Brown Cafés in Amsterdam
The most famous type of café in Amsterdam is the so called ‘Brown Café’. This kind of café really embodies the Dutch words ‘gezellig’ or ‘gezelligheid’ and is typical for the Dutch culture and Amsterdam atmosphere. It’s difficult to translate the word ‘gezellig’ in English but the best description would be ‘a cozy and homey, relaxed feeling of being with people’. The brown café got its name from the cozy dark wooden interiors, stained walls and ceilings. This was partly caused by years of smoking (which is not allowed anymore). The brown cafés in Amsterdam are often seen as an extension of the house to many residents; reading a newspaper or meeting with friends.
Café De Twee Zwaantjes
Visit this Brown Café in Amsterdam for an entertaining and real Dutch experience: a karaoke style Brown Café with a mix of well-known classics and traditional Dutch music. During weekends very popular, on weekday’s more local public.
Prinsengracht 114 | Sun-Thu 3pm-1am, Sat & Sun 3pm-3am
Café ‘t Smalle
A Brown Café with a neighborhood character and magnificent stained-glass windows, located in the working class area ‘Jordaan’. The café serves very good wine and has a great beer selection. Enjoy a drink or a light meal on a sunny day at the canal side spot.
Egelantiersgracht 12 | Sun-Thu 10am-1am, Fri & Sat 10am-2am
Café De Pieper
De Pieper is one of the oldest Brown cafés in Amsterdam, dating from 1665. You will find many original details like stained-glass windows, antique Delft beer mugs and a sand covered wooden floor. De Pieper is situated at the corner of Prinsengracht and Leidsegracht (canals), not far from the Leidseplein.
Prinsengracht 424 | Sun-Thu 11am-1am, Fri & Sat 11am-3am
Café In ‘t Aepjen
This Brown Café is housed in a 15th century wooden building, one out of two remained wooden buildings in the city. It has always been a bar; sailors used to gamble their last few guilders here. They sometimes had to pay with something else than money like exotic animals brought back from their overseas trips (‘Aepjen’ is an old Dutch word for little monkey).
Zeedijk 1 | Sun – Thu 3pm-1am, Fri & Sat 3pm-3am
Café Hoppe is one of the most famous brown cafés in Amsterdam. The right side of this Brown café has been a bar since 1670. The bar has beautiful ancient wood paneling, sand on the floor, no music and is a standing room only. The left side offers seating. Hoppe’s customers are from every class of the society and come from any neighborhood of Amsterdam. Around five the café is usually crowded with office suits on their way home.
Spui 18-20 | Sun – Thu 8am-1am, Fri & Sat 8am-2am
Café ‘t Loosje
This popular Brown Café is housed in a former tram waiting room, located on the Nieuwmarkt (new Market). They offer a great beer selection on draft. Café’t Loosje attracts a lively mix of students, locals and tourists. Enjoy yourself on a sunny day at the outdoor terrace, overviewing the busy Nieuwmarkt.
Nieuwmarkt 32-34 | Sun-Thu 9.30am-1am, Fri & Sat 9.30am-2am
Café Reynders was founded in 1880 and is a traditional Brown Café situated on the popular and touristic Leidseplein. The interior hasn’t changed much from what it was back then. Inside you will find ancient pictures of the Leidseplein.
Leidseplein 6 | Sun-Thu 9am-1am, Fri & Sat 9am-3am