Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:
See Netherlands nationwide measures, and for current Dutch entry restrictions: Reopen-Europa/Netherlands, Government of the Netherlands Covid-19, Travel Bans/Netherlands, and Shiphol Airport websites for updates.
Historically this is a live-and-let-live society, with this being the first country to allow same-sex marriage. People don't look kindly on institutions, whether political party or religious denomination, that tell people what they can't do. What does this mean for gay people? You won't find police roughing up guys in the cruising spots for one thing, and at one local park, De Oeverlanden, there are signs provided by the city, pointing to the cruisiest section.
As for nightlife, there are plenty of cozy cafes, lounges and dance clubs for every taste, and as English is almost universally spoken there's no difficulty in meeting people. Hash and pot smokers over 18 may still enjoy the freedom to buy and light up at one of over 200 Amsterdam "coffeeshops." Members of the coffeeshop union Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten (BCD) operate with licences, shown by the display of official, green and white stickers in their windows. Magic mushroom and peyote grow-kits, ready to use magic truffles and cannabis products, along with sexual stimulants, are sold at "smart shops."
Sex, that other big North American taboo, is also less of a legal issue here, with live shows, and plenty of busy backrooms and regularly scheduled naked party nights. Sex-work is legal and regulated, but with health issues in mind, rather than moral concerns. Big circuit parties regularly roll into town throughout the year, especially during the gay holidays, and for leather events in the fall.
Or, you can enjoy peaceful canal-side cafe relaxation or reading, seeing the works of the city's renowned artists at the many museums and galleries, browsing the stores in car-free pedestrian shopping streets and squares, or ambling the bike paths along tree-shaded waterways. Every sort of international cuisine can be sampled at the many restaurants, but fresh sandwiches, quiche or pastries from bakeries, taken to eat at Dam Square on a sunny day -- perhaps while watching the street performers there -- can taste special. Avoid those nasty pizza slices around Warmoesstraat (Reguliersdwarsstraat has better) - but the Vlaamse frites (fries to go, with mayonaise, ketchup or vinegar) are fresh, cheap and satisfying, pretty much wherever you see them.
Big annual events here include King’s Day, the commemoration of Dutch King Willem-Alexander’s birthday, an occasion for the whole country to party each April 26th. On Koninginnenacht, the night before, the streets surge with celebrants, dressed in orange, and full of national pride and high spirits; and of course the bars are packed and circuit parties throb.
Amsterdam Gay Pride takes place each July/August, with events and street parties over a weekend. The main event, Canal Parade, is on the Saturday afternoon. Watched by tens of thousands from canal-side perches along the Prinzengracht, and on the Amstel River, the parade is one of floating barges decorated in over-the-top gay glory, unique to this city and a treat to behold.
Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport is several kilometers from the city center. Speedy direct trains cost a few euros and depart from the airport every 10 minutes. For info on Netherlands train service see the NS website. The Connexxion Airport Express bus number 397, from Schiphol to Museumplein, Leidseplein, and Busstation Elandsgracht, departs every 7-10 minutes from bus stop B17.
The bicycle is the favored mode of transportation, with designated lanes along many streets. Step aside as they whiz past, or join them. Bikes can easily be rented; try Bike City, Black Bikes, MacBike, Star Bikes, or Yellow Bike for rentals and guided bike tours.
GVB public trams and trains are frequent and convenient. They don't run all night, but few nightspots will be far from your hotel room. OV-chipcards, purchased at GVB Tickets & Info, GVB Service points, and metro station ticket vending machines, can be loaded and reloaded with sufficient balance as you need it. Some locations accept cash payment, but in a now mostly cashless system, many transactions now require bank debit or credit cards. Visitors may have their non-Dutch cards rejected, so a Maestro Debit Card with PIN appears to be your best bet - especially outside tourist areas.
With e-purse, you pay a fixed base rate for the distance you travel, plus a fixed rate per kilometer. Paper chip tickets are good for travel for specific periods of time: one hour (€ 3.20); 1-day (€ 8); or multi-day passes for up to 3 days (€ 28) or 7 days (€ 37). Bike tickets are € 5 and Night Bus trips cost € 4.70. Remember to check in and out of the station for each trip. An I amsterdam city card provides unlimited travel for 1-5 days (€ 65-130) on all GVB trams, day buses, night buses and metro routes, along with free or discounted entry to museums and canal trips. See Amsterdam Tips for a "simplified" overview.
Above GVB rates are valid through January 1, 2021, at which time monthly season tickets will no longer be available. See the new GVB Flex monthly plan that includes a variety of public transport operators and modes of transport, such as shared bicycles or shared cars.
Check out Warmoesstraat where you'll find the flagships of the famous leather stores, Mister B and RoB, along with men's leather and cruise bars Dirty Dicks, and The Eagle, keeping testosterone levels high. The bar/restaurant Getto is nearby, with cannabis coffeeshops, food take-outs, porn and souvenir shops and some hotels filling other spaces along the street.
Near Central Station, Sauna Nieuwezijds is Amsterdam's gay bathhouse. Nearby, where Warmoesstraat meets the Zeedijk, the picturesque gay pubs on narrow streets on the canals draw mixed but mainly male crowds, from the maturely sophisticated to the young and artsy. The Queen's Head is a standout. For more erotic relaxation, Drakes, on the Damrak, has peeps and cruising. Beyond the Damrak at Nieuwezijds Kolk, the Cuckoos Nest, and the Web are men's cruise bars with darkrooms, and a bit further away on Spuistraat, see male strip shows at Boys Club 21, or shop for cards or novelty gifts at Gays & Gadgets.
On streets around Rembrandtplein and the Amstel canal local gay bars include Amstel Fifty Four, Fame, Montmartre and Queers Cafe. A block south of the Flower Market, Reguliersdwarsstraat is famous for summer nights when this pedestrian street is packed wall-to-wall with young gay people moving between clubs that include: Club NYX, Exit Après Chique, and Pub Soho, among various mixed nightclubs, lounges and the many international restaurants along both sides of the street.
Near Leidseplein, Club Church, Spijker and Bronx Video make their stretch of Kerkstraat sexy.
Media and resources
Grab a free Gaymap from the bars, or from Pink Point, the LGBT info kiosk at Homomonument - also with gifts and souvenirs -- to to find your way around the city.
Gay News monthly, in Dutch and English, has articles, guides with maps and nightly events listings. Winq Magazine, a gay lifestyle glossy sold at newstands, is published in English and Dutch, with online Winq-GK app editions.
GayAmsterdam and GayLinc are two more online guide and listings resources. Gay Krant, and Gay & Night magazines are no longer published.
To keep up with circuit and itinerant party activity all year around town see the websites of Nighttours and the Rapido Group. GayDanceNL appears to be inactive.
Party websites for ongoing, mostly monthly dance events include: Club Rapido/Funhouse, Bear-Necessity, Danserette, Furball, Spellbound, and UltraSexi with FPQ. Milkshake is a mid-July dance music festival. Love Dance is a World AIDS Day dance event with many artists, live performances, DJs/VJs, divas, and live bands. Bear Weekend takes place in March, and Fetish Pride / Leatherpride in late October.
Flirtation does women-only dance nights several times a year, and Club Party Girls organises events for women. TheTittyMag, and Pisswife art collective and Feminist Zine, also sponsor women's events.
I Amsterdam is a good online guide to most everything in this city. Their MuseumApp, with interactive smartphone Amsterdam Museum tours bundled in one app, includes PinkPerspectives, taking you from dark days when ‘sodomites’ were sentenced to death on Dam Square, to gay marriages of today in the Netherlands.
The Smokers Guide website lists coffeeshop and smartshop locations in Amsterdam. Also see Dutch Coffeeshops and Dutch Smarthops for an overview of the Netherlands.
For locations and website links to businesses listed below, see our Amsterdam gay map & listings pages.
American Hotel Amsterdam (Leidsekade 97; 31-20-556-3000), 1900 Art Deco building, stained glass windows, Café Americain terrace coffee/cocktails, all amenities, breakfast, high tea, jazz brunch. Formerly the Hampshire American Hotel.
Amistad Hotel (Kerkstraat 42; 31-20-624-8074), small stylish gay/mixed hotel, helpful and efficient staff, stylish rooms, luxurious apartments, all with computers, breakfast to 1pm, afternoon/evening internet cafe, free gay magazines and maps.
Golden Bear (Kerkstraat 37; 31-20-624-4785), comfortable guesthouse in 1737 buildings, spacious rooms, breakfast until noon; new owners don't pitch to gay market anymore.
Hotel NL (Nassaukade 368; 31-20-689-0030), gay-friendly' design hotel overlooking Singel canal, casually sophisticated ambience, breakfast, full amenities include cable TV and internet access.
Near Warmoesstraat/Central Station
Anco Hotel (O.Z. Voorburgwal 55; 31-20- 624-1126), canal-side lodgings near the bars; singles, doubles, studio, dorm beds; internet access, breakfast in the bar, free WiF.
Barangay B&B (Droogbak 15; 31-62-504-5432), relaxed comfort from two friendly guys, 1777 era building near Central Station by Singel and Prinsengracht canals. Quirky, tropical, Southeast Asian-style rooms, two of which share a paio; breakfast in bed vegetarian/vegan options.
Amsterdam Boutique Apartments (Singel 401; 31-20-707-7954), at Spui between Dam and the Reguliersdwarsstraat gay clubs; rooms/suites, luxury apartment, style, comfort and privacy in a monumental canal house with five-star amenities.
Freeland Hotel (Marnixstraat 386; 31-20- 622-7511) cozy, gay-friendly old house, fifteen single, double and triple rooms, named for flowers, all with bath and TV.
Hostelle (Bijlmerplein 395; 31-20-337 5707), inexpensive women-only dorm beds and private rooms in Southeast Amsterdam; lockers, garden, library, video DVDs, guest laundry facilities, self-service kitchen access, computer and WiFi.
Hotel de L'Europe (Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14; 31-20-531-1777), quality classic hotel, luxury and elegance, fine dining, perfect location overlooks Munt Tower and Amstel/ Rokin canals; stroll to shops, museums, gay nightlife.
Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre (Nieuwezijds Kolk 19; 31-20-530-1818), 239 rooms, convenient location, 4-star amenities, breakfast, restaurant and lounge, use of sauna/spa and workout facilities, massage, bike rentals.
ITC Hotel (Prinsengracht 1051; 31-20-623-0230), small 20 room hotel, 18th-century house on quiet stretch of Amsterdam's grandest canal. Breakfast buffet until noon.
NH Carlton Amsterdam (Vijzelstraat 4; 31-20-622-2266), large 1926 central building, Flower Market location, breakfast buffet, cafe/restaurant, bar/lounge, parking, bike rentals.
Radisson Blu (Rusland 17; 31-20-623-1231), large, modern, central hotel, fitness facilities for sauna, workout, or tan, concierge services, secure parking.
See our hotel maps and listings tab for links to these and other room options, also for web links of bars and clubs below.
Bars: Warmoesstraat & Zeedijk to Nieuwmarkt
Cafe 't Mandje (Zeedijk 63), popular in earlier days, reopened recently after 25 years, looking much as it always did.
Dirty Dicks (Warmoesstraat 86), orginal "sleaze pit" men's bar, famous last Thursdays Golden Shower parties, first Sunday fisting, second Sundays naked.
Eagle Amsterdam (Warmoesstraat 90), men-only cruise bar, fresh energy in 1485 building, leather, rubber, uniform, skinhead, sports dress code nights, 3 floors, lounge, dance floor, DJ music, dark basement, smokers' lounge, live sex shows, open 'til 4 or 5am. Events with international gogo boys and pornstars, plus first Sunday ncAdam and third Sunday Horsemen & Knights underwear and naked monthly sex parties. Fickstutenmarkt sex parties take place every few months.
Getto (Warmoesstraat 51) bar/restaurant, specialty cocktails, exotic beverages, free internet, meals, snacks and American holiday food specials. Getto Glam Variety Shows on Thursdays, TV events, DJs on Fridays.
Queen's Head (Zeedijk 20) beautiful interior, canal views, popular for exuberant variety of evening events that include NetherBears' 2nd + 4th Sunday Bear Hug nights, and Glamour Drag Bingo.
CLOSED: Argos (Warmoesstraat 95), leathermen/bears, naked/ fetish sex parties; De Barderij (Zeedijk 14), gay/mixed pub; De Engel van Amsterdam (Zeedijk 21), canal-side men's pub/terrace; The Warehouse (Warmoesstraat 96), sex parties, dancing - formerly Club Fuxx/ Cockring.
Bars: Nieuwezijds Kolk/ Spuisstraat to Dam vicinity.
Boys Club 21 (Spuisstraat 21), Thursday - Saturday male dancers, handsome/ sensual guys, casual meetings at bar/lounge, weekend strip shows, four full-amenity hotel rooms upstairs.
Cafe 't Sluisje (Torensteeg 1), Thursday-Sunday bar/ three-course dinnerclub, fine wines, drag cabaret shows. Also daytime pancake menu from noon.
Cuckoo's Nest (Nieuwezijds Kolk 6), men's bar, fully equipped SM play cellar, videos, cabins, busy night and day, international crowd, friendly staff.
Hot Spot (Jonge Roelensteeg 4), cosy gay bar, daily from 4pm with drinks and 6-8pm Happy Snacks; 4 big-screens TVs with old and new campy music videos, mostly guys. Formerly on Amstel, now at old Club Stereo site near Dam Square.
Mankind (Weteringstraat 60), bar/cafe near Rijksmuseum, canal-side terrace tables; hot/ cold light meals, sandwiches, snacks, daily special, vegetarian options.
Prik (Spuisstraat 109), bar/ cafe and terrave, just off Dam Square, frisky young crowd, almost entirely Dutch; very popular on weekends with DJs, Sunday Free Bites.
Web (Jacobsstraat 4-6), venerable leather men's bar, roof garden, 'not too dark' darkroom, earlier than most places cruising, popular Sunday.
CLOSED: Café Bordó (Nieuwe Nieuwstraat 20), lesbian cafe/bar; Club Stereo (Jonge Roelensteeg 4), weekend dancing - now Hot Spot.
Bars: Amstel /Rembrandtplein
On streets leading to Rembrandtplein from the Amstel River there are some popular local bars and a lively Pride Weekend street party each year.
Amstel Fifty Four (Amstel 54), lively happy hours and late nights, tourists mix easily with locals, summer terrace.
Brug34 (Utrechtsestraat 19), small cafe on the Herrengracht canal just south of Rembrandtplein, breakfast/ lunch cafe, terrace, evening drinks, mostly men.
Cafe De Jaren (Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20), large grand canal-side mixed crowd cafe/bar and trrace; lunch, high tea and dinner menus, coffees, salad buffets.
Fame (Amstel 50), small gay pub, young crowd, karaoke, cabaret, go-gos, special party nights; was Chez Rene.
Lellebel (Utrechtsestraat 4), bends gender with live shows, theme nights, nightly events.
Montmartre (Halve Maansteeg 17), busy nightly happy hours, popular later with locals young and old, Dutch tunes, dance classics.
Queers Cafe (Amstel 60), popular bar, stylish, old-fashioned decor, mature atmosphere, Dutch music, drag and showtunes. Formerly Dubbel D and Cafe Rouge.
CLOSED: Entre Nous (Halve Maansteeg 14); Vivelavie (looking for new location), lesbian bar, intense crush of young women, popular late weekends.
Bars, cafes: Reguliarsdwarsstraat
A block south of the flower market, Reguliarsdwarsstraat, lined with bars, restaurants, and shops, has traditionally been filled with young gay party people on summer nights. Check updates at the Reguliers website.
Bar Blend (Reguliersdwarsstraat 41), new (2019) LGBT/mixed pub/bar on three levels, terrace, wide-range of folk; open every afternoon through early morning hours.
Bar Broker (Reguliersdwarsstraat 44), Wall Street theme pop-up bar at old La Cage location, drinks price fluctuations display on big board, stock exchange-style; dancing, sandwiches/snacks.
Betty Boop (Reguliersdwarsstraat 29), comic character theme, 18+ marijuana coffeehouse, snacks and beverages.
Cafe De Duivel (Reguliersdwarsstraat 87), famous hiphop, soul, funk and groove nightclub, cultural/racial mix, 8pm-3am weekdays, until 4am weekends.
Café 't Dwarsliggertje (Reguliersdwarsstraat 105), tiny but lively gay bar, diverse crowd mixes with casual aplomb, Dutch and international music.
Club NYX (Reguliersdwarsstraat 42), nightclub on three levels, each with it's own music/atmosphere; gay, straight-friendly dance crowd, gayest on Saturdays, smokers' area; Thursday students' night, Friday and Saturday nights afterhours - see Exit Après Chique.
Exit Après Chique Café (Reguliersdwarsstraat 42), gay bar at Club NYX, open daily until late (4am, Friday/Saturday until 5am), popular Dutch and international pop music, dance if you can find room in the crowd; all-year terrace. See their FB page (if you have a FB acct) for events.
Free-I (Reguliersdwarsstraat 70), gay-frequented marijuana coffeeshop, deep-house to lounge music from well-known local DJs.
A L'Elephant du Congo (Reguliersdwarsstraat 37), gay-friendly mainstream music and visual arts eclectic ambiance, front bar and terrace, dance club in back later in the evening. Former site of April, then Ludwig.
Lunchroom Downtown (Regulierdwarsstraat 31), handy location, busy inside and outside for lunch, coffee, snacks; read, chat, or watch the world go by from the summer terrace.
Other Side (Reguliersdwarsstraat 6), gay-popular marijuana coffeeshop, art exhibitions.
Reality Bar (Reguliersdwarsstraat 129), diverse crowd, tropical setting, hip-moving multicultural music and vibes of warmer climes.
SoHo (Reguliersdwarsstraat 36), among largest gay bars in the city, classic wood interior, fireplace, terrace, dancing/ DJ sets, cocktails, mostly guys, locals and tourists.
Snappers Resto-Bar (Reguliersdwarsstraat 21), Mediterranean-Caribbean restaurant/ cocktail bar, Tex-Mex comfort foods, summer terrace.
Taboo (Reguliersdwarsstraat 45), colorful cocktail bar/lounge on two levels, big screen music videos, drag shows, popular happy hours.
Taboo Kantine (Reguliersdwarsstraat 43), Thursday-Sunday lesbian/gay/mixed cafe/bar drinks, cocktails, snacks and meals; stage performances, drag shows, DJs, dancing. Shares terrace with Taboo.
CLOSED: Kalinka (Reguliersdwarsstraat 125); La Cage (Reguliersdwarsstraat 44), gay restaurant/ cocktail lounge.
Clubs, cafes: Near Leidseplein
Club Church (Kerkstraat 52), men's leather/rubber, bears' cruise bar, smoker's lounge, private cabins, slings, douches, and showers. Weekly or monthly themes include Blue kooky klubbing, Jacks jackoff parties, Kink piss/ SM Tuesdays, first Saturdays Meat Market, Naked Bar Wednesdays, Sex On Sunday, Spank, Twinks Orgy for guys 32 and under, and (z)onderbroek underwear nights. Special fetish parties and events throughout the year include Furball, Hoerenbal hookers ball; Ladz, Undercover naked masked nights, and XXXLeather.
Melkweg (Lijnbaansgracht 234a), big dance nights, expos, conferences, special events, music concert venue.
Paradiso (Weteringschans 6-8), big dance club and concert venue southeast of Leidseplein; Superball in July, plus Club Rapido circuit parties several times a year.
Spijker (Kerksstraat 4), mostly men gay bar, beer busts, big-jackpot bingo, pool table, backroom playspace and darkroom, porn and cartoons.
Walem (Keizersgracht 449), gay-friendly cafe/ bar, terrace tables beside canal, traditional lunch or afternoon coffee, tea, cake; dinner a Mediterranean twist.
Clubs outside the center
Panama (Oostelijke Handelskade 4), upscale fashion-conscious lounge mainstream crowd; LGBT events have included Flirtation women-only dances and Bear Necessity for men.
Saarein Cafe (Elandsstraat 119, Jordaan), mostly women but "all queer-minded people" friendly mixed bar and cozy cafe; pool table, giant screen TV, smoking area, snacks/light meals, Saturday lunch from noon.
Same Place (Nassaukade 120, Centrum West), Monday night men-only sex parties. Erotic bar open for everyone on other nights.
Trut (Bilderdijkstraat 165), basement dance party every Sunday night, fills up fast, young crowd, cheap beer.
Warehouse Elementenstraat (Elementenstraat 25, Westpoort), industrial-style dance club venue, circuit parties; Liquid Kiddy in March.
Westergasfabriek (Haarlemmerweg 8, Westerpark), restaurants, bars, nightclub, shops & galleries, in a park setting where the Milkshake Festival takes place in July.
Westerunie (Klonneplein 4-6, Westerpark), dance club in park setting, home to X-AMS and Funhouse Club Rapido events.
CLOSED: Trouw (Wibautstraat 131); UNK and G|O|D (Get On Down), queer House/ Techno dance parties by UNlimiter Eventlabel at Studio 80 - now Claire.
See our events listings, and websites Backdoor, Club Rapido + Funhouse, Bear-Necessity, Danserette, Furball, Ladz, Milkshake Festival, Spellbound, Spielraum, UltraSexi (FPQ), Wasteland Summerfest, and XXXLeather, for ongoing events around town each month, each year, or now and then.
Sauna Nieuwezijds (Nieuwezijds Armsteeg 95), the gay sauna near Central Station, by the guys from Club Church; lounge/bar, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, private cabins, smoker's lounge, massage. Open 365 days/year.
CLOSED: Sauna Damrak 54 (Damrak 54), men-only sauna; Thermos Sauna (Raamstraat 33), 5-level steam/sauna complex, pool, whirlpool, bar/ lounge.
In The Hague, to the south of Amsterdam, Gaysauna Fides (Veenkade 20), a small steam and dry sauna for men, has a Jacuzzi, cabins and a bar.
In Arnhem, a short train ride to the east of Amsterdam, the Steamworks (Roermondsplein 32) gay sauna features monthly foam parties. In the town of Enschede, a bit further east, by the German border, 't Bölke (Molenstraat 6) is another gay sauna and cafe/disco complex to check out.
Boys Club 21 (Spuisstraat 21), Friday and Saturday male dancer/stripper bar, handsome, sensual guys, casual meetings at bar/lounge, shows, four full-amenity hotel rooms upstairs.
Club Church (Kerkstraat 52), all kinds of erotic events, including Ladz fetish parties, plus naked parties, sneaker and sports fetish and more.
Eagle Amsterdam (Warmoesstraat 90), Fickstutenmarkt sex party events; Horsemen & Knights + ncAdam naked nights.
Same Place (Nassaukade 120), erotic bar, open to all, irrespective of gender or sexual preferences. Monday night men-only sex parties 7pm-12am.
In The Hague, Club Ron at Paradise Club (Thomsonlaan 107), a Saturday night gay bay/lounge, has an indoor pool, a play area cage and sling, plus kinky Bear and BDSM theme nights.
Prostitution is legal and regulated in Amsterdam. Several websites offer the companionship of attractive young men, but since North American websites can no longer link to these sites, see local Amsterdam websites for information.
Nieuwe Meer (Anton Schleperspad) day and night, can be muddy, sometimes attracts gay bashers.
Vondelpark (near Leidseplein) day and night, at the rose garden in the center of the park.
Oosterpark (by Tropenmuseum) cruisy after sunset, park gets very dark, popular with local Arab guys.
Film & Theater
Cinecenter (Lijnbaansgracht 236, near Leidseplein) gay-friendly art-house cinema with screenings in original languages.
De Balie (Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10, Leidseplein), art exhibitions, political and cultural seminars, lectures, music concerts, international films cinema, media; Grand Café, online video clips, magazine.
EYE National Film Museum (IJpromenade 1, Harbour), 40,000 film collection, all genres/eras, screenings in four cinemas, exhibitions, educational activities, store, bar and restaurant.
Ketel Huis (Pazzanistraat 4, Westergasfabriek), art-house cinema, international film screenings in OV, LGBT film festival venue.
Pathe de Munt (Vijzelstraat 15), OV language films of the world; international classic Gay Night movie screenings each first Wednesday of the month.
Pathé Tuschinski (Reguliersbreestraat 26-34), international and domestic films, Hollywood blockbuster to art-house cinema in original language version.
The Movies (Haarlemmerdijk 161), cinema near Centraal Station, Art Deco interior, current general releases, films of LGBT interest, OV original languages; cafe/bar.
Eating out in Amsterdam is an experience as varied in flavors as the residents and foreign tourists alike with creative chefs and every cuisine imaginable. Some gay favorites follow. See our full listings for links to these and another 47 restaurant suggestions.
Cafe Mankind (Welteringstraat 60), gay-friendly cafe and bar near the Rijksmuseum, canal-side terrace and docking area, lunch, panini sandwiches, soups, egg dishes, bar.
Deer Mama Vegan Mylk & Burger Bar (Ceintuurbaan 71, Nieuw-Zuid), burgers; mylk softserves/shakes and brunch tofu scrambles.
Garlic Queen (Reguilersdwarsstraat 27), everything made with healing and aromatic garlic, including ice cream. Under renovation, plans to reopen by Spring 2016.
Getto (Warmoesstraat 51), "serving hungry homos since 1996," home cooking, a mix of cuisines from Louisiana to Paris, Sunday brunch, and American Thanksgiving if you're missing the turkey.
Golden Temple (Utrechtsestraat 126), international vegetarian cuisine of South Asia, Middle East, Italy; salad bar, fresh juices, chai, teas, many vegan options.
Hemelse Modder (Oude Waal 11), French and Italian comfort food with an Asian twist; "heavenly mud" is their chocolate mousse.
Lunchroom Downtown (Reguliersdwarsstraat 31), gay-popular cafe since 1970, diverse crowd, salads, burgers, quiche, curries, pancakes, home-baked cakes, ice cream, summer terrace seating.
Other Side (Reguilersdwarsstraat 6), friendly gay coffeeshop, pre-rolled hash, potent pot, munchies, hot chocolate.
Roses by SAL (Reguilersdwarsstraat 40), Latin street foods, empanadas, ceviche, tostadas, meat and fish asados, finger foods and sides; patio.
Saturnino (Reguliersdwarsstraat 5), authentic Sicilian restaurant, inexpensive wine list, gracious host; pasta/pizza, meat/fish and veggie options, espresso coffees, rich desserts, lunch/ dinner and take-out.
Cafe 't Sluisje (Torensteeg 1), drag show three-course dining with two seatings.
Supperclub (Jonge Roelensteeg 21), reclining couches, in-house DJs, fun cast of characters, five- course set meals; cocktail bar, nightclub, gallery and experimental free-for-all.
Vegan Junk Food Bar (Reguliersdwarsstraat 57), plant-based dips, salads, burgers, brats, fries, sashimi; smoothies, cocktails.
Walem (Keizergracht 49), gay- friendly vibe, canal-side cafe terrace; breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, soup, salads, steaks, pastas, specials.
De Bijenkorf, founded in 1870 is a large high end department store at Dam Square. The Maison de Bonneterie department store south on Rokin, founded in 1889, closed in late 2014.
Prestige brand name shops such as Armani, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Luis Vuitton, Prada and Tiffany, along with Burberry, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Dolce&Gabbana, Hermès, Hugo, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger, can be found along Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, a street between between Vondelpark and the Rijksmuseum, on tram lines 2 or 5.
The old Amsterdam Main Post Office built in 1895–1899 on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, just behind the Royal Palace, is now the Magna Plaza shopping mall, with men's and women's fashion boutiques, cheese and souvenir shops, a pizza restaurant, and the Grand Cafe Ovidius - all open seven days a week.
Fame, the country's largest entertainment shop with music CDs and video DVDs, moved to Media Markt Amsterdam Centrum, on Oosterdokskade, east of Central Station.
Other shopping districts include the nine canal-side streets of Negen Straatjes, in the Grachtengordel area just off the Leidsegracht, and the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk area near Central Station. The Damrak and Nieuwendijk to the north of Dam Square, along with Kalverstraat and Rokin to the south, are lined with shops and restaurants, pretty much all the way from Central Station to Muntplein. From here Regululiersdwarstraat, one street south of the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) on the Singel Canal, is lined with shops, bars and cafes, all the way from Rembrandplein to Koningsplein. The Apple Store is in Leidseplein.
Open-air street markets include: Albert Cuypmarkt, (tram 16 or 24), held daily just south of the Heineken Experience; Westerstraat-markt, Mondays along Westerstraat in Jordan; Ten Katemarkt, Monday through Saturday off Kinkerstraat (tram 17); and Dappermarkt, (tram 9), another daily market near Oosterpark.
Amsterdamse Poort near Strandvlietand Metro station, and Stadshart Amstelveen near Centrum Amstelveen Metro, are two shopping centers a bit out from the center, with stores, services and American-style fast food restaurants.
Bollox (Eerste Schinkelstraat 14-16), near Vondelpark, anarchist bookstore, Thursday-Saturday MKZ vegan cafe, and community/cultual center with Sunday women's nights; part of the Binnenpret complex, a legalized squat, home to variousf political and cultural initiatives run by volunteers.
Taschen (P.C. Hooftstraat 44), high end bookshop with publications of fine art, illustrations, photography and music, including some sexy items of erotica, both gay and straight.
Vrolijk Boeken & Films / LGBT Books & Movies, previously with bookstore just off the Damrak, now online retail; extensive Dutch and English selection of books in print and e-editions, academic works, international art-house DVD movies, gifts and calendars.
Spui Square is a center for bookshops with three major retail stores and Friday booksellers' stands with all kinds of reading material from far and wide.
Athenaeum Bookshop (Spui 14), large Dutch bookstore in the square, with titles in many languages, including photo and art books.
American Book Center (Spui 12), and Waterstones (Kalverstraat 152), large retail bookstores in Spui Square area, where English is the common tongue; the city’s best assortment of books and magazines from all around the Anglosphere.
Shopping: Gifts & Clothes
ES Collection (Zeedijk 61) - CLOSED - retail store for Spanish fashion underwear and swimsuit label; also urban and athletic wear.
Gays & Gadgets (Spuistraat 44), tee shirts, underwear, gay-theme cards, posters, knick-knacks, souvenirs and pop art.
Pink Point (Keizersgracht at Westermarkt), gay and lesbian information kiosk near the Homomonument, maps, guides, tips and souvenirs.
Shirtshop (Reguliersdwarsstraat 64), for guys, dress-to-impress at affordable prices, not mass-product, indIvidual shirts, cool tees, jeans and jackets.
A world center for leather clothing and gear, Amsterdam has top-notch stores and services. Look first to the heart of the leather scene under the black-and-blue flags in Warmoesstraat.
Black Body (Kerkstraat 173), selections from rubber socks to body bags, good prices on jeans, chaps, shirts, vests.
Mister B (Warmoesstraat 89), home retail store of international leather/fetish product line, fine leather/rubber garments, boots, accessories, fetish magazines, toys, piercing, tattooing, and artworks.
Mister B (Van der Madeweg 5b), like the retail store, but for traders, shop owners and internet stores.
RoB Amsterdam (Warmoesstraat 71), the other famous leather maker's flagship store, custom-made leather/ fetish items and accessories.
Shopping: Sex shops
Amsterdam is a center for gay sex shops and cinemas with wide selections, on-site screenings, cruising and DVD rentals.
B1 Sexshop (Reguliersbreestraat 4), gay and straight sex shop, DVDs, porn cinemas, darkroom.
Bronx Video and Bookshop/Cinema (Kerkstraat 53, near Leidseplein), gay erotic magazines, books, DVD sales/rentals, video cabins, internet.
Drake's (Damrak 61), sex shop magazines and videos, toys, SMB accessories, peep booths, glory holes, rainbow items.
Le Salon (Nieuwendijk 20-22), gay/straight/bi porn cinema near Central Station, plenty to read and watch, peep booths, glory holes.