The Netherlands

10 Useful tips for the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade

The Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade brings together all kind of open-minded people. The pride in Amsterdam is even more special than others, because there is a boat parade on the canals. I have visited the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade several times and would love to share some useful tips with you. From prime viewing spots to embracing the vibrant atmosphere, these 10 essential tips will help you navigate and celebrate this incredible event to the fullest. Get ready to make a splash at the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade and let’s paint the canals with pride!

The Gay Pride Canal Parade in Amsterdam (and after parties)

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.

The street parties after the Canal Parade usually start around 16:00pm. Most people go to Amstelveld (which is direct next to the parade route), the large main stage on Dam square (on the route towards to Central Station) or Rembrandtplein. These are the large party locations.

Photo by Ari Dinar on Unsplash

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 host special LHBTIQ+ exhibitions. For a detailed schedule, you can check out the English Amsterdam Gay Pride website.

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

10 Useful tips for visiting the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade

Below you can find some useful tips on navigating this busy and fun event in Amsterdam:

1. Don’t be late!

The parade starts usually around 12:00pm. 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.

Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade 1 #gay #pride #parade #amsterdam #netherlands #gaypride #canalparade #girlswanderlust #wanderlust #travel #travelling #nederland

2. Good spots to see the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade

What is a good spot to see the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade? Well, at the beginning of the parade, everybody on the boats is very energetic! This can become less among the parade route, so a good spot is definitely at the start of the parade. The boats will start at the Scheepvaart museum at the eastern part of the city center moving towards the Amstel river. The floats will continue from here taking the Prinsengracht towards the Westerdok.

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 or at the Eenhoornsluis, at the end of the route.

Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade #gay #pride #parade #amsterdam #netherlands #gaypride #canalparade #girlswanderlust #wanderlust #travel #travelling #nederland

3. Plan things ahead like public transportation and a meeting point

The best way is to arrive in Amsterdam is by public transport. Travel by train to Amsterdam Central Station and walk from there, or even better take a train to Amsterdam Zuid and from there the new metro line to Vijzelgracht. You will arrive in the middle of the parade!

Tip: Buy your GVB Public Transportation Ticket online and enjoy unlimited access to all GVB public transport lines throughout the city.

Furthermore, it’s good to know that there is no phone network available in most places in the city center (because it gets extremely busy). Therefore, it’s a good idea to plan things ahead. Where do you meet your friends if you lose each other? And where is the closest toilet? Or how do you get back home or to your hostel?

Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade 2  #gay #pride #parade #amsterdam #netherlands #gaypride #canalparade #girlswanderlust #wanderlust #travel #travelling #nederland.jpg

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! Bringing your own booze also saves 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 a well known international event, so most of the ho(s)tels are fully booked. Try to book your stay as early as possible. Some recommended hostels in Amsterdam are Via Amsterdam or Hostelle – a female only hostel Amsterdam.

6. Wear your most intense outfit

Nothing is too wild! Today you can wear your most intense 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! If you have any questions about the above mentioned information, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Enjoy the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade! I’m sure you will love it! 🙂

Author: Daphne

Pin this post if you’re planning to see the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you purchase something through my links I earn a small fee at no extra costs to you. You still pay the same. Win-win! Thanks for supporting the work I put into Girlswanderlust.


Comments are most welcome and appreciated

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: