Travel is in full swing again and with summer beach season winding down it got me thinking about what’s next. So I put together a list of the best destinations for LGBT travel and which places are perfect for LGBT holidays.
There are a lot of countries where, sadly, it’s illegal to be LGBT and some places where it carries the death penalty, but that needn’t put you off LGBT holidays. That’s why I’ve created this roundup of fabulous LGBT destinations that you need to visit if you’re at all interested in enjoying an LGBT holiday. Read on to find out if your city has made the cut.
Please note: I skipped Antarctica because the entire continent is LGBT-friendly. Polar bears are very open-minded and their biggest concern is melting polar caps, not who humans fall in love with.
Johannesburg, South Africa
There is a thriving gay scene in Jo’Burg with plenty to attract the LGBT community and its allies, including bars, clubs, saunas, and its Pride celebration, dubbed the Pride of Africa. You can also go on safari in Kruger National Park or learn about national hero Nelson Mandela.
Mindelo, Cape Verde
This is a lovely spot if you want to get away from it all, but Mindelo has also celebrated Pride since 2013.
Tel Aviv, Israel
This is a fantastic destination for LGBT travel because it has a large LGBT community and during Pride, the city turns into an all-night party in the streets and on the beach.
Japan is welcoming to the LGBT community with most people being kind and respectful, even though public displays of affection are uncommon. Tokyo has more LGBT bars than most Western cities, so you can party the night away in the Shinjuku-nichōme district.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Netherlands was the first country on earth to legalize same-sex marriage and Amsterdam is one of the most sexually liberated places on earth, so it’s no wonder it’s a great LGBT destination. The Netherlands’ Pride Week is one long party, but don’t forget to make a stop at the Sex Museum or spend a couple of hours relaxing in one of their coffee shops.
Located on the French Riveria, Nice is one of the most welcoming cities in Europe. Known for its beautiful beaches, Rose, phenomenal seafood, and coastal architecture – Nice isn’t a tough sell as a travel destination. But many people aren’t aware of the many opportunities for LGBTQ+ travelers. The LGBTQ+ neighborhood is called Bonaparte and is home to many LGBTQ+ owned businesses including Libarie Vigna, a lesbian bookstore, and Hacienda Pura Vida a lesbian-owned pan Latin American bar and restaurant frequented by a trendy queer crowd.
This seaside town has the biggest LGBT community in the UK and, as such, has a fantastic nightlife scene. It’s also a haven for independent shops and restaurants, which are open to all. Overall, it’s a great place to kick back and chill out.
New York City, US
NYC home of the Stonewall riots and endless amounts of queer history. There’s something for all members of the LGBT community here, including some of the last remaining lesbian bars in the country. You can also eat at an LGBT café, take an LGBT walking tour, and visit the Stonewall Inn.
This could be the best LGBT cities in Mexico, earning it the nickname Gay-dalajara. It has a big LGBT community, which means that it has a thriving bar and club scene and that many same-sex couples feel comfortable showing affection in public.
Auckland, New Zealand
This is a great LGBT destination because it actually has a whole week of Pride Events. One of the events, organized by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, is called The Big Gay Out and is filled with music, art, dancing, and food. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s fabulous.
This is one of the top LGBT cities in the world and at times it is said to feel like the whole city has turned gay. You can dance ‘til you drop at Oxford Street or North Bondi beach, but if you’re looking for something a little tamer, try Obelisk Beach or Club Kooky.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina is one of the most progressive South American countries on LGBT rights, with marriage rights, adoption rights, and the right to change legal gender. Anti-discrimination laws are also in full force in the capital. Because of this, it shouldn’t be surprising that many in the LGBT community choose to make their home here and that there are a decent amount of bars, clubs, and dance halls catering to them. They also have the Buenos Aires Gay Festival every November.
This may be a surprise for some on the LGBT Holidays list but Uruguay is a relaxed country with a clear commitment to LGBT rights, with the majority of residents being tolerant of the LGBT community. Its capital city has the best LGBT scene in the country, with bars, clubs, and even UNESCO-listed dance classes for LGBT people.