The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide
The Gay Passport is your complete Gay Travel Guide. Looking to Drink, Play or Sleep we have reviews to help. Award-winning & Updated 2023.
Amsterdam has a unique city layout, with several concentric rings created by the city’s canals. Most gay visitors like to stay within these rings, especially the large central area (Old Centre) that contains the red light district, Dam square, and Damrak.
Gay Amsterdam is more or less evenly spread out across the city, with two main clusters of bars. Both are within walking distance of each other. One is located in the red light district, and includes its fair share of gay fetish and cruising bars, as well as the only gay sauna in town. The other is further south, between the Singel and Herengracht canals.
Legally all hotels across Amsterdam are gay-friendly. The hotels listed below are located in popular parts of the city for gay travelers and excel at providing value for money and quality experiences.
The Netherlands is an exceptionally progressive country in almost every way, and has been ahead of the curve for decades. Homosexuality was decriminalized back in 1811. Gay visitors are highly unlikely to encounter discrimination in the city. If they do, they are protected by the law through the country’s Equal Rights Act.
Many tourists to Amsterdam stay in the Old Center around the central canal ring, which concentrates most of the highlights. There is of course plenty to see and explore in the neighborhoods beyond if you have more time in the city, but gay Amsterdam is mostly located in and around the old center.
The old center and canal ring of Amsterdam is easy and pleasant to walk around in, so you will rarely have to take public transport for travel within the city center.
♥ Design that never ceases to surprise
♥ Room layouts unlike any we’ve ever seen
♥ Walking distance to plenty of gay bars, clubs, and sightseeing spots
If you want cutting-edge design with a sense of fun, you’ve come to the right place. From the second you walk into this concept hotel from the mind of Dutch interior designer Marcel Wanders, you are surprised and delighted.
Elegant and eccentric furniture and fixings are matched with nods Netherland’s historical influence, such as Delft patterns and old-fashioned world maps, with a few unexpected items thrown in (the giant picture of fishes in various rooms spring to mind).
The rooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but are all spacious – no tiny cupboard rooms here. Some come with views of the hotel’s beautiful garden, some overlook the canal, and some look straight into the huge, universe-themed Atrium of the hotel. All feature a unique open-concept bathroom, featuring an in-room sink and mirror (which is actually perfect for getting ready) and a shower with a two-way mirror into the room (which is weird but fun).
When it comes to their dining options, Andaz Amsterdam keeps it simple but skillful: Bluespoon Restaurant features bold, fresh dishes celebrating both local products and local creativity, while Bluespoon Bar is a great place to watch the world go by, cocktail in hand. There is also an excellent spa, which continues the trend of impeccable design, and good fitness facilities.
Club Church and its decadent parties are just a short 5-minute walk away, and popular casual gay bar Spijker is even closer. Gay Amsterdam’s other venues are within a 10-minute radius include BACKDOOR, Club NYX, and Taboo.
♥ Two-minute walk to Nieuwezijds gay sauna
♥ Cool, creative, and contemporary decor
♥ Excellent bar and restaurant in 5&33
art’otel has one of the best locations in Amsterdam, just opposite Central Station. When you stay here, you are perfectly positioned to explore the canals as well as various famous landmarks such as Anne Frank House, Dam Square, and the red light district.
Arguably more interestingly, however, you are also a 5-minute walk away from Amsterdam’s gay institutions like The Queen’s Head and Café ‘t Mandje and just around the corner from Amsterdam’s only gay sauna, Sauna Nieuwezijds. This, combined with the exceptional design and service delivered by this modern 5-star, makes it one of the most popular and most booked gay hotels in Amsterdam.
This Instagram-perfect hotel is a contemporary designer affair, featuring original artwork by Dutch sculptor Joep van Lieshout’s studio. The rooms are decorated in a subtle and understated style, with cool greys and whites contrasting with sleek black surfaces. But it’s not just about design – heavenly beds, relaxing mood lighting, and luxurious rain showers all combine to create a soothing and supremely comfortable atmosphere.
Perhaps art’otel’s biggest selling point is 5&33, the hotel’s restaurant / bar / venue / library / lounge / art gallery. The food is exceptional, the cocktails inventive, and there is always something going on – don’t miss out on their weekly promotions in the restaurant! There is also a very good Active Club with gym, indoor swimming pool, and sauna.
♥ Comfortable, spacious, and well-designed rooms
♥ Excellent on-site restaurant
♥ Perfect location: all of central Amsterdam’s gay nightlife within walking distance
Albus Hotel Amsterdam is a great 4-star designer boutique hotel in the city center, featuring creative, contemporary design with impeccable facilities. The rooms are modern, colorful, and extremely comfortable, each featuring a high-quality mattress, smooth Egyptian cotton bedding, Nespresso machine coffee, a convenient complimentary smartphone, and branded bathroom amenities.
All the rooms are spacious, but you may want to opt for a suite if you want to add a touch of luxury to your stay. The suites come with their own Heineken beer tap (you pay for each refill) as well as a complimentary bottle of cava, and the studio option also has a fully-equipped kitchen (including dishwasher).
This gay-friendly hotel is perfectly located for gay nightlife. Several popular gay venues, including Club NYX, SoHo, Taboo, and Exit Cafe, are located in the immediate vicinity of Albus Hotel, meaning you can have a full-scale, varied night out without walking more than 5 minutes. Even better, because of the hotel’s extra-central location, almost every city center gay venue can be reached within a 20-minute walk.
Both Albus Hotel Amsterdam City Centre and its in-house restaurant Senses have a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. The Albus Hotel is one of the most booked gay hotels in Amsterdam.
♥ Close to museums, attractions, and plenty of gay bars
♥ Modern, stylish decor throughout the building
♥ Extra comfy beds
Hotel V Frederiksplein is located on the southern end of Amsterdam’s city center, close to the gayborhood around Rembrandtplein. This means excellent gay nightlife venues like Queer’s Cafe, Amstel Fifty-Four, FAME, Cafe Montmartre, and Club YOLO are all under 15 minutes walk away.
This is also a wonderful location for culture buffs, as Museumplein (which contains Amsterdam’s best museums including Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum) is just a 20-minute walk away. Meanwhile, the Heineken Experience is even closer, and the trendy bohemian neighborhood of De Pijp is just outside your door.
This sustainable and gay-friendly hotel in Amsterdam features stylish, modern rooms decorated with textures of wood and concrete. The exceptionally comfortable beds are a highlight, as are the exceptionally friendly staff. If you want to splurge a bit, the V Loft is particularly attractive, feeling like a high-end designer studio apartment.
Hotel V Frederiksplein is exceptionally well decorated for a 3-star hotel, and everything feels fresh, modern, and well-maintained. There is a pleasant and trendy lobby with a good bar, and a tasty continental breakfast served every morning.
Pulitzer Amsterdam is made up of a series of interconnected Golden Age Amsterdam townhouses from the 17th and 18th centuries. The hotel sits between the iconic Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals, and you can even rent a private boat trip from your hotel door. It doesn’t get more authentically Dutch than this.
Inside, the decor is cozy and chic. The rooms are beautifully designed in a clean and modern style, but with beautiful old-fashioned touches like chandeliers and baroque-style furniture. It’s luxury, but with an intimate mood that will make you feel right at home.
Rooms range from Cozy, designed with the solo traveler in mind, to Family, an airy split-level option that comfortably fits four people. You can also take it up a notch with a suite, which includes a mini-kitchen and a spacious living area. Every room comes with a marble bathroom, Le Labo toiletries, a bike repair kit, and much more.
The hotel restaurant, Jansz, is upscale but unpretentious, serving delicious international dishes, and the garden cafe is a lovely place to sit back and relax at any time of the day. The Pulitzer Bar honors old-school cocktail lounges with plush seating, moody lighting, and expert mixologists serving both classic and innovative concoctions.
The location is excellent for sightseeing, with Anne Frank House just five minutes away and most other Amsterdam landmarks within walking distance. The closest gay bars are PRIK (Amsterdam’s favourite gay hang-out) and Boysclub 21, both of them about 10 minutes away (do note that the latter is also a brothel).
The Social Hub Amsterdam City (The Student Hotel Amsterdam City) offers exceptional value for money. This hotel offers both short-term accommodation for tourists and longer stays for students, digital nomads, and other long-term travelers. The rates are good for regular hotel guests, but you will get a particularly good deal if you are planning to stay in Amsterdam for longer than a usual holiday, with “short stay” rates starting from two weeks.
Because of this set-up, you will always get the benefit of a vibrant, young local community in the building – the vibe of a hostel with the convenience and comfort of modern, well-appointed private rooms. Also, because people live here, you get plenty of handy facilities like laundry, a gym, dedicated work spaces, and a great restaurant and bar for meeting your fellow travelers.
All the rooms are simply but pleasantly designed, with comfy beds and plenty of natural light (no hidden underground rooms here). If you are travelling with a big group of friends, don’t miss out on the Play Room: a VIP party suite for six people that includes a lounge area, Playstation, disco ball and – wait for it – dancing pole.
The location is further away from the city center than most hotels on this list, however public transport links are abundant and you can also rent a bike at the hotel to explore Amsterdam like a local.
This gay-favorite Amsterdam hotel is a friendly, colorful, and low-key boutique hotel. Everything from the room decor to the food at the on-site restaurant is high-quality but unpretentious, perfect for those who like a personal touch to their hotel. This attitude is even exemplified in their hotel bar, an Honesty bar where you can simply take what you like at any time and pay later. As you can expect, the staff are also super attentive and welcoming.
The rooms are spacious and airy, with good amenities and an excellent rain shower. The decor is simple but tasteful: neutral whites and greys brought to life with vivid bespoke wall art and small colorful touches throughout. Some of the rooms, labeled “Souterrain”, are basements – if a window is important to you, go for a Standard or Executive.
The location of Hotel JL No76 is slightly less central than some others on the list, but this makes it perfect for lovers of art and culture. The hotel is just a couple of minutes away from Amsterdam’s best museums (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum), and an equally short distance from Vondelpark, which is the best place to enjoy Amsterdam on a sunny day.
In terms of nightlife, Club Church and Spijker Bar are 15 minutes away, and more central locations can easily be reached by tram (the Rijksmuseum tram stop is only 3 minutes away).
Quentin Golden Bear Hotel is located close to Leidseplein, which is a convenient option for museum-hopping – the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museums are all about a 15-minute walk away. It is also close to several gay nightlife institutions, with the popular cruising club Club Church literally a few steps away (which may account for a large part of the hotel’s gay fanbase). The more central sights and the more central gay nightlife are all an easy tram ride away.
This budget gay favourite is based in a historic Amsterdam building, which means insanely steep stairs and no lift. This is not a great choice if you have heavy suitcases, but not a problem for the light backpacker. The rooms are basic and no-frills, although some have been thoughtfully decorated in a modern style. The beds are extremely comfortable and the hotel’s layout usually allows for a quiet night’s sleep despite the late-night happenings on the street. So it’s no surprise, the Quentin Golden Bear Hotel is one of the most booked budget gay hotels in Amsterdam.
Ibis Amsterdam Centre benefits from one of the best locations in the city, just next to Amsterdam Centraal. This makes it ideal for the train connection with Schipol Airport, but also for day trips out of Amsterdam and rail travel across Europe. The location is also great for sightseeing, with Anne Frank House, Dam square, the red light district, and the canals all a very short walk away.
Because you are so close to the red light district and its surrounding nightlife, you are also well-located for the highlights of gay Amsterdam. Sauna Nieuwezijds, Boysclub 21, The WEB, The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Queen’s Head, and Café ’t Mandje are all under 10 minutes away.
This is a relatively new Ibis, which means the rooms are all modern and well-equipped, if not on the small side. However, even the smaller cozy rooms have been thoughtfully decorated, while some of the larger rooms boast scenic views of the river. Of course, since the hotel overlooks the station, some rooms can be noisy at night – ask for a room facing away from the station if you like to sleep with the window open.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam is both historic and cutting-edge, set in a 15th-century Dutch building that has been renovated with gorgeous modern interiors by a French designer. This combination also highlights Sofitel’s unique ethos: hotels that feel truly local, but always with a high-end French influence.
You can see this throughout the hotel. For example, the hotel includes a Michelin-starred hotel, Bridges, as well as an accompanying bistro. But it also includes a Parisian themed library cafe, Library ‘Or’ and a traditional Dutch “brown cafe” style bar. These are tied together by a refreshing garden terrace, which is perfect for observing the historical Dutch architecture of The Grand.
The rooms and suites were designed with the students of the Design Academy of Eindhoven, which drew from the building’s prestigious past and its beautiful original features. The result is a 21st-century style with Golden Age flair. The rooms range from Standard to Luxury, but if you are going to be staying at The Grand, you might as well go all out on one of their suites – the ones overlooking the canal are the most sought-after.
Indeed, the gay friendly hotel directly faces one of central Amsterdam’s canals and is right next to the red light district. Long-standing gay bars The Queen’s Head and Cafe’t Mandje are under 10 minutes away. The largest and most popular gay clubs, NYX and Church, are 10 and 15 minutes away respectively.