Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
What's on
See and do
Travel and stay
City Card and tickets
Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Queer Walk 2023.
Image from Jan de Ridder

Guide to Amsterdam's LGBTQI+ scene

Amsterdam has a wealth of venues, parties and events catering to the LGBTQI+ community. Here’s our guide on what to check out.

Hit the bars

Cafe Het Mandje on the Zeedijk

A mention of the photographer is necessary, except for internal use of social media of amsterdam&partners
Image from Pauline Arkesteijn

Home to numerous bars catering to diverse tastes, Amsterdam has everything from fun and friendly to dark and dirty. No matter what you’re up for, you’ll feel at home. PrikThe Queen’s Head and Café ‘t Mandje are welcoming and popular pubs for locals and visitors alike. Alternatively, head to TabooSoHo or Exit Café on Reguliersdwarsstraat for a tipple, whilst old favourites like De Spijker and Eagle Amsterdam cater to the leather scene. Other key spots to visit include Café Montmartre and Amstel 54. Both around Rembrandtplein, Café Montmartre brings a little bit of Paris to the heart of Amsterdam, while Amstel 54 is a low-key old-school hangout. On Utrechtsestraat, there is the Netherlands’ only drag queen café, De Lellebel, which is renowned for its glittering lip-sync performances. And for the lesbian scene, check out Bar Buka or Café Saarein. New addition Bar Bario is an inclusive bar and creative hub explicitly focusing on the BPOC, Trans & Queer communities. 

Read our dedicated guides to the various LGBTQI+ neighbourhoods of Amsterdam and around up of LGBTQI+ bars and cafes.

Dance on down

Amsterdam’s reputation as a party city is well-known, and the LGBTQI+ community knows a thing or two about how to have a good time. Club Church hosts regular club nights such as "BLUE', where great music goes hand in hand with special nights catering to diverse tastes and fetishes. Exit and Club NYX are both staples in Amsterdam's LGBTQI+ clubbing scene but welcome everyone through their doors. Rapido and Backdoor have gained a reputation for their debauched parties, where DJs and performances set the stage for wild times on heaving dance floors. The eclectic agenda at Sexyland World hosts everything from Queer Chess Club meet-ups to sweaty dance parties. Or head to De Trut for their infamous volunteer-run queer disco every Sunday night.

Tip: Keep an eye out for parties hosted by Spielraum (a queer club night) or ...IsBurning - an LGBTQI+ night initially founded at Trouw but which regularly pops up at changing venues across the city, particularly around Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) and Queer & Pride.

Read our full guide to LGBTQI+ partying in the capital.

Grab a bite

Need to fuel up? Across the city you’ll find a host of LGBTQI+-friendly restaurants serving great food with flavours from across the globe. Head to Lunchroom Downtown in the heart of Reguliersdwarsstraat for a relaxing bite as you sit and watch the passing throng. PAMELA in Oud-West is a highly popular boozy brunch spot by day and cocktail bar with a sweaty basement dancefloor by night. Mankind’s canal-side location is perfect for a quiet lunch, particularly when the weather is warm, or find your way to Brug34 on Utrechtsestraat, where delicious drinks and snacks await.

Drag it up

Dancers at Milkshake Festival 2019 in Westerpark
Image from Ievgeniia Pavlenko

The popularity of drag continues to increase, even here in Amsterdam. The first edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race Holland was broadcast in 2020 and you can see drag acts in many bars and clubs throughout the week. Want some meat with your fish (drag dictionary: a ‘fish’ is a very feminine queen)? Head to 't Sluisje, where a steak dinner and a dynamite show guarantee a good night out. In June, Superball Amsterdam comes to Paradiso, a fierce drag competition that sees Europe’s boldest drag houses battle it out to take the crown.

For everything from vogue balls to bingo nights, here's a handy guide to Amsterdam's sparkling drag scene

Catch a flick

Rialto cinema front of building at night
Image from Bas Losekoot

There’s a lot for film buffs in Amsterdam. It’s Pride Night at Pathé on the first Wednesday of the month, where a different LGBTQI+-focussed film is screened each time. In March, Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days) at Ketelhuis cinema in Westerpark plays a selection of movies from across the globe, all with LGTBQI+ themes and with many in English. During Queer & Pride in July-August, you'll find a colossal cultural programme, including spectacular open-air film screenings as well as talks, debates, photography exhibitions and much more. Around December, the International Queer and Migrant Film Festival highlights films with themes around queerness with a focus on migrants. It’s always a must-see.

Feel the heat

A crowd of people watching a man in a costume performing - Pride park festival
Image from Jan de Ridder

As the days warm up, the festival season unfolds, and the LGBTQI+ scene sizzles. Tropikali brings the spirit of Rio’s Carnivale to Amsterdam with an eclectic line-up of beats and grooves. Milkshake gets people in the mood with a fabulous atmosphere catering to the LGBTQI+ community; the focus is on respect, freedom and love for everyone. And the big ticket item is Queer & Pride Amsterdam. Towards the end of July and into early August, a dazzling ten-day programme featuring parties, exhibitions, performances, sports, and so much more culminates with a glittering bang as Canal Parade sees lavishly decorated floats sail along, cheered on by crowds. And when that concludes, the streets, bars and squares fill with proud revellers as the party continues well into the wee hours. After a month or two's rest, the leather community comes out to play at Amsterdam Leather Pride late in autumn.

Join the community

Aerial view of the Homomonument (Gay monument).
Image from Henri Blommers

Regarding marches and activism, the Homomonument by the Westerkerk is often one of the central meeting points for the LGBTQIA+ community in Amsterdam. You can read more about its poignant history on this LGBTQI+ walking route. Next to the monument, you'll also find Pink Point, Amsterdam's official LGBTQI+ information kiosk, which provides information about the Homomonument and general information on LGBTQI+ services, groups and information centres in Amsterdam. It is staffed by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers and presents a wide range of information leaflets and flyers from local organisations.

If you're looking to go beyond these spots, here's a list of LGBTQI+ areas in Amsterdam.