Amsterdam had been a powerful city of maritime trade fame for many centuries. In the second half of the 20th century it was considered the gay capital of Europe due to the city's liberal atmosphere which was far ahead of most other European cities and countries and due to the beauty of the city.
With the rapid liberalisation in many parts of Europe since about 1995, Amsterdam has somewhat lost this advantage. Furthermore, as the Amsterdam gay scene seems to rest (with a few exceptions) on its best days in the 1980s and 1990s, it looses attractiveness especially among young gay men. Since a few years discussions and efforts have started to make Amsterdam's gay scene more vibrant and fresher again.
As our Amsterdam Gay Maps show, there are several gay areas in Amsterdam, all of them not really far from each other. First of all you got the street with the unpronounceable name, Reguliersdwarsstraat, which is rather mainstream and quite busy at the weekend. Nearby is the area around the Amstel street with its several gay bars, many of them in traditional Dutch style and atmosphere. Kerkstraat has two small gay hotels and a couple of old and new gay bars & clubs, and finally there is the Warmoesstraat with its gay cruise bars and fetish shops.
As you can see on the Clubs & Parties page there aren't many regular gay clubs and parties left in Amsterdam nowadays. The most popular and crowded parties are those which happen monthly or every few months. So, if you like dancefloors with hundreds of half-naked sweating guys, check for the next dates of those irregular parties in our News section.
Annual gay highlights in Amsterdam are New Year's Eve, the Queen’s Day on the 30th of April, the Amsterdam Gay Pride with the canal parade in August and the Leather Pride weekend in October.