Editor’s Note: Are you fortunate enough to be headed ‘across the pond’ to Europe this summer for work or pleasure? Amsterdam is a popular destination and transfer point for many in Hampton Roads, especially members of the LGBTQ community. Whether you have a long layover after an overnight flight to your final destination, or are simply planning a long weekend in one of Europe’s most vibrant and LGBTQ friendly cities, our friend David van Brakel at Hello Amsterdam has provided our readers with a guide to their city beyond the tourist attractions. After you have visited the Rijksmuseum, Red Light District, the Homomonument, the Anne Frank House, coffee shops and canals, be sure to check out the cities LGBTQ night life, highlighted below. Enjoy! – Andrew
The Ultimate LGBTQ guide to Amsterdam
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, so it comes as no surprise that its capital Amsterdam is known as one of the most liberal cities in the world and a top destination for LGBTQ travelers in Europe. The city is home to numerous gay-friendly nightclubs, bars, and hotels and has a strong LGBTQ community. To help make the most out of your stay in the city, here is the ultimate LGBTQ guide to Amsterdam.
You will find many LGBTQ-friendly areas in the city. The popular Amster Street houses a large number of gay bars, while Warmoesstraat is a part of the city where visitors will find fetish shops and gay cruise clubs. Many gay-friendly venues and hotels can be found in Kerkstraat.
If you wish to go out in the evening, there are many open-minded gay clubs in the city. For example, Club Church hosts awesome themes parties and have a Naked Bar event every Wednesday. It’s also a popular hangout spot for trans-men. Club Nyx is a great club with two floors, a large dancing area, and a smoking lounge. Adjacent to the Nyx, Exit Café is all about having a good time and dancing the night away. One of the most popular events here is the monthly Vodka Wednesday XXL.
Bars and Cafes
The oldest drag café in Amsterdam, Lellebel is a popular LGBTQ-friendly café. Although the café is not that big, the interior looks nice and there are always cool performances here. Located in Amsterdam West, De Trut is a classic disco and a non-commercial bar that welcomes everyone from straight to gay and trans customers. They offer cheap drinks and donate most of their profits to charity. With a catchy slogan “queer or not, Prik is hot”, Prik serves some seriously amazing cocktails, and guess what, many of them are pink. There is also no shortage of bars and clubs that cater to LGBTQ visitors in the infamous Red Light District.
One of the most famous and biggest gay pride events in the world is the famous Amsterdam Pride. This year, Amsterdam Pride will take place betweeen July 27-August 4 and attracts over 40,000 visitors every year. Amsterdam Pride, boasts a canal parade, similar to Hampton Roads Pride’s boat parade. During the festival, many clubs like to decorate their space for the celebrations and host hundreds of events ranging from parties and exhibitions to sports events and film screenings. However, the biggest event during the festival is Amsterdam’s canal parade, a must-see attraction for every visitor. Drag Queen Olympics is a spectacular party during the pride week in Amsterdam. It is a sporting event for drag kings and queens and includes games like Bitch Volleyball and Handbag Toss. Fans of LGBTQ cinema will definitely want to check out the Pink Film Days, locally known as The Roze Filmdagen. It is the largest LGBTQ film festival in the country and includes screenings of everything from powerful drama movies and thrillers to romantic comedies and provoking documentaries.
Safe travels this summer in Amsterdam or wherever you roam!
To read more about what Amsterdam has to offer the traveler, visit Hello Amsterdam.