Jazz Café Alto

We’d normally steer you away from Leidseplein with its forgettable steakhouses, pseudo-taquerias, and generic pubs catering to revelers stumbling red-eyed from nearby coffee shops. But nightly shows at this local jazz haunt deliver some surprising performances that are worth checking out.

Main acts are listed on their website and there’s sometimes a cover charge, but if you saunter in by happenstance, you can experience jazz in its truest form while musicians improvise in the moment (some even get called up from the crowd). It can get packed quickly and no food is served, so come early with a full stomach if you plan to stay awhile. Sit on the stools by the bar if you don’t want to wait too long between drinks once it starts to get lively.

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