Amsterdam features one of the very few sub-zero Xtracold ice bars in the world. Here’s what it’s like inside the ice bar Amsterdam.
Amsterdam’s Xtracold ice bar really lives up to its name. Nestled in the winding streets and canals of Holland’s capital, you’ll know you’ve arrive when you see the big stood-up polar bear. Even in reception, the interior is kitted out like the frozen inside of a wooden ship. The man hands you 3 golden drinks tokens and you head through to the big bar.
Historically Accurate Journey
Get ready to board a Dutch exploration vessel on a voyage to the Northeast Passage in the Arctic Circle.
You will follow in the footsteps of Dutch explorer Willem Barentz and experience what it was like to be stranded on the North Pole at the end of the 16th century. In total, Willem Barentsz made three voyages searching for the Northeast Passage.
The third attempt, the ship got stuck in ice for nearly a year. The ship became lived in by polar bears. Eventually they left on 2 smaller boats, with only 12 crewmen surviving (William Barentz died) and returning to Amsterdam.
The Ice bar Amsterdam replicates the experience of Nova Zembla. Feel what it’s like to sit in the cold as the icebar is kept at a constant -10 degrees Celsius and keep warm by drinking alcoholic beverages. Step aboard Willem Barentsz ship and go on an arctic adventure at the Ice bar Amsterdam!
In the Tavern – Pre-Drinks
There’s a very exclusive-feeling bar full of people waiting to get into the ice bar. Maritime ornaments, ships, and projector videos of boats on the high seas make the backdrop of your first drinks.
Soon, a pirate steps up with Pirates of the Caribbean music playing, gives you the old “Are ye ready for a swashbuckling adventure” and once everyone cheers loud enough, we prep for the cold.
Getting Ready for the Ice Bar Amsterdam
You grab a big red winter coat and zip it right up as you feel a cool breeze from the last tipsy group leaving. Some red fingerless gloves complete your ensemble, and you head into the unknown.
Inside Xtracold Ice Bar Amsterdam
The walls are snow. The ceiling is fishnets with fishing tackle strewn throughout. Fake fish are in the walls. It’s absolutely freezing. You pat yourself to check that you are indeed wearing several layers of clothes.
There are several photo opportunities for the 40-or-so people in the big glorified freezer – a ship’s steering wheel, Amsterdam Ice bar sign, and of course the ice bar itself. Time to spent the last tokens!
The drinks in here come served in cups of ice. Since everything is below freezing point, there’s no danger of the cups melting. The thermometer shows a steady -9.4°C, and as we’re busy taking photos, my phone goes completely dead with 35% battery and refuses to turn back on until it’s back at the hotel.
The freezing cold is slowly numbing everyone’s fingers, and you look up to notice some of the more sensible tourists have filtered out back to the warmth of the pirate tavern outside. Once the numbness turns to pain, we call it a day and head out.
Once you’ve warmed up in the tavern, you head back to the streets near De Wallen and explore the floating market.
Use code THINGSTODO10 to get a 10% discount.
See also: 11 Best Amsterdam Attractions