Lifestyle

Love wins! Check out the best gay-friendly holiday destinations

Check out the most gay-friendly places on earth.

While the world is slowly catching-up with the concept that ‘love is love’, some places are a little more progressive with their views.

And many countries go the extra mile to host events or welcome tourists from the LGBTQ+ community that might not feel so comfortable in certain other areas.

Taking lead from the fabulous Lonely Planet guide on the most gay-friendly places across the globe, here we give you the rundown.

[Credit: Tristan Billet]

1) Toronto, Canada

Reclaiming a word that has been derogatory in the past, Toronto plays host to a huge Pride annual event that includes a dyke march.

As the name suggests, a dyke march is a lesbian visibility and protest march, much like the original gay rights parades, to encourage activism within the lesbian community.

The Village, located in Church-Wellesley, boasts an abundance of galleries, theatres and gay-friendly businesses, plus a LGBTQ+ community centre celebrating gay sub-culture.

And keep an eye out for the iconic Halloween party which is one of the events of the year.

[Credit: Jiroe]

2) Palm Springs, USA

If sunnier climates are what tempt you abroad, then check out the haven that is Palm Springs, approximately 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

This stunning location is awash with shopping and dining options, poolside lounging, and the largest volume of male-only or female-only accommodation anywhere in the world.

For those with party genes, check out The Dinah – the world’s largest lesbian event. This five-day music extravaganza plays host to pool parties, night entertainment, and live gigs.

[Credit: Daniel James]

3) New York City, USA

Staying stateside, the Big Apple is notorious for its diverse party scene and is home to the 1960s Stonewall riots which kickstarted the gay-rights movement.

You will be inundated with choice of where to visit at the West Village, with Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen inclusive communities being popular picks.

Be sure to check out iconic LGBTQ+ landmarks at the Harvey Milk School, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the dazzling lights of Broadway.

[Credit: Elyssa Fahndrich]

4) Copenhagen, Denmark

For the Euro-lovers, Copenhagen is home to Europe’s oldest openly gay bar, Centralhjørnet – which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2017.

The Scandinavian country also boasts the red-light district Vesterbro for the daredevils.

Denmark – who made history in 1989 as the first nation in the world to recognise registered same-sex partnerships – is one of the most tolerant communities in Europe.

With Copenhagen’s fashion scene and cocktail bars, not to mention their infamous ‘Rainbow Square’, this ultra-cool location is one of the most gay-friendly places on earth.

[Credit: Mercedes Mehling]

5) Sitges, Spain

The coastal city of Sitges, close to Barcelona, is the Spain’s leading gay scene and also one of Europe’s biggest destinations for LGBTQ+ travellers.

Its stretch of sandy and clothing-optional beaches make it a favourite for the boys, but its eclectic calendar of events ensures that there’s something for the entire community.

Other places to make the top 10 include New Zealand, the first nation to adopt the ‘Gay/Lesbian Friendly’ label when referring to businesses and accommodation; Berlin in Germany whose inclusive gay history dates back to the 1920s; Skiathos & Mykonos in Greece for hedonistic fun in the Mediterranean sun; Reykjavik in Iceland which is home to one of Europe’s oldest LGBTQ+ parades; and Montevideo in Uruguay whose relaxed attitude is “a brilliant juxtaposition to the hustle and bustle of the likes of Buenos Aires”.

So, wherever tickles the travel bug within you, book your holiday getaway and remind yourself that life can be good again after lockdown.

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