LGBT+ Destinations 2016

In alphabetical order

This category recognises the travel destinations that have successfully welcomed or are popular with the LGBT+ community.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The city that was once best known for its Red Light District and it’s liberal views, especially around equlity, has now flourished with a world-class arts and culture scene and thriving LGBT nightlife. This year, EuroPride will come to Amsterdam in August, and The Dutch Tourist Board launched a campaign last year with the tag line ‘Everyone’s gay in Amsterdam’.

Berlin, Germany

The Schöneberg district has been the gay mecca since the 1920s, and includes bars, restaurants, clubs, saunas and their annual Pride. Cruising is completely legal; Berlin has even put on designated areas around the city’s main Tiergarten and Grunewald parks. For those looking for an alternative to Berlin’s hedonism, the Schwules Museum documents LGBT history and includes an extensive archive. The Teddy Award is an international film award for films with LGBT topics, and is an official award of the Berlin International Film Festival (the Berlinale).

Dublin, Ireland

Last year’s Dublin Pride in June saw its largest attendance in its 30 year existence, which is not surprising after the overwhelming positive vote in favour of equal marriage just a month before. Dublin hosts a handful of mixed LGBT clubs and bars, including The George, Dublin’s longest running gay venue.

Los Angeles, USA

The Los Angeles district of West Hollywood (aka “WeHo”) boasts Southern California’s largest LGBT community, and is the site of the annual Gay Pride parade and the Halloween Costume Carnaval. Since last year, it became legal for same-sex couples to get married in LA. There are numerous gay-friendly restaurants and hotels, gay bars and clubs and a community LGBT centre.

Madrid, Spain

Chueca is known as the gay-friendly neighbourhood in Madrid, with gay flags on every street. In this area, tourists will find gay bars, bookstores and shops. Madrid Pride often attracts over a million visitors, and organisers claim it is the biggest in Europe. In 2017 the Spanish capital will host World Pride.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket has been a LGBT tourist hotspot for some time, not least because of it’s award-winning beaches and delicious Thai food. Thailand is one of the few Asian destinations that embraces LGBT life. The small island has a number of gay bars and Phuket Pride has been running since 2013.

Toronto, Canada

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the first country outside Europe to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide, with Ontario the first jurisdiction to implement the law. The city attracts thousands of gay visitors each year, partly due to its large arts and culture scene, gay village and gay-friendly island beaches. Toronto also hosts one of the largest Pride events in the world and, in 2014, it celebrated World Pride.

Zurich, Switzerland

Over the last decades, the tolerant, liberal-minded city of Zurich has become home to a lively gay and lesbian scene. Since 2009, Zurich has organised the Zurich Pride Festival every year. The three-day program features an opening and closing party and typically attracts over 30,000 people each year.