How to make new friends while exploring Europe’s most welcoming cities

A group of travelers in front of a Keith Haring Mural.

Even though Pride Month has come to an end, the celebration contiunes with an epic summer of fun events and travel adventures. Plus, there are still loads of Pride events on the horizon!

To help take the guesswork out of planning your next trip, Contiki, a tour agency for 18-to-35-year-olds, is offering an array of Pride-themed tours this summer, including stops in Amsterdam, Paris, and London. These Pride tours are more than just a vacation – they provide an opportunity to create lasting friendships while exploring Europe’s most welcoming and colorful cities with expertly planned itineraries. 

Two people holding hands in the street.

This year’s journey begins late July in London, where travelers will explore the vibrant SoHo gayborhood and have ample free time to discover the iconic tourist attractions. From enjoying a bottomless brunch to strolling through London’s trendiest spots, participants will immerse themselves in the city’s energetic and historical atmosphere.

The tour then moves on to Paris, where attendees can experience the enchanting twilight ambiance of the City of Light, visit gay clubs in Le Marais, and whet their appetite at Le Moulin Rouge filled with cabaret and glamour. Finally, the tour concludes in Amsterdam for the grand finale of Pride Amsterdam, complete with a picturesque canal ride and exclusive access to the official closing party at Dam Square.

A group of friends holding Pride flags.

For those with limited time, Contiki’s Amsterdam Pride trip offers a four-day experience that focuses on the main event in Amsterdam. This leg of the tour allows participants to mingle with their Contiki group and immerse themselves in the Pride Parade and celebrations.

Welcoming 500k visitors annually, Pride Amsterdam is a vibrant and inclusive event that spans six days. The celebration hosts a diverse program of over 300 events, from thought-provoking discussions and workshops to lively parties and performances.

Canal Parade in Amsterdam
Canal Parade in Amsterdam

The highlight of Pride Amsterdam is undoubtedly the Canal Parade, an iconic spectacle that takes place on the first Saturday of August. With more than 80 elaborately decorated boats sailing along the Prinsengracht canal and part of the Amstel, the parade attracts an enormous crowd of onlookers. This event serves as Holland’s testament to its warm embrace and acceptance of individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Beyond the Canal Parade, the city pulsates with energy as various neighborhoods, such as gay-friendly Reguliersdwarsstraat, Rembrandtplein, Zeedijk, and Nieuwmarkt, come alive with rowdy festivities that continue into the early hours of the morning. 

A group of people under a giant rainbow flag.

Contiki’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community extends beyond its Pride tours. By partnering with Aisha Shaibu-Lenoir, founder of Moonlight Experiences, an award-winning experiences and events organization dedicated celebrating diverse queer culture and decolonising travel through nightlife, Contiki ensures that it remains attuned to the needs and desires of all LGBTQ+ travelers wherever the road may lead.

Headshot of Aisha Shaibu-Lenoir
Aisha Shaibu-Lenoir

All photos are courtesy of Contiki

Don't forget to share:

Your support makes our travel guides possible

We believe that LGBTQ+ people deserve safe vacations that allow them to be their authentic selves. That's why our City Guides aren't locked behind a paywall. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated