Be sure you’re well rested before a night out in Amsterdam – you may need that extra sleep. The city is one of the most liberal in Europe and a guy can get into just about anything he wants to in one part of the city or another. The most famous party area is obviously the red-light district, where prostitutes, bars, “performance theaters” (sex shows) and “coffee shops” (smoke shops) line the streets. The working girls are generally behind glass with a red light in the room indicating that they are available for hire. The district, while seedy, is relatively safe if you stick to the main streets. But remember, no photography is allowed. (Seriously, they’ll take away your camera and/or destroy it.) For a hipper atmosphere, try Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal area, where several trendy lounges and clubs have sprout up.
Recommended by Last Minute, this is a funky spot where DJs entertain the party crowd before they head off to the clubs. Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, 200; Amsterdam
Beer aficionados will love this place, which stocks over 200 brands of bottled beer from all over Europe. Nieuwezijds Kolk, 3; Amsterdam
Catering to the tourist crowd, this chain of “coffee shops” is amongst the safest in the city. Multiple locations; Amsterdam
Nightlife Web Guide
This travel site offers an overview of the nightlife scene.
This travel site provides a good overview of the scene, while also recommending some of the city’s best, less-touristy spots.
Provides a useful overview of the Red Light District and a cool 360 degree video of one of the streets.
Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board
Useful resource when planning a trip. The site also highlights upcoming events in the city.