Amsterdam has been a top destination for LGBTQ travellers for generations now, and it’s no surprise. The Dutch capital has a history of providing safe spaces for LGBTQ people, with the first gay bars appearing in the city as far back as the early 20th century.
These days, Amsterdam is home to one of the most famous Pride parades in the world, as well as some of the most progressive LGBTQ spaces in Europe, and a great deal of relevant history sure to be of interest.
Amsterdam’s Pride event is one of the biggest and most famous in the world. The event usually takes place over the last weekend of July and attracts more than 350,000 participants to the city.
Amsterdam is bathed in a rainbow hue, with gay and straight venues alike decorating themselves for the event. During the weekend you will find parties, film screenings, sporting events, debates, exhibitions and much more.
The biggest event of Amsterdam Pride, however, is the canal parade. The floats (which in this case literally do float!) make their way down the canals through the city. It really is quite a spectacle.
Probably the most important street in Amsterdam for LGBTQ businesses, Reguliersdwarsstraat is the home of one of Amsterdam’s first openly and unashamedly gay businesses, the Lunchroom Downtown.
The lunchroom is an espresso café and bar which opened with large windows, rather than being boarded up like many gay businesses were at the time.
These days, Reguliersdwarsstraat is home to a number of key bars, clubs, cafés and other businesses and should be the first destination for LGBTQ travellers looking for a good time.
Short for the Gay Tourist Information Centre, GAYtic is located on Spuistraat in Amsterdam and also offers an online service.
GAYtic aims to provide LGBTQ travellers with a full guide of what is available to them in the Dutch capital, created especially by locals in the know.
You can even order an information kit online before you travel so that you can prepare for your holiday.
So if you’re looking to plan a getaway in Amsterdam then there really isn’t a better place to start.
IHLIA Heritage Library
Home to the largest collection of LGBTQ literature in Europe, IHLIA Heritage Library is a fantastic place to educate yourself on the history of LGBTQ people in Amsterdam, Holland and Europe. The library is home to 1515 metres of shelf length, including everything from books, journals, magazines, films and even objects such as t-shirts, badges and condom wrappers.
Open to anybody, not just LGBTQ travellers, this library can serve as a vital educational tool on the history and culture of LGBTQ people.
Image credit: Darryl Mitchell
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