One of the city’s biggest and brightest events of the year, Amsterdam Pride is back and set to be another glittering, rainbow-hued extravaganza.
From beach parties to walking tours, open-air cinema nights to the Drag Olympics — and let’s not forget the much-anticipated climactic Canal Pride Parade — Amsterdam Pride has it all.
Whatever floats your boat, be sure to immerse yourself in the exuberant, colourful, and diverse LGBT+ events the lively capital has to offer.
Celebrating Amsterdam Pride
Pride Amsterdam is a vibrant city-wide festival celebrating the culture and diversity of the LGBT+ community. The annual event takes place every July/August and culminates in the Canal Parade, typically on the first Saturday of August.
Amsterdam Pride is undoubtedly a joyous, feel-good party, but it’s also a way to remember pivotal events in the history of gay rights.
Like many other Pride festivals across the world, Amsterdam Pride commemorates the Stonewall riots. In 1969, these New York riots followed a police raid on the gay-, lesbian-, and trans-friendly bar, the Stonewall Inn. The LGBT+ community, enraged by the continued harassment and violence aimed at them, took to the streets in protest in six days of violent clashes.
The Stonewall uprising inspired the creation of hundreds of gay rights organisations all over the US and sparked the gay rights movement that swept across America and eventually Europe. Pride parades, inspired by the original New York marches, now take place across the world, including in Amsterdam.
Uniquely to Amsterdam Pride, “Pink Saturday” or “Roze Zaterdag” is also commemorated. On 14 April 1979, an LGBT+ activist group organised a demonstration in Amersfoot in response to homophobic statements made by the Bishop of Roermond. During the demonstration, LGBT+ people and allies were abused, spat on, and attacked by police and locals as they marched through the streets in what was a very dark day in Dutch history.
In commemoration of Pink Saturday and the Stonewall riots, and in celebration of Amsterdam’s LBGT+ community, the first Gay Pride Amsterdam was held in 1996.
This year’s Pride will be held from 30 July ‘til 7 August. The event culminates in the Canal Parade on Saturday 6 August and Closing Party on Sunday 7 August.
Amsterdam Pride Parade
The highlight of Amsterdam Pride, the Canal Parade, sees thousands of revellers party along the banks of Amsterdam’s famous canals as hundreds of colourful, vibrant, rainbow-donned floats pass (or literally float!) by.
People of all sexualities, gender representations, ages, and backgrounds cheer, dance and enjoy the festivities as passing singers and dancers entertain the bustling crowd. Previous years have seen flag-waving Flyboard riders, Dutch military floats, and even dancing undertakers!
This year’s theme “My Gender, My Pride” embraces the diversity of gender identity – that everyone has the right to self-determine and deviate from the sex assigned to them at birth.
The Canal Parade kicks off at noon on Saturday 6 August at Oosterdok. It will weave its way through Nieuwe Herengracht to Amstel, through Prisengracht and end at Westerdok. Check out the Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade Route for a more detailed look at the parade’s planned journey.
Things to do at Amsterdam Pride 2022
Amsterdam Pride parties
Women Pride Party at the Beach
Ladies (including anyone who identifies as a woman), don your best beachy glad rags and head to Zandvoort for a night of boogie. You’ll be eased in with some relaxed lounge beats, but don’t be fooled, as the sun goes down the DJs will be ramping things up with some Pride bangers!
Sunday 31 July, 4 pm – 11 pm at Beachpaviljoen ONS, Zandvoort. Bag yourself a ticket for €12.50.
Hosted in the enormous 5,000-capacity GasHouder, this gay dance night is sure to wow. Go-go dancers, light shows, and world-class international DJs will keep you entertained and dancing all night long.
Friday 5 August at GasHouder, Klonneplein 1, 1014 DD. The party kicks off at 10 pm and ends at 7 am. Tickets are €30.61.
The party peaks on the final day of Pride as performers and famous LGBT+ faces appear on the Main Stage in Dam Square. The line-up is yet to be announced, but it’s sure to include a stellar cast – keep your eyes peeled!
Sunday 7 August, Dam Square, 2 – 10 pm.
B:EAST – the Pride After
If the Closing Party leaves you thirsty for more, then head to B:EAST Amsterdam for the biggest afterparty in town. The king of after hours, DJ Abel, will be bringing the best of Berlin techno to keep you partying well into the early hours.
Sunday 7 August at Radion, Louwesweg 1, 1066. The party runs from 11.59 pm – 9 am, and tickets start at €18.41.
Amsterdam Pride cultural events
The city’s beautiful Vondelpark hosts the popular Pride Park. Peruse the merchandise at the Rainbow Market, enjoy performances at the Open Air Theatre, get sporty, or embrace your artistic side with Pride Park’s diverse activities. Stay tuned for a full schedule coming soon.
Saturday 30 July, 11 am – 10 pm at Vondelpark.
The LGBT Gay History Tour
Join your tour guide as they take you on a historic walking tour around Amsterdam. From the first monument in the world dedicated to LGBT+ victims of the Holocaust, to the history of the Red Light District, you’ll learn all about LGBT+ history from the 17th century to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2001.
Tours take place on 3 – 6 August and start at the Homomonument. Tours start at 3 pm and last for around 2 hours.
Get set to cheer on the drag queen and king competitors as they battle it out in the 100m Stiletto Sprint, Bitch Volleyball, Equestrian Dressage, and the Handbag Toss. Surprise games and a special medal ceremony round off an eventful evening.
Friday 5 August at the Homomonument. The Opening Ceremony begins at 7 pm!
Open Air Cinema Gershwinplein
Popcorn at the ready! Check out some LGBT+ movie classics at one of Amsterdam’s free pink cinema nights. Stay tuned for the full programme yet to be announced.
Friday 5 August, 8 pm, Gershwinplein
Other fun things to do in Amsterdam
If you need a bit of respite from all the Pride festivities, or just want to weave in some other sightseeing when you’re in town, check out some of the other many fun and entertaining activities Amsterdam has on offer.
If you’re a culture vulture, you’ll find some of the best museums in Amsterdam. Take in Rembrandt’s famous Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum, embrace your cat obsession at the Kattenkabinet or delight and grimace at the macabre anatomy museum, Museum Vrolik.
If museums aren’t your bag, there are lots of other fun things to do in Amsterdam. Why not take a bike tour of the city, hit the beach at Pllek, or take a ride on Europe’s highest swing?
When the sun goes down, you won’t be short of things to do in Amsterdam at night. Wander around the Red Light District, take in a classical concert at the Concertbouw, or hit up one of the many stunning rooftop bars in Amsterdam.
To sum up
See Amsterdam at its vibrant and colourful best during Amsterdam Pride. Take in a drag show (or drag race…), learn a little LGBT+ history, wave at the passing canal floats, or party the night away at some of the biggest and best club nights. Whatever your vibe, there’s lots to enjoy at Amsterdam’s annual celebration of all things LGBT+.
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