Best Amsterdam Nightclubs for Non-Clubbers

For those of you who bristle at the thought of clubbing, don't rule out a visit to one of these Amsterdam clubs during your time here. Whether for the live music, unique location or unorthodox interior décor, these nightclubs break the mold. (Unique ambiance aside, remember these are still clubs, so dress accordingly.)

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Wicked Jazz Sounds Club Night at Sugar Factory

Young people mingle at Jimmy Woo's night club, Amsterdam, Holland.
Getty Images/Yadid Levy

If when you hear the word "club," it conjures unpleasing sounds of mind-numbing, repetitive buzzing of techno, house and electronic music, try Wicked Jazz Sounds. The high-energy production is the antidote to a typical club. Home to DJs, VJs and live musicians, the Sugar Factory Nachttheater ("night theater") hosts the popular groove session on Sunday nights.

You'll be entertained by as many as 12 musicians, who improv funky grooves while DJs mix in and keep things bumping. You can't help but dance along with the all-smiles and diverse crowd drawn by the unexpected genres of '70s R&B, Brit-pop, Motown and of course, jazz.

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Another cure for the common club, the Amsterdam edition of trendy Supperclub is more performance art space than the typical dance hall. The creators promise "a free state of sensual experiences," and claim, "Anything can happen at Supperclub." -- and believe them.

In stark contrast to the bright-white restaurant and lounge on upper levels, the basement club is a red-leather lounge -- called ​La Chambre Obscure --- where you'll be kept on your toes. This is especially true in the toilets, which are divided unorthodoxly into "Hetero" and "Homo."

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Panama's club nights draw a sophisticated crowd
Photo Courtesy of Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board

Looking for an Amsterdam club where you don't feel like the rest of the crowd was in diapers when you were in high school? Try Panama, a café/restaurant/lounge/club fixture out in the eastern harbor area, which is known for a more 30-something than a 20-something crowd.

The building itself is a former port authority structure and lends an industrial, Manhattan Meatpacking feel to the experience. Being just outside the tourist center makes for a more local and in-the-know clientèle.

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ToNight at Hotel Arena

The former chapel at the Hotel Arena makes for a striking dance space

Hotel Arena

This former chapel is used as a conference and events center during the day; but on Friday and Saturday nights, the space transforms into a meeting place for locals and hotel guests to dance the night away to '80s, '90s, classic club or special theme music. The location outside the city center means fewer tourists.

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The Odeon canal house dates to 1662

Odeon Theater

In 1662 Odeon was a brewery; in the 1950s it became one of the most famous gay clubs in Europe, hosting celebrities like David Bowie, Elton John and Freddie Mercury in the '70s. And after a few other incarnations, today the historic concert hall of this stately canal house serves as a chic club for all types.