In 't Aepjen

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In 't Aepjen "Legend has it that In 't Aepjen – the first bar built on the first established street in Amsterdam – was a favorite party place in the 1500s among sailors who paid their tabs not with coins, but with ""exotic treasure""..." Amsterdam Holland 52.3763346 4.9000261
3.43 7
In 't Aepjen - Historic Bar in Amsterdam.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Legend has it that In ’t Aepjen – the first bar built on the first established street in Amsterdam – was a favorite party place in the 1500s among sailors who paid their tabs not with coins, but with “exotic treasure... ... read full review

  • Phone:

    061 2948028

  • Hours:

    Su–Th 3pm–1am, F–Sa 3pm–3am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth In 't Aepjen Review

The Scene

"Legend has it that In 't Aepjen – the first bar built on the first established street in Amsterdam – was a favorite party place in the 1500s among sailors who paid their tabs not with coins, but with ""exotic treasure""..."

Legend has it that In ’t Aepjen – the first bar built on the first established street in Amsterdam – was a favorite party place in the 1500s among sailors who paid their tabs not with coins, but with “exotic treasure” – in other words, monkeys.

What started as a joke between a barman and a sailor grew into a rumor, so much so that the bar actually did house a number of apes offered by sailors in exchange for drinks – hence the name In ’t Aepjen (In the little Apes).

The bar is one of only two wooden-front houses left in Amsterdam, and the interior décor is just as historic.

Authentic beer barrels, large Rembrandt prints, dusty liquor jugs, antique portraits and posters, and a small, low bar with a brass rail create a genuine feel that takes patrons back to the sixteenth century.

After a few drinks, in fact, it’s quite easy to imagine the space, with its collection of primate figurines, full of sailors and monkeys enjoying the same informal and convivial environment that lively customers still appreciate today, centuries later.

The clientele varies depending on the time of day, but guests can expect to find a cheerful and somewhat male-dominated crowd of all ages.

From young professionals to retirees, In ’t Aepjen welcomes anyone up for a night of easygoing monkeying around.

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Tip from Lucas:

Zeedijk is a small street with many authentic brown bars within a short distance from each other. There’s no room for terraces, so in warm weather this is a popular place to spend the night outside mingling with the mix of bar crowds. On Thursday evening and throughout the weekend, the area can reach block-party levels.

  • Crowd

    Diverse and lively crowd of young professionals, travelers, and older regulars, mid-20s to 60s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Playlist of folk and classic rock.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    None.

  • Prices

    Beer €2.25, wine €3, mixed drinks €5.50.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursdays and Fridays after 8pm.

In 't Aepjen User Reviews

Average rating:
Brown bar with a lot of RLD authenticity
Amster M. Dec 6, 2012
This bar is housed under a building with a wooden facade, which means it's one of the two oldest houses in the city. The upstairs used to be a brothel hotel, too, for sailors during the 1500s. I like taking older crowds here, but also younger ones that can appreciate a historical and authentic setting while knocking back a brew. It's the only bar on Zeedijk I'd recommend to check out (besides Skek), as some of them on that street are shady, or expensive, or intimidating because it's always full of loud drunk Amsterdammers. The owner of this place is casual and friendly, and the place in general feels that way.
Fun place to go out
Jody P. Dec 3, 2012
This bar was a lot of fun for me because not only is it a great hangout, but it has a great history too! Whether it is true or not, rumor has it that this is the oldest bar on the block, dating back to the 1500's. There is also some folklore regarding apes being housed in the bar. Either way, it is a very cozy, comfortable place to hang out. It wasn't too crowded when I went and people there seemed to be local (they were all Dutch, at least!) and very friendly. When you are in Amsterdam, you will most likely visit the red light district and this bar is right around the corner so it is worth it to just pop in for a drink and a chat.
Great brown bar to chat with locals
Craig B. Nov 15, 2012
This brown bar, less than two blocks from Amsterdam's famed Red Light District, is a real favorite of mine. The decor actually belies the location--it feels very homey and old fashioned, not at all sensual or sexual--and all the ape/monkey-related paraphernalia are an absolute laugh. I found that it was something of a hangout for middle-aged Dutch couples and old Dutchies eager to share their thoughts on anything from music to politics to genever. And if the clientele doesn't quite suit your fancy, you can walk a few doors down to Skek, which is host to a much younger crowd.
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