There are plenty of LGBT travel destinations around the world that you should visit in 2018! For those who are planning on taking a vacation in the near future, here is a list of ten top LGBT friendly cities situated in different countries that might appeal to you.
1. Brighton, United Kingdom
This seaside resort in the south of England is unofficially the “Gay Capital of England”. Home to one of the largest gay communities in the country, Brighton and the Hove hosts many LGBT events and there is an exceptional amount of gay clubs, bars and businesses situated here. Among these events are the annual Brighton Pride and Trans Pride. Additionally, the city has great transport links to London where you could also visit while you’re on your travels!
2. Berlin, Germany
On a larger scale, Berlin credits itself as being the “Gay Capital of Europe” and is one of the most popular LGBT tourist destinations in the world! The German capital boasts plenty of gay friendly neighborhoods such as Schöneberg, Kreuzberg and Mitte which are famously renowned as the city’s main LGBT hotspots. There are an overwhelming amount of gay clubs and bars including the SchwuZ nighclub, Heile Welt and Prinzknecht. Some of the events hosted in the summer months are the Stadtfest Berlin and the Lesbian and Gay Festival Park.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands capital is one of the most progressive cities in Europe and is another famously regarded LGBT friendly destination. Being a liberal country, Amsterdam has always been accepting of LGBT rights through recent history and opened some of the first ever gay bars at the beginning of the twentieth century. Alongside some of its most famous tourist attractions, such as the Red Light District, Amsterdam has many LGBT-related activities such as the Vrolijk Gay and Lesbian Bookshop and ‘Gays and Gadgets’ – a ‘gay store’ offering a range of merchandise.
4. Sitges, Spain
Situated in Spain, which has progressively become an LGBT friendly country, Sitges is regarded as one of the Mediterranean’s top destinations for gay males. This small resort is home to many beautiful beaches, has scenic views and plenty of gay bars. The Old Town area is especially known for being a popular LGBT tourist destination during the warm summer months. The resort is located near Barcelona should you wish to visit both cities while you are on your travels!
5. Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos is known worldwide as a top LGBT friendly destination since its rise to prominence in the 1970s. The resort boasts incredible beaches, a beautiful climate and outstanding nightlife which sets the scene for a fantastic holiday destination. Its status as a legendary gay island means it famously attracts large amounts of LGBT tourists each year. The city hosts the XlSIOR Mykonos International Summer Gay Festival during the summer months.
6. San Francisco, California
San Francisco has for a long time been regarded the ‘Gay Capital of America’ and is one of the most well-known LGBT spots in the world. The city is widely decorated with gay pride flags, especially in the Castro area – which is the city’s main gay neighborhood – and there is a wealth of queer history and attractions. There are more LGBT-identifying people populating San Francisco than most places in the world. There are several gay bars and clubs among other attractions like its gay-friendly beach – which has great views of the Golden Gate Bridge – located on North of Baker Beach.
7. New York State
One of the greatest cities in the world, New York City in particular has a thriving gay scene. Some of the main LGBT-friendly areas are Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village and Chelsea, yet the capital as a whole is generally accepting towards homosexuality. The city can be difficult to navigate with there being an overwhelming amount to do and there are an enormous amount of LGBT bars, events and nightclubs. In the surrounding areas of New York, another notable LGBT friendly destinations is Fire Island which is famously frequented by queer tourists.
8. Toronto, Canada
Canada’s largest city has an incredible gay scene which is on par with both the aforementioned New York City and San Francisco. Toronto’s most famous event is its 10 day pride week – one of the biggest and best pride festivals in the world – which takes place during the summer. The city has a thriving nightlife scene and two main gay neighborhoods – The East Village (“Queer East”) and The West Village (“Queer West”). Toronto is also home to attractions such as The Glad Day Bookshop – the oldest LGBT-themed book store in North America – and Hanlan’s Point: it’s gay-friendly beach.
9. Florianopolis, Brazil
One of the lesser known additions to this list, Florianopolis is an increasingly popular LGBT friendly city that is perfect for travelers wishing to tread off the beaten path. This small Brazilian island has its own thriving gay nightlife scene among its picturesque beaches and laid-back setting. The city’s most famous LGBT event is The Florianopolis Gay Carnival where it hosts its own beauty contest for transgender people and drag acts. The Praia Mole – one of the island’s 40 beaches – is renowned as the main beach that is reserved for the gay community.
10. Auckland, New Zealand
Finally, one of the most liberal and LGBT friendly cities you might like to choose as your next travel destination is Auckland! Over the past decade this New Zealand city has risen in popularity due to legalizing same sex marriage. The capital has a very apparent gay scene and the city hosts Auckland Pride Week which takes place in February. Some of Auckland’s famous attractions are its queer cafe Garnet Station, The Sky Tower and Karangahape Road (“K’ – Road”) which is famously the city’s “Red Light District” consisting of cafes and art galleries alongside sex shops, brothels and strip clubs.
Some other notable LGBT tourist destinations that did not make our top ten compilation, as they are slightly off the beaten track, but are worth mentioning are:
- Portland, Oregon
- Princeton, Massachusetts
- Ibiza, Spain
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Reykjavik, Iceland
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Manchester, United Kingdom
- Sydney, Australia
We hope that our list inspires you to explore these LGBT friendly destinations! Have you visited any of these places recently? Do you have any favorite tourist destinations or an addition to our list? Please let us know in the comments section!
Feature Image Source: Photo by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash
Soraya Atherton is a content writer from the United Kingdom. She is a travel enthusiast that has most recently worked in Ibiza, Spain.