Gay Travel: 11 Must-Visit Destinations
As LGBTQ+ travelers, it's important to find destinations that are not only fun and exciting but also safe and welcoming. With that in mind, here are 11 must-visit travel destinations that offer all that and more!
1. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a top destination for gay men, offering a lively and accepting atmosphere for LGBTQ+ travelers. The Eixample district is the center of the gay scene, home to many bars and clubs like La Chapelle and Metro Disco. Barcelona's annual pride parade in June attracts thousands, with week-long parties and cultural events. The city's beaches, particularly Barceloneta, are welcoming and great for meeting new people. To satisfy culinary cravings, El Xampanyet serves delicious traditional tapas in a cozy atmosphere. In short, Barcelona is a must-visit for gay travelers seeking vibrant culture, nightlife, and acceptance.
Explore the iconic work of Gaudi at Park Guell
Visit the Gothic Quarter for history and charm
2. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel is a must-visit destination for gay men, with a progressive and welcoming culture towards the LGBTQ+ community. The city's gay scene is concentrated around the Rothschild Boulevard area, with popular bars like Shpagat and Evita. Tel Aviv's annual pride parade in June is the biggest LGBTQ+ event in the Middle East, attracting thousands of visitors. The city's beaches, including Hilton Beach, are popular with LGBTQ+ travelers and locals alike, while the bustling Carmel Market is a great place to sample local cuisine. With a vibrant nightlife scene, rich history, and beautiful architecture, Tel Aviv is a must-visit destination for any gay traveler.
Take a dip at the famous Hilton Beach
Take a walking tour of the city’s street art scene
3. Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia is a must-visit destination for gay men, offering a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ+ travelers. The Darlinghurst and Surry Hills neighborhoods are the heart of the city's gay scene, with popular bars and clubs like Stonewall and ARQ. Sydney's annual Mardi Gras parade in February is a world-renowned celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, with a month-long festival leading up to the main event. Bondi Beach is a favorite spot for LGBTQ+ travelers and locals alike, while the iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge offer stunning views of the city. For delicious food and drinks, try The Beresford in Surry Hills or The Oxford Hotel in Darlinghurst. In short, Sydney is a must-visit destination for any gay traveler seeking culture, nightlife, and acceptance.
Take a stroll along Bondi Beach
climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands is a must-visit destination for gay men, offering a liberal and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ travelers. The city's gay scene is centered around Reguliersdwarsstraat and Amstel, with popular bars and clubs like Taboo and Club NYX. Amsterdam's annual pride parade in August is one of the biggest in Europe, with street parties and cultural events throughout the city. The city's canals offer scenic views, while Vondelpark is a popular spot for picnics and people-watching. For a unique culinary experience, try the Indonesian rijsttafel at Blue Pepper or the modern Dutch cuisine at De Kas. In summary, Amsterdam is a must-visit destination for any gay traveler seeking acceptance, culture, and nightlife.
Visit the Anne Frank House
Attend a live show at the legendary Paradiso club
5. Montreal, Canada
Montreal, Canada is a must-visit destination for gay men, with a diverse and inclusive culture that welcomes LGBTQ+ travelers. The Gay Village, located on Sainte-Catherine Street, is the heart of the city's LGBTQ+ scene, with popular bars and clubs like Stereo and Cabaret Mado. Montreal's annual pride parade in August attracts visitors from all over the world, with a week-long festival leading up to the event. The city's food scene is renowned, with delicious poutine and bagels, as well as French-inspired cuisine. For a unique experience, check out the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, home to the Canadian Grand Prix, or visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In short, Montreal is a must-visit destination for any gay traveler seeking a vibrant culture, diverse nightlife, and friendly locals.
Catch a show at the Place des Arts
Enjoy a picnic at Mount Royal Park
6. Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos is a must-visit destination for gay men, known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and welcoming LGBTQ+ culture. The island's main gay beach, Elia Beach, offers crystal-clear waters and a lively atmosphere, while the town's streets are lined with bars and clubs like Babylon and Jackie O'. Mykonos hosts an annual XLSIOR Festival in August, attracting thousands of visitors for parties and events. For a unique experience, check out the historic windmills or the nearby island of Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage site. For dining, try the seafood at Niko's Taverna or the Mediterranean cuisine at M-eating. Overall, Mykonos is a perfect destination for gay travelers looking for relaxation, culture, and nightlife.
Take a stroll through Mykonos Town
Snorkel through the Aegean Sea
7. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is a must-visit destination for gay men, known for its open-minded and inclusive culture. The neighborhood of Schöneberg has been the heart of Berlin's gay community since the 1920s, with many bars and clubs like Tom's Bar and SchwuZ. The annual Berlin Pride Parade in July attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and features a colorful procession through the city. For a unique experience, check out the legendary Berghain nightclub or visit the city's many museums and galleries, such as the Berlinische Galerie. For dining, try the vegan cuisine at Cookies Cream or the modern German fare at Volt. Overall, Berlin is a perfect destination for gay travelers looking for history, culture, and nightlife.
Visit the iconic Brandenburg Gate
Explore the street art in the trendy neighborhood of Kreuzberg
8. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a must-visit destination for gay men, known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The Zona Romantica neighborhood is the hub of the city's LGBTQ+ community, with many bars and clubs like Mr. Flamingo and La Noche. The annual Vallarta Pride Parade in May attracts thousands of visitors and features a colorful parade through the city. For a unique experience, check out the Los Muertos Pier for stunning sunset views or take a day trip to the nearby hidden beach of Yelapa. For dining, try the Mexican cuisine at El Arrayán or the seafood at Joe Jack's Fish Shack. Overall, Puerto Vallarta is a perfect destination for gay travelers looking for sun, beach, culture, and nightlife.
Take a jungle canopy tour
Enjoy whale watching off the coast of Banderas Bay
9. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina is a vibrant and accepting city that is a must-visit destination for gay men. The Palermo neighborhood, particularly the area known as Palermo Hollywood, is the most friendly and welcoming towards the LGBTQ+ community, with many gay bars, clubs, and restaurants. Buenos Aires hosts an annual pride parade and festival, which is one of the largest LGBTQ+ events in South America. The city also boasts a lively nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs that cater to the gay community. Visitors can also enjoy exploring the city's rich cultural attractions, such as the Tango shows, museums, and art galleries. For meeting locals, we recommend the trendy and stylish Gran Bar Danzón, which is a popular spot for gay locals and tourists alike.
Visit the Recoleta Cemetery
Attend a tango show in San Telmo
10. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of LGBTQ+ travel destinations, but it should definitely be on your radar. The city is incredibly welcoming and friendly to the LGBTQ+ community, with many bars, restaurants, and accommodations catering specifically to queer travelers. Reykjavik also hosts a yearly pride parade that attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition, there are plenty of unique activities and attractions to enjoy, such as soaking in the famous Blue Lagoon, exploring the picturesque landscapes, and trying traditional Icelandic cuisine. My personal recommendation is the Kiki queer bar, which is a great spot for meeting locals and dancing the night away.
Take a dip in one of the many hot springs
Enjoy a Northern Lights tour
11. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a must-visit destination for gay men, as it offers a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere throughout the city. The neighborhood of Ipanema is particularly LGBTQ+ friendly, with its vibrant beach scene and an array of gay bars and clubs. The city's yearly pride parade is also a highlight, drawing in locals and tourists alike. In addition to the beaches and nightlife, Rio de Janeiro offers stunning attractions such as the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain. For a unique experience, head to the "gay kiosk" on Ipanema Beach, where you can grab a drink and mingle with locals. My personal recommendation is Bottega del Vino, a cozy Italian restaurant in the heart of Ipanema that serves delicious food and is a great spot for meeting new people.
Take in the views at Corcovado Mountain
Visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue