A celebration of love, unity and connection. The whole rainbow family and their supporters from all over the world will come to our vibrant metropolis below sea level. Safety, accessibility, and affordability are the key concepts for a successful event where history will be written by all participants and spectators.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is an efficient, ultra-modern gateway to the Netherlands. Over the years, it has grown into Europe’s preferred airport, with 104 airlines operating direct flights to 332 destinations in 97 countries. In 2019, the number of travelers grew to almost 70 million, and 1.6 million tonnes of cargo handled. From Schiphol, you can get to the center of Amsterdam within 15 minutes by taxi and every 8 minutes there is a train going to various Amsterdam stations.
Dutch Railways (NS), carries nearly a million passengers a day. The NS national network covers all corners of the Netherlands. NS International operates daily international routes in collaboration with high-speed rail networks, including ICE, Thalys, TGV, CityNightline, and Eurostar. Between them, they serve dozens of destinations on a daily basis, including Brussels (2 hrs), Paris (3 hrs 20 min), Frankfurt (4 hrs) and London (4 hrs 10 min)
The most popular ferry from the UK to Amsterdam sails from Newcastle and is operated by DFDS Seaways. Currently they offer 7 weekly trips at a duration of 16 hours and 45 minutes.
The Amsterdam metropolitan region has a capacity of +/- 200,000 beds. Divided over Hotels 128,000, Airbnb 62,000, and Camping (10,000). There are male/female only hostels and camping sites. Prices range from €40 per night for a shared bedroom in a hostel to €975 a night for a double room in a 5-star plus hotel.
Eating & Drinking
There are countless breakfast and lunch places and coffee shops. In the trendy Noord district, you can find industrial-style restaurants and cafes on the water. In summertime, going on a picnic and relaxing in the sun in one of our beautiful city parks or forests is almost a must-do activity. The city has 25 Michelin-star restaurants, and in the segment below there are hundreds of restaurants with a very good price/quality ratio. Cuisine from literally all parts of the world is represented. Takeaways and (speedy) deliveries are also heavily used. In short: no matter how expensive or cheap you want to make your trip, Amsterdam always has something to offer.
A super-sized Big Mac meal will cost you €10.95, a three-course tourist meal in a downtown grill restaurant, €19.50, a beer €3.50 (200ml) and €6,50 (500ml), and a Coca Cola €3.00 (220ml). A typical Dutch meal is eating a croquet (€2.60) out of a wall shop.
Amsterdam has a very good public transport network. It is clean, safe, and reliable. Calls and written announcements are made in Dutch and English. There are trains, buses, trams, metros, and (free) ferry connections.
Exploring the City
Exploring Amsterdam by public transport can be a good idea when it is raining. But when it is dry, there are much nicer alternatives. You can go on a canal cruise, rent an electric boat, or do what the locals do and rent a bike. In Amsterdam the distances are short and the bike paths are fantastic.
The city was not bombed in the Second World War, so all the monuments are still proudly standing. The 17th-century city center with its famous ring of canals (UNESCO Heritage) is well-worth walking through, and there are hundreds of terraces to choose from, where you can have lunch or a drink in the sun. You can also take an LGBT-history tour with a guide named Henk, who will take you to spots of special interest.
I Amsterdam Card
With this card you get access to all major highlights and more than 70 museums, city-wide public transport, a canal cruise, and bicycle rent. You can buy cards for 24, 48, 72, 96, or 120 hours (120 hours €135). The City Card is valid on all transport by GVB. If you are only looking for public transport, you would be better off buying a GVB card (120 hours €29,95).
The Dutch government is working to combat alcohol abuse in society. At Pride, only soft drinks and virgin cocktails are served to minors.
You are not allowed to smoke in enclosed public spaces In the Netherlands. Smoking is allowed outside, except in train stations, non-smoking terraces, or when standing in doorways.
Soft Drugs Policy
Marijuana and hash are less damaging than hard drugs, therefor the Netherlands has applied a policy of tolerance, meaning that you will not be prosecuted for possession of small quantities (max. 5 grams).
STI Outpatient Clinic
If you are warned that you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or have symptoms that could indicate one, you are eligible to a free consultation (examination and treatment if necessary) at the STI Outpatient Clinic of the Public Health Service.
HIV and Prep
45 years after the first Aids patients where hospitalized, we are still fighting HIV. For men who have sex with other men, Prep is therefor dispensed by the Outpatient Clinic for free.
Woman are the owners of their own bodies in the Netherlands. Therefor, it is legal to have an abortion up to 22 weeks after getting pregnant.
The Amsterdam hospitals all have excellent A&E departments. The city also has 24-hour dental clinics.
Amsterdam has almost 1,000 ‘regular’ cafes and bars where everybody is welcome, but is most famous for its LGBTI+ nightlife. Apart from various semi- or completely illegal underground parties, nightlife mainly takes place in the center of the city.
In the car-free Reguliersdwarsstraat, you will find a row of modern gay and open-minded bars. Bar Blend and Blend XL, the Taboo Bar and Kantine, the Exit, Soho (yes, a London-themed pub in Amsterdam), Club Nyx and various restaurants with equally diverse cuisine.
Gay Old Town
The fetish happenings take place in the Warmoesstraat, the oldest street in Amsterdam. There you will find the Eagle Bar for tough men, and the Dirty Dicks for men who like it a little dirty. Around the corner, on the Zeedijk, you will find The Queen’s Head, which is the bar with bingo.
Close by, in the Spuistraat area, you will also find two fetish bars with darkrooms and everything. On the Nieuwezijdskolk, you will find The Cuckoo’s Nest, and around the corner in Sint Jacobsstraat, The Web. In Spuistraat itself you will find Bar Prik, perhaps the only bar where you will find a mix of the whole LGBT community.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
From the same owners as Club Church is the Sauna Nieuwezijds (NZ), the only gay sauna in Amsterdam. Sometimes there is an event or theme, but usually it is just simple cruising with only a towel around your waist. The NZ sauna is located on the Nieuwezijds Armsteeg.
Just a few steps away from the Leidseplein, you will find the golden oldie ‘The Spijkerbar’ at the head of the Kerkstraat. Women are welcome, but they cannot go upstairs. On the next corner, you will find the cruise Club Church, with a different sex theme every day. There are also nights for women and trans people.
In the Utrechstestraat, you will find cafe Brug34 with an all-day breakfast and lunch, and a little closer to the square, The Lellebel, where drag has been elevated to an art form. In the Halvemaansteeg, you will find the more traditional Dutch bars, Amstel54 and Cafe Montmartre. If you want to go out Caribbean style, then visit Cafe Reality, which is just around the corner of the square in Reguliersdwarsstraat.
Women are welcome in all gay bars but will feel especially welcome at Cafe Saarein, which is in the heart of the Jordaan. They are also be welcome at Bar Buka in the Albert Cuypstraat, where you can also find the city’s famous market which is open every day.
Amsterdam would not be Amsterdam if there was not a party (or two or more) every week. Every week on Sunday, you are welcome at Amsterdam’s first gay and lesbian disco, De Trut, in the basement of an old building at Bilderdijkstraat 165. Doors open at 22:00.
For hairy men and their fans, there is Furball in Club Church four times a year, and the somewhat larger Bear Necessity (also during WorldPride) in the beautiful Panama building, which is within walking distance of Central Station. The famous Funhouse and Rapido parties also take place during WorldPride. Same owner, same location (Westergasfabriek) and same concept, pounding house has half-naked boys and men gleaming with sweat. Same concept, but perhaps a little milder, are the Backdoor Parties in Melkweg, near Leidseplein.
Milkshake is a popular two-day festival at the Westerpark, for which you will need to buy tickets months in advance. This festival is the result of what happened years ago when two of the biggest open-minded clubs in Amsterdam threw their Love and Tolerance Policy in a blender together with art, culture, entertainment, and creativity.