12 Jan Experience music for free in Amsterdam

Live Music!Live Music! Source: Tony Webster

Feeling jazzy on a Tuesday evening? Or classy on a Wednesday afternoon? But you’re flat broke? No worries, Amsterdam has several regular live music sessions on offer for free! Going out to enjoy music doesn’t have to be expensive when you know where to go.

Live music in bars

A lot of bars have regular evenings with live bands. I’ve listed a few to get you started, but with a little bit of research you’ll be able to find more.

  • Elsa’s Café: close to Science Park, popular with locals. Every Tuesday evening they have jazz, starting around 21:00.
  • Hannekes Boom: next to Central Station with a lovely atmosphere. It offers blues, jazz, pop and more. Check their calendar (Dutch) to see what’s on.
  • Maloe Melo: Blues and rock café with live music or jam sessions every night. It’s a bit further away from Science Park, but definitely worth the journey. However, sometimes there is an entrance fee.
  • Concerto: Mainly a music store, but they do offer more: coffee, signing sessions, expositions, movies and… amazing in-store concerts featuring famous performers.
  • ‘Skek: Restaurant/bar run by students. Bring your student card to get a discount on the food. Thursday evening is singer-songwriter night (starting at 21:00), Saturday evening is for bands (22:00) and Sunday evening is jazz night (21:00). They also have open mic night, movie night and a literary night on other days of the week.
Vijay Iyer Trio @ Bimhuis

Vijay Iyer Trio @ Bimhuis, source: Flickr, André P. Meyer-Vitali

The Bimhuis

This is the place to be for jazz in Amsterdam. There is a workshop session every Tuesday evening, which is freely accessible to both musicians and audience. All instruments, including vocals, are welcome. Musicians who’d like to follow the workshop are required to be present and ready to play at 20:00, registration is not necessary. Feeling a bit shy? It’s also possible to come and listen first without taking part.



Concertgebouw, source: Andreas Praefcke – Vlastné dielo

Classical music

One of the most famous places to enjoy classical music is Het Concertgebouw. The building itself is definitely worth a visit. The Concertgebouw offers a special discount for everybody under the age of 30 who registers with Entrée for only €15,- a year. Members pay €10,- for concert tickets and can bring a +1 for the same price. And Entrée offers more: concert tips, free drinks, guided tours and events like Entrée Late Night Café.

Is €10,- too much for you? The Concertgebouw also offers free (!) lunchtime concerts on Wednesdays (check the calendar for exact dates). You can sit back and relax while professional musicians play for half an hour (12:30 – 13:00). The free tickets are available in the Entrance Hall from 11:30. The lunch concerts are pretty popular, so make sure you get there early!

Extra tip

Want to enjoy The Concertgebouw’s music from the comfort of your own home? Listen to the live streams!

Have you tried any of these free concerts? Or do you know other amazing places that offer good music? Let me know in the comments!


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WTF Dorine

WTF Dorine

GRAPPA master/Beta-Gamma/interested in developments in science/running/traveling/nutrition and health
WTF Dorine

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