Leidseplein is a hotspot for Amsterdam nightlife. When the sun goes down, the square comes alive. Its side streets are packed with some of the city’s most famous nightclubs and restaurants. Leidseplein has so much to offer, it’s hard to see everything in one short trip.
Known as Leiden Square in English, the square is situated at the end of Leidsestraat. Ledsestraat long served as the main road to the city of Leiden. Aside from the square’s nightlife, a number of tram lines intersect at Leidseplein.
Street performers are a regular sight on the eastern side of the square. During the summer, the square is filled with terraces from the bars that line Leidseplein. When winter arrives, the terraces are replaced by a giant outdoor skating rink and hot food vendors can be found throughout the square.
One of the first things that visitors will notice is the American Hotel, located on the corner of the square. The building dates back to 1900 and is now considered a heritage monument. The hotel is named after a structure that once stood in the very same spot.
The original building was designed by an architect who studied in America. Although the original structure was replaced in 1902, a plaque that depicts the original design still stands outside the hotel. The hotel’s café is decorated in an Art Deco style and should be at the top of every visitor’s “must-see” list.
Nightclubs and Live Music
Some of Amsterdam’s most famous nightclubs can be found on Leidsplein, including Paradiso, Jimmy Woo, Sugar Factory and Melkweg. On top of the cover charge, many of these clubs also require you to pay a small fee for temporary membership.
Many of the nightclubs also serve as live music venues which host some of the world’s best musicians and artists.
If you love chess, you’ll love the Max Euwe Centre. Admission is free and visitors are shown the history of chess. The technical and cultural facets of the game are also examined. A giant outdoor chess board can be found out on the museum square.
Just outside of Leidseplein is De Balie. This venue serves as both a café and a cultural center. The building regularly hosts seminars and debates. The programming offered by De Balie is focused mainly on political and social issues. The café is a popular place to grab a quick bite to eat or a drink.