Amsterdam Pride 2023: everything you need to know

Glitter and all ✨

Amsterdam Pride 2023 will be bright, bold, possibly half-clothed, and far from half-hearted. ✨

Forget everything you thought you knew about this event because this year, it’s had a full-blown glow-up. 

Taking place between July 22 and August 6, Amsterdam’s pride activities are now a full two weeks instead of only one. The first week is being organised by Queer Amsterdam, while the second will be run by the organisation Pride Amsterdam

Considering this year’s theme can be summed up by the hashtag #YouAreIncluded, there’s no reason not to feel welcome at this shimmery shindig. 

Only got one day to dedicate to being proud? The moment we’ve all been waiting for, Amsterdam’s famous Canal Parade, will be on August 5, serving as the grand finale after two weeks of rainbow-covered splendour. 

The Canal Parade at Amsterdam Pride 2023

If you’re interested in watching a fleet of 80 multi-coloured boats dazzle Amsterdam’s water for this pride-themed Canal Parade’s 26th run, you know what to do: head over to the canal route on Saturday, August 5 at noon. Whatever floats your boat! 

The parade will take off at Oosterdok and eventually wind up at Westerdok after passing through places including the Nieuwe Herengracht and the Amstel first.

According to the organisation’s new and improved rules, those of you who happen to own a boat under 10 metres long are permitted to cruise on through with friends and family. (Lucky! ✨)

Others, however, can remain grounded, with both feet planted on the canal’s edge, or on bridges like the Magere Brug. A word to the wise: showing up at least an hour early will ensure a better photo op spot!

After the parade wraps up at 6 PM, allow yourself to be consumed by frisky parties that will occupy Amsterdam’s streets for the rest of the night.   

What else to see at Amsterdam Pride 2023

Want to advocate for trans pride? Well, TransAmsterdam is leading a march from Oosterpark’s Music Dome to Javaplein, starting at 2 PM on August 2. Show your support by literally helping carry their seven-metre-long transgender flag. 🏳️‍⚧️

And after we all became obsessed with Bianca Del Rio while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, we have the opportunity to…breathe the same air?! Yep, you can now book tickets to go marvel at her hysterically funny wisecracks in person on August 3 and 4 in Amsterdam Theater. 😮  

Make sure to buy your rainbows beforehand. Image: Unsplash

Keep in mind, these are just some of the many activities Amsterdam Pride’s itinerary has to offer — there are also free art galleries, LGBTQIA+ history tours, silent disco walks, and endless instances of performance art to explore.

Where to be (and where to pee)

Okay, by now, it’s safe to say you’re tempted to make an appearance at one of Amsterdam’s busiest and most captivating weeks. If so, here are a few logistical details to consider about this year’s Pride…

To avoid public urination (which can rack up to a €140 fine), the municipality has installed additional toilets all over the city centre, and we couldn’t be more thankful. They put the “p” in “party”. 😍

Not only that, but they’re including extra water fountains where you can refill your water bottle. Why can’t every day be Pride? 

How to get to Amsterdam Pride 2023

People travel far and wide to witness the Pride extravaganza.

If you’re arriving from outside Amsterdam, travelling through Amsterdam Central Station grants you easy walking access to events like the Canal Parade. 

If you’re already in Amsterdam, in true Dutch fashion, the best mode of transport is arguably the bicycle. There will be designated bike racks available on the site of the Canal Parade — although do keep your eyes peeled for yellow signs indicating where you can’t park your two-wheeler.  

City closures due to the Canal Parade will also affect where you can park your car, as well as cause potential bus and tram detours. 

Even the trams are celebrating! Image: Depositphotos

It’s a sacrifice we’re more than willing to make since it means celebrating identity and allyship with a group of people who know how to entertain like no other. ✨

Tips to enjoy Amsterdam Pride 2023

The purpose of Pride is to feel safe, included, and accepted. This year’s upgrade is designed to recognise more identities than ever before through the addition of a second week. Here are some tips to make this your best Pride yet: 

🗺 Familiarise yourself with this year’s map.

👯‍♀️ Stay close to your friends and loved ones so you don’t get swept up in Amsterdam’s chaotic crowds.  

🍽 Stock up on snacks and beverages before the Canal Parade, because who wants to trek back and forth to the supermarket and give up their precious front-row spot?

☔️ Pack umbrellas and raincoats just in case, and keep an eye on Buienradar — don’t let Dutch weather rain on your (canal) parade!  

❤️ And most importantly, stay respectful to people around you.

Happy Pride, everyone! 🎉

Which Pride event are you the most excited to see? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Ellen Ranebo
Ellen Ranebo
As someone half Swedish and half Irish who has lived in the Netherlands, the UK, and attended an American School, Ellen is a cocktail of various nationalities. Having had her fair share of bike accidents, near-death experiences involving canals, and miscommunications while living here (Swedish and Dutch have deceptively similar words with very different meanings), she hopes to have (and document) plenty more in future.

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