Gay hotels Amsterdam – a gay guide to the city
An introduction to Gay hotels Amsterdam – the city’s gay and gay-friendly accommodation
Looking for gay hotels Amsterdam? Being such a gay-freindly place, it’s not quite as necessary to stay in an exclusively gay hotel in the city. However, there are a few gay-only hotels and guesthouses in the centre of Amsterdam catering to those who feel like hanging out with other gay travelers. Pretty much all of the other hotels in Amsterdam are gay-friendly and very gay-aware, but we’d recommend staying as centrally as possible to avoid lengthy trips into the city each day. If you use the Gay Welcome interactive map, you’ll find lots of hotels listed. The two main gay areas of the city are also marked on the map (one is the leather / bear area, the other the main gay area), so you can easily see which hotels and bed and breakfasts are closest to the action.
An Introduction to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most beautiful and romantic cities. Built on the proceeds of trade and finance, Amsterdam is both a royal capital and a testament to the style and affluence of its merchants who, in the 17th century, made Amsterdam the wealthiest city in the world.
Breaking free from Spanish rule the newly formed Dutch Republic was a beacon of religious, economic and intellectual tolerance. Its merchant ships sailed the world. Its financiers established the first stock exchange. And its builders created a stunning network of canals, bridges and houses that today makes it such a unique city. In 2010 Amsterdam’s canal belt became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Amsterdam is now the seat of the royal family, although not of government which presides in The Hague, with the resultant royal palaces and state buildings adding to the architectural and cultural mix.
If it is your first trip to Europe, make sure to include Amsterdam on your itinerary. The ‘Venice of the North’ has a character of its own and here you will find something to cater to everyone’s taste – a thriving cultural scene, a rich historic legacy, serious partying, charming architecture and friendly people.
In 2001 the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage. The age of consent is 16, although, curiously, 18 for prostitutes!
In the 1980s Amsterdam was undoubtedly the gay capital of Europe with easy sex and soft drugs being a great draw. Today this status has diminished somewhat as gay scenes in other countries have grown and a slightly more conservative attitude has permeated into the sex and drug industries in Amsterdam.
Nevertheless, Amsterdam is a great place for gay people. Compact, friendly, mainly English speaking the city’s mayor has called it “the gay way to Europe”. Amsterdam, with its famous red-light district (prostitution is not a crime), saunas, over 30 gay bars, 3 major nightclubs and some of Europe’s largest weekly and monthly gay parties and plenty of gay hotels Amsterdam has a lot to offer to the gay traveler.
There are a number of gay areas in Amsterdam but all are close to each other. The most well known two gay streets are Regulliersdwarsstraat and the Amstel area with Amsterdam’s main concentration of bars. Warmoesstraat/Zeedijk has a more mature and leather scene, both in the city centre and not too far from each other. The Kerkstraat area is the oldest gay neighborhood, very friendly and where you will find most of the gay accommodation.
With its 1500 bridges, the city’s canals stage three of the largest and most interesting events. First there is Queen’s Day on 30 April, which sees Amsterdam packed with straights and gays to celebrate the official birthday of the country’s monarchs. Then on the Saturday of the first full weekend in August there is Gay Pride - an amazing event on land and water. And finally October sees Leather Pride. Visiting Amsterdam during these events is highly recommended, as the city shows its most friendly and charming side, welcoming visitors from all over the world.
Best for meeting locals
Best events listing sites
If you’re looking to see what’s on in Amsterdam, then the Gay Welcome Events in Amsterdam section is a great start – it lists only the biggest and best events for gay people in the city. For a much wider range of events – try Gay Amsterdam and Iamsterdam.
Best tourist information site
Best restaurant site
The food has improved hugely in Amsterdam, and the city now offers some of the world’s best restaurants. You’ll also find a really good range of cuisines on offer – with some especially good Indonesian restaurants. To find a good place to eat, check out the Amsterdam.info website.
Best shopping guide
Amsterdam is a great city for shopping. To find out what to buy where in the city, try About.com’s Amsterdam Shopping Guide. It lists the best shopping neighborhoods as well as the top markets and lists of certain types of shops.
Best for Gay listings’ magazines
One of the best ways to find out what’s happening in any European city in terms of gay bars, clubs, saunas and shops is to pick up one of the local gay listings magazines. In Amsterdam – look out for the Pink Point Guide, available at newsagents and certain bars.
Our top sightseeing tips:
- Rijksmuseum – One of the world’s best museums, with a large collection of Dutch masters, including Rembrandt’s Night Watch – don’t forget to visit its gardens.
- Anne Frank House – A museum dedicated to the life of the young Jewish girl who kept a diary while hiding from the Nazis during the Second World War -
- Amsterdam Museum – With the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions giving you a good picture of the history of Amsterdam.
- The Canal Bus – Take a ride through Amsterdam’s canals to visit many attractions, such as the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House using its hop-on/hop-off service.
- Red Light District/De Wallen – Located south of Central Station and east of Damrak – refrain from taking photos of prostitutes or you may loose your camera.
- Amsterdam Tulip Museum.
- Rent a bicycle – 50% of Amsterdammers use their bikes daily – or tour Amsterdam by bike.
- Architectour – organised tours showing the best in architecture, housing and urban development – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amsterdam’s Flower Market / Bloemenmarkt
- Coffee shops – Amsterdam is famous also for its cannabis bars
Nieuwendijk and Haarlemstraat, close to Central Station, offers the finest food stores in town. The Nine Streets, also called De Negen Straatjes, between Leidsegracht and the Raadhuisstraat, crossing the four main canals: Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, are a shopper’s paradise. Alternatively, visit the outdoor markets such as Albert Cuyp Markt, Ten Cate Market, Dappermarkt, and Lindengracht.
Like most European capitals, Amsterdam also offers a mixture of travel and discount cards to tourists, called the I amsterdam City Card.
Driving in Amsterdam is not recommended mainly because you don’t need to and because parking fees are very high (€5 an hour). Amsterdam is ideal for walking and cycling both of which allow you to immerse yourself in the unique, watery atmosphere of this beautiful city. We recommend you find a gay hotel close to the centre of Amsterdam.
New is Car2Go, which is a really cool concept with electric cars. Taxis are plentiful although relatively expensive.
Situated just 15 km from the Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports. It is easily connected by train from Amsterdam Central Station (15-20 minutes), by Hotel Shuttle, inexpensively by bus, or rather expensively by cab.
If you are arriving by train, Amsterdam Central Station is located right in the middle of the city. Cabs, buses and trams are available just outside the station.
For visitors arriving by cruise ships, the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam is close to the city centre, with easy access to the city centre by tram and cab.
If you’re looking for gay hotels Amsterdam, simply click the link below. You’ll be taken to our accommodation search page – so simply click The Netherlands on the map, or click the ‘Amsterdam’ link on the right. You’ll then see a map of gay hotels Amsterdam represented by pins.