P&O Ferries suggests four great bars in Amsterdam

In de Wildeman

With the Dutch Christian Democrat Party pushing for a tougher line on cannabis, many prospective visitors to Amsterdam worry that they might miss out on the coffee shop experience (in Maastricht, all foreigners except German and Belgian passport holders are banned from coffee shops). But even if the ban on tourists does make it into law, there are plenty of other hangouts in Amsterdam that you can relax and have a drink or two in. Here are five suggestions to get you started.

In de Wildeman (Kolksteeg 3, www.indewildemann.nl)
One for the beer drinkers. There are separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers, and again there’s a refreshing (literally) lack of run-of-the-mill beers and annoying music. In de Wildeman is a great spot for stretching your legs over a quiet pint of either Dutch or Belgian beer (there are Beer of the Month and other recommendations if you’re unsure what to go for), maybe accompanied by some tasty bar snacks and topped off by the authentic, cosy pub feel and décor.

Wynand Fockink (Piljsteeg 31)
After you finish snickering, you might be interested to hear that this tiny drinking hole implements a ban on mobile phones and features some of the most professional and amiable barmen in Europe. A place that does away with modern day horrors like TV screens, loud funky house music and coloured cocktails, the Wynand Focking provides what a bar should – a place to drink and chat. The drink selection is focused on sweet brandy liqueurs, and with over 60 to choose from, there will definitely be one that suits your personal taste.

Café Sound Garden (Marnixstraat 164-166, www.cafesoundgarden.nl)
Named after one of grunge’s great bands, this is a great indie/rock bar with a lovely terrace overlooking a nearby canal. DJs spin alternative pop hits (there’s also the occasional live gig), people chat away about music and, after a few drinks, even shake their limbs awkwardly. The beer is good, and there is a pool table. In short, it’s a little bit of heaven.

Whiskycafé L&B (Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 82-84, www.whiskyproeverijen.nl)
Punters can choose from more than 1,000 different whisky and bourbon options at this impossibly snug and welcoming bar. You might want to browse the menu (which divides drinks according to country of origin) or you could rely on the barmen’s recommendations – both are fun and rewarding options. Again, this is a place to drink and talk until late (the Whiskycafé is open until 3am during the week and 4am on weekends) rather than drink to oblivion/the point of public embarrassment, so don’t expect blaring speakers and cheesy chat-up lines.

You can get to Rotterdam with P&O’s great current offer of a 3-day minicruise from Hull to Amsterdam, which involves all the comforts of P&O Ferries’ onboard catering and entertainment as well as a night in the great city itself. Go here for details.

Image credit: Finnur Magnusson

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