Amsterdam

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The Dutch pride themselves on their “anything goes” tolerant attitude, and it’s not surprising that gay and lesbian marriages were first recognized by Holland. Gay men and lesbians are so assimilated that in big cities it can sometimes be a challenge to find a specifically gay scene, but below are a few tested and true favorites. Of course Pride Weekend might be the best time to visit Amsterdam, but there are always events of interest and a diverse collection of gay bars, lounges, and dance spots.

Amsterdam Gay

Amistad Hotel

The Amistad is a favorite of gay male visitors for its location–on a street with gay clubs and cafés, just steps from busy Leidseplein–and for its facilities. Rooms are not large, and some don’t have private bathrooms, but at least they're well designed and are furnished with computers. Continental breakfast is served (until 1pm, for the late partiers) in a street-level room. Long-term guests or those who prefer an independent experience can book one of Amistad’s spacious private apartments and feel like they are a true Amsterdam resident.

Kerkstraat 42, 011-31-20-624-8074, www.amistad.nl
Tags: budget | trendy | gay

Bar Arc

With a gorgeous contemporary design style and a crowd that dresses the part, Bar Arc is the city’s most fashionable gay lounge and club. It’s mostly a youthful and hip male clientele, but Bar Arc’s crowd is welcoming and mixed. Nightly cocktail hours – from 5-7 p.m. – are very popular affairs and the trendy throng spills out in to the street when the weather allows.  

Reguliersdwarsstraat 44, 011-31-20-689-7070, www.bararc.com
Tags: nightlife | lounge | gay

Cafe 't Sluisje

Have your pick of three-course menus consisting of staples like steak frites with mushrooms and baked salmon with cream of parsnips. 

Torensteeg 1, 1012 TH, +31 20 624 0813, www.sluisje.nl
Tags: nightlife | gay

De Trut

For over 20 years De Trut (“The Bitch”) has been attracting the city’s gay and lesbian crowd with its very popular underground Sunday night dance party. Cheap drinks, great music, and an uncomplicated fun crowd of locals and visitors has seen this volunteer-staffed party earn a legendary status among the dancing and flirty 20- and 30-somethings. 

Bilderdijkstraat 165, www.trutfonds.nl
Tags: nightlife | gay | nightclub | dance music

Homomonument & Pink Point

The Homomonument is the world’s first public monument acknowledging the historical persecution of gays and lesbians from Holland and abroad, while the nearby Pink Point is an information booth offering the goods on events, nightlife, culture, points of tourist interest, and local contact info for gay and lesbian organizations. The canal-side monument – a pink granite triangle made up of three smaller triangles – is inscribed with a poem by Jacob Israel de Haan, and is a somewhat somber affair while Pink Point does double duty as a gay and lesbian souvenir kiosk, balancing the mood.

Westermarkt (Corners of Raadhuistraat and Keizersgracht), 011-31-20-428-1070, www.homomonument.com www.pinkpoint.org
Tags: souvenirs | gay | monument

Reguliersdwarsstraat

Follow the mix of locals and tourists as they hop among the bars, clubs, cafés, and restaurants on this two-block-long stretch that’s become known as Amsterdam’s gay hub.

Reguliersdwarsstraat,
Tags: nightlife | lounge | dancing | things to do | open late | bar | gay | nightclub

Soho

Looking to get up-close and personal with Amsterdam’s storied gay scene? Soho may attract some of the most handsome crowds in the city, but it’s the crammed quarters and wall-to-wall patrons that have earned this boudoir meets English pub venue its reputation as the center of the gay party – and cruising – scene. DJs spin records on weekends and a nightly two-for-one drink deal, lasting from midnight until 1 a.m., adds to the mature-meets-clubby vibe.

Reguliersdwarsstraat 36, 011-31-20-422-3312, www.pubsoho.eu
Tags: nightlife | gay

YouII Lady’s Dancing

The Draw: When most other clubs are preparing to close for the night, this serious dance spot with a mostly gay and lesbian clientele is just heating up. The Scene: They come to dance. An unpretentious, youthful, and good-looking crowd grooves and flirts all night to the sounds of classic and current club hits. Fri-Sat 10pm-5am. Hot Tip: Come between 1am and 2am to avoid lining up until sunup.

Amstel 178, 011-31-20-421-0900, www.youii.nl
Tags: nightlife | gay | nightclub | dance music

Zandvoort

Dutch beaches are more party places than relaxing getaways. Zandvoort’s 4 miles of sand are lined with pavilions selling food and drinks and often feature DJs spinning club beats. Special interest pavilions run from families to gay visitors and nudists.

19 miles west of Amsterdam, www.zandvoort.nl
Tags: beach | family | day trip | gay

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