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.


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

Gay Amsterdam ( Lists hotels, shops and clubs, and provides maps.

PANN ( Active in Utrecht since 1969 and host to a monthly ‘straight-friendly’ gay party, frequently voted the country's best gay party.