The Amsterdam Gay Sauna Scene - Where to Find Gay Saunas in Amsterdam
Despite the city's reputation as one of Europe's gay capitals, the Amsterdam gay sauna scene has a rather limited offering. With the closing of Boomerang and Modern saunas in the last few years, Amsterdam has been reduced to two exclusively gay saunas, with one, Thermos, the clear leader.
In Amsterdam, gay sauna means Thermos. This sauna has become an essential part of the city's gay scene. Thermos takes up five floors in three inter-connected buildings at Raamstraat 33, close to Leidseplein and the Melkweg music venue. Previously, Thermos was separated as Thermos Day and Thermos Night saunas; both are now combined into one sauna that stays open 365 days a year from 12 noon to 8am.
Thermos has all the facilities and more that you would expect from the city's largest gay sauna. It's a great place to socialize, as the bar and sunny roof terrace make for a convivial atmosphere. For those in the mood to relax, you can chill in the whirlpool bath, take an invigorating massage, open your pores in the sauna or let the staff at the beauty salon give you the full treatment.
Health comes first in any Dutch gay sauna, and Thermos takes this seriously. The last Sunday of every month is dedicated to supporting the health of Amsterdam's gay community with a 'vaccination action' where visitors can receive free Hepatitis B vaccinations from the Public Health Service Amsterdam (GGD).
The only other Amsterdam gay sauna worth mentioning is Sauna Damrak, located very centrally at Damrak 54, just below Centraal Station. Damrak is less for the night owls than Thermos, as it is open only from 12am to 9pm, although it's also open seven days a week. Damrak offers saunas, sun beds, a Jacuzzi, steam bath and a bar to relax in when you're done relaxing. A private sauna is available by appointment for those private parties and masseurs are available on request.
While gay saunas in Amsterdam may be few and far between, the city has no shortage of mixed saunas. Sauna Decco is gay friendly and worth checking out if you're in the mood for a day of pampering. You can find it easily enough in the city centre at Herengracht 115.
Amsterdam Sauna Tips
Many visitors to Amsterdam may be trying new experiences while in the city, and so it is always useful to look into the correct dos and don'ts of a scene before you leap in with both feet. Visiting an Amsterdam gay sauna is no exception.
One of the main rules to keep in mind while visiting a gay sauna is that staff members, no matter how cute, are off limits as far as making advances goes. Most saunas consider it very bad form to put a staff member in this position and you could quickly find yourself in the wrong kind of 'hot water'.
You might be wondering what to wear to an Amsterdam gay sauna, and the answer is very simple: wear whatever you like. As soon as you enter the sauna you will be exchanging you street clothes for a towel anyway, so what you wear to get there makes very little difference. In the sauna itself towels are the mainstay, but most will allow the especially confident to be as nude as they like.
One concern common among people planning to visit a gay sauna for the first time is that they might be 'getting in over their head'. The best advice to give in this case is to relax, saunas are primarily a place to go to unwind, and the atmosphere can almost be guaranteed to be friendlier and less intimidating than you have imagined. Pop in, take your time and don't feel pressured, you will quickly find out if the Amsterdam gay sauna scene is right for you.
The Pink Point
To get the most up to date information about any gay sauna in Amsterdam or any other information on the Amsterdam scene, drop into the gay information Pink Point by the Anne Frank House and the Homomonument on Westermarkt. The Pink Point is open during the summer months 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm, and closed during the winter months on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Gay Amsterdam: an introduction
- Where to find gay hotels in Amsterdam
- The annual Amsterdam Gay Pride, the biggest gay party of Europe
- A basic Amsterdam guide
- From Amsterdam gay sauna back to Amsterdam Advisor