We all thought arcade culture saw the last of its heyday 20 years ago. However, it’s managed to make a strong comeback in the past decade, and we can partly thank the Netherlands for its swift return. 🇳🇱🕹️
Arcades in the Netherlands were bustling hubs in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It was a place where children and teenagers alike could break free from the anxieties of school, and lose time trying to beat the ever-elusive high score.
As mobile apps became an indispensable part of people’s lives, Pac-Mac and pinball machines quickly turned into a thing of the past.
Nevertheless, in recent years, the Netherlands established a multitude of new arcades, making way for the world of coin-slotted machines to flourish once more.
From old-school classics to modern-day VR, here are 17 arcades in the Netherlands that’ll make you fall in love with gaming all over again!
1. TonTon Club — play arcade games with an icy biertje in hand
One particular way that arcades were able to bounce back in the 21st century was by combining two popular, worldly pastimes: drinking booze and playing games. From this, arcade bars were born. 🍻
One of the very first arcade bars to reach the Netherlands is the TonTon Club in Amsterdam! Well-known for its welcoming atmosphere, fine beer selection, and variety of old, nostalgia-inducing games, this place knows how to game in style.
Die-hard gamers and newcomers can take a trip to the past with Mortal Kombat and the pinball machine, but if you’re more into reimagined classics, they also have Dance Dance Revolution and Mario Kart!
Of course, all that gaming requires some sustenance, and TonTon Club happens to come with an exciting fusion of Japanese and American-style cuisine. You know what that means… milkshakes and ramen burgers! 🍔
📍 Location: Polonceaukade 27, 1014 DA Amsterdam
💰 Cost: Prices range anywhere from €5 to €17
⏰ Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM, Friday: 4:00 PM until late (whatever that means), Saturday: 1:00 PM until late, Sunday: 1:00 PM to 1:00 AM
2. Blast Galaxy — travel back in time and get a taste of the classics
Okay, gamers, sentimentality is real with this one. We can all tip our hats to the creators of Blast Galaxy for replicating arcade centres from the ‘80s or ‘90s almost to the T.
This is the go-to arcade in Amsterdam if you’re looking to kill an afternoon (or a whole day because why not) binge-playing old-fangled masterpieces, like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Millipede, Street Fighter, Galaga… need we go on? 😉
Blast Galaxy is filled to the brim with vintage arcade cabinets, and you won’t have to worry about blowing all your coins at once. Instead, the arcade offers a ticket upon entrance that can be used to play any game for as long as you want (aka, any arcader’s wet dream).
📍 Location: Mt. Lincolnweg 17, 1033 SN Amsterdam
💰 Cost: Entry ticket for €15
⏰ Opening hours: Wednesday: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Thursday: 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM, Friday: 4:00 PM to 12:30 AM, Saturday: 12:00 PM to 12:30 AM, Sunday: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
3. Gamestate — beat your mom at air hockey and win a cool prize
Gamestate first opened in 2013 and later grew to become the biggest arcade chain in the Netherlands. Now, their neon storefront sign can be seen across a handful of Dutch cities in the Randstad.
This arcade’s shtick revolves around being a family-friendly gaming centre, where winners can exchange cash for prizes. It’s basically a Dutchified version of Chuck E. Cheese… only without the rat mascot and recycled pizza slices (we hope). 🍕
However, you should keep in mind that if you’re looking for old-school retro vibes, you won’t find them at Gamestate. This place takes a more contemporary angle on arcades, offering a selection of funfair-type games to gamble your time away with.
📍 Location: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, The Hague, Breda, Kerkrade, Leidschendam, Rotterdam, Utrecht
💰 Cost (per person): €9.95 for 30 minutes. €17.95 for 1 hour. €29.95 for 2 hours.
⏰ Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM. Friday to Saturday: 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM
4. VR Game Park — go on a wild adventure in the online world
Virtual reality has revolutionised the gaming world in ways that we never thought possible a few years back. In the Netherlands, VR technology experienced a huge increase in demand to the point that now, it can be seen in almost every arcade centre.
One arcade in particular that caters to a new generation of video games is VR Game Park in Amsterdam. With over 600 square metres of space, everything that this underground arcade has to offer comes in sensational 4D simulations.
Each virtual simulation allows you to envision yourself in exhilarating situations, where you’re riding on a steep roller coaster, stealing dough in a heist, or hunting zombies in an apocalypse. 🧟
📍 Location: Overhoeksplein 15, 1031 KS Amsterdam
💰 Cost: 1 VR game token: €5, five-game tokens: €20, free-roaming experience: €25
⏰ Opening hours: Every day: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
5. National Video Game Museum — become an ‘80s gamer for a day
A strong contender that stepped up to fight for the title of “best arcade in the Netherlands” is the National Video Game Museum in Zoetermeer. With more than 50 vintage arcade cabinets on display, this spacious arcade lets you relive the glory days of old-time gaming.
It all began as a community project led by a few passionate Dutchies. And now? The arcade has grown to the point that they’ve gained recognition from big brands such as Nintendo and Microsoft.
One aspect that makes this arcade extraordinary is that it consists of little areas designed as antique living rooms. These were specially built to give patrons the true experience of playing video games as the ‘80s or ‘90s kid at home rather than on a generic metal bar stool.
📍 Location: Theaterplein 11, 2711 EK Zoetermeer
💰 Cost: Ticket prices vary depending on how many hours you wish to play
⏰ Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 10 AM to 6 PM, Friday: 10 AM to 9 PM
6. The Dutch Pinball Museum — relive the prime time for pinball machines
In the days before video games, arcades in the Netherlands were chock-full of pinball machines. What people might not realise, though, is that there was an incredibly broad array of pinball machines produced over the years.
However, only a few stood out as all-time classics, and the Dutch Pinball Museum in Rotterdam honours them.
If you consider yourself an old-timey pinhead (no, not that kind of pinhead), then a visit to this museum is a must. It has about 100 pinball machines to play on, and some even date as far back as the ‘30s and ‘40s. 👾
📍Location: Voorhaven 12, 3024 RM Rotterdam
💰Cost: Museum entrance: €14 for 2 hours of playing time
⏰Opening hours: Wednesday: 12 PM to 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 11:50 AM to 6:10 PM
7. Enversed VR — become the main character in your favourite video game
A virtual reality centre that’s gained quite a popular rep in Europe, Enversed VR allows you to immerse yourself in video games as the main character you always knew you were.
Located in Eindhoven, this place gives you the opportunity to play out all your child-like fantasies and experience things that you otherwise couldn’t in the real world.
Step into the virtual world by solving challenging puzzles in an escape room, shoot huge paintballs from the sky with a bow and arrow, or become a resistance fighter in a dystopian society.
📍 Location: Torenallee 100-02, 5617 BE Eindhoven
💰 Cost: Ticket prices start at €29,50 per person
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesday: 11 AM to 6 PM, Thursday: 2 PM to 10 PM, Friday: 12 PM to 10 PM, Saturday: 11 AM to 9 PM, Sunday: 11 AM to 8 PM
8. Amaze VR — magically transport to a different world for hours
Woners in the Netherlands can consider themselves a lucky bunch to experience the cutting-edge technology that is virtual reality — and in almost any city. If you’re casting around for a good VR centre in The Hague specifically, Amaze VR is your best bet.
Located in the centre of the city, this place endeavours to give people a compelling experience where, once you put the headset on, you’re magically transported to a different world.
Their arcade supplies over 50 highly-rated VR games to play, where you can join a group of spies on a mission, become a detective to decipher clues, and so much more. Rest assured that you can let your imagination run wild here.
📍Location: Torenstraat 140, 2513 BW Den Haag
💰Cost: VR arcade: €20, VR escape room: €30, VR zombie shooter: €27.50
⏰Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 2 PM to 8 PM, Friday: 2 PM to 10 PM, Saturday: 12 PM to 10 PM, Sunday: 12 PM to 8 PM
9. Bonami Games and Computer Museum — go way…way back into the past with arcade games
A nostalgic kick and any nerd’s paradise, Bonami Games and Computer Museum in Zwolle is the hidden gem you didn’t know you were missing. It’s by far the coolest place to be for gaming aficionados.
There are a lot of consoles that I've never heard of at the #Bonami computer and game console museum.— RetroWizzard@oldbytes.space (@RetroWizzard) August 10, 2021
The Bally #arcade rings a bell but other than that nothing.#retrogaming #BallyMidway pic.twitter.com/R3QqODHmbN
Everyone can turn back the clock and re-live their childhood with the largest collection of old PC games, computers dating back to the 1950s, and vintage arcade cabinets.
With up to 250 square metres of space, you can easily lose all sense of time drooling over the copious amounts of collector’s items and retro technology — and the best part? These old machines can actually be played. So, prepare for gamer’s thumb!
It also gives youngins who were born after the decline of arcades to get a true, educational experience of playing on authentic consoles — just as their parents once did.
📍 Location: Ossenkamp 4, 8024 AE Zwolle
💰 Cost: Prices vary but are typically €15 per person. Guided tours for up to 15 people are €30.
⏰ Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10 AM to 5 PM. Friday and Saturday (evening hours): 6 PM to 10 PM
10. The Arcade Hotel — play arcade games from the comfort of your own suite
Imagine you’re on vacation in the Netherlands, and your booked hotel room comes equipped with modern and retro gaming consoles, flatscreen TVs, and gaming headphones. Well, that fantasy can be made a reality.
Located just footsteps away from the elegant Sarphatipark in Amsterdam, The Arcade Hotel is the world’s first and only hotel to offer holidayers a fire gaming set right next to a boxspring mattress.
And if you’re looking to escape your sleeping den and socialise with other gamers, the establishment also supplies an arcade room with over 25 coin-operated arcade cabinets and a fully-stocked bar to invest in an ice-cold brewski while you play.
11. Molly’s Arena — eat delectable ramen and take a selfie with Naruto
Inspired by the bustling shopping district of Akihabara in Japan, Molly’s Arena in Amsterdam is a mecca for any Otaku or casual watcher of anime.
The arcade centre opened its doors to appreciate Japanese pop culture by offering a wide range of manga-themed video games to play. Needless to say, it’s heaven on earth for any weeaboo gamer.
Since it’s on par with the goods served in Japan, you can expect their food selection to include traditional Asian cuisine, from fluffy pancakes to delectable ramen with the right level of spicy. 🍜
📍 Location: Osdorpplein 771, 1068 TC Amsterdam
💰 Cost: Play credit and a play pass costs €23
⏰ Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 12 PM to 10 PM
12. Zero Latency VR — play VR safely and comfortably in an expansive space
We all know VR centres score big in the Netherlands, but perhaps you haven’t yet found one that offers a completely wireless setup.
To expedite your hunt for free-roam VR gaming, Rotterdam boasts Zero Latency VR, a centre which gives players the ability to traipse in the virtual world without worrying about tripping on tangled wires.
Once you choose one of the eight video games to play, you’re then suited up with a high-powered computer, a super cool vest, and a top-notch headset. The arcade also comes with a huge space for players to walk around and explore the virtual world with ease.
13. Sir Winston Fun & Games — beat your whole family at air hockey and win a cool prize
Similar to Dave & Buster’s over in the US, this arcade uses the age-old system where you can win prizes by collecting tickets from the various games on display. It also offers a small menu consisting of finger-bite foods like chicken wings, frietjes, and burgers.
The only drawback? Arcades like this largely cater to big families, so on a regular weekend, expect it to be home to adults and (screaming) children alike.
14. Hommerson Funland — play arcade games with a view of Scheveningen beach
Anyone who’s ever been to the famous Scheveningen Pier in The Hague has no doubt heard about the arcade hall around the corner! A familiar name amongst Dutchies since 1985, Hommerson Funland guarantees a good time for hardcore gamers and newbies alike.
Go wild with old-timey classics like Pong and Pacman, as well as newly-developed mainstreams like Flappy Bird and Dancing Stage, all set up for you in the arcade.
Though we can argue the best part of the arcade, that truly sets it apart from the rest, is that folks can play a wide range of games while enjoying a gorgeous view of the beach. 🌅
📍 Location: Gevers Deynootweg 990-8, 2586 BZ Den Haag
💰 Cost: Entrance is free. Individual games are paid via ‘Funland coins’ or regular euro coins.
⏰ Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10 AM to 12 AM, Friday and Saturday: 10 AM to 1 AM
15. The Games Guild — for the savvy board gamers who know all the tricks
One of the most highly-rated places in the Dutch city of Alphen aan de Rijn, The Games Guild is a small, yet vibrant arcade that’s garnered plenty of attention from a close-knit community of gamers.
Its founders strived to bring digital communities together by offering like-minded gaming enthusiasts a space to connect and play with each other.
The arcade has several rooms that serve different purposes, each stuffed wall-to-wall with retro technology. So, trust that you can satisfy all your gaming needs here with ubiquitous classics, like Dungeons and Dragons and Super Smash Bros.
📍 Location: Concordiastraat 29, 2406 XX Alphen aan den Rijn
💰 Cost: Entrance is free of charge!
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 12 PM to 10 PM, Sunday: 12 PM to 4:30 PM, Monday: 1 PM to 10 PM
16. Circus Zandvoort — organise a gaming play date for your youngins
Don’t let the name deceive you into thinking this place has any dancing clowns or jumping acrobats. While it’s certainly got circus vibes, it’s actually one of the largest arcades in the Netherlands to date.
Circus Zandvoort offers over 50 different fairground and skill games to splurge all your coins on during a day out with the family. It’s got a bunch of mainstream games, such as air hockey, Mario Kart, Shuffle Puck, and more. 🎮
All in all, it’s a solid arcade choice if you’re looking to spend quality time with your loved ones and get your competitive gaming spirit on.
17. The Game Box — spice up your weekend with a refreshing activity
If you’re looking to play from a sweeping collection of funfair-style games and traditional arcade machines in a single day, then The Game Box is sure to give you maximum bang for your buck.
Open all year round, this arcade offers the latest hip games, from air hockey to basketball, as well as racing simulators and pinball machines. They’ve also managed to raise the stakes by giving folks something that no other arcade in the Netherlands has: bumper cars!
In addition, you can win tickets through some of the games, which you can then exchange for great prizes. The arcade nailed the Dutch crowd, and because of this, it grew to become available in multiple cities across the lowlands!
📍 Location: Apeldoorn, Almere, Arnhem, Enschede, Den Bosch, Groningen
💰 Cost: 1 playcard: €10, 1 playcard + 4 video freeplays: €20, 1 playcard + 8 video freeplays: €40, and more.
⏰ Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday: 12 PM to 10 PM, Thursday: 12 PM to 12 AM, Friday: 12 PM to 1 AM, Saturday: 10 AM to 1 AM
Preserving arcades in the Netherlands as we once knew them grows more difficult as the gaming industry evolves.
However, there is hope in boundary-pushing companies that aim to evoke nostalgia and celebrate the classic machines by creating a place for them in today’s world. 🕹️
Have you visited any of these arcades in the Netherlands? If so, which was your favourite? Tell us in the comments below!
This article was originally published in November 2022, and was fully updated in August 2023 for your reading pleasure.