When entering Amsterdam via the Amsterdam Central railway station, there’s a big chance that you’ll be overwhelmed by the chaotic mass of tourists within no time. In fact, you can walk around the Red Light District and the Dam for hours without hearing anyone speak Dutch!
However attractive some of Amsterdam’s top tourist attractions are, the capital city of The Netherlands has some wonderful venues that are beloved by the locals for being authentic, characterful and relatively undiscovered by the tourist masses. Here are some insider-tips on places to visit for music-lovers exploring Amsterdam.
Concerto, located in the Utrechtsestraat in Amsterdam, is in fact one of the few big record stores in the country that is still doing good business despite the growth of the download and streaming culture. It is also the oldest, having been opened as far back as 1955. Upon entering this place, which over the years has expanded from 1 to an impressive 5 storefronts, its history and personality can be felt immediately. Being frequented by The Netherlands’ most fanatic music geeks, Concerto has an impressive collection of new and second hand vinyls, CDs, record players, DVDs and it even has a book section where visitors can sit back on one of the sofas while enjoying a good read, a freshly made lunch and an excellent cup of coffee from the in-store lunch room Concerto Koffie. If you’re looking to see some live music in Amsterdam, Concerto is greatly recommended too, hosting day time gigs by national and international talent on their modestly sized but very atmospheric stage.
Paradiso is without a doubt one of the most remarkable music venues in Amsterdam. Housed in a converted 19th century former church building, Paradiso is an odd but outstanding example of how the Dutch have managed to put their unutilised religious buildings to good use after the secularisation. The beauty of the main concert hall, the former church interior, is striking, boasting three stained glass church windows above the stage as well as two wooden balconies overlooking the area where the performers play. The excellent acoustics make this venue an ideal place for music groups of all flavours to enchant their audience. Paradiso has hosted a list of big names who have played there including James Brown, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Adele and many others. Paradiso is ideally located just around the corner from Leidscheplein, the city’s most well-known nightlife centre, and is a definite must-visit for any music lover spending a holiday Amsterdam.
If you’re looking for a Dutch jazz venue that can live up to the quality of British names like Ronnie Scott and 606, Amsterdam’s Bimhuis is the place to go to. Created in the 70s by renowned Dutch jazz musicians, Bimhuis was originally located in Amsterdam’s historic quarters but moved to the Muziekgebouw complex just behind the Central Station. Its modern but intimate concert hall, which can host over 200 people, has the features of an amphitheatre and has at its disposal all the technical and acoustic solutions needed to accommodate a perfect listening experience. Bimhuis’ line-up includes an eclectic mix of world-famous names, experimental music groups and upcoming talent in the world of jazz. Reserve a table at the restaurant before your show, have a drink at the late night bar afterwards or drop by during the day to enjoy the sunshine on the terrace by the water.
How to Get There
Although it’s only a 20-minute train ride from the Schiphol Airport arrivals hall to Amsterdam Central Station, public transport might not always be the best solution for travellers travelling with lots of baggage. If you prefer a Schiphol airport transfer with a helpful driver over transport by train, you can use our advance booking service to make sure a private or shared transfer service will be there to pick you and your baggage up straight after arrival. Our Schiphol airport transfer services will also be able to drop you off at the doorstep of your accommodation (in case of a private hire) or at the closest drop-off point to your accommodation (in the case of a shared shuttle service).
Where to Stay
Budget Hotel The Orange Tulip – If you expect to be out and about in Amsterdam all day and want to spend as little as possible on your accommodation, Budget Hotel The Orange Tulip is a good option for you. Offering decent, clean and simple rooms in fresh and uplifting colours, this hotel provides you with free Wi-Fi, an in-room flat-screen TV and helpful staff. Choose from a selection of single rooms, double rooms and shared rooms and start exploring the highlights of Amsterdam, some of which are only yards away from the hotel’s doorstep.
Best Western Apollo Museumhotel Amsterdam City Centre – In case you want to be a bit higher up on the comfort ladder, have a look at the 3-star Best Western Apollo Museumhotel Amsterdam City Centre. It is situated in the prestigious shopping street P.C. Hooftstraat in the fancy Oud Zuid area and the world-famous Rijksmuseum is only a 2 minutes’ walk away. Book one of the stylish rooms here and experience the provided comforts for yourself.
De L’Europe Amsterdam – Are you looking for the crème de la crème of accommodation options in Amsterdam? A stay in De L’Europe Amsterdam is guaranteed to provide you with an unforgettably luxurious experience. From the spa and wellness facilities to the fine-dining 2-Michelin star restaurant to the breathtakingly decorated rooms with marble bathrooms, everything about De L’Europe Amsterdam exudes comfort, luxury and pampering.