walk from the Reguliersdwarsstraat VJFB Downtown bar and offer a stylish, cosy one and two-bedroom apartments.
5. Café de Jaren
A bright and calming escape, Café de Jaren is the perfect place to kick back with a coffee and a book for a more low-key after-work break. If your meeting ends up finishing earlier than expected, head here for a late breakfast as morning bites here are served until 1pm, or enjoy a light meal in the evening as the café menu is served all the way until 11pm. Get some fresh air and soak up the classic Amsterdam city views from the balcony seats, which are some of the few al fresco seats in the city that can be reserved.
Just a tip: when looking for other cafés in Amsterdam, don’t go searching for coffeeshops as they sell a different kind of refreshment. Add this to your list of 6 things you need to know before relocating to Amsterdam.
We’ve listed the best places to feed your stomach, now let’s focus on feeding your soul. If you secure tickets to one of the concerts at Bimhuis, look forward to a night of music to remember in the best jazz venue in Amsterdam. This striking riverside glass building plays host to the top current and pioneering musicians from around the world in regular jazz and improvised concerts. Music is proven to be a powerful tool to elicit productivity and happiness, so a night of live music is the perfect way to stay motivated during a business trip.
Tickets get booked up a couple of months in advance, so browse the Bimhuis website now for upcoming shows to avoid disappointment.
7. Ton Ton Club
If your business trip to Amsterdam is keeping you cooped up in meeting rooms all day and you need to let off some steam, Ton Ton Club is the perfect after-work hangout spot. Ton Ton Club was created to provide adults with their very own play centre: these retro game halls are full of old-school arcade games, classic board games as well as a fun fusion of Japanese and American snacks. Challenge some colleagues to see who can get the highest score on one of these nostalgic button-bashers in an evening guaranteed to be full of laughter.
If you have a business trip to Amsterdam coming up, make sure you take note of these recommendations to make the most of your evenings. Explore our list of the best accommodation options in Amsterdam to help you decide where to stay.