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Amsterdam Gay Travel

wolfyy’s Amsterdam gay travel guide to the best hotels, gay bars, clubs & things to do.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the most progressive cities in the world, Amsterdam has a thriving gay scene and is well-known for being gay-friendly.

There’s so much for gay travelers to experience in Amsterdam, from storybook-like streets along over 160 canals, an epic art scene, tons of gay bars and clubs, and stunningly beautiful architecture.

gay Amsterdam
gay Amsterdam
gay friendly Amsterdam

I only spent a few days in Amsterdam, but definitely made the most of it! The city truly has a unique feel to it, much different than other northern European cities like Copenhagen or Stockholm. As you explore the city (and read this guide), you’ll quickly learn how amazingly different Amsterdam is.

gay friendly Amsterdam

Below I’ll fill you in on all the best hotels for LGBT travelers, fun places to visit, the Amsterdam gay area, and a bunch of gay nightlife venues.

Gay Amsterdam: Hotels & Where to Stay

The entirety of Amsterdam is LGBT-friendly, so gay travelers will feel comfortable staying in any part of the city. Below are a few areas of the city that I particularly recommend, followed by some awesome hotels for gay tourists.

where to stay in Amsterdam

Grachtengordel (Canal Belt) Hotels

Grachtengordel is the Canal Belt area of Amsterdam that wraps around the south and west of the city’s core. The neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage List designated area and is full of fantastic hotels, gay nightlife, and gorgeous architecture. You can’t go wrong with Canal Belt hotels.

Canal Belt neighborhood
Canal Belt neighborhood
where to stay in Amsterdam

Many popular gay hotels are in this district along the Amstel, which is the canal and waterfront promenade that wraps around Rembrandt Square. Here are some of my top recommendations.

Eden Hotel Amsterdam

Eden Hotel is located in the traditional gay area of Amsterdam, directly on the Amstel. Their rooms have a variety of unique themes, from traditional to sexy. Some of them have beautiful views of the canal, too.

Amsterdam gay hotel
Amsterdam gay hotel
Eden Hotel Amsterdam

The entire hotel is modern, but the hotel’s lounge and restaurant are particularly stunning with dim, inviting lighting.

Eden Hotel Amsterdam

Banks Mansion

Banks Mansion is also in the Amstel Area, just south of Rembrandt Square and the area’s local gay bars. They’re a luxury gay friendly hotel with a traditional yet modern feel. Banks Mansion is known and highly rated for impeccable hospitality and for providing guests with an unforgettably comfortable stay.

Albus Hotel

Albus Hotel offers a bit more affordability in the Amstel/Rembrandt Square area without compromising style. Rooms are minimal, elegant, and modern. They also have a fantastic restaurant serving modern European cuisine.

lgbt friendly hotel in Amsterdam
lgbt friendly hotel in Amsterdam
Albus Hotel

Amistad Hotel

Amistad has long been known as Amsterdam’s gay friendly hotel. While the property’s management changed, they are still proudly welcoming to all guests and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

With 9 rooms, Amistad has a cozy bed & breakfast vibe—and breakfast is always included with your stay. Their single rooms are perfect for solo travelers.

Binnenstad (Old Centre) Hotels

Binnenstad is the traditional Old Centre of Amsterdam, which includes the famous Red Light District. It’s naturally one of the most popular places to stay in Amsterdam to be in the center of everything. There’s quick access to many of the city’s gay bars as well as plenty of restaurants and attractions.

Red Light District hotels
Red Light District hotels
Art'otel Amsterdam

Art’otel Amsterdam

Art’otel Amsterdam is a stunning upscale Radisson Hotels property located in a bustling area of Amsterdam’s Old Centre. Considering their central location, gorgeous interior design, and decently affordable rates, there’s no wonder gay travelers love this hotel.

Art'otel Amsterdam

With a fitness center, solarium, library, indoor pool, bar, restaurant, and plenty of lounge space, you’ll certainly be comfortable staying at Art’otel. All the city center gay bars are within a 10-minute walk too!

Amsterdam Marriott

The Amsterdam Marriott will be perfect if you’re a fan of gay-friendly hotel chains. They’re located just across the Canal Belt, less than a 15-minute walk to Amsterdam’s popular gay area.

gay friendly Amsterdam hotel
gay friendly Amsterdam hotel
Amsterdam Marriott

Room interiors have a relaxing, grey-colored minimalist feel, while the hotel’s restaurant and other amenities pop with gorgeous colors. This Marriott offers a full gym, sauna, restaurant, bar, and lounge. It all comes at a decent price, too.

Amsterdam Marriott

Join Marriott’s BonVoy program if you haven’t already. You can get perks like free upgrades and collect points to use toward free nights!

Hotel CC

Hotel CC is an affordable LGBT welcoming hotel in the Old Centre of Amsterdam. It’s pretty difficult to find hotels of this quality for such a low rate in such an unbeatable location in the heart of Amsterdam (especially if you book well in advance).

romm at Hotel CC Amsterdam
romm at Hotel CC Amsterdam
Amsterdam LGBT hotel

Minimal, modern rooms provide all the essential comforts. Rooms come in six different setups including a triple room with three twin beds and a quadruple room, which is ideal for groups of friends or families.

Amsterdam LGBT hotel

Their standard single rooms are the smallest, but super cozy with a bedside view of the picturesque Damrak Waterfront.

Jordaan Hotels

A charming and trendy area of Amsterdam, hotels in Jordaan are perfect for first-time visitors.

It’s the westernmost neighborhood of central Amsterdam and has plenty of street art, shops, and lovely cafes. You’ll get quite an authentic vibe here. Plus, it’s only a 15-minute walk to the center of the city.

Mr. Jordaan Hotel

Mr. Jordaan is one of the few impeccably gorgeous, well-priced gay-friendly hotels in the Jordaan district.

I love the hotel’s design so much and definitely want to stay here the next time I visit Amsterdam. It completely captures the feeling of staying in a house in Jordaan while providing all the luxuries of a hotel.

Amsterdam gay hotel recommendation
Amsterdam gay hotel recommendation
Mr Jordaan Hotel Amsterdam

Hotel rooms here have a chic industrial design, all the essentials, and blackout curtains—useful for sleeping in after a late night out. Mr. Jordaan even has an elevator, so you don’t have to worry about bringing luggage up any flights of stairs.

Mr Jordaan Hotel Amsterdam

On the main level, there’s a cozy café with exposed brick and rich black subway tile. And if you need to get some work done, there’s plenty of space to spread out.

Homestays & Rentals in Jordaan

If you’ve fallen in love with staying in Jordaan, booking a VRBO rental is the way to go. You’ll find hundreds of homestay options here—more than any other district of Amsterdam since Jordaan is largely residential and doesn’t have many hotels.

private apartment homestay in Amsterdam
private apartment homestay in Amsterdam
Amsterdam VRBO rental

Not only will you be able to experience staying in a local Amsterdam apartment or house, but you’ll also get a bunch more space than any hotel around.

Amsterdam VRBO rental

Staying in an Amsterdam houseboat rental is another totally epic option. You’ll find them all over the city, not just in Jordaan!

De Pijp & Oost Hotels

The De Pijp neighborhood is one of the hipster areas of Amsterdam and it’s a fabulous location for foodies to book a place to stay. De Pijp is a tad bit further from central Amsterdam but is still easily accessible via public transportation or even by foot.

Amsterdam-Oost is an ideal area to book a place to stay if you’re traveling on a limited budget. This is the neighborhood just southeast of central Amsterdam, but if you stay in the northern part of this area, it’ll feel just like you’re staying near the center.

There are a bunch of affordable hotels in Oost, many around only 100 Euro per night.

Amsterdam gay friendly hotel

Sir Albert Hotel Amsterdam

Sir Albert is a gay-friendly hotel in the De Pijp neighborhood with an urban, masculine design. A few highlights of Sir Albert are high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and luxurious bed linens.

Amsterdam Sir Albert Hotel
Amsterdam gay friendly hotel
Amsterdam Sir Albert Hotel

The hotel features a relaxing study, full gym with free weights, bar & lounge, terrace, and their attached IZKAYA traditional Japanese restaurant. The area around the hotel has a ton of unique restaurant options, perfect for foodies!

Generator Amsterdam

Generator Amsterdam is technically a hostel, but honestly feels more like an upscale hotel! This massive 168-room property nestled alongside the serene Oosterpark has something for every type of traveler.

Amsterdam gay popular hostel

Backpackers and single travelers can score a bed in a shared room for around only 20 Euro, but plenty of inexpensive traditional 1 to 2-person rooms are available as well.

Generator Hostel Amsterdam
Amsterdam gay popular hostel
Generator Hostel Amsterdam

With grand suites that cost less than 200 Euro, Generator has to be one of the best places for groups of friends to stay while visiting Amsterdam.

Browse more highly-rated Amsterdam hotels on Booking for more inspiration.

Amsterdam Gay Travel Experiences

Stroll Amsterdam’s Gorgeous Canals

Walking along the city’s picturesque canals is a classic activity for Amsterdam travelers, especially on a gorgeous sunny day. Take in the beautiful flower plantings, check out the awesome houseboats, and peruse cute cafés and shops!

Amsterdam gay travel

Negen Straatjes is the most famous area of the Canal Belt to explore. I also loved strolling along the smaller canals in central Jordaan and then walking southward along Prinsengracht. It’s also fun to just get lost and wander along the canals wherever your feet take you.

Amsterdam gay travel
evening canal tour in Amsterdam
evening canal tour in Amsterdam

If you want to see as many of the canals as possible without walking too much, take in the views on a relaxing canal tour.

An evening canal tour with a bar on board is another great idea, especially for a romantic couple’s evening.

Keep an Eye Out for “XXX” Markings

All throughout the city, as well as on Amsterdam’s flag/coat of arms, you’ll see three crosses marked on all sorts of things. They can be on anything from street bollards to building facades to flags.

XXX markings in Amsterdam
XXX markings in Amsterdam
three x marking on Amsterdam street

There are actually various theories about what these X’s historically mean, from connections to St. Andrew to links to the noble Persijn family.

three x marking on Amsterdam street

Visit the Homomonument

A powerfully symbolic memorial, the Homomonument commemorates all the persecuted gays, lesbians, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history.

Three pink triangles made of granite serve as a reminder of those of the community who were killed during the Second World War and is now a place used to bring people together.

During Amsterdam’s gay pride festival every August, you’ll notice that people gather here and parade down the canals.

Amsterdam observatory deck
Amsterdam observatory deck
swing at A'DAM lookout

See the City from A’DAM Lookout

The A’DAM Lookout is one of the tallest buildings in Amsterdam and the views of the city’s skyline from the top are spectacular. If you’re brave enough, try out the tower’s epic over-the-edge swing. It’s definitely a thrilling experience.

swing at A'DAM lookout

The STRAAT Museum & Buiksloterham

The STRAAT Museum is an absolute must for street art lovers. This is Amsterdam’s popular street art and graffiti museum. They have some awesome, larger-than-life installments in a huge warehouse space. Most of the art is produced right here in the museum.

STRAAT museum exhibit

It’s also interesting to explore the pathways that wind around the privately-rented artist workspaces. These areas are a work of art in themselves.

STRAAT museum exhibit
Amsterdam street art museum

The surrounding Buiksloterham neighborhood is also super cool. Formerly an industrial park, this waterfront area has turned into an artsy district with lots of nightlife venues.

Amsterdam street art museum

Pilek is a popular restaurant in Buiksloterham I absolutely adored having lunch at. The elegant industrial vibes and waterfront location are amazing.

Visit Delta Works

Truly an engineering feat, The Delta Works is the largest storm surge barrier in the world. It’s located about 90 minutes by car outside of Amsterdam, perfect as part of a day trip adventure. I’d recommend stopping by especially if you’ll be heading to South Holland to explore Rotterdam or The Hague.

Amsterdam gay traveler

Visitors can follow the corridor through one end of the site for an up-close view of the actual barrier with water rushing over it. And on your way over, you’ll get some epic views of the massive nearby windmills.

Amsterdam gay traveler
windmills in south Holland

There’s an interesting indoor exhibit that shows all the details of how this immense barrier was constructed. Some might find this a little nerdy, but I loved it!

windmills in south Holland

Private full-day Delta Works tours are also an option, although they tend to be on the expensive side. Prices for tours are typical though, considering the driving time to Delta Works and places like Rotterdam.

Explore Amsterdam’s Gay Area / Secret Village

Amsterdam’s Secret Village is one of my favorite places in the city. It may look like a typical narrow street, but the ambiance here is incredible, especially in the evening.

Amsterdam gay area
Amsterdam gay area
Amsterdam gay nightlife

The Secret Village is also a popular gay area of Amsterdam, where you’ll see rainbow flags, gay bars, and gay-friendly establishments all around.

Some of Amsterdam’s best gay bars are here, which I’ll mention below!

Amsterdam Gay Bars & Clubs

Amsterdam gay bars are generally located in two different areas of the city’s Centrum district. One cluster is directly in the center of Amsterdam in the Binnenstad neighborhood, not far from the central train station.

Amsterdam gay nightlife

Most of the other gay bars are just a 15-minute walk southward in the Grachtengordel neighborhood along a notable street called Reguliersdwarsstraat.

Here are all the best gay bars to visit during your trip!

Bar Blend Amsterdam
Bar Blend Amsterdam
gay bar drag show

Bar Blend

Bar Blend was by far my favorite Amsterdam gay bar. I had an absolute blast watching a hilarious drag show, enjoying the upbeat pop music, and meeting some friendly gay locals. Closely spaced tables in Bar Blend’s outdoor seating area make it super easy to meet new friends.

gay bar drag show

The space is incredibly modern and has a long, spacious bar, a balcony level, and a DJ booth. The TV screens in the urinals were entertaining, too! This place is definitely my top recommendation.

Taboo

Taboo is just a few steps away from Bar Blend on Reguliersdwarsstraat. They have a similar streetside seating setup, which you can enjoy well into the fall season with plenty of heat lamps. Drinks are affordable and the evening drag shows are excellent.

Taboo gay bar Amsterdam
Taboo gay bar Amsterdam
Amsterdam gay travel

SOHO Amsterdam

Weekend evenings are a perfect time to head to SOHO Amsterdam, which is a third gay bar clustered in Amsterdam’s Secret village along with Bar Blend and Taboo.

Amsterdam gay travel

The busiest times at SOHO are usually just after Midnight. Expect a great selection of music and affordable drink prices. And as I’ll mention in the following gay travel tips section, don’t forget to keep a bit of cash on hand to use the restroom!

The Queen’s Head

The Queen’s Head is a classic gay bar that’s been around for over 20 years! They have affordable drink prices, upbeat drag shows, and weekday events like bingo and karaoke.

The Queens Head gay bar
The Queens Head gay bar
bars in Amsterdam gay area

Expect more of a mixed crowd here compared to some of the other gay nightlife venues in Amsterdam. The bar takes pride in being open and inclusive of all genders, races, and ages. Check out the latest events on The Queen’s Head Facebook page.

bars in Amsterdam gay area

Café Montmarte

Open for over 40 years, Café Montmarte is one of the oldest gay bars in Amsterdam. It’s a cozy, dimly-lit spot known for friendly bartenders. They have plenty of high-top seating to enjoy daily happy hours and live performances on Sundays.

Dirty Dick’s

Dirty Dick’s is Amsterdam’s gay fetish bar that’s known for its cruisy vibe. With dim lighting and porn playing on the tv screens, this place definitely has a sexy vibe. I thought the music was great, too.

Amsterdam gay cruising bar
Amsterdam gay cruising bar
Dirty Dick's gay bar

Each month, Dirty Dick’s hosts a handful of extreme fetish events including Fist Factory, Golden Shower, and Naked Dark Cruising night. Every Friday and Saturday, the bar’s Man Cave is open for everyone to explore from 8 PM to 4 AM.

Dirty Dick's gay bar

Amstel 54

Amstel 54 may look like a regular cafe during the day, but this gay bar truly comes to life at night. Its name comes from the bar’s address, which is significant because Amstel is one of the traditional gay areas of Amsterdam.

The bar is welcoming to all and very comfortable with plush booths and a huge chandelier. Weekly events include drag race viewing parties and plenty of evening drag performances.

The Web Amsterdam

Stop into The Web in central Amsterdam if you’re looking to meet some fetish and leather enthusiasts. This neighborhood gay bar is popular with bears, the fetish community, and anyone who’s interested in exploring the dark room. The clothing check is always open!

Amsterdam gay bars
Amsterdam gay bars
The Web gay bar clothing check

The Web occasionally hosts orgy parties featuring sexy porn stars in their darkroom space. Other more frequent events include Sunday Social, Bear Social, and Singalong Fridays. See the latest on The Web’s Facebook page.

The Web gay bar clothing check

The Cuckoo’s Nest

The Cuckoo’s Nest is a small but noteworthy gay cruising bar with a darkroom downstairs. You’ll usually find gay locals hanging out here, and during the day there’s more of an older crowd.

The overall vibe is quite casual, so it’s a great gay spot to grab an afternoon drink. If you’re coming for the darkroom, try Cuckoo’s nest later in the evening.

Amsterdam gay club

Eagle Amsterdam

Eagle Amsterdam is unquestionably the best gay dance club in the city. A three-story club with a cruising area, this venue is bigger than most other Eagle leather bars around the world.

Eagle Amsterdam gay bar and club
Eagle Amsterdam gay bar and club
Amsterdam gay club

And while Eagle Amsterdam is technically branded as a leather bar (and surely hosts leather and kink-oriented events), you can find all types of guys here. Drag queens, too!

Wear your best leather party gear to the club, along with a sexy jockstrap if you’ll plan on cruising!

PRIK Amsterdam

PRIK

PRIK is one of the most highly-rated gay bars in Amsterdam. An award-winning, pink-themed cocktail bar and restaurant, everyone loves spending an afternoon or evening here.

PRIK Amsterdam gay bar
PRIK Amsterdam gay bar
PRIK Amsterdam

Their streetside terrace seating is perfect for warmer months, where you can take in the vibes of the city.

Pamela

I absolutely need to mention Pamela for their delicious food and cocktails. Pamela is a queer bar and restaurant with relaxed, friendly vibes. Their outdoor seating is super cute, too! On weekdays from 10 AM to 5 PM, the restaurant functions as a queer workspace.

Amsterdam Gay Parties

3xnyx at Club NYX

Club NYX turns into a raving gay club on Saturday nights when they host their popular queer party called 3xnyx. These events have some pretty epic themes like Disney Kweens, Royalty, and Kingsize.

Each of the club’s three unique floors has a distinct vibe and plays music different genres of music. There’s even a DJ booth in the bathroom. Take an afternoon power nap because parties at Club NYX go all night long, often until 8 AM or 9 AM the next morning!

Bear-Necessity Amsterdam

Bear-Necessity is exactly the type of Amsterdam gay party you think it is—an attitude-free event for the bear community as well as their admirers. Everyone is welcome and you definitely see a diverse crowd.

Amsterdam gay party
Amsterdam gay party
Amsterdam gay bear party

This gay party is massive, held at a local club called Panama Amsterdam. Expect sexy dancers, a sea of handsome men, and epic music. And if you’re looking for a party to show off your sexy harness, this is definitely it.

Amsterdam gay bear party

Furball

Furball is an epic, sexy, Amsterdam-based gay party for bears and butch guys. It’s essentially a gay cruising party where everyone checks their clothes for a social and sexy night.

The party is held bi-monthly at Club Church, which was recently renovated. Tickets are pretty cheap too—often about 13 euros. Be sure to buy them online in advance

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Amsterdam Gay Travel Tips

Keep Some Cash Handy

If you’ll be spending a night out exploring Amsterdam’s gay nightlife, keep a little cash handy because many venues charge to use the restroom! It can be pretty frustrating when you’ve really got to go and have no way to pay!

The Central Ferry is Free!

Amsterdam has a convenient network of ferries operated by GVB that connect the north and south parts of the city across the IJ River. And the best part—all these local ferries are free!

free Amsterdam ferries
free Amsterdam ferries
exploring Amsterdam by ferry

Even if you don’t end up needing to use the ferry to get to your hotel or other attractions, taking a ferry ride is a great way to see some of the city.

exploring Amsterdam by ferry

Don’t Lug Your Baggage Around

Carrying your luggage around is no fun, especially along the narrow and busy streets of Amsterdam. I distinctly remember how unpleasant it was getting my roller suitcases just from the central train station to my accommodation.

Drop your bags at an Amsterdam luggage locker to leave the weight behind whenever your accommodations can’t hold your stuff.

gay amsterdam traveler

Finding Groceries & Healthy Snacks

As someone who often stays in VRBO and Airbnb apartments, I always stop by a local market to grab some snacks and breakfast food. I quickly realized though, that this isn’t the easiest thing to do in Amsterdam.

cafes with sweet treats
cafes with sweet treats
gay amsterdam traveler

You’ll notice that the majority of corner stores and shops largely sell candy and other sweet treats, which makes sense given Cannabis is legal for personal use, making those who partake crave snack food.

I’d recommend planning out a convenient trip to an actual grocery store. Otherwise, you might waste time on your fabulous trip going from candy shop to candy shop!

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Explore more of northern Europe with wolfyy’s gay guides to Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Need more ideas for gay destinations? Explore wolfyy’s full collection of gay travel guides.

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