Best gay bars and nightclubs in Amsterdam from huge dance floors and drag shows to historic cafes and art spaces

By Tetiana PavlichenkoOct 27, 2023 14:55 PMAmsterdam
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Best gay bars and nightclubs in Amsterdam from huge dance floors and drag shows to historic cafes and art spaces
Amsterdam's gay clubs always have the most colorful parties. Source: Image Taboo-bar-amsterdam.jimdosite.com

It's a city with vibrant, liberating, and breathtaking nightlife. It knows how to party wherever you go in Amsterdam, whether you go to a cool nightclub, a colorful gay pub, or a cocktail bar. But it also has one of the best queer scenes on the continent with parties that are hard to compete with. There are fantastic gay clubs and bars all over Amsterdam that not only LGBTQ+ people enjoy visiting but also many heterosexuals. After all, these are the most awesome parties in the city. Many of Amsterdam's best gay bars are located on the famous Reguliersdwarsstraat, and the choice is vast and varied: from bisexual clubs to lounges with live performances. Thus, if you're looking for a place for a stunning evening out in Amsterdam, these 6 LGBT clubs are definitely worth a visit.

1. Club NYX

One of the most popular gay clubs in Amsterdam NYX is named after the Greek goddess of the night. It is named so for a reason as it is one of the main nightlife hotspots for the city's youth. This big club occupies 4 floors of the former carriage house. There are several dance floors, bars, and lounge areas, and you can hear mostly pop, house, or urban music. Each floor is dedicated to a different genre of music. You will not miss a single sound because there are DJ booths even in the toilets. Visitors are offered a large menu of drinks. Amsterdam's best gay dance club with its relaxed atmosphere and free character has a colorful interior with extensive use of graffiti, glitter, and concrete and an exclusive VOID sound system. The club can accommodate approximately 850 guests.

2. Café 't Mandje

Best gay bars and nightclubs in Amsterdam from huge dance floors and drag shows to historic cafes and art spaces
The interior of one of the first gay clubs holds a lot of memorabilia. Source: Image Cafetmandje.amsterdam

This club in Amsterdam is considered a pioneer. It was founded in 1927 by Bet van Beeren, turning the place into a popular center for the city's LGBT community. It existed in this state until 1982 when it was closed. But in 2008, thanks to the involvement of Beeren's sister Greet (who sadly passed away soon after), Café 't Mandje reopened its doors to the public under the management of Beth's niece Diana Van Laar. This establishment operates as a brownstone cafe and store, retaining a nostalgic interior with walls hung with memorabilia, a pool table, jukeboxes, and cocktails with provocative names. This bar is popular with LGBT people and beyond. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the owners were forced to sell the establishment to NV Zeedijk, which aims to keep it open for the next hundred years.

3. Taboo

This trendy establishment with a cozy terrace, perfect for relaxing during the day and having a drink in the warm evening, is found in the heart of Amsterdam's famous gay neighbourhood on Reguliersdwarsstraat, where most of Amsterdam's gay clubs and bars are located. Taboo is divided into two rooms: the dining room and the bar, and if it gets crowded downstairs, you can take a seat on the terrace. It's just as much fun. Visitors are offered a good cocktail list and appetizers. This is a popular place to relax after work with a drink or have a glass before visiting the best gay bars in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Stop by the terrace for happy hour from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. or the weekly drag show. There's a special cocktail night with entertainment on Wednesdays.

4. Lellebel

A little gem on the list of Amsterdam's best gay and drag clubs is located near Rembrandtplein. The small multicultural transgender bar on Utrechtsestraat opened in 1997 with a baroque interior: paintings, mirrors, small chandeliers, and ruffles. A couple of years ago it updated the atmosphere, making the old baroque style brighter, more modern, and spacious. Lellebel attracts a diverse audience of LGBTQIA+ and heterosexuals, and like many LGBTQ+ clubs in Amsterdam it is in demand for raucous parties, stag, and hen parties. Visitors are offered drinks and various performances like drag shows, live vocals, stand-up, and so on. There is a karaoke night on Sundays.

5. Prik

Best gay bars and nightclubs in Amsterdam from huge dance floors and drag shows to historic cafes and art spaces
This pink interior is one of the club's highlights. Source: Image Prikamsterdam.nl

One of the most atmospheric gay clubs in Amsterdam Prik opened in 2006, bringing an Instagrammable bar, fun under strobe lighting and a riot of neon pink to the interior. Patrons are offered a wide selection of unique cocktails and Prosecco, appetizers, loud pop music, and a friendly atmosphere. You can party indoors and relax on the terrace. Prices are as friendly as the staff. On weekends, the lounge bar gathers partygoers and turns into a mini gay disco. Stop by to enjoy a great soundtrack, bubbly drinks, and special events like a cocktail sale.

6. Bar Buka

One of the most unusual and new establishments on the list of the best gay nightclubs and bars in Amsterdam combines an art venue, a bar, and a café. It is located in the city centre near the Albert Cuyp Market and focuses on supporting and empowering women. This small establishment is famous for its cocktail nights and exhibitions of artwork created by women, particularly those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. Although the bar is geared towards women, it is open to everyone. You can sit at the bar or a table with a drink, play board games or watch sporting events. The tables are extended on weekends to make room for dancing.

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