Bar closing hours across the Netherlands

10 September 2015

In the Netherlands there are no national regulations as to opening and closing hours of bars. This is completely the competence of the municipalities. New research by the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP indicates that 86% of all municipalities in the Netherlands has set formal closing times.

Most municipalities allow pubs and clubs to stay open on working days till 01.00 or 02.00am and in weekends to 02.00 or 03.00am. Some are allowed to close at 04.00am. Several larger municipalities have set for clubs a closing time of 05.00am.

In most municipalities Soccer Club Bars must close earlier than pubs and clubs: they are allowed to stay open till midnight or 01.00am. But some local authorities - mainly of medium-sized municipalities - allow Soccer Club Bars to stay open until 02.00 or even 03.00am.

Many municipalities indicate that closing times lead to less nuisance and are therefore important for police and local residents. 40% have set closing times to reduce alcohol consumption among young people. In a similar study from 2001 (INTRAVAL) this argument was not mentioned.

The Municipal Act allows municipalities to set bar admission times. Bars are not allowed to let visitors enter after a certain time. The survey shows that one in five municipalities has set admission times, ranging from midnight to 02.00am. The Alcohol Licensing and Catering Acts makes it possible to relate these admission times to the age of the visitors. Only four municipalities have done so.

rapport_tot-in-de-kleine-uurtjes_stap-10-september-2015_2.pdfrapport_tot-in-de-kleine-uurtjes_stap-10-september-2015_2.pdf (2,40 MB)


Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
P.O. Box 9769
3506 GT Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30-6565041
F: +31 (0)30-6565043