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Amsterdam at night | © pixabay
Amsterdam at night | © pixabay
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The Best Underground Clubs and Music Venues in Amsterdam

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 7 October 2017
Aside from the city’s larger, mainstream concert halls such as the Ziggo Dome or AFAS Live, Amsterdam also features a number of excellent alternative or underground music venues. All of these bars, clubs and cultural centres have deep ties with the local music scene and regularly host cutting-edge live shows, parties and exhibitions.

De Vondelbunker

As its name suggests this alternative arts centre is located inside a Cold War era bunker on the northern side of Vondelpark. The venue’s monthly calendar always include a wide array of cultural events including live gigs, theatrical productions and film screenings.

📍De Vondelbunker, Vondelpark 8A, Amsterdam

OT301

Like several other entries on this list OT301 started out as an illegal squat, but has since become a recognised cultural intuitive. The building now houses several multi-disciplinary projects including ateliers, a vegan restaurant and an alternative music venue. OT301 also hosts a popular table tennis evening every Tuesday as well as many other community orientated events.

📍OT310, Overtoom 301, Amsterdam, +31 20 412 2954

Paradiso

Even though Paradiso isn’t really an underground spot anymore (as it frequently books blowout, international performers) it is worth mentioning that this popular venue was originally established by a group of hippies in the 1960s and has played an important part within Amsterdam’s music scene for over 40 years. Aside from more mainstream acts, Paradiso also provides space for alternative musicians and regularly organises events geared towards Amsterdam’s youth culture.

📍Paradiso,Weteringschans 6-8, Amsterdam, +31 20 626 4521

DeWolff performing at Paradiso
DeWolff performing at Paradiso | © Robinpiso / WikiCommons

Tolhuistuin

Tolhuistuin is a multi-disciplinary venue in Amsterdam-Noord that serves as a hub for several cultural initiatives including Paradiso, Framer Framed and Musicians Without Borders. These groups regularly contribute to Tolhuistuin’s programming and organise events such as exhibitions, gigs or festivals.

📍Tolhuistuin, IJpromenade 2, Amsterdam, +31 20 763 0650

Sexyland

Sexyland opened in early 2017 and left its program completely open to the public, meaning that anyone could organise events inside the venue. Since then many of Amsterdam’s leading cultural initiatives have held parties, film screenings or workshops inside Sexyland and many more are expected to follow suit in the near future.

📍Sexyland, Ms. van Riemsdijkweg 39, Amsterdam

OCCII

OCCII is another famous legalised squat in Amsterdam that serves as an independent cultural centre and contains several community driven projects including a café, library and bike repair shop. The programming at OCCII tends to lean towards heavier strains of alternative music like punk, metal or noise and the venue’s events are coordinated by several non-profit groups.

📍OCCII, Amstelveenseweg 134, Amsterdam, +31 20 671 7778

Pacific Parc

Pacific Parc is part of a large cultural complex built called Westergasfabriek that is housed inside a former electricity plant in Westerpark. There’s a French style bistro onsite as well as a large concert hall that hosts club nights, parties and gigs throughout the week.

📍Pacific Parc, Polonceaukade 23, Amsterdam, +31 020 488 7778

De School

De School is a 24-hour licensed venue that’s located inside a former technical school. The complex houses several cultural projects including a night club, high-end restaurant, gym and exhibition space.

📍De School, Doctor Jan van Breemenstraat 1, Amsterdam, +31 20 737 3197

Shelter

Shelter is the latest venue in Amsterdam to obtain a 24 hour license and occasionally hosts extended club nights over the weekend. The club is located underneath A’DAM Toren in Amsterdam-Noord and mainly gears its program around techno, house and experimental electronic music.

📍Shelter, Overhoeksplein 3, Amsterdam

Shelter is located inside A’DAM Toren’s basement
Shelter is located inside A’DAM Toren’s basement | © pixabay