Café In 't Aepjen   'In the monkeys'

the oldest - or one of the oldest - café in town

in t aepjen

Café In 't Aepjen is a a famous brown café in a wooden house on the Zeedijk.

Proeflokaal or tasting room located in one of Amsterdam's last two wooden houses built in the 15th century.

The story

Long ago tough seamen used to come here to quench their thirst. After many mugs of beer clever members of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) pushed a contract under the nose of these drunkards.

The next morning, after they had slept off their hangover in one of the rooms above the café, the sailors discovered to their horror that they were recruited by the VOC. They were now committed to a perilous months-long expedition to the East.

On the menu

In 't Aepjen has an extensive selection of Dutch jenevers (gins) and draught and bottled beers.

"In de aap gelogeerd zijn"

An old Dutch saying still goes: "In den aep gelogeerd" (literally "lodged in the monkey"), which means: "to take what looks like a good deal... only to be cheated afterwards". When you are 'in de aap gelogeerd', you are in a predicament. You have been tricked, you are unlucky, you are in dire straits.

The bar's decor is full of monkey-themed items these days, plus a staircase that leads to nowhere.


In 't Aepjen is located at Zeedijk number 1 in the Old Centre of Amsterdam. It is close to Amsterdam's main railway station Amsterdam Centraal and the Red Light District.

more impressions

All bars mentioned on this website are popular spots that are visited by locals and not mainly targeted at tourists