Amstel Fifty Four
This is one of the old and trusted establishments in the Amsterdam gay scene: open to public since 1964.
Restyled & renamed, but it still keeps some of the old atmosphere. The customers seem a bit less colorful (and drunk) than in the old days. The bar hosts regular events with drag queens and DJ's. Together with neighboring gay bars they organize themed evenings.
The doormen at the bar sometimes follow an unclear door policy. Some online reviews complain about trying to take advantage of tourist by them.
Open: Every day, from 5pm till 3AM (weekdays) or 4AM (weekend)
Amstel 54 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bar Blend (Reguliersdwarsstraat 41) is a new addition to the gay strip on the famous Reguliersdwarsstraat. It has a two floor lay-out, with the largest bar area on the ground floor and a smaller bar area on the first floor. The toilets are on the second floors. Both floors can be reached by steep staircases. The bar has a sober interior.
The bar had just opened when we visited it during the Amsterdam Pride. Thanks to the many visitors for the Pride, they got off to a good start. Together with the other gay bars next door and across the street, Blend forms a nice stop during a leisurely crawl from pub to pub. During nice weather the street becomes one big, gay outdoor terrace which is well served by Bar Blend and its' neighbors.
We we'll be visiting shortly to see how the bar is developing. Meanwhile check it out and let us know what you think.
Bar Blend is open every day of the week: Monday till Thursday from 1PM till 3AM, Friday till Sunday from 2PM till 4AM.
Reguliersdwarsstraat 41 Amsterdam
Brug 34 is a new addition to the gay scene of Amsterdam. It is a mix of a coffee bar and wine bar. "Coffee (to go) by day - drinks by night" is therefore their slogan. Apart from coffee or beer, you can also can get breakfast and lunch. The menu is small, but the quality of the food is good.
It is a tiny bar, with a bright and minimalistic interior. At night in the weekend chairs and tables go to the side and the local drag queen will spin some records. Unfortunately that means that the dj-set seems almost to block the entry to the bar.
On the plus side however is the terras of Brug 34 on the bridge over the Herengracht canal (Brug is bridge in Dutch). This leafy place gives you a great view on a beautfull canal, while still enjoying the hustle and bustle of the traffic of the trendy Utrechtsestraat.
You see fashionistas, lawyers, students and everything in between. A special attraction is the traffic to its’ next door neighbor: the well known coffeeshop Boerenjongens. That traffic is managed by an impressive looking steetmanager, dressed like a Sherlock Holmes character.
Monday - Thursday 8am - 1am
Friday 8am - 3am
Saturday 9am - 3am
Sunday 9am - 1am
Utrechtsestraat 19, 1017 VH Amsterdam, Nederland
Café Hermes, where everybody is welcome
Café Hermes on the corner of Ceintuurbaan 55 (not to be confused with Grand Café Hermes near Sloterdijk station) is a classic, original Amsterdam bar. Its history goes back to 1900, but don’t expect an Art Nouveau decor. The interior is typical for this kind of bar, a bit of everything and a bit too much. Its atmosphere is welcoming, the staff friendly and informal, customers relaxed and open for a chat. You’ll meet regulars, tourist and passers by. The staff are of course huge Ajax fans, so it’s also a bar where you can see football on a big screen. On King’s Day everybody will be dressed in orange (and become very cheerful).
We didn’t feel a strong LHBTQI vibe, but we did see two guys holding hands on the terrace while enjoying a beer and the girls at the bar were definitely very interested in the lady behind the bar.
The slogan of the bar translates to something like ‘where everybody is welcome’ and we think that’s a nice summary. Ideal for a drink when you’re exploring this area of Amsterdam.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, afternoon and evening.
Ceintuurbaan Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
Exit Après Chique Café
Gay cafe next to the nightclub NYX. Organizes regular events around iconic gay events like RuPaul's Drag Race, Eurovision Song Contest etc. Those events will draw groups of friends over to the bar who have a good time watching those events on a big screen. On other nights drinks take the centre stage with drinks themed evening (think of Tequila Thursday etc.). Overall a crowd of 20 and 30 something ready to go clubbing or get an after drink when they left the dance floor. On Friday they open up early for the end of the week Friday afternoon drink.
Reguliersdwarsstraat 42 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This pub opened on December 11, 2016, on the same place as Bar Chez. Their slogan on the Facebook page is 'Come in, have fun, dance and sing-a-long!'. That is just what Fame is as was the case with its predecessors.
If you have visited the bar before, you might be a bit turned around. That is just what has happened: they moved the bar from one side of the bar to the other one. We like the uncomplicated, friendly atmosphere in this relatively small and cosy bar. They have regular bar events with offers of cheap shots or wine, depending on the weather and the occasion.
The public is a mix of gays and there straight bff’s. A mix of all ages, although slightly on the younger side. Fame is a great bar in this area of gay bars to get together with a larger group of friends and have a fun night together.
Open: Every day, after 6 PM (4PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) till 3am (4 AM on Friday and Saturday)
Amstel 50 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Small cozy bar with stage annex dance floor and wonderful authentic art deco lights. Before entering check-out the Barbie & Ken collection in the window.
Lellebel is the mother of all drag queen pubs in Amsterdam right now. It is known for it’s mixed, gay, lesbian and straight public. But they all share one common denominator: they love to party and love drag queen entertainment. Lellebel organizes several sorts of events: karaoke evenings, drag queen performances, bingo nights etc. Mostly the party gets started around 10 PM.
Utrechtsestraat 4, Amsterdam
It used to be a very popular gay bar: crowded, with lots of minor local celebrities. But when we there last it was quite empty with no celebrities (local nor minor) in sight. Was it the wrong evening or is something else going on?
Since that visit Montmartre is slowly staging a comeback and getting more popular again. It organizes regular events like karaoke evenings and open mic night. Expect a party atmosphere and friendly banter.
Open: Every day from 5PM
Halvemaanssteeg 17, Amsterdam
Relaxed atmosphere with a mixed crowd of all ages: alternative types, very women friendly, although mainly gay men. Prik has repeatedly won the prize for best gay bar in The Netherlands and it has become a stable fixture in the fast changing gay scene in Amsterdam.
The staff reflects the relaxed and mixed clientele. They always do their best to make you feel welcome and go out of their way in organising karaoke nights, pub quizzes, and other special events. They also host events of local gay groups, like the monthly drink of hiv positive men or events of the gay expat group. Check out their agenda on their website!
At Prik you can order classic Dutch snacks (like bitterballen), but don’t forget to try the pink prosecco right from the tap! Their cocktails are famous, especially the non-alcoholic ones (do you dare ordering a pussy at the bar?).
In short: this is the place where a large part of the Amsterdam gay community hangs out and meets their friends. The terrace in summer is also worth mentioning: itt was the winner in our gay terraces test.
Address: Spuistraat 109
Monday till Thursday 4PM - 1AM
Friday till Saturday 4PM - 3AM
Sunday 3PM – 1AM
Spuistraat 109, Amsterdam
The Queen's Head is a luxuriously decorated bar with old fashioned seats in the back and a remarkable view on one of Amsterdams canals. The public is mixed, but mainly gay man of all sorts. Don't forget to visit the toilet downstairs!
Ideal bar to visit with your new boy friend, but also nice to sit at the bar and have a beer. The Queen's Head comes with a small stage, so you could expect some entertainment during your night out. Think of events like Karaoke, Bingo, Draq queen performances or a DJ spinning records.
Open: Every day from 4PM
Website or Facebook page
Zeedijk 20, Amsterdam
Fast becoming one of the most popular gay bars in Amsterdam, Queers is relatively new on the scene. Located next to the Kleine Komedie theater, Queers gives its’ neighor a run for its’money in the field of entertainment and laughs. The gay crowd (mostly gay men) flock to the bar where drag queens perform on a small podium in the back of the bar on Fancy Friday.
Often very good drag queen acts entertain the crowd with live singing, dancing and small banter with the public. Meanwhile the professional staff behind the bar quickly serviced all the customers who ordered a drink.
Other events you can expect there are bingo nights and singalongs.
So definitely a bar to check out to have a good time while you are in Amsterdam.
Amstel 60, Amsterdam
A bar with the explicit aim to integrate gay men from all the different ethnic groups who live in Amsterdam. The emphasis is more on men from the Caribbean Isles and Suriname. The atmosphere reflects this crowd and has a party/carnaval feel. Recently they started to organize jazz & blues themed Open Mic evenings on Sunday's.
When we were there on a Friday around 10 pm, it was still rather quiet. It wasn’t empty in an awkward kind of way, there were some people in the bar, and some outside. Still, it should have been a bit more busy, perhaps. After all, it was a Friday night, and not extremely early. So expect to get this bar to get alive later at night.
The bar is very close to the very popular and very straight Rembrandt plein. So sometimes the street in front of the bar can have a bit of a rough atmosphere. Inside the bar is very friendly and welcoming.
Reguliersdwarsstraat 129, Amsterdam
Ruk en Pluk – where you might see a Grindr profile
‘Ruk en Pluk’ is a neighbourhood bar the eastern area of Amsterdam, just past a rail track on the popular Lineausstraat. The name has a double entendre meaning in Dutch, which translates best to Wank and Pull. Less double entendre is the interior. It is richly decorated with ribbons, flags, pictures, shiny object, dolls and dildos. Regularly a rainbow flag hangs outside the pub, so an unexpecting passer by might think he found the local gay bar.
‘Ruk en Pluk’ is run by two ladies from around 70 years old. The bar got it’s name in the 1980’s, when two gay men took it over. In the 1990’s some gay themed events took place in the bar. When men died the current owners took it over around 2007. They liked the bar as it was and didn’t change a thing. The neighbourhood changed however and soon they attracted new crowds, like rugby teams or handball teams who come by for a drink after a weekday training.
We visited the bar on a warm summer night and found a place on the secluded terrace on the street along the rail track. The crowd is a mixture of regulars from the neighbourhood and outside of the city of all ages over 30. They are drawn to the bar because of the traditional, Amsterdam pub atmosphere. We didn’t detect a strong gay vibe, but the pub has a general gay friendly atmosphere.
One of us even saw a person from his Grindr favourites list on the terrace. Reality hit hard this time and the person was quickly removed from that list. All in all, ‘Ruk en Pluk’ is an old fashioned Amsterdam neighbourhood bar. It is a fast disappearing kind of bar, so if you stay in the area it is worth a brief visit. Watch out: they only accept cash payments.
Linnaeusstraat Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
Inside the bar has a grand English gentlemens pub interior, with bars across two floors linked by a big staircase. On the ground floor a dancing area has been created and on the first floor a smoking room gives shelter for the die heart nicotine addicts on cold evenings. Over the years the interior has become well worn in a pleasant way: the floors tell stories of parties, the bar of successful pick ups and the chairs of intimate conversations. We liked what we saw.
The staff run the bar well from their big central serving area. They are friendly and attentive. They get the party started and keep it going, while keeping an eye on everybody’s well being in this big bar.
The crowd is very mixed and mixes well with the neigbouring places like Taboo bar, Exit bar and Nyx nightclub. Expect a young and older, professionals and students, locals and tourists. Maybe not the most extravagant or creative crowd, but Soho is well worth a visit on a night out.
Reguliersdwarsstraat 36, Amsterdam
Taboo is a popular gay bar in the Reguliersdwarstraat. It is a tiny bar with an interior dominated with heavy reds, retro wallpaper and large tv screens. A typical Amsterdam steep staircase leads up to the first floor where the bathroom is. The friendly and professional staff make sure you'll have your drink quickly.
Taboo attracts a mixed crowd of locals and tourists, making it a popular spot to meet-up with friends for a drink a search the crowd for new men in the city. Men of all ages feel welcome at this place. Special attraction in this crowd are the drag queens who start there evening out at Taboo and sometimes give an impromptu performance. When the weather is good, the street in front of Taboo wil fill with a huge crowd and mix with the visitors from the Soho bar across the street. This gives your night out the feel of a spontaneous street party.
Next to Taboo bar will open up Taboo Kantine, where you will be able to have a bite with your drinks.
Reguliersdwarsstraat 45, Amsterdam
The oldest still surviving gay bar in Amsterdam. It started in 1927 by the legendary Bet van Beeren: a fearless lesbian woman. It is still going strong as a great meeting point for men and women, young and old, locals and visitors of the city. On average the clients are slightly older. Thanks to its historical interior and the many Amsterdammers visiting the pub, it has a real local feel. Everybody feels quickly at home in this bar and since it is so tiny, it will soon feel populated and festive.
The music is a bit loud sometimes. You can expect (inter)national hits from the 1950’s till the 1990’s. This place is an easy place to meet-up when you go out with friends, or the last stop before each goes their way home.
What is special about ‘t Mandje is its regular program. On Sunday afternoons you can go to a Sunday Singalong with Suzanna. From 4PM onwards, Suzanna will accompany the crowd with her digital accordion to a sing-a-long of popular tunes. On Tuesdays from 8PM onwards, Pete will treat you to the best Jazz tunes. And once every so months, Nicola Snaas and her musicians is giving a live jazz concert. Look at the Facebook page for the latest events news.
Zeedijk 63, Amsterdam