With the possible exception of San Francisco, Amsterdam was already probably the most gay-friendly city on earth, and now they are just piling it on as they’ve recently opened an official information center specifically for LGBT visitors. Mayor Job Cohen was there for the opening ceremony on August 29, 2009.
The new information center isn’t to be confused with the Pink Point kiosk, which sits near the Homomonument near Westermarkt. The Pink Point shop has been open since 1998, fulfilling more or less the same role in promoting LGBT tourism in the city, but it’s small and rather out of the way (although definitely worth a visit as well). The new information center is on Spuistraat, very near the cluster of bookstores in Amsterdam, and also in the center of nearly everything so visitors should be passing by it whether they intend to or not.
Get a free welcome kit!
GAYtic (Gay Tourist Information Center) as it’s called, appears to be part of the large and incredibly well run iAmsterdam official tourism information program. The GAYtic shop also has its own website – gaytic.nl – which is in both English and Dutch, and if you register in advance it appears that they’ll have a free tourist information kit waiting for you when you arrive. It’s hard to tell whether you need to register in advance or they just want to keep track of who’s visiting and such, so it seems possible that you can get your welcome kit either way.
The kit includes:
– the Amsterdam gay magazines Gay&Night and Gay News (bi-lingual in English and Dutch)
– the gay map of Amsterdam
– flyers and brochures for all Amsterdam parties and venues for the period of your stay
– a coupon-book with discount coupons adding up to more than 250 euro
– general tourist information
– a surprise gadget as a gift from us here at GAYtic
and a FREE freshly brewed coffee when you come by to pick up your kit
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You can also purchase tickets at GAYtic for LGBT events that will be taking place during your stay, as well as the iAmsterdam Card itself, which can be a great deal for culture vultures who plan on visiting a great number of museums and attractions in a short time. All tickets and cards are sold at the normal prices, so no extra fees are charged.
If anyone has visited this shop, please let us know what the “surprise gadget” is in the comments below. I know it’s not nice to spoil people’s fun, but I’m a sucker for this sort of thing and I doubt I’ll sleep well until I know. And how was that freshly brewed coffee as well?
Gay Amsterdam in general
In case you are planning your first trip to this city, you’ll be happy to know that the Amsterdam gay scene is very open and welcomed. Instead of one small street where gay businesses are tolerated, there are several gay districts in the city center (the most famous cluster is along Reguliersdwarsstraat, just off Rembrandtplein) that tend to blend right in to the city.
The biggest event of the year is the Amsterdam Pride canal parade, which takes place on the first weekend of August, and in spite of it being a rather flamboyant event, the huge crowd attending is mostly straight and always having a good time. There are even a few gay hotels in the city as well as at least one primarily gay coffeeshop.
Map of the Gay Information Center