Amsterdam, infamous for its rolling conveyer belt of drugs, sex and debauchery, may put you off. Nonetheless, with flights as cheap as chips and the whiff of a weekend bender on the horizon, it would be a sin not to go!
Whether you have to be blindfolded and dragged, get yourself away from the Pink Elephant shows. The gleaming green and white Heineken Holy Grails and that certain aroma wafting from the Bulldog bars that are plastered wall to wall, and extend your horizons a little further.
Burrow yourself away from the typical tourist spots and witness a side of Amsterdam you never knew existed. You will be able to party harder, for cheaper, with a added gloss of class and local authenticity.
Just a 20 minute tram ride from the centre and you will find De Pjip, a bustling and vivid district, remembered for its Albert Cuyp Market. With over 300 hundred stalls and an array of street food.
Recommended are the Bitterballen- gorgeous Dutch veal wrapped in fried bread crumbs, a snack needed to keep your energy up between bar hopping around the area. Or check out Jeffery’s Café, Café Van Wou and Le Patron for more finger licking food.
Hop on the number 3 tram and you’ll be taken to Jan Pieter Heijestraat. A stop in Café De Kashmir Lounge is a must for a subdued and truly unwound drinking experience under low lights and a haze of Jazz, Reggae and easy Disco.
The lounge is unique in its allowance of alcohol and smoking. You can also surround yourself with locals as you relax in this low-key and mellow hangout.
5 minutes down the road and you come to a club with heart, soul and a real passion for music and the people who have come to enjoy it.
Officially a culture centre, the OT301 offers a space for vegan food eateries and art exhibitions by day and an underground House and Dubstep club arena by night.
Its dancefloor is flooded with free spirited locals and the dress code is whatever you fancy. If a surreal, intense and cheap underground bash is your kind of night out, then OT301 has it on offer.
For the chance to drink home brew under a windmill, grab the 22 tram to Oostenburgergracht. Under the Windmill, which is one of the last in the city, there sits the charming little brewery, Brouwerij 't IJ.
The bar offers an array of strong, organic beers, and if you don’t know what to get, you can pick up a 5 glass taster board, all amongst a selection of meats and cheeses.
For a night to end all nights in Amsterdam, it has to be Paradiso.
This music venue holds club nights 5 nights a week, and has the feel of a mansion that was broken into, and has had parties ever since.
Spread across three huge floors and genres spanning from Deep house to Eighties to Drum & Bass, there is room for everyone.