Bars and clubs
There are a number of gay-friendly places to explore in the Netherlands, however la crème de la crème of LGBTI culture has to be Amsterdam. There are over 100 gay and lesbian bars, clubs, saunas, shops and hotels in the city, most of which will be found on the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amstel and Kerkstraat.
The most popular bars are Taboo, Spijker, Prik and Soho. Taboo is the starting place of a weekly pub crawl, where you will be guided through some of the LGBT highlights of Amsterdam. A very popular dance club for younger crowd is Club Nyx in the Reguliersdwarsstraat.
In the oldest quarter of Amsterdam lies the Zeedijk, the street where drag queens rule. You can join a bingo night in the Queen's Head, go to the historic Cafe 't Mandje or visit the famous gay bar De Engel van Amsterdam. One of the most popular drag show bars is Lellebel, situated on the Utrechtsestraat.
Amsterdam has an annual Gay Pride event which has been celebrated since 1996. The festival, which is held in late July to early August, is one of the largest publicly held events in Amsterdam, attracting around 500,000 people a year. The event reaches its peak at the Canal Parade, a parade in which hundreds of boats of different varieties participate.
In 2008 the Amsterdam Gay Pride was named Best Gay Pride of Europe and won the Welcome Award as most hospitable event in Amsterdam. A year later it was one of the five events that was nominated as the best LGBT event worldwide. In 2010 it won the Best City Promotion Event award.
For up-to-date information on LGBT events in and around the city, you can visit the IAmsterdam website.