Top 10 LGBT+ Destinations 2017

In alphabetical order

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

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Besides being known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Amsterdam has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations amongst the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. The city’s relaxed and tolerant attitude towards different lifestyles is a major draw, as is its international atmosphere where English is widely spoken. In 2016 Amsterdam was selected to host EuroPride. Besides the Amsterdam Gay Pride, Amsterdam is home to the Milkshake Festival, Pink Saturday and Roze Filmdagen. As of 2006 the non-proft organisation Workplace Pride, based in Amsterdam, strives for greater acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people in the workplace and in society.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s out – everyone knows it. It’s been five decades since Barcelona declared herself a city open to diversity, with the first LGBTI demonstrations in Spain remembered and honoured by every Barcelonan. Here it’s not about acceptance of LGBTI people anymore: the whole city breathes respect and appreciation for every form of sexuality. Not a coincidence that Barcelona had the first heterofriendly hotel in the planet! On top of this inviting and safe atmosphere (actively strengthened by local government), Barcelona has must-live events such as the Barcelona Gay Pride and the Circuit Festival, one of the biggest LGBTI festivals worldwide.

Miami, USA

Miami has been rolling out the rainbow carpet to LGBT travellers for decades. And while their art and cultural events and institutions keep getting better and better, one thing hasn’t changed: The Magic City loves the gays. With a host of festivals throughout the year including a Winter Party Festival, MiFo LGBT Film Festival, Aqua Girl Women’s Festival, Sizzle Miami, Out in the Tropics, Miami Beach Bruthaz Conference, and White Party Week, not to mention the annual Miami Beach Pride, Miami has its own dedicated LGBT Visitor Centre for more information. The city will also be hosting the World OutGames in 2017 and you can book your accommodation for this or any of the events with the local Pink Flamingo certified hotels.

New York, USA

New York is popular with more and more LGBTQ+ visitors each year. As well as an LGBT Community Center, New York has over 15 LGBT+ bars and also is home to the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. New York is home to NewFest Film and Media Festival and MixNYC, a queer experimental film festival. The annual Pride event which has been taking place since 1970 now has an attendance of over 2.1 million.

Palm Spring, USA

One hundred miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a desert playground with year-round sunshine, blue skies and stunning natural beauty. Nestled beneath California’s San Jacinto Mountains, the city is famed for its Hollywood legacy, Native American heritage and huge collection of mid-century modern architecture. The desert oasis boasts a wealth of adventurous hiking trails and historical canyon tours, as well as chic boutiques, the largest number of LGBT resorts in the world, world-renowned golf courses and a number of unique experiences, including the chance to stay in the former homes of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley

Richmond, Virginia

In 2014, Richmond, Virginia did something no other destination had done: Richmond came out of the closet. Through thoughtful coming out letters addressed to cities and LGBTQ celebrities, Richmond came out as gay and welcoming. Visitors are greeted by Out stickers that businesses display with pride. OutRVA Insiders share information with LGBTQ visitors. OutRVA represents more than a marketing campaign; it’s a welcoming way of life. In Richmond, marriage equality was celebrated with a community-donated same sex wedding. Virginia PrideFest attendance tops 30,000. A new “One Love” exhibition features photographs of LGBTQ families. Richmond, Virginia is truly for ALL lovers.

San Francisco, USA

As one of the first LGBT+ meccas, San Francisco takes pride in its history of tolerance and inclusiveness and has championed pride with parades, street fairs and film festivals since the 1970s. Representing the struggles and triumphs of LGBT pride, from voting in America’s first openly gay politician Harvey Milk, to debuting rainbow sidewalks in the iconic Castro, San Francisco is a pioneer in design, gastronomy and the arts – and the perfect gateway to explore California’s famed coast, wine country and great outdoors. In 2017 The City will celebrate its counterculture history with the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love and the annual Pride celebrations.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo is a diverse and international metropolis, one of the largest urban centers in the world. The LGBT+ community is very significant and active. Some regions are considered gay neighbourhoods, such as Frei Caneca and Augusta Streets. There are over 100 places where the community is very welcome. May is when the Sao Paulo Pride Parade celebrates diversity in a 2.6-mile-long route (4.2km) that begins on Paulista Ave. There is an extensive agenda towards LGBT+ culture, which attracts worldwide visitors. In 2006, it was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest pride parade in the world

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals has been a magnet for LGBT+ guests for decades. In fact, Stockholm has officially been a gay-friendly city since 1944. Winner of the British LGBT award for Destination of the Year in 2013, Stockholm has been pioneering in proactive marketing to LGBT+ travellers for nearly 20 years. It is a proud member of VisitSweden UK’s #SwedenYoureWelcome programme to drive LGBTQ diversity in travel to the country and also host to Europride 2018 alongside Gothenburg, the first time the event will be co-hosted by two cities

Vancouver, Canada

In Vancouver, everyone is welcome to celebrate who they are, no matter whose hand they’re holding. The city has a number of distinct, vibrant LGBTQ neighbourhoods – the beachy West End is home to the Davie Village with its ocean side strolls, sizzling nightclubs, and the new Jim Deva Plaza; and the eclectic Commercial Drive area is where you’ll find the best espresso and independent shops. Vancouver’s events celebrating sexual and gender diversity are year-round and city-wide, including Pride Week (drawing crowds of more than 650,000 each year), Vancouver Queer Film Festival, nearby Whistler’s WinterPRIDE gay ski weekend, and more