Amsterdam Electronic Music Travel Guide & ADE Review

Amsterdam Electronic Music Travel Guide & ADE Review

By Sabine Spethling


Amsterdam is known for its artistic heritage, a wide-ranging system of graves and narrow houses with gable facades. Amsterdam is also a big player in the international electronic music scene and always used to be breeding ground for creatives. The city and it’s inhabitants are open minded, creative, innovative and love to party. This is one of the reasons why the Amsterdam Dance Event attracts the industry to the Dutch city once a year. This travel guide is a review of the ADE 2018 and guarantees great food, club and other experiences with it’s t[rave]l tips.

Transparency: in friendly cooperation with Volkshotel Amsterdam & Amsterdam Dance Event

ADE Highlights 2018

For the first time ADE welcomed over 400,000 visitors from more than 100 countries for an extensive day and night program featuring over 1,000 events and leading artists and speakers from around the world. From 17 to 21 October there were more than 450 night and 600 daytime events spread over 200 locations, with over 2,500 performing artists and around 600 speakers participating in keynotes, workshops and master classes on a variety of topics. The ADE started as a smaller event in 1995 and was continually growing since then. Among this year’s programme highlights: The ADE University, ADE Green and ADE Dance & Brands where – among other focus points – the impact of social media and how it chances the scene was a huge topic. Next to speakers from the industry, artists like Bonobo and Richie Hawtin attracted much listeners during the day.  Next to the conference programme, the night programme with countless parties verified the ADE as the world’s biggest club festival.

One of the highlights that tunes&wings attended was the Kompakt Pop-up store at Oz – where the record label traditionally threw intimate basement DJ showcases on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 8 pm.

The Life and Death party with DJ Tennis, Perel, Red Axes, Roman Flügel and more took place on Friday in an outstanding location: Thuishaven has several stages, bars, surreal decoration pieces and curiosities and thus created a special atmosphere for the party.

Audio Obscura hosted parties in Amsterdam Central Station, an museum as well as at the Loft on A’DAM Tower and a lot more stunning locations. One of them was the party with Solomun on Sunday in the A’DAM Tower. The party had a fantastic view and was one of the best ADE closing events – if not the best.

Just one floor above the Loft in the A’DAM Tower, a more cozy and beautifully furnished 360-circle location revealed beautiful nights. One of them was the  A’DAM+Eve x Ibiza Sonica event with WhoMadeWho, Upercent, Marymoon, Maga, VANDER and Igor Marijuan b2b Valentin Huedo. 

The Dutch event organisation Loveland hosted five events during ADE 2018. Mediahaven Amsterdam and at the Warehouse Houthavens. Âme b2b Dixon all night long took place in the latter as well as the events with Richie Hawtin and Solomun. 

For more highlights, pictures and reviews check the ADE website.


Amsterdam embraces electronic music with all it’s sub-genres. Next to the countless festivals in summer, the city has an eclectic club scene during the whole year. As EDM and other more commercial genres are also big in this country, you’ll better have a closer look on the clubs line-up. Here’s a list of the ones that play proper and sophisticated genres.

De School
The unofficial successor of the legendary Trouw club. De School opened in 2016 in an exceptional venue, which used to be a technical school. Next to the club which invites acts like John Talabot, Avalon Emerson and Job Jobse, it’s also home of an incredible restaurant which is mentioned in this article as well.

Shelter is relatively new in Amsterdam’s club scene. Located in the center of the city, the club was opened during ADE 2016. On the line-up: acts like the Dutch local Tsepo, Amelie Lens and Adriatique. 

De Marktkantine
The club was opened in the 90’s when the dance scene began to evolve in the Netherlands. After a period of vacancy a group of Amsterdam local entrepeneurs re-opened the venue in 2014, which hosts a creative combination of music, art, food and events. The club is listing acts like Patrice Bäumel, Boris Brejcha, Marcus Worgull and Pachanga Boys.

The techno venue, housed in an old industrial building in the northwest of Amsterdam, invites acts like Adam Beyer, Joris Voorn, Pan-Pot and Chris Liebing.

Thuishaven is not only an unique location but an experience. The venue is surrounded by heavy industry, massive oil tankers and scrap metal yards – together with it’s surreal decoration it’s a wonderland and playground for clubbers. The line-up lists various acts like Loco Dice, Fjaak and Satori.

You might also want to check out the events and line-up of Melkweg, WesterUnie, Paradiso, RADION and Warehouse Elementenstraat.

Record Store

You want to buy some records for your next gig or want to enlarge your record collection at home? Have a look at the Rush Hour store in the center of Amsterdam. It’s an independent music retailer, event organiser as well as a record label, with a mix of upcoming local and international talent next to more established names.


Volkshotel was once a newspaper headquarters and is now a hotel concept that does not only offer rooms. It is home to the creative scene, hosting and offerings events, club nights, a working space, café and many more. Among the highlights are the hot tubes and the sauna on the rooftop as well as the nine special rooms, designed by artists. So be prepared for a room that looks like a space shuttle and projects a 360 techno party on your wall, or Danny the two meters deer that watches your dreams. During ADE the hotel hosted many events and was home to artists and people of the electronic music business. Tune in the podcast episode to find out more about the concept.

Breakfast Spots

What about a hangover breakfast after a great night out or gaining energy for the day with a good coffee and a tasty morning meal? Here are some tips for you in Amsterdam.

The restaurant in the Hoxton hotel convinces not only with a super stylish interior, but is a breakfast heaven, too: Eggs any style you could think of, pancakes, banana bread, bowls or grilled grapefruit – just to name a few options of the menu. The house brew coffee, matcha latte or fresh pressed juices will make sure you’re ready for the day to come.


Coffee & Coconuts
Food for the soul – the Australian cuisine offers wholesome, happy food, much of it organic and locally sourced as well as fresh and juicy specialty coffee. Juices, croissants, bircher muesli, french toast, granola, green coconut bowl, coconut pancakes and much more.


The Butcher 
The ‘social club’ of the Sir Adam hotel has something to suit every type of eater. Rise and shine is how they call it: Smoothies, eggs benedikt, shakshuka, Belgian waffles, fruits or a brioche with a view over the IJ – a great start into a new day.


Dinner & Lunch

In Amsterdam you have the feeling there are creative restaurant concepts around every corner. It doesn’t need one creative neighbourhood in this city – every district has so many options. Here’s an idea of what you can do within a weekend in Amsterdam, but there are so many more.

Balthazar’s Keuken
The open kitchen adds to the sense that you are enjoying a diner at a friend’s house. This might also be due to the super professional and smart people working there. Every week, the chefs Karin and Alain create a 3-course menu with marvellous combinations inspired by the international cuisine. 

Cinema Paradiso
The restaurant’s name origins of the Italian movie from 1988 and so does the restaurant look like. The authentic and high quality Italian kitchen ranges from pasta and meat to sea food: Lobster, frutti di mare, truffles, veal, tagliata, burrata and of course tiramisu à la mama and limoncello. You want to have a private dinner? Check out their website.

De School
The Restaurant De School is located in the same place as the famous club – the former technical school in Amsterdam-West. Housing in the super cool workshop of De School, it has a changing menu where guests can choose between three, five or seven courses, without knowing what’s coming to the table. The composition of the different ingredients create a great food experience.

De Foodhallen
You can’t decide for which cuisine you’d like to go? What about having it all at once? The Foodhallen bring together different food concepts and cuisines in a historical venue in Amsterdam.


You may also want to check out Daalder, a Michelin star restaurant with a seating around the kitchen, watching your menu being prepared or the restaurant De Kas in the unusual location of a greenhouse, offering a menu based on the harvest of the nursery.


What are your favourite spots in Amsterdam? Join us in the closed community for techno&travel lovers worldwide and share your thoughts with likeminded people.



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