The largest Dutch export product? No, it’s not cheese or tulips. It’s dance music. While they mostly show you the super-sized stadiums on TV, the capital also has a very lively underground scene. And with it comes an array of nightclubs. Though Amsterdam’s nightlife is praised around the world, the truth is that many clubs are struggling. The underground clubs serving the niche of house- and techno connoisseurs are slowly dying while making room for the more commercial crowd-pleasers and festivals. But not all have died. A solid source of endless quality beats can be found in Shelter Amsterdam.
After sundown, an enormous lid rises from the ground right behind the A’DAM Tower to reveal a mysterious set of stairs. Descend and you’ll find Shelter, the basement of beats, as I like to call it. There’s a no-photo policy, so you’ll have to take my word for it, but this place has a magically raw and industrial setting. The thick concrete walls, amazing light plan, and Function-One speakers make this a top-notch club that hosted some of the best DJs in the world. On Fridays, a house-orientated lineup eases you into the weekend with melodic beats, while Saturdays raise the BPM for techno-lovers.
This club focuses on quality and demands the same of its crowd, so make sure you know the line-up to avoid disappointment at the door. But once you’re in, prepare to not come out of the basement any time soon.