The Best LGBTQ Bars in Amsterdam

Wave the gay flag for Reguliersdwarsstraat, a street of trendy, colourful, LGBTQ bars in Amsterdam, Holland
Wave the gay flag for Reguliersdwarsstraat, a street of trendy, colourful, LGBTQ bars in Amsterdam, Holland | © Jason Bryan / Alamy
Sarah Veldman-Daggett

The Dutch capital has long been an accepting city, so you’ll find numerous LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs there. In the 1970s and 1980s, Reguliersdwarsstraat – close to Rembrandtplein – became a focal point for gay nightlife, and remains so to this day. But other areas such as Amstel, Kerkstraat, and Zeedijk have also grown popular with the LGBTQ community. Here’s our pick of the best LGBTQ bars in Amsterdam.

1. Taboo

Bar, Cocktails

Amsterdam Reguliersdwars Reguliersdwarsstraat outdoor bars rainbow flag in the traditional heart of the gay LGBT community
© Wiskerke / Alamy

In the heart of the famed gay stretch, Reguliersdwarsstraat, Taboo has a terrace which is perfect for afternoon people-watching or late-night drinks on warm summer nights. It’s split across two venues – a bar and a canteen. Cheekily dressed bartenders and drag-queen bingo nights create a fun, carefree vibe. The cocktail menu is filled with creations including tequila sunrise, long island ice tea and espresso martini. Don’t miss the daily happy hour from 6pm to 7pm.

2. Club Church

Bar, Nightclub, Cocktails

When in Amsterdam, make time to worship at Club Church, set on a street busy with restaurants and shops south of buzzing Reguliersdwarsstraat. This place offers all kinds of kinky from a leather to feather fetish lounge, weekly naked bar (shoes only; leave your clothes in the cloakroom) and regular spank parties. If you want to strut around in a sexy jockstrap, they’re available to buy at the door.

3. The Queen's Head

Bar, Gay Bar, Snacks

The Queen’s Head is located in the old centre of Amsterdam. >Abutting the >Red Light District >, it’s easy to find and is >at the livelier end of the gay spectrum. Muscled men in various stages of undress are ready to greet you at the window. Inside, you’ll find drag queens dancing to a backdrop of red glitter and chandeliers and drinks that pack a punch at surprisingly low prices. Stop by on a Tuesday night for drag-queen bingo.

4. De Lellebel

Bar, Pub, Gay Bar, Snacks

>Situated around the corner from tourist-packed Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam’s only drag-show bar is an intimate >brown cafe >lit by candles. There is an extensive cocktail menu and drinks are not too pricey. Live events and theme nights take place every week and drag queens sitting outside are always happy to chat to you.

5. Cafe 't Mandje

Bar, Gay Bar, Snacks

Bet van Beeren Cafe t Mandje and the LGBT flag at the Old Central district in Amsterdam
© Anamaria Mejia / Alamy Stock Photo

Amsterdam’s first gay bar was opened in 1927 by Bet Van Beenen. After her death in 1967, it was taken over by her sister Greet who ran it until 1982 when it closed. She decided to resurrect the Amsterdam institution just before her own death in August 2007. Since then, it’s been owned and run by her niece, Diana Van Laar, operating as part >brown cafe, part nostalgia shop, with memorabilia on the walls, a jukebox and billiards table, plus cocktails with names such as Blow Job (Baileys, amaretto and cream). The clientele is a mix of LGBTQ people and straight guests.


Bar, Gay Bar, Snacks

Prik people
Courtesy of Prik

>Prik (which means bubble in Dutch) has been open since 2006. Expect a riot of neon pink, strobe lighting and a bar that is highly Instagrammable. International staff serve a range of cocktails, including Strawberry Cheesecake if you’ve got a sweet tooth. There’s also pink and white prosecco on tap and all the pop music your eardrums can stand. It’s open until 1am except for Fridays when chucking out time is 3am.

7. De Trut

Bar, Gay Bar, Snacks

>This non-profit bar and Amsterdam institution is only open on Sundays. The building used to be >a squat and then > a disco called Flux. Later on, a group of volunteers started coming together to serve affordable drinks every Sunday night, making sure that all the profits were channelled back into helping the LGBTQ community. The vodka tonic at this queer disco delivers a kick and is highly recommended. Photography is forbidden and it’s also a wifi-free zone because staff want everyone to socialise.

8. Club NYX

Nightclub, Snacks

Black advertisement banner of dance and nightclub called Club NYX
© Firn / Alamy
One of the most popular gay clubs in Amsterdam, Club NYX attracts a lively crowd and is spread over three floors, each with its own music genre. The drinks menu is huge and there’s a DJ booth in the toilets, so you won’t miss out on sounds while you spend a penny. The Amsterdam LGBTQ community is a variety of creative souls, club kids, drag queens, ravers, performers.

9. Amstel Fifty-Four

Bar, Gay Bar, Snacks

Cyclist passing Amstel Fifty Four - lively gay and lesbian bar in Amsterdam, Netherlands
© Jani-Markus Häsä / Alamy

During the day, you might be fooled into thinking that this bar is a typical Dutch brown cafe – albeit a grand one, with an exquisite chandelier and plush booths as well as video screens. But, as night draws in, you’ll spot drag queens and live entertainment adding to the mix. There’s an inexpensive drinks menu and a wheel of drinks spinner if you can’t make your mind up. It’s loud and proud – drop by on a Sunday for the brilliant Drag Fever show.

Ellie Hurley contributed additional reporting to this article.

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