If you're in the LGBTQ community, or traveling with someone who is, you'll feel more comfortable when you visit cities that are LGBTQ-friendly and have vibrant communities of their own. Not only will this take some of the stress out of your vacation, but you'll also get to make new friends and celebrate Pride somewhere exotic and out of the ordinary!
8 LGBTQ Friendly Destinations In the World
The largely Catholic South America is rarely known for liberal policies, but Uruguay is an exception. The hippie neighbor of Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay legalized same sex marriage in 2012, but was a welcoming place for the LGBT community long before that. Spend some time in the country’s beautiful beach towns, but also enjoy the capital, Montevideo, which even has a “homomonument.”
A popular place for gay weddings since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2010, liberal Iceland is much warmer in attitudes than its name suggests. As with most things on the small island nation, the gay community is centered in the capital, Reykjavik, which is also famous for its nightlife. While you’re there, don’t forget to ride the famous horses, hike some glaciers, and attempt to spot the Northern Lights.
Long known as a city where just about anything goes, Amsterdam’s never been a place to discriminate against the untraditional — the first gay bar was opened all the way back in 1927. Nowadays, the city celebrates its LGBTQ population with an annual pride parade through the canals and the original Homomonument.
The Caribbean is almost universally to acknowledged to be a beautiful vacation spot, but unfortunately many of the islands are very traditional and religious, and not welcoming to LGBTQ travelers. But Curacao, a Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela, is different. Locals tend to be friendly and between the island’s beaches, diving and Carnival festival, it has everything a Caribbean-bound traveler is looking for.
Scotland voted in 2014 to allow same-sex marriage, but the country had a history of supporting the LGBTQ community long before that. Glasgay!, the biggest lesbian and gay art festival in Britain, has been held in artsy Glasgow since the early 1990s. Visitors should check out Merchant City, in the city centre, home to gay clubs and bars, as well as high-end shopping, galleries, and restaurants.
Perhaps one of the most famous gay areas of a city is Le Marais, a historic area also noted for its Jewish population and art galleries. Many bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to the LGBTQ community are in the area, but just about all of Paris is friendly and progressive when it comes to same-sex relationships.
The liberal shift South Africa made post-apartheid makes the country one of the most progressive on the continent. Today that can be seen in how it has embraced LGBTQ individuals, making it a great place to go for any traveler wanting to visit Africa. Spend the days enjoying the beaches and wildlife resorts and the nights in De Waterkant Village, a trendy, gay-friendly area of town.
A big difference from the much more traditional Jerusalem, this second-biggest Israeli city is all about going out ‘til the wee hours of the morning, getting a tan on the beautiful Mediterranean beaches, and exploring the art scene. It’s also well-known as a travel destination for LGBTQ tourists and home to a large LGBTQ community.
This article was written by Isabella Sayyah.