Amsterdam Dance Event: Party Survival Guide to ADE

Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is a massive five-day conference and festival held each year in Amsterdam in mid-October. It is the largest festival of its kind, celebrating dance music across 120+ venues, 300+ events, with an estimated 350K visitors. The whole city is on fire and here's our survival guide to make it to the other side.
Party with a local ade amsterdam dance event survival guide

ADE Tickets

So many events! What to do?! Each venue and event has an entry fee. Just get yourself a couple of tickets for the events you’re really looking forward to. The sooner you get them, the cheaper they are. Popular events at intimate venues sell-out in under 5 minutes. Bigger mainstream events have different ticket waves (early birds, regular, late bloomers), most sell out by the end of September.

Check out the ADE website for the full festival programme.

  • Festival Tickets: You can buy your tickets online via Resident Advisor, ADE website or via the promoter.
  • ADE Card: Visit the Playground between Clubbing. The Card gives you "free" entry to ADE music talks, ADE Sound Lab, ADE documentary film programs and discount on goodies and merch. Cost: €10.-
  • ADE Conference Pass: For music business professionals. Access all Music talks, ADE networking drinks and Business lounges, access to database sources, etc. Cost: €225.- to €300.-
  • ADE Pass (5day Day + Night): Get the most out of ADE (as the name suggests). Cost: €375.- to €450.-

Looking to buy a ticket for an event that is already sold-out? Use ticketswap to safely buy & sell second hand event tickets. The service is secure and pricing regulations apply. Unicorn Tip: Be patient, ticket prices tend to drop last minute before the event (and more will become available!).

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Getting to the party (and the next)

Amsterdam is well connected and some transports run all night. Big venues and clubs are far out from the city center, some are even outside Amsterdam. Plan ahead. You may need to walk a little bit to the first tram/ metro stop (we all wish tele-transportation was available to us in 2018!)

  • Trams, Metros, Buses. Don't forget to check-out. It's impossible to cheat the system, but the system can cheat you. A 1-hour ticket costs 2,90€. If you plan to travel a lot by public transport, we recommend purchasing an anonymous OV-chipkaart for 7,50€ which you can top-up.
  • Ferry. The ferry is free and runs 24/7 every 5-10min. Ferries are located behind Central Station and drive you (and your bike) to the other side of the IJ-river (to the other districts of Amsterdam). If you stay in Amsterdam Noord (behind Central Station), no need to swim back home after a late night out.
  • Rent a bike. Party Dutch-style. A rental bike costs less than 10€ (24h). Most clubs are a good 20 min bike-ride away from Amsterdam city centre.
  • Uber. Your best option for outer-ring city travels. Given the number of visitors in Amsterdam during ADE, expect heavy search-pricing and longer waiting times. It isn't worth the hassle to Uber inside the city-centre. Access for cars is fairly limited around the canals and can result in expensive detours.
  • Taxis can get pretty expensive in Amsterdam. Ask for the meter.  Don't give up. It’s illegal for the taxi driver to refuse to turn on the meter. Ask for the Taxi's business card (and get a discount for your way back).
  • Staying outside the city? Most Trains run 'til 11pm - midnight during week time. Some train-lines like Amsterdam-Utrecht run all night during the weekends. Check out the National Rail website to plan your journey.
Party with a local ade amsterdam dance event survival guide
ADE App

Where to stay during ADE

Don't wait 'till the last minute (or last month) to book your hotel. Amsterdam will be fully booked before Amsterdam Dance Event even starts. We recommend booking accommodation at least 2 months in advance. Note that your friend's comfy couch may also be in high demand :-).

  • Stay within the Inner Ring of Amsterdam, it’s close to everything. Like Amsterdam-Oost, De Pijp, Westerpark, NDSM, Vondelpark, Amsterdam-Noord etc. It's just ten further minutes away beyond the canals (and usually closer to the clubs). Accommodations beyond the ring (Amsterdam-Zuid, Westpoort, Amstel, …) have less connections to public transport but are also available longer while everything else is booked. Check-out the locations of the venues you're going to and make your choice from there.
  • Choose a room with a free cancellation policy. We recommend using Booking.com A lot of visitors book hotel rooms months in advance via this trick. Just like for sold-out concert tickets, keep an eye online in case a room becomes suddenly available.
  • Get a free ADE card and goodie if you book a hotel room trough the ADE website. Amsterdam Dance Event itself also offers pretty good deals on hotels and hostels on their website (exclusive partnerships!)
  • Time to break the piggy bank. Basic twins start at 150€/night, a bed in a dorm at 60€/night. Other websites and services (like Airbnb, Hostelworld) will also align with those prices.
  • Planning an all night out? Skip the sleep. Save up by keeping your bag in a locker at the train station (you may not be the only one with this genius idea), or pack light and keep your bag at the Club's cloakroom.
  • Negotiate an early check-in/ late check-out. Hotel check-ins start after 14.00. If you're back from a night out or flew in early, find a cool hangover bar or morning party to hang out a few hours.
ADE Amsterdam Dance Event PartyWith

Best apps to get arouND

  • PartyWith is a social app for party people. Find new friends to party with or just connect to some nice ravers going to the same events as you and loving the same music.
  • Citymapper is a smart map. It gives you real-time information on all public transports around you, but also the prices, alarms to step-out during changes and alternate route recommendations.
  • Looking for the official Amsterdam Dance Event app? apparently it isn't out (yet), but we might be able to help, with our ADE app ;-)

Club Culture in Amsterdam

  • Door Policy: Pretty unicorns, be nice and keep in line. A pre-sale ticket won't guarantee you the entrance.
  • Don't take pics inside the clubs. Dancers of the night prefer to keep away from the light.
  • Zero tolerance policy on drugs. You will get heavily searched at the entrance of every club or party. Needless to say you won’t get in if security finds the golden jackpot. Police can get involved and you will get denied access (or kicked out).
  • Don’t buy stuff off the streets. It isn’t worth the risk. Every year tourists end up in the hospital because of the dangerous mixtures they end up with. Keep away. Test your drugs in a shop if you have any doubts.
  • If you don't feel well, seek help. Medical aid will be available throughout the city and at each venue.
  • Go chill in comfy places. Police doesn’t like so much people sitting around in the city on sidewalks. And let’s be honest, most of us will look like homeless people after a day or two or more of partying (white-washed faces, silly grins, full on wasted, high as a kite and still singing happy beats— good times :-))
  • Take your Pin (Maestro/ Debit Card). Some places won't accept cash.
  • ID/Passport: actually not many clubs ask for ID. We suggest keeping the passport in your hotel and bring a form of ID that’s less expensive to replace if lost.
  • Lacking inspiration? Follow our fun tips on  What not to do in Amsterdam
Party with a local ade amsterdam dance event survival guide

Morning After Parties

Less sleep, more techno: Choose a club with a 24h-licence to spend your weekend or find a morning party like the ones organised by The Breakfast Club.

Smile. Be kind: The world will open up to you (and maybe doors to some private parties too!)

Alternate with day-events: It's a five-day non-stop city rave. Every shop, bar, restaurant, club, yoga studio, hair-salon etc contributes to the electronic music celebrations. Alternate between music talks, free intimate gigs at bars, afternoon clubbing and club nights. It's not a race, keep the pace.

Party with a local ade amsterdam dance event survival guide after party

Late-night snacks & other local tips

  • Seeking more nightlife?  Follow our nightlife guide on tips on best bars, best clubs, etc
  • Food: Late-night snacks or breakfasts ’til sunset? Our local tip is the Vending machine junk food at FEBO.
  • Toilets: Don't pee on the streets, there are public toilets on main squares.
  • Traveling on your own? Check-out our article on how to meet people at a party when going solo
  • Stay Warm: In-between clubbing, hang out in a comfy hangover bars (they have couches, chimney fires, friendly staff and boozy brunches or detox shakes) - or visit the Hangover Information Center.
  • Keep in Touch: Hoorah! No roaming charges in Europe anymore. If you are from outside the EU, you can also buy a prepaid sim card and exchange numbers with your friends.
  • Protect your ears. Take several earplugs with you.
  • Travel Extras: Take a pickpocket proof gym-style bag for clubbing, plug converter, extra phone battery, eye drops, advil, rain jacket, poncho, copy of passport.
  • Use a debit card (or Pin). The Netherlands are Visa/Mastercard friendly. No American Express.
Party with a local ade amsterdam dance event survival guide

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