The Netherlands - world gay magnet

Bright, interesting, catchy, passionate, slightly depraved and a bit conservative. How many words, right? But its are still not enough to describe the Netherlands through eyes of a gay tourist. The most common associations that occur with the word Netherlands are ancient mills, colorful tulips, marijuana "legit", the Red Light District and funny wooden shoes. In fact, the Netherlands is much more than the above stereotypes. This is one of the most picturesque countries in Western Europe with an unusual nature, many castles and ancient cities.

General information

It's necessary to distinguish the Kingdom of the Netherlands - a sovereign state in Western Europe and the Caribbean, consisting of 4 territories: the Netherlands (founder country), Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
The Netherlands is one of the smallest, but at the same time the most densely populated states of Europe. Most of country's territory is located on the northwest coast of the Eurasian continent, with the exception of three tiny Caribbean provinces - Sint Eustatius, Sabo and Bonaire. From the north, the country is washed by the waters of the cold North Sea, and on the mainland it borders with Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. Administratively, the Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces. The largest and most economically developed of them are the North and South Holland (that's is why the Netherlands is often called Holland).
The country is dominated by the maritime climate, which is characterized by warm, but not hot summer, and mild winter. The average July temperature is + 16° ... + 17° C, January - is about + 2° C on the coast and a little colder inland.
More than 17.3 million people live in the country (2018 data). Most of them (more than 80%) are native Dutch (including Frisians). The rest are immigrants, among whom are dominated by Germans, Indonesians and Turks.
The Netherlands is positioning itself as a secular country that is neutral to any religion and doesn't prohibit any of its. There is no official religion in the country. 33% of the country's population are protestants, 31% are catholics, 26% are atheists, the rest are muslims, buddhists and also representatives of other religious denominations.

The Netherlands's economy

In economic terms the Netherlands can be considered as a very highly developed country. In terms of GDP per capita the country ranks 8th in the world (2017 data, OECD). The main economic advantages of the Netherlands are an excellent transport infrastructure, low inflation, a highly skilled and multilingual workforce, equal relations between employees and employers, a costly social system with high taxes and social insurance benefits, high salary costs.
The official currency of the Netherlands since 2002 is the euro. Currency can be exchanged at any bank, in post offices, some hotels and private exchangers that are quite common in Holland. The most favorable exchange rate is traditionally offered by banks and post offices.


The transport infrastructure of the Netherlands is considered to be one of the best in Europe. It includes a wide network of national highways and motorways, modern railways, as well as river and air routes. And every year there are more and more of different ways because the Government of the Netherlands allocates huge funds to make the trips of citizens and guests as quick and comfortable as possible.

Flight connections

The Netherlands has six major airports. The main airport in the Netherlands is called Schiphol, it's located near capital Amsterdam. Schiphol is among the ten best airports in the world, combining convenience, comfort and accuracy. In addition, there are several regional air terminals in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen and Maastricht. Considering the fact that the Netherlands is a small country, the internal network of passenger air transportation is developed rather poorly, but the country is connected by air links with most countries of the world.

Railway transport

To move between cities is best to use high-speed trains of a railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). Its are much faster and more convenient than buses. Prices for travel are also not very high. For example, the trip Rotterdam - Amsterdam would cost only 16 euros. If the tourist is planning a tour around the country, it's better to purchase a EuroDomino travel ticket worth about 50 euros, which can be used for 3 days of unlimited travels per month.

Intercity buses

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and some other cities in the Netherlands are connected to Europe by a network of bus routes. These passenger shipments are headed by the Eurolines carrier association.
Traveling by bus is recommended only within one city or for short distances, no more than 10 km. Usually there are no direct routes between major cities. To get from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, on the way, the traveler will have to turn into Schiphol Airport, Haarlem, The Hague and other localities.

Urban transport

City transport is integrated into a single GVB system, which includes buses, trams, trolley buses and night traffic. A one-time ticket costs 1.5 euros and it's valid for one hour after purchase. Therefore, it will be much more convenient to purchase the ticket for a day (valid 24 hours after purchase and cost 6 euros), the ticket for 9 days (costs up to 30 euros depending on the place of purchase) or the reusable ticket (5 euros) consisting of 15 tickets, each used for 1 trip. Travel tickets can be purchased at specialized ticket offices, train stations, mail, bookstores, as well as from public transport drivers.
In the largest cities, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, there are a subway. The fare is similar to city transport. It's also worth mentioning the very common riverboats and trams in The Netherlands, although the trip by its are quiet expensive, as its are designed mainly for tourists. In addition, as in any other country, there are taxis in the Netherlands. The standard taxi fare usually does not exceed 2 euros + 1.5 euros for each kilometer of the way.

Tourist attraction

The Netherlands is a country with an amazing and very rich historical past, traces of which can be found not only in such large cultural centers as The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but also in the smallest villages, thats in fact are only invisible points on the map of Europe. These are numerous museums with treasured canvases of such outstanding painters as Rubens and Van Gogh, magnificent monuments to national heroes, gigantic man-made dams, through which the industrious Dutch have conquered their land from the powerful sea elements for centuries, ancient castles, monasteries and of course cute well-groomed parks with skillfully trimmed green areas and thousands of bright flowers.
But, alas, in order to describe each of these miracles in detail, a few thick volumes are not enough, so we will list only a few of them.
1. Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam).
Holland is Van Gogh and Van Gogh is Holland. Believe us, you would never fully experience the culture of this country until you see the canvases of this truly brilliant artist with your own eyes. In addition, in a kaleidoscope of carnal entertainment and light drugs, so beloved by tourists who come to the Netherlands, it's not at all superfluous to make a small fraction of more elevated pleasures. Isn't it?
2. Madurodam (The Hague).
This unique park is a 25 times smaller copy of a typical Dutch city, consisting of buildings and structures, the originals of which are located in different parts of the Netherlands. Each of its structure is created in the image and likeness of a real object. So, for example, Madurodam airport is a miniature dubbing of Amsterdam Schiphol, and the cathedral, standing in the center of the town, exactly repeats the world-famous Maastricht Basilica of Our Lady.
3. Alkmaar
The city, where until now, according to the old technologies that have not changed for many centuries, a real Dutch cheese are made.
4. Zandaam
The town-museum is a city in the west of the Netherlands in the province North Holland. The city is incredibly popular among tourists due to the magnificent architecture and monuments of artisans.
5. De Hoge Veluwe.
One of the largest national parks in Europe, famous for a variety of natural landscapes, remnants of ancient settlements and a magnificent open-air sculpture museum.

Gay life in the Netherlands

Despite the widespread improvement of society’s attitude to the LGBT community in most European countries and the civilized world, the Netherlands is still among the leaders of the countries that most comfortable for gay life. At least in terms of gay rights. And in terms of society tolerance to the gay community, probably only sunny and exotic Thailand can compete with the Netherlands. Here the rights and freedoms of people are considered the highest value, everyone has the right to choose the government, religion and love.
A law "non-prohibition" same-sex relationships was adopted in the Netherlands back in 1811, and 160 years later, in 1971, the Dutch government officially equalized the rights of homosexuals and heterosexuals, allowing residents and guests of their country do homosexual connection in case if they achieve full 16 years old. And one cannot, of course, fail to mention about the last and, probably, the most important victory of the Dutch LGBT community - a same-sex marriage the legalization 1998.
Gay people live in the Netherlands happily, freely and comfortably. Indeed, in comparison with the realities of some countries, an everyday life of the Dutch gay seems to be a permanent holiday. They absolutely don't have to hide their orientation, because the people around them calmly accept them as they are. They don't have problems in communicating with work colleagues, neighbors, relatives. And passers-by don't think to turn around and make a noise when they see a couple of guys or girls kissing on the street. In addition, at almost every city in the Netherlands there are places “only for gay”, such as clubs, shops, saunas, bars and many others where one can spend a free time perfectly with a company of cheerful and relaxed people.

Gay travel in the Netherlands

The night (and sometimes daytime) blue life of the Netherlands is like a stormy, impetuous stream that doesn't subside for a minute, and that's why this country is just perfect for a queer traveller who craves adventure and dreams of bright, unforgettable impressions.
A gay center of all that magnificence, of course, is Amsterdam - the "city of sins" in our time. It has 4 gay quarters, whose can offer a gay tourist a huge list of entertainment for every taste and budget. At gay area Warmoesstraat the tourist would find dozens of bars for dating, as well as very good shops, focused mainly on tourists. Reguliersdwarsstraat is a gay entertainment quarter with numerous clubs, famous throughout Europe, and a unique coffeeshop “only for gay”. Walking through the evening Kerkstrat, one just cann't pass by the magnificent sauna "Thermos Night" and the best gay sex shop in Europe "The Bronx". And finally, the fourth district Paardenstraat is a hot place that attracts lovers of intimate entertainment.
If the trip to the Netherlands is scheduled for early August, then the gay traveler is doubly lucky - because at that time the famous Amsterdam gay parade is taking place, and tourists from all over Europe come to gawk at it, and the metropolis is reminiscent of a heated hive full of fun, joy and laughter happy people.
In the other major cities of the country, such as Rotterdam and The Hague, there are significantly less gay spots and events than in Amsterdam, but in terms of service, they are not inferior to those in the capital.