Top 10 Places for Great Live Music in Amsterdam


Whether you're in the mood for rock, jazz, pop, or even classical music, there is no shortage of live music in Amsterdam. With local and international artists of all genres playing every night of the week, this list will lead you in the right direction for a great night of live music entertainment.

Sugar Factory
Tucked between Paradiso and Melkweg in the Leidseplein area, Sugar Factory has made a name for itself hosting some of the region's best up-and-coming talent. On weeknights,
Sugar Factory opens its doors as a nightclub with each night offering a different genre of music.

Paradiso
What was once a church has transformed into one of the city's most popular music venues. Since opening its doors in 1968, Paradiso has hosted countless internationally recognized artists in this historic building, but it's not uncommon for local indie artists to take the stage as well. To support Paradiso's ongoing goal to bring in the best acts to this historic venue, attendees are required to pay a small monthly membership fee with their tickets. Following suit with other local venues, Paradiso doubles as a nightclub, playing everything from EDM to indie rock.

Bimhuis
Bimhuis and Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ share a building, but these two venues have completely different identities. A haven for jazz lovers, Bimhuis offers over 300 jazz shows a year by both national and international performing artists. What makes Bimhuis unique is you don't have to be a famous artist to take the stage; each Tuesday they offer a workshop and session where aspiring jazz musicians can practice their craft in front of a live audience.

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
While Bimhuis is focused on jazz, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is Amsterdam's premiere stage for contemporary and classical music. From full orchestras to solo performances, it's not uncommon for multiple artists to take the stage in a single day. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ also offers tours of it's beautiful modern concert hall for those interested in learning about the history of the venue.

Melkweg
Located just off of the busy Leidsplein, Melkweg is the city's most diverse concert venue. Inside the venue are five distinct theatres, where anything from music and dance performances to documentaries and photo galleries take place. With such a diverse offering and large venue, Melkweg offers a home for both indie musicians and globally recognized festival artists alike. Open 7-days a week with multiple events per day, something is always happening at Melkweg.

Vondelpark Open Lucht Theatre
From early May to late September, Vondelpark's Open Lucht Theatre hosts a regular offering of free weekend shows by established and emerging Dutch artists. The weekend begins with a dance performance on Friday night, leading into family-friendly theatre performances Saturday afternoon, before shifting to live music and comedy on Saturday night. Sunday begins with classical performances in the morning followed by live music in the afternoon. It's not uncommon for the park to be filled on beautiful summer weekends, so arrive early to get the best spot!

Heineken Music Hall
Built in 2001, Heineken Music Hall was designed with live music in mind. Everything about the building is strategically designed for amplified music, meaning the acoustics will be perfect, regardless of the type of music. Nominated several times for the Pollstar Awards for Best International Concert Venue, this venue draws in some of the biggest names in music. Big name acts mean bigger ticket prices, but a concert at Heineken Music Hall is worth the splurge.

Ziggo Dome
Ziggo Dome may be one of the newest venues in the city, but since it opened in 2012 it has quickly climbed the ranks to be considered one of the city's best concert venues. With a capacity of 17,000 visitors, only the biggest and best in the music industry headline here. Similar to Heineken Music Hall, the bigger venue and bigger acts, means more expensive tickets that you'll want to buy well in advance of the show.

Bittersweet
What makes bittersweet unique is that their performers aren't limited to just one genre of music. On any given night, you can expect to hear anything from rock, punk, and ska, to hip-hop, funk, and soul, performed by up and coming artists from around the world. With tickets to most shows selling for under 20 euros, Bittersweet is one of the most economical ways to enjoy the city's live music scene.

Het Concertgebouw
Housed in a landmark 19th –century concert hall, Het Concertgebouw is considered one of the best concert halls in the world for its unparalleled acoustics. Since 1888, Het Concertgebouw has seen classical music's greats share their talent on its stage. With two separate theatres, it's not uncommon for two shows to take place the same evening, so there is no shortage of options for classical music fans.

Tori Holmes is a freelance copywriting and social media specialist living in Amsterdam. Born and raised in Canada, she is spending her time abroad seeing as much live music as possible.