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 clubs break the mold. Remember, these are still clubs, so dress accordingly.
Photo © Wilko Miletic for SugarFactory.nl
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. For € 9.50 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. Sugar Factory
Lijnbaansgracht 238 (off Leidseplein)
Wicked Jazz Sounds: Sunday nights, 11 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Another cure for the common club, the Amsterdam edition of trendy Supperclub is more performance art space than typical dance hall. The creators promise " a free state of sensual experiences," and claim, "Anything can happen at Supperclub." 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 never know what to expect. This is especially true in the toilets, which are divided unorthodoxly into "Hetero" and "Homo." Supperclub
Jonge Roelensteeg 21 (tiny alley just south of Paleisstraat off Dam Square)
Open daily 8 p.m. - close
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 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.
Oostelijke Handelskade 4 (eastern Harbor area)
Club nights: every Friday and Saturday, sometimes Thursday and Sunday (check agenda online) 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
© 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. ToNight at Hotel Arena
's-Gracesandestraat 51 (at NW corner of Oosterpark)
Club nights: Friday and Saturday 11 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Mansion is perfect for the wallflower who might want to see what's happening in a club, but who doesn't really want to partake. Choose from three cocktail bars on the ground level to get geared up for the DJ and Dim Sum basement level. There's plenty of room in the posh space, and the striking décor is worth waiting in line.
Hobbemastraat 2 (near Rijksmuseum)
Club nights: Friday and Saturday 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
© Odeon Theater
In 1662 it 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. Odeon
Singel 460 (close to the flower market)
Club nights: Friday and Saturday 11 p.m. - 5 a.m.