The Netherlands was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage (in 2001) and Amsterdam is frequently cited as one of the world's most LGBT-friendly places.

  • Amsterdam's gay and lesbian scene is huge, and there are smaller thriving scenes in Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and most university towns.
  • Attitudes towards homosexuality tend to be more conservative in the countryside and villages, but remain refreshingly liberal nonetheless.
  • Pride Amsterdam, rebranded in 2017 to embrace transgenders, bisexuals et al as well as gays, features a traditional boat parade and march; it's celebrated over nine days in late July and early August.

Resources

COC Nederland (www.coc.nl) Government-subsidised and the best national source of information since 1946; branches throughout the country can offer advice.

Gay Amsterdam (www.gayamsterdam.com) Lists hotels, shops and clubs, and provides maps.

PANN (https://pann.nl) Active in Utrecht since 1969 and host to a monthly ‘straight friendly’ gay party, frequently voted the country's best gay party.