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Amsterdam Gay Pride 2013

Practically every bar and shop on the strip between the Koningsplein and the Vijzelstraat is broadly painted with the pink brush, including awesome new Club NYX. Named after the Greek goddess of the night, this cool kids' mecca makes liberal use of graffiti, glitter and concrete. Just down the road, spacious bar Dvwars is a grown-up drinking den for Amsterdam's new army of cocktail-loving sophisticates.

Gaybourhood #4: Kerkstraat Home to gay hotels such as the ever-popular 'Hotel Amistad', and the outrageous Club Church, where local drag legend Jennifer Hopelezz holds court with her merry band of ne'er-do-wells.

Gaybourhood #5: Amstel The scene neighbouring the Amstel river to the east of the centre is light-hearted, friendly and camp, with tiny brown cafes in the traditional Amsterdam mould, but there's the odd slick newcomer, like Club AIR. In business for over 30 years, Vive la Vie on the Amstelstraat is one of the city's most vibrant lesbian venues.

<<PICTURE OF MAYOR EBERHARD VAN DER LAAN>>

Where does Amsterdam stand in terms of Gay rights worldwide? Eberhard van der Laan , the city's mayor since 2010, gives a personal perspective.

1. What does Amsterdam Gay Pride mean to you?

Amsterdam Gay Pride is one of the headline events for our city. It is the celebration of tolerance and it demonstrates what kind of town Amsterdam truly is: diverse, colourful, open and hospitable to all. I've experienced that first hand from my own participation in the Canal Pride parade. It's so heartening to see that the crowd on the banks of the canals has come from all walks of life.

2. Why is Amsterdam Gay Pride so important for the city?

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