Amsterdam is a must for gay and lesbian travelers to visit at least once. But be warned, once visited, you’ll want to return again and again. Amsterdam is one of Europe’s smallest cities and is built around concentric rings of canals. The architecture is truly distinctive and dates back many centuries. Life revolves around the canals. Canal side fruit and flower markets, open air cafés and street performers create a unique atmosphere. Everyone seems to cycle so you need your wits about you when crossing the narrow streets. And everyone seems to own a dog so watch where you step!

Amsterdam offers plenty of accommodation options for the gay and lesbian traveler. Bed and brunch has become a trendy way to stay, similar to traditional bed and breakfast accommodation in the UK and USA. Gay travelers stay in canal side homes of local people so it’s an easy way to settle into the Dutch way of living. Alternatively, there are any number of hotels to meet all budgets and tastes. They range from the very one of a kind Black Tulip to The Golden Bear Hotel, the first gay hotel in Amsterdam to the B&B Barangay. And that’s not counting the variety of international hotels and hostels the dot the city.

Gay and lesbian travelers will find plenty to do, day and night. Museums, galleries, gardens, concert halls and boutique stores are world class. The same goes for the wide range of restaurant and café’s. The night life is equally vibrant with choices to satisfy the most eclectic tastes.  Reguiliersdwarsstraat and Kerkstraat is the popular gay center of town as is Rembrandtplein Square, both great places to check out the local scene. Many travelers seek out the Gay Memorial near Westerkerk, where the Anne Frank House is also located.

Amsterdam is a gay and lesbian destination like no other. If you are planning a visit, check out our recommendations, and once you’ve visited be sure to update us with your accommodation review, or general travel stories on the Pink Choice Gay Travel Forum.

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