February 5, 2024 | Mathew Burke

15 Of The World’s Greatest LGBTQ+ Hotspots


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.

Panoramic Photo of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Victor, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

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.

Street Photography  of Buenos Aires downtown ArgentinaRenan Braz, Pexels

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.

Aerial view of village in Saba, Dutch AntillesLE-gals Photography, Shutterstock

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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.

Saba Dutch Caribbean Tourist Bureau in WindwardsideWangkun Jia, Shutterstock

Taipei, Taiwan

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.

Skyline Photography of Taipei, Taiwan viewed from Mount Elephant毛貓大少爺, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

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.

The 228 Memorial Park, previously known as the New Park, in Taipei's Zhongzheng District. The 228 Monument is located at the center of the park.Allentchang, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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.

Colorful houses line the hillside over looking the beach in San JuanMartin Wheeler III, Shutterstock

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.

Photography of colorful buildings in San Juan Puerto Ricofldlcc, Shutterstock

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.

Photo of the Hotel Catedral in  Mexico Cityspeedygroundhog, Flickr

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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.

A pedestrian crossing, in the Zona Rosa section of Mexico CitySergio Mendoza Hochmann, Shutterstock

Mykonos, Greece

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.

Photo of Waterfront in Little Venice, Mykonos at sunsetSCStock, Shutterstock

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.

Landscape Photo of Agrari beach in Mykonoskarlygr, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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.

Statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square ParkNicola_K_photos, Shutterstock

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.

Crowds outside street 66 bar in Dublin, IrelandClaire Whitehead, Shutterstock

Berlin, Germany

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.

The Metropol, formerly Neues Schauspielhaus at Nollendorfplatz BerlinMo Photography Berlin, Shutterstock

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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.

Berghain Club in Berlin's Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Districtaushilfe444, Shutterstock

Montevideo, Uruguay

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.

City of Montevideo, capital, Uruguay Urban landscape of the famous Independencia squareSandra Moraes, Shutterstock

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.

Aerial view over Punta Del Este and Atlantic Ocean on sunsetAgent Wolf, Shutterstock

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.

Landscape View to Auckland City from Stanley Point BayStargrass, Shutterstock

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.

Street atmosphere on Karangahape Road AucklandBernadocapri, Shutterstock

Kathmandu, Nepal

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.

Photography of yhe City life on the square in Kathmanduvedrana2701, Shutterstock

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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.

People walking through streets of Thamel neighborhood in Kathmanduviajeleve, Shutterstock

Barcelona, Spain

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.

Buildings around the Passeig de Gracia in Eixample district of BarcelonaColorMaker. Shutterstock

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.

Sunset Photography of Park Guell in Barcelona, SpainLukasz Szwaj, Shutterstock

Reykjavík, Iceland

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.

Historical and touristic downtown in Reykjavik at Summer in IcelandOleg Senkov, Shutterstock

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.

Klapparstigur street road in Reykjavik downtown, IcelandKristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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.

Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, The NetherlandsDennis van de Water, Shutterstock

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.

People On The Bar Buka Boat At The Gaypride Canal Parade, Amsterdam The NetherlandsDutchmen Photography, Shutterstock

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 Pride parade. The National Trust. Theme Queerly Beloved.John B Hewitt, Shutterstock

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.

View of the Gay village, Canal street in Manchester, Englandtrabantos, Shutterstock