Amsterdam is unanimously one of the most beautiful cities in the world, yet few have seen it from above on a rooftop. A big part of the reason is that buildings in the city center have a heigh restriction and many rooftops belong to private homes. There are just a few rooftop bars in Amsterdam, but they're definitely worth the visit.
Whether it's to spend a chill afternoon enjoying the city from above with friends, or to watch the sunset from a rooftop bar on a classy evening out, there's a rooftop for every taste. Many of these rooftop bars also host special events like movie viewings and disco nights.
At Party with a Local, we've asked the locals for the recommendations of the best rooftop bars in Amsterdam, and here are the results.
Most Luxurious Rooftop Bar: SkyLounge
SkyLounge is at the top of the Double Tree Hotel and is probably Amsterdam's most famous rooftop bar. Located right next to Central Station, you can get a great view over the city to the front and of the IJ river flowing past to the back. But whilst it's the perfect place for a luxurious evening, it comes at a price!
At SkyLounge the prices are as high as the building... cocktails go for €16 a piece, and a small Heineken is €5! So although the view is magnificent, we'd reserve this venue for special occasions, or pregame adequately before arriving.
trendiest rooftop bar: Canvas (Volkshotel)
An affordable yet trendy option is Canvas, found on the 7th floor of the Volkshotel. Volkshotel is one of the Amsterdam hipsters' hotspots in the city - it not only is a hotel, but also has hottubs on the top floor and hosts popup events. Canvas is its rooftop bar & restaurant, with phenomenal views facing the city.
Conveniently located next to the metro stop, head to Wibautstraat in the East of the city and you'll find this buzzy hotspot. Check out their Facebook page to find out what's on!
best for rooftop movie nights: Floor 17
That's right, this sky bar is on the 17th Floor! Come for cocktails and an amazing view of the city on the top of the Ramada Apollo hotel, out in the West of the city. Or if that isn't enough, they also host rooftop movie nights! What could be better? Check out their site for more info.
highest rooftop bar: Sky Bar MA'DAM
MA'dam is one of Amsterdam's newest sky bars and towers over all the other rooftop bars in Amsterdam! - at the top of the new A'dam Toren. This is another top pick if you're looking for an evening of luxury... and the cocktails aren't quite as expensive as SkyLounge! This panorama bar is found on the other side of the river IJ to the main city, easily accessible by the free ferries that depart from behind Central Station.
most alternative rooftop bar: NEST
NEST is an alternative rooftop bar perched on top of Hotel Casa, which is close to Amstel station in Amsterdam's East. With a 360 degree panoramic view, it's the ideal spot to see the sunset. The plots of vegetation, wooden benches, and woven chairs make it quite a hippie and low-key bar to drink in. NEST also hosts special events throughout the year, such as a Silent Disco on the rooftop!
chillest rooftop bar: NEMO
For a non-pretentious, no-frills, yet cool alternative to swanky hotel bars, head to the rooftop terrace of the NEMO Science Museum. NEMO is located close to the Central Station and built in the shape of a ship. You can climb along the stairs (aka roof) of the museum to reach the top restaurant and bar.
ROOFTOP BAR WITH A POOL: W Hotel
Located right next to Dam Square, the W Hotel has a rooftop bar smack in the middle of the city. Cocktails are very good here, though you do have to pay a proportionate price for your drinks to be mixed by their expert mixologists.
The hotel has a pool that is usually reserved for guests, although once in awhile the W opens its pool up to outside guests for their "pool parties". Then you can chill in a pool in your swimwear with a cocktail in hand, and Amsterdam at your feet.
So there you have it, the top rooftop bars in Amsterdam for every taste! Which one will you visit?
Looking for more information on Amsterdam's nightlife? Check out our Ultimate Amsterdam Nightlife Guide.