The Netherlands

Tips for the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade

The Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade brings together all kind of open-minded people, young, old, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), and of course straight people who join the party! The Gay Pride in Amsterdam is even more special than others, because there is a boat parade on the canals.

This post will provide you some tips on navigating the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, one of the busiest and craziest events in Amsterdam.

When is the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade?

The Amsterdam Gay Pride is usually from the end of July until the first weekend of August, with the Canal Parade and the street parties taking place in the first weekend of August. It is a great moment to show support towards diversity and to party your ass off!

pride month gathering
Photo by FransA on

Amsterdam Gay Pride events

The Amsterdam Gay Pride is more than just partying. It is made up out of several events. There are film festivals, sporting events, theater, and many museums have special LGBT exhibitions. For a detailed schedule, you can check out the English Amsterdam Gay Pride website.

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The Gay Pride Canal Parade in Amsterdam

The Canal Parade is without a doubt, the biggest event of the Amsterdam Gay Pride. It usually takes place on a Saturday in the first weekend of August. Amsterdam is the only city in the world where the Pride Parade passes by on boats on the canals. Around 80 boats are every year selected to participate in the parade. You will see the most extravagantly decorated boats and dressed-up or undressed people.


10 Tips for the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade

1. Don’t be late!

The parade starts usually around 13:00. If you want to get a good spot along the parade route, you should check the route in advance and be there on time. Also, don’t be surprised that most of the good spots are already taken when you arrive. Some people will turn up very early to get the best spots along the parade.

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2. Good spots for viewing the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade

But what is a good spot to watch the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade? Well, at the beginning of the parade, everybody on the boats is very energetic! This can become a bit less among the parade route. Another good spot is the ‘Magere brug’. This bridge is usually quick occupied, so go there in the early morning. Let’s say around 09:00 am. You can also try to find a good spot along the Prinsengracht, but here it is usually extremely busy. Another option is to view the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade from the water. Rent a boat, claim in the early morning a nice spot among the canal, and enjoy the Parade!

3. Plan Things Ahead

Most of the time, there is no phone network available in the city center. It gets so extremely busy… So, try to plan things ahead. Where do you meet your friends and where is the closest toilet?

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4. Bring your own booze!

Everybody does it! When you have finally found a good spot among the canal, believe me, you don’t want to leave the spot anymore. So, bring your own booze! Also, you will save some money. Some bars sell alcohol extremely expensive, or there is the chance that you must wait in a long line. Normally, it is not allowed to drink in public in the Netherlands, but on days like this, everybody is doing it, and the police won’t stop you.

5. Book early

The Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam is well known internationally, so most of the hotels are early fully booked. Try to book your stay as early as possible.

6. Wear your craziest outfit

Nothing is too crazy! Today you can wear your craziest outfit! Glitters, glamour, colors, everything is allowed today! You can also go for the classic rainbow look or attributes!

7. Don’t bring valuables

Only bring vital stuff! Some money and perhaps your phone, to call your friends and to take photos, and definitely not to forget, also bring your booze! On days like this, there are many pickpockets.

8. Prepare for bad weather

You are in the Netherlands, so it is always a good idea to bring a jacket or rain poncho.

9. Drink enough water

It is august, so it can become very hot! Especially, if you are enjoying alcoholic beverages, make sure you drink enough water!

10. Don’t swim in the canals

Just don’t do it! The canals are dirty!

I hope these tips will help you to make the best of Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade!

Author: Daphne

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