Amsterdam’s much-heralded VOC Cafe is a bar worth cozying up to, and I do mean cozy. This charmingly Old World Dutch pub occupies a space in the “Schreierstoren,” or Weeping Tower. Once upon a time, the Dutch East India Company scoured the globe for rich trade goods and ripe colonial pickings. Meanwhile, the wives of these seafaring Dutchmen bid goodbye and kept an ever-watchful eye for their sailors’ return home from atop the “Weeping” Tower.
The VOC Cafe Today
Once an integral part of Amsterdam’s 14th-century defensive fortifications, a drink at the VOC Cafe is the quintessential way to experience the Weeping Tower. Sit down and take in the creaky hardwood floors and crusty brown brick walls. The cramped but comfy ambiance of centuries-old Dutch life exudes itself in artwork and ship memorabilia. Indeed, the VOC Cafe is considered not only Amsterdam’s, but also the entire country’s oldest bar.
Today, this popular bar serves coffee, snacks, beer and cocktails. At any time, the VOC Cafe Amsterdam may have the following beer on tap: Amstel, Heineken, Hertog Jan, Dommelsch, Gulpener, Palm and Grimbergen.
Indeed, the Dutch days of yore had many women in the Weeping Tower Amsterdam shedding tears for their seafaring men. Today, tourists can step back in time. Relive those heady days when Dutch beer and juniper-based gin flowed for sailors about to set sail for destinations unknown. I’ll hoist one to that.
Hours: Daily 10AM to 1/3AM
Location: Prins Hendrikkade 94-95, 1012 AE Amsterdam