Amsterdam has a rich cultural heritage and hosts a wide variety of art performances. From highbrow classical concerts, cutting-edge jazz, mainstream international rock/pop acts to intimate gigs and innovative local theatre productions.
Below we make an overview of the principal concert and theatre venues in Amsterdam...
See our What's on in Amsterdam section for the latest concert and theatre events.
Heineken Music Hall - This is a medium-size concert arena located near Amsterdam ArenA. The Heineken Music Hall (HMH) was opened in 2001 and the main hall has a capacity of 5,500. Specially designed for amplified rock/pop music, it hosts big name concerts all year round. Easy to reach from Amsterdam by taking a train or metro to Amsterdam Bijlmer station.
Ziggo Dome - Large indoor concert arena located behind the Amsterdam ArenA stadium. The Ziggo Dome opened in 2012 and has a seating capacity of 17,000. The venue holds concerts for major rock/pop acts coming to Amsterdam. It is a short walk from Amsterdam Bijlmer station.
Amsterdam ArenA - Football stadium and home to local team AFC Ajax. Completed in 1996, it has a 52,000 capacity increased to 68,000 for concerts. Other than football, it is used a few times a year as a concert venue for artists with significant selling power. It also hosts the Sensation DJ dance event.
Paradiso - Former 19th century church building in Weteringschans (near Leidseplein) which has been a rock/pop venue since 1968. Once used as a hippy squat and then embracing punk, new wave and dance counterculture, most major rock acts have played here at some point. The main hall (capacity 1,500) has stained glass windows and balcony rings giving it an intimate feel. A smaller hall upstairs houses lesser known acts. Paradiso also holds regular DJ dance parties.
Melkweg - Melkweg (Milky Way) is a popular music and multimedia cultural venue located on the Lijnbaansgracht, just behind Leidseplein. Opened in 1970, this former dairy warehouse has 2 main concert halls - the MAX (capacity 1,500) and the Oude Zaal (Old Room, capacity 700) which attract many international artists. There are smaller rooms for art/photo exhibitions, dance, film and theatre. Also hosts DJ dance parties.
Royal Theater Carré - Grand theatre located on the river Amstel which hosts concerts, shows, cabaret and musicals. The Neo-Renaissance building was opened in 1887 and is named after German circus director Oscar Carré. A behind-the-scenes tour (adults €9.50) of the theatre is run every Saturday at 1100. Oscars is the in-house restaurant at the top of the building offering a pre-show fixed menu.
Concertgebouw - The Royal Concert Building in Amsterdam was opened in 1888 and is located on Museumplein/van Baerlestraat. With world renowned acoustics, it hosts a wide range of classical concerts and has a resident orchestra. The Grote Zaal (Great hall) seats almost 2,000; there is also the oval Kleine Zaal (small hall) with 437 seats.
Muziektheater - The Amsterdam Music Theatre is housed in the Stopera building complex near Waterlooplein which also includes the City Hall. The Muziektheater was opened in 1986 and has a curved front façade overlooking the Amstel river. The main auditorium seats 1,600 and is home to the Dutch National Ballet and the Netherlands Opera.
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ - Modern concert venue for contemporary classical music located on the IJ which opened in 2005. The adjustable main auditorium can seat 725 whilst the smaller auditorium (BAM zaal) seats 100. Bimhuis, the "protruding black box" on the building is a cutting-edge international venue for jazz and improvised music which can host 375 people.
Stadsschouwburg - Amsterdam's municipal theatre located on Leidseplein. The building is Neo-Renaissance in style and was built in 1894. It has 2 auditoriums - the Grote Zaal and the Rabozaal (shared with Melkweg). It's the home of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the main repertory theatre company of Netherlands - some stage plays are subtitled in English. It also holds various music and dance performances.
Delamar Theater - Modern theatre venue at Marnixstraat 404 (near Leidseplein) which hosts theatre, musical and dance performances mostly catering to the Dutch market. Opened in 2010, the DelaMar has 2 halls with a total seating capacity of about 1,500 people.
Rozentheater - Located at Rozengracht 117, this venue opened originally as a cinema in 1913 but has hosted theatre performances since 1918. The Rozentheater offers a variety of cultural performances including youth theatre and is the current home of Boom Chicago, the popular comedy and improvisation company.
Nes - This is a quiet side street off Dam Square running parallel to Rokin which houses a number of theatres including Frascati, Comedy Theater, Flemish Arts Centre 'De Brakke Grond' and TOBACCO Theater.
Last Minute Ticket Shop - Half-price tickets are made available on-the-day from 10am for many theatre shows around Amsterdam. You can purchase only online here (Dutch only). Look for shows not marked "NL"