Amsterdam Gay Pride is a large festival as well as an impressive plea for the emancipation of the LGTB community. Amsterdam is renowned for it's tolerance towards the LGBT community. With 450,000 visitors, Amsterdam Gay Pride is one of the largest Pride events in Europe, and celebrates Pride with a colourful boat parade, the Canal Parade.
It offers a range of both gay and straight events, from dance parties and film festivals to sporting events and culture.
During Gay Pride, Amsterdam is bursting at its seams because of all the special events, parties and activities organised in the city. Some practical information:
Saturday: the Canal Parade
Don't miss out! The good spots on the bridges will be occupied early on, so be early. The Canal Parade is the highlight of the Pride, with abundantly decorated boats with passengers, cheered on by the visitors alongside the canals; the passengers on the eighty boats create a wonderful spectacle with DJs, remarkable themes, but mostly a lot of fun. Joy that will feed the spectators at Prinsengracht and the Amstel canal. During the Parade, a number of smaller boats alongside the canals will make their own contribution to the party atmosphere.
Alternative Gay Pride Events
Each year, the Drag Queen Olympics is a spectacle with its Olympic events Stiletto Sprint and Handbag Toss. But beware: looks are just as important as sporting prowess. All drag queens and kings are welcomed to appear on the arena near the Homomonument.
Male or female, everyone is welcome at the Amsterdam Gay Pride. Women can find more information at the L-InfoPoints on four locations: Saarein, 't Mandje, VivelaVie, and Bórdo. Transgenders have their own location at the Manor Hotel. The events are for all ages, but the Grey Pride Programme with debates and performances are specifically meant for a somewhat older audience.
Art Rooijakkers presents the Amsterdam Gay Pride - Canal Parade
And for those who cannot visit the Pride, Dutch broadcast combination AVRO/TROS will air the Canal Parade for the sixth time on Saturday, August 1. From the Prinsengracht onwards, Art Rooijakkers and his side-kick Richard Groenendijk will provide commentary to the annual boat parade. Art will receive various guests that are committed to gay emancipation.
From the water on a small boat, Patrick Martens will report on the decorated boats. He will speak with Dutch celebrities and foreign stars. This year, the Gay Pride Amsterdam will be organised for the 20th time by Stichting Amsterdam Gay Pride. The reporting on this year's Canal Parade can be followed live on NPO3.nl and on Amsterdam city station AT5 from 14:00 onwards.
Keep in mind that public transportation in the city centre may be a problem, not to mention parking. The best thing is to park outside the city centre and travel to the centre by metro.
Public Transport: work in progress and alternatives
Because of work in progress at Station Zuid, metro 51 will not run. There will be several alternate routes by tram or bus available. Metro 50 will only run between Isolatorweg and Zuid.
Tram 4 offers a direct link between Zuidas / RAI and the city centre / Central Station,
Tram 5 runs from Amstelveen Binnenhof via Station Zuid to Central Station. During work in progress, tram 5 will run more often than normal, around every 5 / 6 minutes. It will serve as alternate route for the stops of metro 51 in between Oranjebaan and De Boelenlaan / VU where bus 55 will not stop. Both tram 16 and 24 offer a direct connection between Zuidas (Amstelveenseweg), the VU Medical Centre and the city centre / Central Station.
Large events attract pick-pockets, so be specially aware!
Also take care of your smartphone. Happy Gay Pride!