Hotel Amsterdam Centre
Photo: Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s very best theatres, cinema’s and concert halls

Entertainment has always been an important factor in Amsterdam. That has never changed because Amsterdam now houses a series of international top theatres, including the Royal Concertgebouw, the National Opera and Ballet and the historic Stadsschouwburg. The Netherlands’ most prestigious cinema is also located in Amsterdam. In Amsterdam you’ll find many possibilities for an unforgettable evening.

You can still find small theatres in the heart of Amsterdam. The big theatres where the top stars perform are more on the edges of the city center. Many prestigious theatres are at least 125 years old and built on the city flanks of the past. But they are still within the contemporary tourist center. Are you curious about the top theatres in Amsterdam? Then view several great possibilities below.

1. Royal Theatre Carré

Photo: Marie-Charlotte Pezé

The most prestigious theatre in the Netherlands is Royal Theatre Carré. The current building is located on the Amstel river and was opened in 1887. Initially it was only used for circus performances but from 1893 it was also used for different types of performances. Nowadays it’s mainly used for musicals, pop concerts, music, theatre and cabaret. Occasionally also the Dutch Opera and Dutch National Ballet use the building.

2. Royal Concertgebouw

Photo: Miguel Mendez

The Concertgebouw at the Museumplein is world-class, with a history dating back to 1888. The building is located near the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. It’s the home of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, a world renowned orchestra. Every year 800 concerts take place in four different rooms in the historic building. You can go here for classical music but you’ll also find contemporary music on the program.

3. Theatre Stadsschouwburg

Photo: Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

Theatre Stadsschouwburg on the Leidseplein has been home to the theatre since 1896. It was the most important theatre in Amsterdam for a long period. This has changed with the arrival of new buildings in the past decades. Nowadays, the Stadsschouwburg presents large Dutch companies and young makers who are ready for the big stage. Here you can also admire great masters from abroad. The theatre is also known as the home of the Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

4. Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ

Photo: Florian van Hunnik

The hypermodern Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ is a concert hall. The focus is on contemporary music and the related genres of classical, jazz, electronic pop music and world music. The building was opened by Queen Beatrix in 2005 and is located east of Central Station on the IJ river. In the building you’ll also find café-restaurant Zouthaven with a large terrace overlooking the river.

5. Paradiso

Photo: Fred Vloo

Paradiso is best known as a music location where many famous names have occurred, especially in the pop music genre. Coldplay, Prince, Pink Floyd and U2 are just a few examples. Paradiso is located in a former association building of a denomination. The building was squatted in 1967 by a group of hippies to have their own club. A year later, the establishment of Paradiso was a fact. The large room accommodates 1,500 guests, which guarantees an intimate atmosphere.

6. Cinema Tuschinski

Photo: Marie-Charlotte Pezé

The most famous cinema in Amsterdam and even the Netherlands is located on the Reguliersbreestraat. The cinema was opened in 1921 and is built in a specular mix of styles, namely Amsterdam School, art nouveau and art deco. The theatre was fully restored twenty years ago. It has 6 rooms, including a room with 735 seats. Here you are in the right place for films that attract a large audience.

7. National Opera en Ballet

Photo: Fred Romero

The National Opera and Ballet on the Amstel river is the most important theatre for opera and ballet in the Netherlands. The theatre is home to The Dutch Opera, the National Ballet and the Holland Symphonia. This building was opened in 1986 and also houses the Amsterdam city hall. The building has one room with 1633 seats. There are also several foyers with a view of the Amstel.

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