Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This is a city with plenty of opportunities to absorb yourself in culture, cafés of a different kind, and coitus, should you decide to pay a visit to the red light district.  Residents are stalwart supporters of liberalism and won’t go under without a fight.  This is still being proven in the elongated battle regarding closing down the city’s coffee shops.  Despite the ban being officially in place it has been given the thumbs down by the Mayor, and coffee shops are refusing to operate the pass scheme, which is great news!


Hence, where better to commence than with coffee shop advice.  Follow your nose to “De Rokerij”.  The mystical interior consists of one long room with dark lights and even darker walls with tribal designs to be studied as you slowly metamorphose into a state of happy tranquility.  The drinks here are also reasonably priced considering its prime location.


If you’re in need of some fresh air after this dreamy experience, head to the canals, but avoid standing too close to the edge if you’re still feeling a little light on your feet.  These picturesque waterways are one of the city’s most popular attractions and a great way to see the sights.


By far the most popular way to get around town is on two wheels.  Be sure to err on the side of caution as locals often turn a blind eye to “give way” signs amongst other road safety conduct.  Once on your bike head to the unpronounceable “Het Gulden Vlies”.  Allow your imagination to overflow into condom world as this shop offers every conceivable condom under the sun.  “Absolute Danny” is another little gem stocking everything from rubber clothes to erotic toothbrushes.


Unusual LGBT friendly hotels are dotted all over town.  The Black Tulip Hotel is no exception to this rule.  Housed in a 16th century building, they offer a mix of luxury with lust.  Perfect for those who don’t need much sleep.  Seven of the nine rooms come equipped with your standard hotel-room facilities; TV, DVD, and S&M ball and chain facilities.


By night “adult Amsterdam” is full of interesting choices.  “Prik” is a hot bar to check out with a very cool crowd and great cocktails.  The name is probably better left to your imagination than my explanation.  “Argos” is another cozy haunt with an advisory “No Perfume” sign on the door.  This is the most famous leather bar in town and they like men; to smell like men; and possibly a little cowhide.


Amsterdam’s annual events include Gay Pride at the beginning of August.  The canal parade is the festival’s centerpiece with lavishly decorated rainbow barges with equally colorful individuals adorning them.  Queen’s Day is another yearly festivity in honor of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina in 1885.  The streets are awash with the national color, or what seems to be a moving orange mass of unity and merrymaking.