By Scott Roane
The combination of a huge expat population in Amsterdam and the Amsterdammer’s ethos of ‘any excuse for a party’ should put Amsterdam at the top of anyone’s list as a destination to celebrate St Patrick’s day. Calling it a day might in fact be slightly misleading, as the Paddy’s day celebrations in Amsterdam start on Thursday 17th (The real Paddy’s day) and continue until Sunday 20th March. So if you’re in the city and fancy a bit of Irish charm, then here’s a quick round up of what’s going down, where…
Mulligans Irish Bar (Rembrandtplein)
Probably the most authentic Irish pub in town, attracting mainly local middle aged expats (the type who’ve been here for so long, that it’s doubtful if you can still call them expats), local Amsterdammers and a handful of tourists. They play live music every Friday, with St Patricks night being no exception.
Unlike most of the irish theme bars that litter europe and other parts of the world, the Blarney is the type of bar you’ll find in most rural parts of Ireland. The owner, Paddy, comes from Tralee, co.Kerry and has lived in Amsterdam for many years. It’s authentic, but because of the location, it mainly attracts tourists.
Tara’s Irish Pub (Rokin)
The most upmarket and one of the largest Irish bars in Amsterdam. It attracts a real mixed crowd of tourists, locals and expats. The décor is more on the grand side and the food is excellent. A good place for a more civilised St Patricks celebration.
Molly Malones (Central Station)
Down a side street, its a cosy bar which regularly has live music. The crowd is mostly made up of 40+ tourists. Not always very busy, so stick your head around the door before going in. Also serves typical Irish pub food for a reasonable price.
Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub (Red-light District)
This is most definitely the place for a younger livelier crowd, who are out to party hard. They even offer the Durty Nelly pub crawl, which involves paying around Euro 15 for as much vodka as you can drink and pub crawl around bars you wouldn’t otherwise frequent.
O’Reillys Irish Pub (Dam)
The biggest Irish theme bar and probably the most popular with tourists due to its central locatoin. It’s the type of bar you find in most big cities. A good time can be had, but not really authentic. The food is reasonable and there are plenty of tables and chairs if you’d rather sit down.
Pretty laid back, Irish themed pub attracting mostly tourists aged 25-40. Good place to hang out, but not very exciting.
Hmm. Give this one a miss. Expensive, lacking in locals, poor service and soulless. In the summer it might be worth sitting on the terrace in the sun if you’re in this part of time and want some peace and quiet.
This place really tries hard with the themes, so they’ll most definitely be going all out for St Patrick’s day celebrations. Give it a try!
O’Donnells (De Pijp)
This is the place to sit down at a nice wooden table or in a cosy booth with some friends. No wild party should be expected! The staff weren’t particularly friendly on my last visit. In other Irish bars, the bar staff are generally Irish and employed based on their friendly customer service. There’s also a vague smell of bad plumbing constantly hanging around this place if the weathers not suitable to have the windows open.