The Ultimate Amsterdam Cocktail Week survival guide

Words by Timo Janse

Photography by Tony Perez & ACW

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In the week of the 5-11th of March it is time for all cocktail drinkers and enthousiasts to rejoice and enjoy the over 50 events in 45 bars of the city. But where to go and what to do? Difford's guide is here to help you make it through the week!

Unless you have been living under a rock as an Amsterdam inhabitant, you can not have missed the many posters around town announcing the second edition of Amsterdam Cocktail Week. But how to make the most of this fun filled week? We list all of the many events and give you the tools to make sure you will be a cocktail pro at the end of it!

Pace yourself

Of course, as alluring as it seems -and Lord knows we tried- it is not possible to visit all 45 bars in one night. A successful bar tour exists of a visitation of 7 bars per night max. Plus you don't want to rush your drink now do you?

Snack up!

Almost all bars participating serve snacks or small dishes. Eating in small portions at intervals makes sure you stay energized, plus it makes sure you will not suffer the dreaded "after dinner dip" that occurs after a heavy meal. Plus most would agree it is more fun an social to eat in a bar than drink in a restaurant right?

Take the road less travelled

Given the fact that all bars will offer their alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at 8 and 5 euro respectively, now would be a good time to check out that fancy hotel bar you always wanted to go to, or that new place you heard so much about but haven't been to yet. You might just find your new favorite hangout or place for that perfect date you have been planning.

Wet and dry

All bars will have a wonderful non-alcoholic cocktail as well. As a rule of thumb, a wise approach is to alternate between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink. Remember: it is a race, not a sprint!

Plan ahead

Even though Amsterdam is not A large city, the distances from east to west and north to south can still be quite considerably. Additionally, different bars have different opening hours, as well as strong points in the day and night. Plus some bars, like Door 74 have a strict reservation policy. Planning ahead will make sure you are not in front of a closed door filled with disappointment, and planning your bar visits, consider the bars nearby that might limit travel time.

During the day and early evening, public transport is an excellent option, but make sure to check availability of trams etc. after midnight. It goes without saying it is wisest to leave the car at home considering the alcohol intake, as well as the costs and difficulties involved with parking and parking spaces.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday there is a special boat that travels between a group of Cocktail Week bars, which is the perfect way to travel in cocktail style!

Soup du jour

In our article on the many specific events during the week we mention all special activities. This can be a great way to truly make the most of your week; be sure to read up on them and follow application structure if mentioned.

We will be around the whole week and we hope you will have as much fun as we will undoubtably have!

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