Amsterdam in the Morning – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 15th, 2018

Amsterdam in the Morning - Keep Calm and Wander

In my previous blog post, I talked about what Amsterdam looks like without the tourists. This is part 2 of the post – and a continuation of my morning stroll. You might not like waking up early in the morning but it’s worth it. You’ll see more of Amsterdam when there are no tourists around.

Though you won’t be able to see museums and art galleries, walking around the city in the morning is far more rewarding than doing it when tourists are everywhere. Don’t worry about getting lost – enjoy being lost. It’s a small city, so you’ll always find a way to get back where you started. You might be surprised what you can find in the city’s little corners.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Amsterdam Gay Travel Resources

Amsterdam Without the Tourists – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 8th, 2018

Amsterdam Without Tourists - Keep Calm and Wander

Here are photos of what Amsterdam looks like without the tourists.

It is estimated that there are around 17 million tourists that visit Amsterdam every year. For a tiny city, this number is already insane! Come in summer and you might think you’re in China due to the crowd – everywhere! Your photo will always have people in the background. Unless you’d walk away far from the centre. You can’t even enjoy a very nice, quiet meal in a restaurant. Bicycle? Forget it! Biking downtown is truly a nightmare for someone who doesn’t know the city’s shortcut corners.

Go Around in the Morning. Before tourists are awake, take a stroll along the city’s canals and squares. Though it’s quiet but you’ll appreciate the city’s layout without the crowd. The canals are serene and seem to have a personality of its own. At 7:00, the locals start to go out by riding their bikes to their offices. You’ll be hearing more bike bells anywhere you go and suddenly, you feel that you’re really in Amsterdam. By 9:00 a.m., the city starts to look a lot more like Disney again.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

Masterpieces of the RijksMuseum in Amsterdam – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 6th, 2018

RijksMuseum Amsterdam - Keep Calm and Wander

When you’re in Netherlands, don’t skip in getting to know all the masterpieces inside Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Boy, until now, I can’t help but remember the goosebumps I had staring at the originals masterpieces of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters.

How much time should I spend there? I was there two hours before is closed. That’s good enough time to explore the whole museum. But if you’re really an art enthusiast, then, you need a half day to scrutinize everything.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

The Narrowest House in Amsterdam – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 3rd, 2018

Narrowest House in Amsterdam - Alain

This may not be the thinnest house in the world but this certainly is the narrowest house facade in the world. While I’ve seen some pretty small / thin houses on my walks along the canal, this one seems to be the narrowest. I didn’t find it on my own. I joined a free walking tour guided by a friend and he pointed this out as one of the world’s narrowest houses. Obviously, you can’t disagree by the looks of it.

This should not be confused as the “narrowest in the world” because that title is already claimed by the Keret House in Poland. However, this particular house in Amsterdam has the world’s narrowest house facade. It is much bigger inside.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

Xaviera’s Happy House – Amsterdam

Author: , March 16th, 2017

Xaviera's Happy House

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Xaviera Hollander’s Happy House Bed&Breakfast is a perfect “lovers hideaway”, in other words “A home away from home”… where you are most welcome.

Your hostess is Xaviera Hollander, the well known author of the Happy Hooker and she and her darling husband Philip, who is a terrific chef, will gladly cook you and your friends a delicious meal. Xaviera will even, on request do a workshop on “How to Become a better Lover!”

Xaviera’s Happy House is the ideal bohemian place to stay at in Amsterdam for a few days, no matter why you come here: for a naughty romantic weekend, a congress at the Rai or simply as a tourist with wife and or kids. When looking for the perfect hostess, nobody compares to Xaviera.

This is your opportunity to spend some time at a real diva’s house…one with flair for hospitality. It is located on the South side (gold coast) of Amsterdam, close to Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, colorful street markets and elegant Beethovenstraat with dozens of great shops and trendy restaurants and … what’s more it is also just around the corner from the famous RAI Congress Center.

In the rooms there is wifi, TV, coffee and tea maker, hairdryer and in Goliath a fridge as well. It is a majestic house with quiet rooms even though we are not that far from the hustle and bustle of the city. A charming host and hostess Xaviera and Philip also offer private meals cooked by Philip who used to be a professional cook. The two of them speak each 5 languages and are most entertaining story tellers.

See the Xaviera’s Happy House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Netherlands

EATING OUT: Amsterdam

Author: , March 11th, 2017

Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s restaurants have lately grown in quality and creativity, to say nothing of the fact that food prices, now that the euro is friendlier to the dollar (as of this writing), are quite reasonable. For example: Dover Sole is priced around $17 on several menus, whereas the same would cost double or more in New York City. If you’re on a budget, you can eat well in Amsterdam, and if you’re not you’ll be pleasantly surprised at restaurant costs. Here are some wonderful places we visited that you should put on your must-try list the next time you’re in this always-beautiful, exciting, romantic city.

Recently, I had an opportunity to explore an area in Amsterdam new to me with tasty results. Amsterdam-West is a conglomerate of the neighborhoods Oud-West, De Baarsjes, Westerpark, and Bos en Lommer. With over 175 different nationalities among its population, the mostly residential area is now dotted with up-to-date shops, cafés, and restaurants. A great feature of the neighborhood is the daily outdoor market at Ten Kate Market (10 Katestraat 97-99. www.tenkatemarkt.nl) that offers “flowers, cheese, wine, baby items, clothing, fruit, vegetables, and 101 other market items,” according to its website. I slowed down as I passed through every day on my way to the tram stop and invariably picked up a few items that included ribbon, toothpaste, and even a few wool scarves.

One of the more ambitious projects in Amsterdam West is De Hallen, the renovation of seven immense maintenance sheds opened around 1900 when electric trams were introduced. Today, De Hallen includes a hotel, food halls with over 20 different vendors, a movie theater with separate viewing areas, a library, nursery school, dozens of shops, and parking for both cars and bicycles.

By Nick Malgieri – Full Story at Passport

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

The 5 Friendliest LGBTQ Vacation Hotspots

Author: , May 28th, 2016

There are fabled destinations with long-standing LGBTQ traditions—just ask Lesbos, Mykonos and New Orleans—where escaping from the confines of every day was never so easy, never so limitless and never so completely carefree. But the modern world has offered up fantastic cultural meccas that always take a keen interest in making everyone feel comfortable, and those who identify LGBTQ will fit right in.

So what are you waiting for—the party’s just ahead!

  1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin - pixabay

With a long standing history that is as intense as it is troubled, Berlin has arisen from the ashes of its past to become one of the most diverse, well-rounded, and respecting cities in the world with multi-ethnicities immigrating and thriving with the German population.

In addition to their incredibly progressive views, Berlin is also the gay capital of Europe with a gay museum, a gay memorial, and an openly gay mayor. While that doesn’t cover all the basis, the open-minded city is equally comfortable with the rest of the queer community. Head for Hafen, one of the most famous gay bars in town, Connection, a dance club that shouldn’t be missed, and Gay Hostel for accommodation—you’ll find plenty of like-minded people here to experience this amazing city with.

  1. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles - pixabay

While most of Hollywood is constantly under scrutiny of being one or more of the letters in LGBTQ, the truth is that Los Angeles is a great place to be LGBTQ. Between the cultural metropolis and its heavy art, business, and beauty industries, there are plenty of LGBTQ-friendly beaches and nightclubs to frequent, and the weather is always perfect for a stop down by the sea.

Make a stop at The Abbey for the quintessential gay bar-lounge-party time, which includes both an indoor and outdoor areas and the most prominent members of the LGBTQ community as regulars on the busy weekends.

  1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marijuana and prostitution aren’t the only things bringing visitors to Amsterdam; it’s also the totally chill vibe of the city of Amsterdam. Between the canals and coffee shops, the city is thoroughly on board with the LGBTQ cause—in fact, the city legalized same-sex marriage in the early 1800s, the first place in the entire world to do so. But enough about the history; time to get to the cool stuff!

When in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdamians do and hit up Cafe Dubbel D (formerly Cafe Rouge), one of the busiest shops in the entire city. Next, plan your day around Rapido parties, because this is a good time you aren’t going to want to miss. Then hit up Thermos for an excellent spa experience and Hemelse Modder for a perfect European meal and excellent service.

  1. Madrid, Spain

Madrid - pixabay

Madrid is home to perhaps the gayest community around, Chueca, where nightlife reigns supreme, as well as lots of rights and cultural nods to gay culture. Madrid recognizes gay marriages and openly uses LGBTQ lifestyles to influence trendy shops, restaurants, and hotels throughout the city. It’s one of the most progressive cities when it comes to gay rights in the world, and that shows in their laws, party scene, and every other corner of life.

The Cage (a popular fetish bar) is always a perfect place to head for a laugh or even something a tad more serious, but Space of Sound is one of my favorite hangouts for the go-go boys and total party vibe. Park it at Medea for the city’s oldest lesbian bar and don’t forget to leave plenty of time for a sauna experience—the Sauna Octopus is a must for every visitor! For a bonus into the city, I suggest downloading apps such as Grindr and Manhunt if outdoor cruising and sex parties are your thing (grab a Virtual Private Network for your phone to make sure the geolocation functions are working correctly)!

  1. Miami, Florida

Miami - pixabay

Take one look at the hot bods and it’s obvious why Miami is a gay capital of the world—but more than just being a place to get hot and sweaty out in the open, Miami flourishes with culture and happenings that accept all flavors of ice cream (if you pardon my expression).

While I think a stop at the topless-optional South Beach is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I also suggest Da Leo Trattoria, for an excellent meal. Don’t miss out on Twist either for a run around the dance floor and then a relaxing evening on the roof for a drink and an overlook of the city that likes to party all night long.

Any city is a great place for the LGBTQ community to travel, but these picks are a specific brand of cultural richness that will just hit all the right notes, so enjoy!

Have any suggestions on where to head after finishing this list? Leave a comment or a next trip itinerary, and I will personally take the recommendation around for a ride!

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is an active tech guru, digital nomad, and wordsmith discovering the world as readily as she explores obscure depths of the internet. Curious about anything and everything, she loves her cat, her coffee, and her growing photography collection. Ask her about her famous Birthday Cake Pancakes recipe or her one-time run in with Ben Affleck and JLO—both stories are likely to leave you in disbelief!

All photos from pixabay, provided by Cassie Phillips

Barangay Bed & Breakfast – Gay B&B in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Author: , March 19th, 2016

Barangay Bed & Breakfast

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Barangay is a Filipino word meaning small village. Our tropical decorated Amsterdam bed and breakfast guesthouse was built in 1777 on the former coastline of Amsterdam and still has her original facade.

The rooms are decorated in nostalgic colonial style with a tropical accent. Each room has cable tv, refrigerator, digital radio alarm clock, coffee/tea making facilities (and video per request), and a private bathroom. Don’t worry – we also have nice beds!

The rooms are non-smoking but 2 rooms have garden doors to a small patio where smoking is allowed.

One street behind is the longest shopping street in the Netherlands, but Droogbak itself is very quite. All tourist attractions are within walking distance.

The Central Station for all kind of public transportation is a short 3 minutes walk. Bars, restaurants, (coffee) shops, canals, bike rentals, and more, you will find just around the corner. It will only take you 20 minutes from Schiphol Airport by car/train.

The guesthouse is next to the famous Jordaan quarter, where you can also find Anne Frank’s house.

The Area is called ‘the Golden Reaal’it, and is right in the old centre 200 meters southwest from the Central Station. Parallel with ‘Droogbak’ (our street) you will find the Haarlemmerstraat’ and the ‘Brouwersgracht’ (brewery canal). The Haarlemmerstraat is a former sea dike, now a very nice street with restaurants,(coffee) shops, barbers, laundry, and an art-deco cinema etc.

The Brouwersgracht is one of the most beautiful canals connecting the 4 main canals. Our B&B is next to the famous Jordaan quarter where you can also find Anne Frank’s house, and markets on Saturday and Mondays. Within easy walking distance:

  • Shops & Restaurants: 1 minute
  • Central Station: 3 minutes
  • Jordaan Area: 3 minutes
  • Red Light District: 5 minutes
  • Nearest Gay Scene: 5 minutes
  • Anne Frank House: 8 minutes
  • Dam Square: 10 minutes
  • Leidseplein: 25 minutes

To get here, take any tram, metro, bus or train going to Central Station. From the Central Station it is only a 3 minute walk to Barangay Bed & Breakfast Guesthouse. Coming out from the Central Station (main entrance facing the tram stops), you turn right direction Ibis Hotel. After passing the Ibis, immediately across the modern (steel) foot bridge and take the stairs up front.

In front of you, you’ll see a little square and a huge free standing red-brick building with white stripes,and a red door in the middle. this is on droogbak. With the railtracks at your right side, walk towards that building and you will find Barangay on its left side,on number 15.

We look forward to showing you everything in gay Amsterdam!

See the Barangay Bed & Breakfast Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Netherlands

Gay Travel: What’s New in Gay Amsterdam

Author: , November 5th, 2015

Amsterdam - Passport

My jaw actually drops as I witness a 30-something woman ride past me on a bicycle: she holds an iPad with one hand, nonchalantly swiping it with the other, while a toddler rides shotgun in a rear-mounted baby seat.

Along with these supernatural biking abilities, Amsterdam, one of Europe’s most visited and progressive cities, also features legal marijuana coffeeshops, a “blue light” gay prostitution district, and the beautiful, iconic canals and architecture. This city also continues to evolve in exciting, design-forward ways, with a proliferation of hotels, housing, and Michelin-starred cuisine to accommodate the flood of visitors and expats charmed into staying. Hipster culture has fully taken root, bringing new life and slick artisanal businesses to previously neglected, ramshackle neighborhoods. Designers and artists here are joining the same league as Scandinavia’s with their superb clothing and lifestyle products (the G-STAR and Chasin’ brands were born here). It’s simply hard to not love Adam, as the city is nicknamed, although non-Dutch should perhaps refrain from iPad use while bicycling.

The NDSM wharf exemplifies this “new Amsterdam.” Accessed by either a free ten-minute ferry ride from Central Station or a 20-minute bus (via underwater tunnel), the NDSM was formerly home to the world’s largest shipbuilding company during the mid-20th Century. Today, NDSM has been reborn as a trendy, hipster mecca (with help from city council subsidies), with outstanding restaurants/bars, a skateboarding park, affordable student housing, creative offices, a museum, and more.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

Globetrotter Girls – Canal Stroll in Amsterdam

Author: , September 10th, 2015

Amsterdam - Dani - Globetrotter Girls

I’ve officially kicked off my European train adventure and my first train rides were fantastic! My initial train ride brought me directly from Berlin to Amsterdam (in less than 7 hours), a city I had visited several times in the past. However, my last visit was over a decade ago! That’s why I decided on a whim to include Amsterdam in my Euro train trip – everybody keeps raving about how gorgeous Amsterdam is, but my own memories of the city were vague.

Upon arrival, the city’s unique atmosphere put its spell on me immediately: the canals, the thousands of bicycles, the beautiful 17th century merchants houses with their hoists, the infamous 420 coffeeshops and the smell of fresh waffles lingering in the air.

As I wandered the narrow streets alongside the canals that criss-cross the city, I wished I had more time to explore the city, but I made the most of it: I aimlessly strolled through Amsterdam, without a map and without a destination, walked over dozens of the 1,500 bridges that span the canals, sat down by the water and let the scene around me sink in.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Netherlands Gay Travel Resources