15 Awesome LGBTQ+-Friendly Destinations
When it comes to traveling, no one should have to worry about whether they can hold their partner's hand in public or if their orientation will open them up to harassment from hosts and locals. While places like San Francisco and Toronto are some of the most popular LGBTQ+-friendly destinations, where do you go if you're looking for something that's a little more off the beaten path?
We've got you covered—check out some of the world's coolest gay-friendly destinations.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Also known as Latin America's Gay Capital, Buenos Aires is a city that prides itself on welcoming LGBTQ+ tourists.
In 2010, Buenos Aires made history by being the first city in Latin American city to legalize gay marriage, and laws that protect the rights of gay and trans citizens has made the city one of South America's best LGBTQ+ hotspots.
Buenos Aires, Argentina (cont'd)
Pride, which takes place at the end of October, is an epic celebration in Buenos Aires. There are also several unique neighborhoods to explore, including Barrio Norte, the city's gay enclave, and the historic San Telmo district.
For something a little more intimate, head over to Rojo Tango for a candlelit dinner and steamy tango show.
Saba, Dutch Caribbean
The island of Saba is a hidden gem when it comes to queer hotspots. You won't find any gays bars here, but the people are incredibly welcoming and local laws that protect the LGBTQ+ community have made it one of the most progressive islands in the Caribbean.
Saba, Dutch Caribbean (cont'd)
When it comes to excursions, Saba is home to several tour companies that cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ divers. Accommodations are also easy to find, with the Queens Gardens Resort & Spa having been noted as particularly welcoming to queer travelers.
The island is also a short flight or ferry ride from St. Maarten, another destination that's known for its friendliness.
In 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage. Since then, the capital city Taipei has been home to a growing queer scene.
In October, the city hosts the largest Pride celebration in Asia, but there are lots of LGBTQ+ events throughout the year.
Taipei, Taiwan (cont'd)
Taipei has a vibrant gay nightlife. If you're looking for events, you can head over to the W Taipei which is considered the city's gay hub for their impressive calendar of LGBTQ+ events.
You can also visit 228 Peace Memorial Park, which once hosted riots for equal rights but has since become a popular destination for queer tourists.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
For decades, San Juan's Condado neighborhood has been the city's queer hotspot. Annual pride parades have long been tradition in this area, and have inspired another Pride parade in Boquerón, on the other side of the island.
San Juan, Puerto Rico (cont'd)
Like Condado, the Santurce neighborhood is also very accepting of LGBT+ people. Both areas are where you'll find LGBTQ+-friendly establishments, like Oasis Tapas & Lounge, and gay nightclubs like SX The Club and Toxic.
Mexico City, Mexico
Many people were shocked when Mexico City legalized gay marriage in 2009, but that move has led to more rights and acceptance for LGBTQ+ citizens all over the country. Nowadays, there's no shortage of LGBTQ+ friendly clubs and accommodations, including Hotel Catedral and Wild Oscar.
Mexico City, Mexico (cont'd)
If you go to Mexico City, you have to check out the Zona Rosa neighborhood. This is the heart of queer life in Mexico City and is home to many of the city's queer residents. It's also where you'll find the best gay bars and clubs.
The Atlantic Beach in Condado is another queer hotspot on the island, with most people gathering for beach parties on Sundays.
Mykonos is a party paradise. Despite gay marriage not being legal here, the city is known for its welcoming atmosphere, LGBTQ+-friendly establishments, and gay beaches.
Every August, the island is home to the XLSIOR Mykonos International Summer Gay Festival, which attracts thousands of tourists.
Mykonos, Greece (cont'd)
Gay-friendly clubs are everywhere in Mykonos. You can also take in the sun at one of the islands gay beaches, like Super Paradise and Agari Beach.
The queer neighborhood Little Venice is the perfect place to enjoy some authentic Greek cuisine while the Elysium Hotel is a well-known LGBTQ+ establishment that offers unparalleled views of the island.
Dublin, Republic Of Ireland
Dublin has been a queer haven for centuries, and in 2015, Ireland made history by being the first country in the world to pass gay marriage by popular vote.
In Merrion Park, you can find a statue of the legendary Oscar Wilde, who aside from being an iconic writer, was the inspiration for the city's annual International Gay Theatre Festival.
Dublin, Republic Of Ireland (cont'd)
Most bars in Dublin are queer-friendly, so you'll have a good time no matter where you go. There are a few gay bars and clubs in the city, including Street 66, Pennylane, The George, and PantiBar.
Dublin's Pride Fest takes place every June, and is the perfect place to witness unforgettable street performances and drag shows.
Berlin is one of the most tolerant cities in Europe. It's been a queer hotspot since the Weimar cabarets of the 1920s, and has been home to many LGBTQ+ artists and activists. The Nollendorfplatz neighborhood in particular, is steeped with queer history.
Berlin, Germany (cont'd)
Berlin's remarkable nightlife draws in LGBTQ+ tourists from all over the world. The city has a thriving drag scene and there's no shortage of queer techno clubs and racy adult parties.
When it comes to LGBTQ+ hotspots, Uruguay is often forgotten, but the country has a long history of being gay-friendly, with anti-discrimination laws that were established well before those in the United States.
The capital city, Montevideo, has a perfect score on the Equaldex and being openly queer won't get you any weird looks here.
Montevideo, Uruguay (cont'd)
In October, the city hosts its annual pride parade, but there's also a mini Pride every February in Punta de Este, which is nearby. There's no shortage of LGBTQ+-friendly accommodations in Montevideo and gay bars and clubs are everywhere.
If you go, make sure to check out one of the many drag shows, which usually turn into epic dance parties.
Auckland, New Zealand
Known as a great filming location for its breathtaking forests and pristine beaches, Auckland is also a great destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. Queer rights have been protected for many years in the city, and it's now home to a thriving gay scene.
Auckland, New Zealand (cont'd)
Most of LGBTQ+ life is centered in Karangahape Road, also known as K'Road. This is where you'll find gay-friendly bars like Eagle Bar, Caluzzi Cabaret, and G.A.Y Auckland.
There are plenty of queer events throughout the year, but Pride takes place every February, near Ponsonby Road.
When it comes to queer rights, Nepal is one of the most progressive countries in Asia. After the monarchy was abolished, the country legalized homosexuality in 2007 and uses the preferred acronym LGBTQI+ to recognize the Intersex community.
Several laws protect discrimination against queer folks and Kathmandu is a fun place for travelers.
Kathmandu, Nepal (cont'd)
The Himalayan Mountains are a big draw to Nepal and there are several gay-friendly tour companies that can help you reach the summit, including Out Adventurs and Encounters Nepal.
You can enjoy the city's gay nightlife in the Thamel neighborhood, with PINK Tiffany and Fire Club offering up unforgettable best drag shows and parties.
Barcelona is a well-known party city, and its home to a ton of queer bars and clubs. It also hosts a massive Pride celebration every year, in the Eixample neighborhood. Eixample is the epicenter LGBTQ+ life in Barcelona.
Barcelona, Spain (cont'd)
The nightlife in Eixample is epic, with many parties getting started around 2am and not ending till well into the morning, around 9am. Eixample also has lots of queer-friendly hotels, great opportunities for shopping, and Gaudi architecture to admire.
With up to 22 hours of sun each day, August in Reykjavik is the perfect time for the country's Pride parade. Iceland has a small population, but 100,000 people gather for the celebration in Reykjavik each year.
The country is known for being a safe place for LGBTQ+ travelers, and has even had a lesbian Prime Minister, the world's first openly gay leader of a modern country.
Reykjavík, Iceland (cont'd)
In addition to the August Pride, the city also hosts Rainbow Reykjavik in March. This festival features tours to see the Northern Lights. There are also several great queer establishments in the city, including KiKi Queer Bar and the lesbian-owned coffee shop IDA Zimsen.
Amsterdam is known for its tolerance of alternative lifestyles and in 2001 it made history by being the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage. Pride is a big deal here, and for an entire week every August, the city is full of LGBTQ+ celebrations.
Amsterdam, Netherlands (cont'd)
Queer nightlife is vibrant in Amsterdam. Some of the most popular LGBTQ+ hotspots include Bar Buka, Saarein, Spijker Bar, and Club NYX.
You can also learn more about the city's queer history with a visit to Pink Point and the Homomonument tribute that honors LGBTQ+ people who were persecuted because of their identity.
Manchester, United Kingdom
As the home of the UK's biggest Pride parade, it's no surprise that Manchester is a popular LGBTQ+ hotspot. The city also hosts several other big queer events throughout the year, including the Sparkle Festival, Drag Fest UK, and the Queer Contact Arts Festival.
Manchester, United Kingdom (cont'd)
Canal Street is known as the city's Gay Village, and this is where you'll find most of the LGBTQ bars, restaurants, and shops. Establishments like The Rembrandt, The Goose, and G-A-Y are some of the city's most well-known queer hotspots.
Manchester also has lots of queer history to take in, including Sackville Gardens which features monuments for Alan Turing, Trans Remembrance, and the AIDS pandemic.