Entertainment in Amsterdam

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Pathé Tuschinskitheater

    This fantastical cinema, with a facade that's a prime example of the Amsterdam School of architecture, is worth visiting for its sumptuous art deco interior alone. The grote zaal (main auditorium) is the most stunning; it generally screens blockbusters, while the smaller theatres play art-house and indie films. Visit the interior on an audio tour (€10) when films aren't playing. The interiors were returned to their former glory at the turn of the century; the Wurlitzer organ has also been restored. An orchestra once accompanied film screenings, and Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland have performed live here. The cinema was built by Abraham Tuschinski, a Polish Jewish immigrant. He and most of his family were murdered in Nazi concentration camps, and the cinema was renamed 'Tivoli'. After the war it returned to its original name.

  • Entertainment in Jordaan & the West

    Theater Amsterdam

    Surrounded by the construction of docklands-turned-neighbourhood Houthavens, this gleaming theatre has a glass facade providing views over the IJ River. Its 15,000-sq-metre auditorium means it can accommodate huge sets for large-scale theatre and music productions. A cutting-edge system translates the on-stage works into eight languages. If you're arriving by boat, you can pull up at its dock. All-organic food and natural wines are served at its restaurant.

  • Entertainment in Medieval Centre & Red Light District

    Bitterzoet

    Always full, always changing, this venue with a capacity of just 350 people is one of the friendliest places in town, with a diverse crowd. Music (sometimes live, sometimes courtesy of a DJ) can be funk, roots, drum 'n' bass, Latin, Afro-beat, old-school jazz or hip-hop groove.

  • Entertainment in De Pijp

    Rialto Cinema

    Opened in 1920, this art deco cinema near Sarphatipark shows eclectic art-house fare from around the world (foreign films have Dutch subtitles). Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. There are three screens and a stylish on-site cafe.

  • Entertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Koninklijk Theater Carré

    The Carré family started their career with a horse act at the annual fair, progressing to this circus theatre in 1887. The classical facade is richly decorated with faces of jesters, dancers and theatre folk. It hosts a great programme of quality music and theatre; the Christmas circus is a seasonal highlight. The first structure was of wood, but it was eventually rebuilt in concrete due to fire hazards (early performances for 2000 spectators were lit by gas lamps). Comic essayist David Sedaris, the Pet Shop Boys and the National Theatre London's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have all appeared on stage here in recent years.

  • Entertainment in Amsterdam Noord

    Tolhuistuin

    In what was the Shell workers' canteen for 70 years from 1941, the nifty Tolhuistuin arts centre hosts African dance troupes, spoken word, visual art and much more on its garden stage under twinkling lights. It also houses club nights and big-name gigs in the Paradiso venue. On sunny days, the brightly coloured trestle tables at the venue's cafe are perfectly placed for a pre- or post-ferry drink. The 1st-floor THT restaurant offers share-plate-style dining, though the price-to-portion-size ratio is not always as satisfying as the arts and views in the rest of the venue.

  • Entertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

    When this theatre with the grand balcony arcade was completed in 1894, public criticism of the design was so fierce that the exterior decorations were never completed; architect Jan Springer was so upset, he retired. The horseshoe auditorium seats 1200 spectators and is used for large-scale plays, operettas and festivals. Don't miss the chandeliered splendour of its ITA Brasserie theatre cafe. Be sure to check out its International Theatre & Film Books shop.

  • Entertainment in Jordaan & the West

    Boom Chicago

    Boom Chicago stages seriously funny improv-style comedy shows in English that make fun of Dutch culture, American culture and everything that gets in the cross-hairs. Edgier shows happen in the smaller upstairs theatre. The on-site bar helps fuel the festivities with buckets of ice and beer. It also has a popular escape room, where participants have to solve puzzles to get out.

  • Entertainment in Medieval Centre & Red Light District

    Tobacco Theater

    A 1900-built tobacco auction house now contains this architecturally designed theatre, which stages dinner-and-cabaret shows in English, Dutch and German, and presents theatre productions and concerts. In addition to the 300-capacity theatre, it has an experimental art and concept room in the cellar, along with several lounge areas including a cocktail bar overlooking the stage, and an old bank vault.

  • Entertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Bourbon Street Jazz & Blues Club

    This intimate venue has a full and eclectic weekly music programme. Take part in open jam sessions on Mondays, or come by on Tuesdays for soul and reggae. It offers blues and rock on Wednesdays; funk on Thursdays; rock, pop and Latin on Fridays; pre-rock on Saturdays; and world, folk and samba on Sundays. Entry is free before 11pm (10.30pm on Friday and Saturday) when most concerts start.

  • Entertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Paradiso

    In 1968 a beautiful old church turned into the 'Cosmic Relaxation Center Paradiso'. Today, the vibe is less hippy than funked-up odyssey, with big all-nighters, themed events and indie nights. The smaller hall hosts up-and-coming bands, but there's something special about the Main Hall, where it seems the stained-glass windows might shatter under the force of the fat beats.

  • Entertainment in Medieval Centre & Red Light District

    Frascati

    This experimental theatre is a draw for young Dutch directors, choreographers and producers. Expect multicultural dance and music performances, as well as hip-hop, rap and breakdancing. Check the website for upcoming events. Frascati also hosts a theatre, dance, art and music festival, Breakin'Walls, in both November (main festival) and April (mini festival).

  • Entertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Melkweg

    In a former dairy, the nonprofit 'Milky Way' offers a dazzling galaxy of diverse gigs, featuring both DJs and live bands. One night it's electronica, the next reggae or punk, and the next heavy metal. Roots, rock and mellow singer-songwriters all get stage time too. Check out the website for information on its cutting-edge cinema, theatre and multimedia offerings.

  • Entertainment in Amsterdam Noord

    FC Hyena

    Join Amsterdam's hip crowd sipping natural wine on the waterfront terrace and dining on sophisticated snacks cooked in the wood-fired oven, before catching a film at this hot spot in a converted warehouse. All films, which are mainly art-house flicks, are shown in English, and lounges are spacious and comfy. Food and drink can be taken into the movie.

  • Entertainment in Amsterdam Noord

    De Ruimte

    This arts centre and cafe hosts a changing roster of events from jazz and poetry to experimental electronica. Friday nights usually offer live music you can put your dancin' shoes on for – Ethiopian jazz, rock 'n' roll, brass bands. The cafe serves a weekly changing menu of mostly vegan global dishes.

  • Entertainment in Jordaan & the West

    Movies

    Amsterdam's oldest cinema, dating from 1912, is a gezellig (cosy) gem screening indie films alongside mainstream flicks. Tickets are €1 cheaper online. You can dine in the pan-Asian restaurant (open 5.30pm to 10pm) or have a pre-film tipple at the inviting café.

  • Entertainment in Jordaan & the West

    De Nieuwe Anita

    This living-room venue expanded for noise rockers has a great café (pub). In the back, behind the bookcase-concealed door, the main room has a stage and screens cult movies (in English) on Monday. DJs, vaudeville-type acts and comedy shows are also on the eclectic agenda.

  • Entertainment in Jordaan & the West

    Comedy Café

    Comedy acts perform every night of the week at this dockside venue. Open mic nights in English take place on Wednesday; shows in Dutch typically take place on Friday and Saturday, with comedians performing in English on other nights – check the agenda and book tickets online.

  • Entertainment in Southern Canal Ring

    Jazz Café Alto

    This is an intimate, atmospheric bruin café– style venue for serious jazz and (occasionally) blues. There are live gigs nightly. Doors open at 9pm, but music starts around 10pm – get here early if you want to snag a seat.

  • Entertainment in Medieval Centre & Red Light District

    De Brakke Grond

    De Brakke Grond sponsors a fantastic array of music, experimental video, modern dance and exciting young theatre at its nifty performance hall in the Flemish Cultural Centre. Upcoming events are listed on its website.