Visit these LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world to have a gay ol’ time as an LGBTQ traveller!
World travel is back! As restrictions are finally lifted in almost every corner of the world, now’s the time to embark on those trips you’ve been holding off on for years. While you dust off your travel bucket lists and exchange your cash, you might have something else on your mind: “Is the place I’m heading to LGBTQ-friendly?” Although everyone experiences wanderlust, there are times when LGBTQ travellers may feel unsafe or uncomfortable, whether they’re travelling alone or with a partner. Additionally, they may simply want to go somewhere diverse and inclusive. Keeping this in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world.
LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world you should travel to
1. New York City, USA
The Big Apple is famous for its gay history and stands as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world. Arguably one of the birthplaces of modern pride as we know it with the Stonewall riots, NYC teems with diversity and energy. If you visit during Pride Month in June, you can witness one of the biggest celebrations and bombastic parades in the world.
The Honey itinerary: start your day with a drag brunch in Hell’s Kitchen to witness a slice of NYC’s legendary drag scene. Then, burn off the pancakes by walking through the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art to see exhibits created by and about LGBTQ people. Come nightfall, you can take your pick from the numerous Broadway shows currently playing. Wanna grab a drink instead? Head over to the Barracuda Lounge or Cubbyhole – both notorious LGBTQ bars in their own right.
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
As the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, it’s no wonder that Amsterdam has become a hotspot for gay travellers. With beautiful scenery and carefree attitudes, Amsterdam is by and large accepting of diversity. If you come in the beginning of August, you can catch the famous Canal Parade, and watch the canals of Amsterdam overflow with LGBTQ pride.
The Honey itinerary: Explore the “gay areas” of Amsterdam like Amstel, Reguliersdwarsstraat, or Zeedijk and Warmoesstraat. You can walk through the neighbourhoods and stop by the cafes to grab a coffee overlooking the canals. Stay in the areas until dark, because that’s when the city comes alive! Gay bars like Amstel 54 and SoHo Amsterdam are great places to party. In the mood for drag bingo? Try The Queen’s Head on selected nights.
3. Berlin, Germany
A liberal and diverse city, Berlin is known as one of the gay capitals of Europe, as well as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world. With an “anything goes” lifestyle, the city has had a long LGBTQ history. While gay culture may be at its peak during Pride Month, you can get a one-of-a-kind LGBTQ travel experience in Berlin any time of the year.
The Honey itinerary: begin with a reflection of LGBTQ history and culture at the Schwules Museum, also known as the Gay Museum. Find yourself with nothing to do on a Monday night? The Kino International Cinema has a programme that shows an LGBTQ film almost every Monday. Although Berlin has its fair share of rainbow neighbourhoods, the unmissable area for LGBTQ tourists is Schöneberg. You can explore the cafes, saunas, and restaurants by day and party at gay bars like Hafen and Blond Cocktailbar by night.
4. Toronto, Canada
Did you know that the largest city in Canada is also one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world? Toronto has arguably the largest LGBTQ population in Canada and the influence is found in much of the city’s culture. A diverse and accepting city, Toronto is chock-full of great experiences for LGBTQ travellers.
The Honey itinerary: the gay neighbourhood you must explore in Toronto is the Church-Wellesley Village area. Get some naughty shopping done at the LGBTQ-marketed store Out on the Street. For the bookworms, visit Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the world. You can settle down with a new read or join one of the many events that the bookstore puts on! By nightfall, get tipsy at The Lodge or Woody’s and party the night away.
5. Madrid, Spain
Although some may say Barcelona is the ultimate destination in Spain for gay travellers, the capital of Madrid is emerging as the new must-go. In fact, Madrid’s pride celebration is not only one of the best in Europe, it’s also one of the biggest in the world. You’ll definitely find your own slice of LGBTQ paradise in this Spanish metropolis.
The Honey itinerary: if you’re an LGBTQ tourist in Madrid, you can’t miss the rainbow neighbourhood of Chueca. This district is one of the most lively and accepting in the world. There are shops, saunas, cafes, and restaurants galore for you to explore. Of course, you must try as many tapas that you can get your hands on when you’re in Spain. After a day of eating and exploring, head to Barbanarama for a drink or LL Bar for a drag show.
6. Brighton, UK
Unofficially known as the gay capital of the UK, Brighton comes out to be one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world. This seaside town is just a train ride away from London and has a long history of gay acceptance since the 19th century. Hosting one of the UK’s biggest pride festivals every year, Brighton has become a respite for gay travellers.
The Honey itinerary: as the ultimate seaside village, the Brighton Pier is the first must-see for the full Brighton experience. If you’re a history junkie, you can embark on an LGBTQ walking tour to fully embrace the city. Alternatively, you can grab a book from the LGBTQ-inclusive The Feminist Bookshop and have some coffee and cake while you’re at it. Gay tourists should absolutely visit the gay village in Kemp Town where you can find even more LGBTQ businesses. Party at the legendary Legends with drag queens or head to The Queens Arms for a pint after a day of exploring.