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Guide to Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024

If you ask me, Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024 is Amsterdam’s most fun yearly event! Sure, King’s Day is great, Museumnacht is also an experience, but nothing beats Gay Pride Amsterdam. The city turns into this colorful, exuberant extravaganza, and the fact that it is held over a week in late July to early August ensures the weather is good (well, most of the time). Gay Pride Amsterdam is more than just a series of parties and parades. Across an entire week, many events, conferences, and workshops take place to celebrate and promote awareness of diversity, inclusion, and human rights.

Everything you need to know for Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024

The roots of Gay Pride Amsterdam can be traced back to the movement for LGBTQ+ rights, which started relatively early in the Netherlands. The country was one of the first to decriminalize homosexuality in 1811 and legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Which city is better than Amsterdam to celebrate the event since it is famous for its liberal and open-minded mentality, naturally promoting LGBTQ+ activism and culture?

The first official Gay Pride Amsterdam was in 1996, and since then, it has seen exponential growth in terms of participants and activities. Read this guide to learn all you need to know before joining us at Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024.

Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024 Floats down the main canal with canal houses behind a giant inflatable rainbow

The Week Program

Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024 is not just a party (as fun as it is) but also a chance to get an education and reflect. During the week, the city offers various cultural and educational events, such as art exhibitions, film screenings, and lectures. The best way to find out about the agenda is to look at Pride’s Official Website. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and support the LGBTQ+ community. And get ready for the big finale, the one we all want to go to: the Canal Parade!

Canal Parade

If you come to Amsterdam during Pride Week, you cannot absolutely miss the Canal Parade! Unlike traditional pride parades, which usually pass on roads, Gay Pride Amsterdam’s version takes place on boats.

The parade, which happens on Saturday, starts at 12.00 on the east side of Amsterdam’s canal ring (Nieuwe Herengracht) and sails through the canal ring until Prinsengracht on the west side. The last boat crosses Prinsengracht at around 18.00.

Around 100 boats representing Amsterdam’s significant organizations, companies, and advocacy groups pass through the city’s canals. On each boat, the participants dance, sing, and act, making it a full live performance for those watching from the streets.

Unfortunately, joining the boats is not possible unless you are part of one of these organizations. So make sure to arrive early and claim a nice spot on the canal street. You want an unobstructed view and enough space to dance!

You can still book a boat tour the following day to explore the canals as a real Amsterdammer.

Amsterdam Gay Pride Boat sails down a canal with rainbow covered people

(Street) Parties

The city is in party mode: if you walk around the neighborhoods around the canals, especially Jordaan, Reguliersdwarsstraat, and Amstel, you will see many street parties open to everyone. People open their houses and throw improvised DJ sets, transforming the streets into open-air dance floors, often until late at night. The best thing about these parties is that they embody the values of the event, such as a sense of community and inclusivity. 

A crowded street party with many people in front of a large pink banner stating Prik Bar

If you prefer to keep your dance moves confident on real dance floors, there are plenty of opportunities. The city hosts the Dekmantel Festival in Amsterdamse Bos during the same week, and most of Amsterdam’s most famous clubs have Pride parties during the whole weekend.

People gather at a festival in a forested area

Wear something fun!

This is the day when you can let out of the rules and embrace your wildest (fashion) spirit. You’ll see some crazy outfits on the streets, so why not join the fun? Amsterdam is a very safe city, so don’t think twice. Wear that fishnet stocking and that fluorescent boa you have been saving in the closet. Let go of judgment!

Public transit within the city is limited during Saturday’s Parade event

Be aware that public transport during Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024 might be affected, especially on Saturday during the Parade. It’s better to plan ahead in case you need to cross town. Walking is the best solution for shorter commutes: biking might get tricky with the crowds flooding the streets. Ubers/taxis are not permitted in the city center on Saturday.

Colorful Boat for Gay Pride with Rainbows and signs around Love = Love

Plan meeting points in advance

Make sure to align before the Parade where to meet with friends. If you are at the biggest street party, it can be hard to get a reception in the city. Note that if your friends are late, they could be stuck at some street party; they haven’t ditched you!

Bring cash for the toilet

The same old problem exists at every street party: Most bars and restaurants will not let you use their facilities unless you buy something from them. There are pop-up toilets all over the city, but some charge a euro or two to use.

Buying booze on Gay Pride Amsterdam is limited

If you plan on sitting by canal street to watch the Parade, make sure to bring a cooler box with drinks. Note that the city might restrict all alcohol sales on Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024 to only one piece (can/bottle) of alcoholic beverage. So buy your stock the day before!

What if I don’t want to join the party?

You don’t have to (although you would miss out)! But if you want to avoid the crowds and related celebrations, go somewhere outside the city center. This is a good chance to visit the neighboring cities like Utrecht or Zandaam or spend the day at the beach in Bloemendaal. If you want to stay in Amsterdam, museums like MOCO and attractions like Fabrique des Lumieres in Amsterdam are still open. Just make sure to buy your tickets in advance!

After Gay Pride Amsterdam 2024 is over – check out our Local Amsterdam Itinerary.