With so much hate and bigotry in the news, it’s nice to turn off the noise and escape for a while… but where to? Vacationing and exploring a new city can be fun and exciting, however, for members of the LGBTQ+ Community, it can be stressful when trying to pick a destination that will openly accept and embrace them and their lifestyle. For this reason, BHDT Magazine has compiled a list of the Top 10 best gay-friendly locations from around the world:
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmark is #1 on our list as it was the first country in the world to recognize same-sex unions. Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and is very accepting. In fact, some people consider Copenhagen to be the most gay-friendly place in the world as it has the oldest openly gay bar in Europe, Centralhjornet, which dates back to the 1950s. The city is home to many gay bars, clubs, and hotels, not to mention that it has Tivoli Gardens, and who doesn’t love that?
2. Miami & Key West, Florida
While Key West is a Carribean-alternative with a laid-back vibe, Miami is a party town, yet both are fantastic as a gay-accommodating destination. The list of things to do in both of these cities is endless. From scuba-diving, snorkeling, and sailing in Key West to clubbing, bar-hopping, or laying on the beach in Miami, there is something for every gay traveler. All hotels and resorts and restaurants are gay-friendly.
3. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
With all of it’s topless/nude beaches, it goes without saying that Rio is a party city with a very open mind. For this reason, Rio is a fantastic destination for gay travelers. Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon are some of the best beaches. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the popular tourist attractions: Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ Our Redeemer, and partake in Carnival! There are plenty of gay-friendly hotels, restaurants, clubs, and Gay Pride celebrations.
4. Dublin, Ireland
Given that Ireland is a predominately Roman Catholic nation, the world was surprised when the Irish voted to legitimize same-sex marriage in 2015. Love always wins, which is why the capital of Ireland has a solid gay scene. The Dublin Pride parade is the greatest in the nation and always happens in late June. There are numerous gay-accommodating lodgings, bars, clubs, eateries, and saunas in Dublin.
5. Toronto, Canada
Canada is the most liberal and advanced country in North America, so it comes as no surprise that Toronto is one of the most gay-friendly tourist destinations in the country. The center of the LGBT action is in the Church-Wellesley area of the city. There are rainbow flags hanging on every streetlamp and painted on every brick wall. This district has many gay-friendly establishments including accommodations, art galleries, and theaters. Toronto hosts outrageous, celebratory gay events like Pride Week and the Dyke March so you don’t want to miss these festivities!
6. Berlin, Germany
Dating back to the 1920’s when the Berlin Wall was strong and standing, the city had a dominate gay scene. Since the wall came down, the scene has only gotten stronger and Berlin has become one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. There are several gay districts to be visited, including Kreuzberg, Prenzlauderberg, and Schoneberg, the latter of which hosts Berlin’s Gay Pride. The bars and clubs don’t close, so you and your significant other can party all night.
7. Sitges, Spain
Southwest of Barcelona is the town of Sitges. With 25 different beaches and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Sitges is a great destination for any traveler, especially the LGBTQ+ members as this is one of Europe’s most popular gay tourist destinations, housing the first gay disco in all of Spain. The town is condensed so everything is within walking distance. Thus, all the gay-accommodating resorts, beaches, clubs, and bars are within reach.
8. Tulum, Mexico
The Mayans that once occupied the town of Tulum were known for their tolerance of sexual diversity. Today the attitude towards homosexuality is similarly lax. Compared to other popular Mexican destinations, such as Puerta Vallarta, Playa Del Carmen, and Cozumel, Tulum is quiet and chill. You can visit Tulum to relax and loosen up with a cocktail on the beach, not in a club. However, in nearby Playa del Carmen, there are several gay bars.
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you know anything about Amsterdam, you know the city has an incredibly tolerant and progressive vibe. Amsterdam has an openly gay scene with many gay hotels, clubs, bars, and saunas right in the heart of the city where any tourist would go. Be sure to visit Amstel, Kerkstraat, and Reguliersdwarsstraat. For activities, take a boat ride on the canal, rent a bike and explore the city, or tour one of the many unique museums.
10. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is an obvious destination for gay travelers. The best place to stay is in the many gay-friendly hotels on Si Lom Road, which makes all hotspots extremely accessible including the main gay sauna – The Babylon Bangkok which is one of the greatest gay saunas in the world. On Si Lom Road is a multitude of clubs, bars, and restaurants, none of which discriminate. While in Bangkok, be sure to check out the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Phra Kaew temples.