Ten LBGTQ Friendly Travel Destinations
With so many places having their Pride celebrations, it’s easy to be inspired to travel to these queer-friendly destinations, to celebrate for Pride or to simply add to your bucket list!
This list doesn’t include cities in the U.S., but instead has different places to inspire you to travel abroad and experience other cultures who welcome the LGBTQ community and have thriving gay communities of their own.
Taiwan may not be everyone’s first thought when it comes to LGBTQ destinations, but did you know that Taipei is home to Asia’s most attended Pride parade? Taipei also has the first LGBT art exhibition in a public museum in Asia. To add to the list of firsts, they were the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage! Check out the community and culture located in the Red House district for bars, clubs, LGBTQ culture, and more!
Amsterdam is home to many thriving LGBTQ neighborhoods, the main region being the neighborhood of Kerkstraat which boasts plenty of business, bars, and hotels. Their Pride and Milkshake festivals are definitely a sight to see and great fun for visitors and locals alike. So consider Amsterdam, the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage way back in 2001!
Not only does Iceland have stunning natural beauty and geography, but the Icelandic culture is also a hub for LGBTQ communities and travelers from around the world. Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, holds most of the countries LGBTQ events, including Pride and other events–but other, smaller cities host their own events with turnouts of hundreds to even thousands. There are also plenty of bars and clubs to attend as well as drag shows and other fun outings! So, consider visiting Iceland, the first country to elect a gay head of state in 2009!
As the capital of Spain, Madrid is a hub for the LGBTQ community. If you’re looking for venues, bars, clubs, drag shows, and other LGBTQ events, look no further than the neighborhood of Chueca. Also, be sure to check out the bordering neighborhood of Malsaňa, a busier and culturally-diverse neighborhood with even more risqué venues for anyone daring enough to visit. The local coffee and cuisine should be reason enough to venture between neighborhoods and the cultural freedom that comes with simply walking the streets.
Referred to as Britain’s “Gay Hub”, Brighton holds the biggest Pride festival in the U.K. In addition to the Pride festival, Brighton also holds a spectacular Trans Pride Festival! Apart from multiple LGBTQ venues to visit, there is a huge theater scene as well as Fringe festival performances hosted by the surrounding LGBTQ community. So, don’t forget to add Brighton to your list!
This tiny and easily overlooked island in the Mediterranean is not only beautiful but is also an LGBTQ travel destination! Recently, Malta has been making strides in their inclusion and recognition of this community. Read more about them making history by becoming the first European country to criminalize conversion therapy here. In regards to what to do there, apart from taking in the breathtaking sights, there are plenty of bars, clubs, and event organizers, so there is always something to do!
After recently legalizing same-sex marriage, Scotland is an up-and-coming spot for travel for the queer community. There aren’t specific neighborhoods or many established venues that cater to LGBTQ; however, what they lack in venues they make up for in their strong arts and culture scene, with plenty of it organized and run by the LGBTQ community. There are even companies that cater to LGBTQ travelers, ready with great booking assistance and awesome suggestions for how to spend your time there! This link shares great information on what types of events are planned for the LGBTQ community in Scotland.
With a great mix of art, culture, and fun venues for the LGBT community, Stockholm is a favorite spot for queer travelers! Stockholm has countless museums to visit, for learning about history and culture and also for guilty pleasures, such as the ABBA museum (yes, like the pop group). Stockholm Pride is Scandinavia’s largest pride festival, with decked out venues, events, and even a Pride park with vendors and performances! Here’s a great guide to Stockholm for LGBTQ travelers.
Since 2005, Athens has held a Pride rally and parade, each year with a different theme. The theme for 2018 is femininity. There are plenty of vendors, speakers, and events happening throughout the day. Due to the evolution of LGBTQ rights in Greece, this region has become one of the most liberal countries in Southeast Europe in regards to their views on LGBTQ culture and rights. Check out this awesome article from Frommer’s on the LGBTQ scene in Athens, where to go, and what to see!
What came as a shock to me was how well the LGBTQ community was accepted in Germany. Schoneberg is the heart of the gay community, becoming the first gay village in the world in the 1920s! The Christopher Street Day marches are what the Pride festival is referred to in Germany, This all begins with a street fair and ends with the pride parade, events, performances, and late night techno dance parties. Check out this guide for more fun places to see!
Do you have a favorite place to celebrate Pride or LGBTQ culture? Is there a place you wish was on this list? Let us know! And, don’t forget to pin!