Holidays & Celebrations

The complete guide to Pride Amsterdam

Prepare to wear your brightest colors and celebrate diversity in Netherlands’ vibrant capital. From boat parties to exhibitions, here’s what to expect from Amsterdam Pride.

Amsterdam Pride

By Bettina Borg

Updated 11-4-2024

When it comes to celebrating LGBTQI+ pride, there’s no place like Amsterdam. For two weeks, the city is full of parties, parades, music, and more to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer identities.

Since the Netherlands is known for its open-minded culture, it’s no wonder that over 500,000 people visit Amsterdam Pride each year. And, of course, there are plenty of events to keep you busy. Whether you’re an art lover or a party animal, there’s something for everyone.

To stay in the loop with the hundreds of events on offer, discover the main happenings at Amsterdam Pride:


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Pride Walk

The opening event for Amsterdam Pride each year is Pride Walk, where people from all over the world parade to commemorate equality. In addition, inspiring speeches are given to campaign against LGBTQI+ discrimination.

The route changes every year, however, the parade always passes through central Amsterdam. Make sure to wear bright colors and bring any flags and signs to show your support.

People participate in Pride Walk in Amsterdam waving pride and transgender flags
Pride Walk, Amsterdam (Photo: Ana Fernandez/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

After the walk, you can make your way to the opening party to launch the pride celebrations. Here you can find dancing, live music, stalls, and even sports.

Afterwards comes TransWalk, a parade much like Pride Walk, but specifically dedicated to raising awareness for transgender rights. Whether you identify as transgender or are an ally, everyone is welcome. What better way to kick off an exciting week?


One of the most popular sporting events during Pride, LoveSwim encourages swimmers to dive into the Amstel River to show their support for the LGBTQI+ community. Participants must register in advance and can swim up to a whopping 1,500 meters.

The swim kicks off in the afternoon. Alongside cheering for the swimmers, expect to find local vendors selling food and drinks, as well as speeches and DJs to keep the momentum going.

Milkshake Festival

Want to join a big dance party and express yourself to the full? Then Milkshake Festival is for you.

The event is a two-day dance festival located in the heart of Amsterdam. With a variety of artists taking to the stage to play electronic, house, disco, R&B, and pop music, it’s the place to be if you want to dance to your heart’s content while connecting with the LGBTQIA+ community.

You can also find plenty of performances and drag shows to brighten up the weekend. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun, however, tickets must be bought in advance.

Canal Parade

The most well-known event of the week, the Canal Parade is not to be missed. 80-themed floats sail down the Amstel River, complete with DJs, go-go dancers, drag queens, and more.

Float with balloons sails through busy Canal Parade in Amsterdam
Photo: Ana Fernandez/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Floats are picked months ahead of the event to match Amsterdam Pride’s yearly theme. Unless you have a permit, you cannot take your boat out and join the parade route. Nevertheless, you can still show your support from the many bridges in Amsterdam overlooking the Amstel. What’s more, there’s always a big afterparty to keep the party spirit going.

Cultural events

If you prefer cultural events to big parties, you’ll be spoiled for choice at Amsterdam Pride. The week is brimming with film screenings, exhibitions, book events, dances, concerts, and more. The events are made by and for the LGBTQI+ community and are located throughout the city.

For a complete list of the art and culture events on offer, check the official Amsterdam Pride website.

Street parties

In between large events, Amsterdam Pride is filled with plenty of street parties. You can find these across multiple days in various neighborhoods in Amsterdam, typically running from the afternoon till midnight.

These parties are great to meet like-minded people and are easily accessible. They are also free of charge, enabling you to take advantage of live music and a fun atmosphere without needing to spend a penny. Stalls with food and drinks from local businesses are also available.

If you want to keep the party going after midnight, you can hit up some of Amsterdam’s many LGBTQI+-friendly clubs. Popular options include Club NYX, The Queen’s Head, Club Church, and Taboo.

Closing party

After a week of excitement and events, the Closing Party is the final showstopper to wrap up Amsterdam Pride. Artists and performers from across the world take to the grand stage each year, which is set up in front of the Royal Palace at Dam Square.

Streamers flying over crowds of people celebrating Pride Amsterdam's Closing Party
Closing Party on Dam Square (Photo: Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto/ Getty Images

Here, thousands of attendees come together to celebrate equality, love, and the importance of Pride in Amsterdam. The event is free to the public, however, you can buy VIP tickets if you want to secure a good spot and avoid lengthy lines at the bathroom.

Useful resources

  • Pride Amsterdam – the official website for Pride in Amsterdam where you can find all the events taking place
  • Amsterdam Council – more information on Queer & Pride Amsterdam, including functional information and more events
  • Queer Amsterdam – information and program of events for Queer Amsterdam

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