One of the world's great capitals of gay culture, Amsterdam holds one of the most popular Gay Pride celebrations in Europe, drawing revelers from all over to partake of a week's worth of parties and arts and cultural events, culminating with the famously colorful Amsterdam Canal Parade. Amsterdam Gay Pride takes place each year in late July and early August - the dates this year are July 23 to August 7, 2016, with the famed Amsterdam Pride Boat Parade set for Saturday, August 6.
It's a particularly special celebration this year, however, EuroPride 2016 coincides with Amsterdam Pride over these two weeks. Festivities include an engaging mix of sporting events, cultural programs, lectures, political discussions, religious observations, debates, conferences, concerts, and much more. Check the events calendar for more details.
Fans of big, international Pride celebrations may as well go ahead and mark their calendars, because next year, the latest edition of World Pride will be coming to Madrid from June 23 through July 2, 2017.
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Although the most prominent days of Amsterdam Pride are the final weekend, a variety of street festivals, circuit-style nightclub parties, arts and cultural presentations, and sporting events are staged throughout the weeks leading up to the big weekend, and this will be especially true with EuroPride taking place at the same time. Here's a full, detailed calendar of Amsterdam Gay Pride and EuroPride events, including the opening Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday) observation on July 23 in Vondelpark and Dam Square, along with the Amsterdam Pride Walk, which commences at Dam Square's inspiring Homomonument.
During the big weekend, from Friday through Sunday, August 5 through August 7, Amsterdam Pride's biggest and top-attended events take place. These include a series of Street Parties along the city's key streets for gay partying (Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amstel, Westermarkt, Paardenstraat, New West, Zeedijk Seawall, and so on).
Saturday afternoon (from 2 until 6 pm), August 6, is the date of the most famous event of week, the spectacularly colorful and festive Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, during which some 80 fancifully decorated boats sail along the elegant Prinsengracht Canal, leaving from near Centraal rail station, and then up the Amstel River to Oosterdok. It's one of the world's most colorful gay pride parades. That evening, the fun continues with more street festivals and parties lasting into the wee hours of the morning.
The celebration comes to a close on Sunday, but there's still plenty to see and do that day, including a Pride Closing Party and several other fetes.
Amsterdam Gay Resources
As you might expect, the city's many gay-popular bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops in the area have more going on than usual throughout the Amsterdam Pride period. Check online resources about the Amsterdam gay scene, such as the comprehensive the NightTours Gay Guide to Amsterdam, the handy Amsterdam4Gays.com site, and the Patroc.com Amsterdam Gay Guide. Also take a look at the excellent gay travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Amsterdam Tourist Board.
Also well worth reading is About.com's Amsterdam Travel site, which is packed with tips on what to see and do, where to stay, and other aspects of visiting this charming European cultural capital.