Leidseplein (45)

You cannot spend a holiday in Amsterdam without a night in the Leidseplein, and  even though it might sound a cliché, discovering a huge range of night-time leisure options that you will not find, not even anything remotely similar, in other central European cities. The Dutch capital is a city with a young, cheerful and very, very lively spirit that does not seem to sleep when the sun goes down. Quite the opposite: Amsterdam’s potential is infinite, and the Leidseplein’s is even more so. 

On the approach to the square, even the surrounding streets have endless restaurants, bars and cafés that serve a range of food from the typical tourist menus to fast food for people who are late for a show. There are modern centres of exotic cuisine and other restaurants with more traditional Dutch cooking. If you are not running very late, you will still have the chance to see street artists who wander around the square with their art and their work. With each step you take, mime artists, jugglers and musicians alternate and surprise you with their acts.

If you like theatre and, of course, if you are fluent in Dutch, this is where you will find the Stadsschouwburg, the municipal theatre with a rich programme that prioritises Dutch artists. You will also nonetheless have the chance to attend a play in English at the Leidseplein Theater, where since 1993 the Boom Chicago group has been putting on a show, which is highly prestigious throughout Europe, with elements of cabaret at its most inflammatory and entertaining. 

An old abandoned dairy, moreover, is now the Melkweg (Milky Way), which offers dance, theatre, music, photography, art exhibitions and cinema in its five rooms. 

There is yet more in Leidseplein, which has mythical rock music venues such as the Paradiso, coffee shops, cinemas, quiet pubs for a drink and a chat when you come out of the theatre, and the capital’s trendiest dance clubs. Even the Holland Casino is here. As you can see, what it has to offer is unbeatable. You choose. The night is yet young for night birds in the Leidseplein.

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