The best kept bar secret in Rotterdam

Secret bar in Rotterdam

It’s spooky, it’s amazing, it’s a collective secret in Rotterdam’s nightlife. And that’s what makes cocktail bar Dr. so brilliant. A big thanks to Erasmus Magazine for sharing it.


The bar is hidden away in the Scheepsvaartkwartier and without instructions you will never find it. What’s more: without someone whispering about it you probably wouldn’t even know it existed. Those who’ve been there help to uphold the myth: everyone realises this is simply too good to be widely advertised.

Look for the red rod
Which is why the bar has been open since 2012 and still keeps its secrets. Take the two twenty-somethings standing in front of the big green door on a Thursday evening, only a small Rod of Asclepius providing a hint. It’s dark and the blond girl wants to tell, until the she remembers: the house rules don’t allow it. Immediately she stops talking.

No smooching
A man in a lab coat opens the door. It’s dark inside. Candles and a medical whiff give the room atmosphere. The man – bartender Alberto – points out the house rules: no phones, no photos – except the bar’s Polaroid camera which you can use for €1.50 – and no smooching. What follows would be a shame to divulge. 

What we can say: it’s brilliant inside.

At the doctor’s
The doctor’s theme is elaborated in detail. Cocktails are called medicine, the bartender refers to himself as a doctor. You’re only admitted with your patient number. That’s emailed to you after an online booking. In that sense Dr. is already much more accessible. In the early years this website didn’t exist, and guests could only book with a classified phone number. Like the kind of secret bar that was popular during the American prohibition last century, and which provided the inspiration for Dr.

Get an appointment
So get yourself an appointment soon. Take your girl, your parents – there was a family visiting when we were there – or your boyfriend from afar before the masses find it. That won’t be good for the bar, so please don’t tell anyone you’ve been.

If you like secret bars, you'll find 21 other hidden booze holes here.

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