Amsterdam is a city with a brazen reputation for hedonism and sinfully good fun, regardless of your colour, creed or sexuality. Its famously LGBTQ+ friendly attitude has made it a safe haven for locals and travellers who want to enjoy the city's inclusive nightlife scene. From streets dedicated entirely to LGBTQ+ nightlife to the world's oldest gay bar and decades-old drag bars – this is a city where you can engage in revelry every which way.
Check out our top experiences and attractions for an LGBTQ+ friendly night out in Amsterdam.
The Reguliersdwarsstraat is awash with all the colours of the rainbow every day of the year
Spanning the length of the Koningsplein up to the Rembrandtplein, Reguliersdwarsstraat is Amsterdam’s very own ‘gay street’ and a hub for diversity. This colourful, café-lined, cobblestoned street is alive with businesses catering especially for the LGBTQ+ community. You'll find a full spectrum of choices when it comes to places to eat, drink and dance into the early hours of the morning.
Reguliersdwarsstraat comes to life at night when its shopfronts are lit up with all the colours of the rainbow. From drag queens to Vikings, there's a club or bar to suit every taste located along this emblematic street.
"It's the most energetic and wild nightlife you can imagine", says Diva Mayday about Amsterdam's nightlife. Experience the city's dazzling drag culture and party like a local
Club YOLO is just a four-minute walk from the bustling Waterlooplein. Its waterfront location by the Amstel river makes this a great spot for a daytime al fresco drink, as well as a nighttime bash well into the witching hour.
Boasting a swanky bar that wraps around an intimate dance floor, Club YOLO is one of the better-kept secrets in the local nightlife scene. Night owls, rejoice – this place doesn't shut its doors until it's almost sunrise, especially on weekends. The DJs here usually belt out the chillest electro-house, but check out their programme to catch themed nights, including everything from drag to disco.
Club YOLO is notable for collaborating with Bar Blend, another LGBTQ+ bar just a stone's throw away. Together, they host comedy shows, performances and other community-focused entertainment.
A night out at De Trut promises a moody atmosphere full of surprises and guaranteed fun
De Trut is an LGBTQ+ disco in Amsterdam that emerged from the city's famous legal squatting scene. Once a dilapidated type foundry due for demolition, it was formally squatted and refurbished by the city's disco-loving LGBTQ+ community in 1981. Today, De Trut has one of Amsterdam's most famous LGBTQ+ nightlife scenes, and it prides itself on being non-commercial and totally volunteer-led.
This no-frills venue with ridiculously affordable drinks is well known for a strict no-phones policy that’s designed to preserve the club’s atmosphere and the privacy of its visitors. In addition to being a safe space for everyone who walks through its doors, the club also spearheads LGBTQ+ activism and contributes a portion of all sales to HIV research funding. De Trut even has its very own Trut Fund dedicated to empowering the LGBTQ+ community worldwide.
The Queen's Head
If you desire boisterous performances, upbeat music and drinks that flow all night long, you'll find all of these things at The Queen's Head drag bar. If you also like playing Bingo, this could be your lucky night.
Kitties, bears, queens and everything in between are welcome at this diverse venue, which has a bar at the front, a stage at the centre, and a sitting area at the back. The decor is decidedly Victorian, with heavy drapery and decadent red wallpaper that gives the place a sinfully lavish look. If you’re looking for a drag bar that captures the local drag scene – and you happen to be feeling lucky – the Queen’s Head should be on your list of bars to visit in Amsterdam.
Part art venue, part café, part bar – Bar Buka is a place for lesbians and women to eat, drink, meet and exhibit art. Centrally located right by the Albert Cuypmarkt, Bar Buka is fuelled by community support and female empowerment. From dealing with issues of decolonisation to boozy nights out meeting like-minded people, Bar Buka (which means 'open bar' in owner Marianne’s native Indonesian) serves up variety together with a tall drink.
This small yet lively venue is famous for hosting cocktail nights and exhibitions featuring artwork made by women – especially women in the LGBTQ+ community. Bar Buka is the newest addition to Amsterdam's LGBTQ+ nightlife scene but is already poised to join the ranks of the icons of the Reguliersdwarsstraat.
Each summer, Tropikali Festival puts on an eclectic lineup of cultural acts ranging from tropical grooves to Balkan beats and spirited DJ sets. This Amsterdam-based music festival brings together some well-known LGBTQ+ oriented parties from around the globe, such as Kalinichta and Rosario – Amsterdam. Both are crowd favourites when it comes to uptempo LGBTQ+ dance parties that are straight-friendly.
Tropikali Festival takes place in different spots around Amsterdam each year, but it’s characterised by its distinct industrial-tropical aesthetic. Think stages surrounded by graffiti-covered shipping containers and suntanned festival-goers sipping on fruity cocktails – this is where leather meets Hawaiian shirts. So if you're planning a summertime trip to Amsterdam, visit their Facebook page to get details on how to join this tropical oasis of music and colour.