Gay Bars in Amsterdam
Given its position as one of the gay capitals of Europe, Amsterdam has many gay nightlife options to offer. The choice is wide ranging, with something to suit every taste, and the selection is far too vast to list every gay bar in Amsterdam. This list presents a selection of the best Amsterdam gay bars from a cross-section of styles and subcultures.
Without doubt the most popular gay bar in the city, SoHo is where every night out in the Amsterdam gay scene begins. This two level bar has enough of a club vibe to make the perfect launch pad for a night of dancing and club hopping. The dark wood interior is at its best in the upstairs smoking room, where it gives the feeling of a library or Victorian gentlemen’s club. During the summer, the SoHo terrace grows to merge with that of Taboo across the street, turning the whole street into an outdoor party.
Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 36
A fun, welcoming disco bar not far from Dam Square, Prik is a mainstay of the Amsterdam gay bar scene. Here the crowd of regulars from the city’s gay community rubs shoulders with gay tourists who know Prik’s reputation and straight visitors drawn by the attractive terrace and music. The bar has a nice selection of local Amsterdam beers, with specials that change daily. When you tire of hitting the dance floor, the smoking area outside makes an excellent marijuana-friendly place to relax and chat.
Address: Spuistraat 109
Definitely one of the must-see gay bars in Amsterdam, Lellebel is a drag venue where the best drag queens in the city come to showcase their talents. The interior can get a bit cramped as people flock to the shows, but it is always worth the tight quarters. When they’re not performing, the drag queens work behind the bar serving drinks and bringing glamour to any conversation they take part in. Tuesdays are karaoke nights and highly recommended. Every year, Lellebel is by far the best Amsterdam gay bar to visit for Halloween.
Address: Utrechtsestraat 4
The Queen’s Head
Aside from having one of the greatest names of any Amsterdam gay bar, The Queen’s Head is also one of the greatest bars on the Zeedijk. Since it is just a short walk from Central Station, this is the perfect place for first or last drinks on a visit to Amsterdam. On Tuesdays, the bar hosts a drag queen bingo night that is always guaranteed fun. One of the nicest features of The Queen’s Head is its small smoking room, which opens up directly onto a canal and makes a great daytime hangout.
Address: Zeedijk 20
With its cramped quarters, loud music and dark red lighting, Montemarte is the epitome of the hectic Amsterdam gay bar. Located just off the popular nightlife area of Rembrandtplein, the bar’s popularity comes partly from the fact that it has been part of the scene for so long, and partly from the simple, fun vibe of the place. One downside is that the venue charges to use the bathroom, but with free entrance and a closing time of 04:00 on the weekends, this does little to deter late night partygoers.
Address: Halvemaansteeg 17
This mainstream bar on the busy Warmoesstraat at the edge of the Red Light District is a great place to come for a cocktail or a burger with a group of friends, gay or straight. The friendly atmosphere, funky interior design (keep an eye on the changing decorations sported by the dumb-waiter), extensive cocktail menu and a selection of burgers named after famous Amsterdam drag queens make Getto the kind of place where “one drink” turns into an entire night. Happy hour is from 17:00 to 19:00 most evenings, except Sundays when bubble cocktails are reduced all day.
Address: Warmoesstraat 51
Spijker is a very different place from the other bars on this list. With its low ceilings, ever-busy pool table and regular crowd of bearded men, this basement room looks more like a heavy metal bar than a gay venue. Spijker’s position as a favourite of the leather scene is evident from the gay porn playing on TV screens behind the bar. This porn is often coupled with Disney cartoons, for an amusingly surreal experience. The vibe here is laid back and relaxed, aimed at a slightly older crowd than the incessantly noisy venues above.
Address: Kerkstraat 4