Amsterdam Gay Pride is one of the biggest and best gay events in the world. People from all corners of the globe flock to Amsterdam to take part in this internationally renowned knees-up, making it a great time to book a visit! This year the official Pride celebrations run from the 27th of July till the 4th of August, but there’s a general buzz around the city and a significant increase in people visiting on the days either side of the weekend too.
Did you know? The first official pride celebration was held in 1996. Unlike other Gay Prides, which began as demonstrations for equal rights, Amsterdam’s event was very much intended as a festival celebrating freedom and diversity.
Pride Canal Parade
The Canal Parade is one of the main highlights on the Amsterdam Gay Pride weekend and unless you’re hiding in a hole somewhere, it’s pretty hard to miss! A host of extravagantly decorated barges cruise along the canals putting on a real show for happy spectators, spreading the message of equality and having a hell of a lot of fun along the way. Expect pumping tunes, wacky themes and a big, gay day out that’s hard to beat.
When to arrive?
Arrive early and set yourself up with a nice spot. Bringing a camping chair or a blanket to sit on is also a great idea.
When is the parade?
The main Amsterdam Pride parade is held on Saturday 3rd of August, at 12:30 and then goes onto about 17:00.
Where is the Amsterdam Pride Parade?
The Amsterdam Pride Parade starts Scheepvaart museum in the eastern part of the city and then continues from there taking the Prinsengracht towards the Westerdok.
Check out the official site to see the full Amsterdam Pride parade route.
Amsterdam Pride Week Events
Every summer, Amsterdam comes to life with the legendary weekend-long party that is Amsterdam Pride. In 2008, Amsterdam Pride was announced to be the best Gay Pride in Europe. The same year, it also won the Welcome Award as the most hospitable event in Amsterdam. In 2009 it was one of the five events nominated as the best gay event in the world. Here are some of the main events that we think make the week so special:
Pride opening party
Kick off the celebrations in style and head to the official Amsterdam Pride opening party. Complete with acts, speeches, performances and DJ’s.
When? 27th July
6 stages, loads of DJ’s and shed loads of fun! Shake your tail feather at this very open-minded 2-day outdoor dance festival. Whether you’re big, small, gay straight, trans, black or white you’re all most welcome at Milkshake!
When? 27 - 28th July
Amsterdam Pride Street Parties
Head out into the city of Amsterdam and take the party to the streets. If you’re looking to party with the young and trendy, we recommend heading to Reguliersdwarsstraat behind the Bloemenmarkt. You can’t beat a street party in Amsterdam!
Where? Various locations across the city
When? 2nd Aug
Pride Drag Queen Olympics
The Pride Drag Queen Olympics are one of the most enjoyable and funniest events taking place during Pride. Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy competition? Last year saw 26 ladies from all corners of the globe battle it out in the Handbag Throw, the 100-meter stiletto Sprint and our personal favourite, the Tug-of-War.
Where? Homomonument, Westermarkt
When? Friday 2nd August
With so many events taking place over Amsterdam’s Pride Week, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and loads of different ways to get involved. We cannot recommend a visit to Amsterdam during Pride enough. It’s a fantastic and joyous occasion and has now been celebrated in for over twenty years!