One of the world's great capitals of gay culture, Amsterdam holds one of the most popular Gay Pride celebrations in Europe, drawing revelers from all over to partake of a week's worth of parties and arts and cultural events, culminating with the famously colorful Amsterdam Canal Parade. Amsterdam Gay Pride takes place each year in late July and early August - the dates this year are July 27 to August 4, 2013.
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Although the most important days of Amsterdam Pride are the final weekend, a variety of street festivals, circuit-style nightclub parties, arts and cultural presentations, and sporting events are staged throughout the week leading up to the big weekend, starting on Saturday. All told, more than 300 different events take place in conjunction with Gay Pride Amsterdam.
During the big weekend, from Friday through Sunday, Amsterdam Pride's biggest and top-attended events take place. These include a series of Street Parties along the city's key streets for gay partying (Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amstel, Westermarkt, Paardenstraat, and so on).
Saturday afternoon is the date of the most famous event of week, the spectacularly colorful and festive Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, during which some 80 fancifully decorated boats sail along the elegant Prinsengracht Canal, leaving from near Centraal rail station, and then up the Amstel River to Oosterdok. It's one of the world's most colorful gay pride parades. That evening, the fun continues with more street festivals and parties.
The celebration comes to a close on Sunday, but there's still plenty to see and do that day, including a Pride Closing Party and several other fetes.
Additionally, gay-popular bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops in the area have more going on than usual during Pride week. Check online resources about the Amsterdam gay scene, such as the comprehensive the NightTours Gay Guide to Amsterdam, the handy Amsterdam4Gays.com site, and the Patroc.com Amsterdam Gay Guide. Also take a look at the excellent gay travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Amsterdam Tourist Board.