Amsterdam’s gay pride is probably the most famous – and most unique – in the world, for one special reason: it FLOATS.
Their fabulous parade glides through a 4-mile stretch of canals, beginning in the Oosterdok and winding through (among others) the Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel, Prisengracht and Westerdok canals. This long parade route provides plenty of spectator room, so no drag queen gets thrown into the water for blocking the view with her wig.
The parade is limited to 80 floats, and is so popular that a lottery system has to determine who gets to be included. (We’re crossing our fingers for the Amsterdam Fire Department.) Brand g’s 2018 Amsterdam & Rhine river cruise begins Pride weekend. We recommend you arrive a day early so you can take in this incredible spectacle.
Of course, the parade is just the finale of a week of nonstop events that include the Pride Park festival, street parties, film screenings (Open Air Cinema), sporting events, debates, exhibitions, and of course, the world famous canal parade. And it’s all capped off with a closing party so renowned that revelers come from all over Europe to attend.
Amsterdam is an incredibly welcoming city for gay folk; the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same sex marriage (in 2001). And the pride festivities create an even more fun and outrageous atmosphere than even normally exists, so you can imagine the friendly bacchanal that this week becomes.
Of course, since it attracts nearly 400,000 participants, fabulosity will be at an all-time high. So start bedazzling your water wings now.
Amsterdam Pride Guide: