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Amsterdam's gay scene is strong, and there is no lack of gay bars and nightspots. Below are listings of some of the most popular spots for gay men. For lesbians, the scene is a little more difficult to uncover. Places that are hot now might not be later, so contact COC, Rozenstraat 14 (tel. 020/626-3087; www.cocamsterdam.nl; tram: 13, 14, or 17), the Organization of Homosexuals in the Netherlands. The office and telephone lines operate daily from 10am to 5pm. More information is available from the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (tel. 020/623-6565). Gay News, a monthly newspaper in English, is available for free in gay establishments throughout Amsterdam.

Most of the city's gay bars and other venues are in well-defined areas. For frivolous, old-style camp, look along the Amstel near Muntplein and on Halvemaansteeg. The trendier places are along Reguliersdwarsstraat. Casual locals head for Kerkstraat, on both sides of Leidsestraat. Lesbian bars are more thinly spread. There are few of them, but there are no neighborhoods or streets that specialize in lesbian bars. Amstel and Amstelstraat at Rembrandtplein, the Jordaan, and to a limited extent the edge of the Red Light District are the likeliest zones to check out.

Those Closure Blues -- The chic end of Amsterdam's gay community experienced an attack of the vapors in 2010, when a prominent local business went bust, taking down a bunch of the city's trendiest gay watering holes. Particularly hard hit was the Reguliersdwarsstraat strip, which went almost overnight from a vital scene to a virtual desert. Distraught ex-patrons were left wondering where, if anywhere, was left for them to go at night. Given time, new bars and dance venues will no doubt replace those that were lost. To keep up with developments on Reguliersdwarsstraat, turn to www.reguliers.net.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.