If you want it, Gay Amsterdam’s got it. From dozens of picturesque, historic canals to a host of first-class museums to a thumping gay nightlife and a gay-friendly culture, the Netherlands’ capital and Europe’s sixth-largest metropolitan area is a hot spot for the ultimate “gaycation.” Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam developed as a port city and has become an international hub for business and pleasure. An estimated four to five million visitors trek to the city annually.
Amsterdam’s most important museums can be found on the Museumplein or Museum Square, a recently remodeled plaza. Here, gay visitors can walk through the Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum. But a can’t-miss spot is the Rijksmuseum, which opened in 1885 and boasts the largest collection of classical Dutch art—nearly one million objects in all. The Rembrandt masterwork “The Nightwatch” can be seen here, as can work by Van der Helst, Vermeer and Frans Hals. Then, of course, there’s De Wallen, also known as Walletjes or Rosse Buurt, Amsterdam’s largest and well-known red-light district. There are several hundred one-room apartments here rented by female sex workers and numerous sex shops, sex theaters, peep shows, and a sex museum. Don’t be bashful. Of course, there is more for the senses than a feast for the eyes in Amsterdam. The city’s Heineken Music Hall offers large-scale pop concerts; the Bimhuis, jazz; and the famed Concertgebouw, a top-notch symphony orchestra. Shopping is also plentiful and you can find high-end shops and familiar upscale retail dealers along Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat and Cornelis Schuytstraat, near the Vondelpark. Denim options are hot properties in Amsterdam. You can create your own pair at Denham. GayTravel.com’s gay and lesbian travel guides can provide you with details for planning every aspect of your Amsterdam vacation.