Do What You Want to Do
Cities like Berlin and Barcelona have a long list of gay events, attractions, and bars which have turned them into gay travel meccas, but Amsterdam still likes to see itself as the gay capital of Europe -- and it may have a point. Its tolerant and liberal attitude is legendary, homosexuality was decriminalised in the country in 1811, and in 2002 it legalised same-sex marriage for both nationals and residents.
Although the lesbian scene is much smaller in comparison, gay visitors of both sexes will find plenty of places to go, and couples can walk hand in hand on their way there without repercussions.
And where else will you find a monument like the Homo-monument, standing as a reminder of persecutions against homosexuals, but also to inspire against discrimination and for a more open and tolerant society? Only in Amsterdam, just like the world's only gay parade on water during the Amsterdam Pride every August. Then there are other gay events and parties such as Queensday on April 30th, celebrating the queen's birthday but also unity and togetherness.
In a city filled with so many gay hotspots, where should you head to first? Here they are:
CAFÉS, BARS, CLUBS
This popular and rather old-fashioned bar is one of the busiest from early evening to early in the morning.
Canal views, a friendly staff, and gay crowd is what you'll find at this bar that is one of the most pleasant gay stops in the city.
This café-bar mixes gay and straight, international and Dutch pop.
One of Amsterdam's most popular gay hangouts, this bar attracts all ages and styles who drink to the sounds of classic pop and dance tunes.
Fresh, Rapido parties
All of the city's hottest gay parties are organized by Rapido. Check the website to find out where and when you can go to the next ones.
Located in a former lesbian club, this bar now caters to gay boys and girls, although you'll see more boys. It's a trendy place, with a cocktail bar and dancefloor to move to dance and house tracks.
This bar has a small dancing area with the DJ's Hip Hop, R&B, and pop sounds coming out of the great sound system.
Mixed but mostly gay, Prik often hosts special events, but on any regular night you'll find a casual crowd and an overall friendly atmosphere. Check the website for the upcoming theme nights.
You'll find a British pub on the first floor, and an American-style bar on the second. It's a well known gay hangout, with DJs on weekends.
Thermos is the most recommended gay sauna in the city. There's the "Day" sauna that includes a roof terrace, beauty salon, and restaurant, and the "Night" sauna that's equally clean and spacious.
Lesbians make up the largest number of those sitting at this gay café that also hosts different theme nights. It's also a good place for lunch.
All sexualities and lifestyles are welcomed at this café, which is often also the stage for live performances, exhibitions, and songwriters.
This is the must-go destination for lesbians in Amsterdam, a place for music and drinks.
Hemelse Modder has long been a gay favorite, with European cuisine and friendly service.
Gay Amistad Hotel
Gay Hotel Golden Bear
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