15 Most Interesting Countries for Gay Travelers

Most Interesting Countries for Gay Travelers

Members of the LGBTQ community have come a long way. Due to the sheer force of their will and undaunted zeal, they had been able to repeal so many draconian laws unfavorable to the community. Today, attitude towards gay people (used here to refer to everyone on the spectrum) is changing.

In fact, most people have dispositions towards people in the community. Gay people no longer have to hide and are mostly their most authentic selves even when traveling to these countries.

However, regardless of this, there is still a lot to be done. Many countries are still hostile to gay people, with some having this hate entrenched in their laws. If you are a member of the community and want to travel outside of your location, it is vital to check the pulse of the country you wish to travel to. In this article, we bring you 15 of the most interesting countries for gay travelers.

#1 Canada

Canada - Gay Travelers
Montreal Canada: People walking on Sainte Catherine street in Montreal’s Gay Village in Quebec region with hanging decorations

Canada is perhaps the friendliest gay country of the bunch. It has such a strong support system for gay people and is reflected in its laws. Thus, in addition to legalizing same-sex marriage, it allows for legal sex changes, legal adoption, and laws that frown upon discrimination.

Montreal Pride
Montreal: People are holding a giant gay rainbow flag over the street at gay pride parade.

Canadians come out in droves to support the Toronto Pride event, Montreal Pride, and Vancouver Pride. It even has a gay village in Montreal! You should definitely put Canada on your list if you haven’t.

#2 Spain

Spain - Gay Travelers
Sitges, Catalonia, Spain: Gay couple walking on the beach in Sitges in summer

A whopping 88 percent of Spanish residents support same-sex marriage. This goes to show you the prevalent attitude in this country concerning the LGBTQ community. Also, it has a lot of fantastic locations that you will definitely feel drawn to. It even has events that are specifically targeted towards the LGBT populace.

Madrid Gay Pride
Madrid, Spain: Gay Pride, Orgullo Gay Parade

There is the popular Madrid Gay Pride organized in Barcelona each year. Additionally, it has a gay area in a tiny province known as Chueca. There, you will find an abundance of gay bars and clubs. Spain provides you community in a way no other country could.

#3 Uruguay

Gay Travelers
Back view of two couple sitting at park in Montevideo Uruguay

Despite the strong Catholic presence in the country, Uruguay is an amazing destination for gay people. It has two pride events each year, has legalized gay marriage, and even has a gay village.

Save Download Preview Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay: Portuguese colonial architecture and ancient cobblestone streets are some of Colonia Del Sacramento’s top features

Some of the lovely places to visit include Colonia del Sacramento, Punta Ballena, and even the beachfront of Punta del Este.

#4 Portugal

Portugal gay copule
Portugal: Gay couple kissing on the street

Although predominantly conservative (and religious), the Portuguese have shown that you don’t need to be liberal to be accommodating of people of same-sex orientation. It legalized gay marriage in 2010, becoming the sixth country in Europe to take that bold step.

Portugal - gay travelling
Portugal – Lisbon: Port view

Whether you want to go sight-seeing or for a random tour, or maybe you just want to have dinner at some quiet place with your significant other; this country rises to the challenge. Its capital, Lisbon, is home to a vibrant gay community. You will instantly feel at home if you happen to pay a visit.

#5 South Africa

South Africa Gay Travelers
A couple in their twenties enbrace in a city landscape in Cape Town, South Africa

It is important to include this country, particularly as an acknowledgment of the country’s stride in the midst of fierce homophobia of the other African countries. In 2006, the country legalized gay marriage, way ahead of so many Western countries.

Johannesburg Gay Travelers
Johannesburg, South Africa: Gay couple lying on the grass at The Winter Sculpture Fair at Nirox Sculpture Park

Cape Town and Johannesburg have the biggest gay scenes. The country has beautiful natural sceneries unique to Africa. Thus, you could visit the Sculpture Park, the Drakensberg, the Garden Route, and even Robben Island.

#6 Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia - Gay Travelers
People in street of Walled City in Cartagena, Colombia. Historic center, the “Walled City”, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.

Colombia is not just known for drug lords and a haven for criminals; it is also one of the most accommodating Latin American countries for gay people. It legalized same-sex marriage in 2016 and has strong anti-discrimination laws.

Colombia Cartagena City Colonial
Colombia Cartagena City Colonial

You can check out sprawling gay villages while you are visiting.

#7 The Netherlands

Netherlands gay parade
Gay Pride in Amsterdam, LGBT annual festival to celebrate that we can be who we are and love, The greatest gay events in the world.

The Netherlands has a distinct gay flavor! It permeates the air, leaving visitors giddy with excitement and expectation. In fact, if you have not visited the country, you are missing a lot. It holds the record of being the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

LGBTQ Amsterdam
Gay Pride, Rainbow flag of LGBT community on building in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

It has five pride events it hosts yearly, as well as a host of laws that protect members of the LGBTQ. There are just a few countries that beat the Netherlands when it comes to freedom for gay people.

#8 Iceland

Gay Travelers
Jon Gnarr mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland, taking part in the gay pride parade in Reykjavik, Iceland. Dressed in womans clothing and wearing a wig.

Iceland goes down in history as being the country that elected the first openly gay head of state. Former Prime Minister Johanna Sigudardottir was sworn into office in 2009, and within a year, legalized same-sex marriage in the country. The country’s capital, Reykjavik,  has one of the most active gay scenes in all of Europe.

The country hosts an annual Pride event, which began as far back as 19991. This goes to show that Iceland has been consistent with its openness towards the gay community.

#9 Belgium

Belgium - Gay Travelers
Pride parade through the center of Brussels. The theme of the Belgian Pride 2019 is All for One. People took part in the Gay Pride parade to support gay rights.

Belgium is a small country with strong LGBT laws. Its capital, Brussels, is known for a host of international gay events each year. If you travel to Belgium, be prepared to have fun!

#10 France

France - Gay Travelers
Happy gay couple hugging from back over Paris Eiffel Tower background

France is a destination hub for both heterosexual and gay men and women. You can decide to go skiing in the Alps or visit any of the charming and historic places dotting the entire country. However, even more importantly, France, and in particular, its capital, Paris, is known for being welcoming to gay people. It legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, although it had decriminalized homosexuality as far back as 1791.

Paris, France - gay
The participant of Gay pride parade at quai du Louvre in Paris, France.

If you are in Paris, you should definitely visit Le Marais, located in the country’s vibrant capital. There, you will be sure to find friendly bars, restaurants, and clubs, and maybe a little something extra, too.

#11 Germany

Germany - Gay Travelers
German couple, sport soccer fans kissing each other celebrating a match.

Germany is a delight for travelers. Its capital, Berlin, has a lot of wonderful sites, including the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Brandenberg Gate, and the Reichstag Building. It is also very accommodating for gay people. In fact, the first-ever gay village was founded in Schoneberg in the 1800s. The country has a vibrant gay scene, with as much as one million people showing up for the yearly Pride event.

#12 Argentina

Argentina - Gay Travelers
Buenos Aires Pride Day parade

Argentina has spectacular locations and vibrant night scenery. In addition to that, it is super friendly to gay people. It even doubles as one of the strongest safe havens for transgender individuals. Buenos Aires has a vibrant gay scene, boasting of many clubs and bars. You may also want to check out Mendoza and Cordoba.

#13 Malta

Malta - Gay Travelers
The small fishing village of Marsaxlokk on the island of Malta

I bet you may not have known about Malta’s impressive track record when it comes to gay rights. With its population just under half a million, it recognizes and enforces the rights of its gay citizens. It has some very impressive gay bars and clubs. In addition, it hosts several gay festivals each year.

#14 The United States of America

usa gay copule
Gays and lesbians marching in the SF Pride Parade San Francisco City, USA

A lot of folks are divided when it comes to the USA’s disposition towards gay people. Of course, it does quite a good job of PR, especially since it has a slew of out and proud pop stars. However, homophobia is still rife in the country, especially in its conservative states.

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge

No doubt, the USA has one of the highest numbers of pride events – 115. It has a gay village in almost every state and has quite a number of attractive sites. You can visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Disney parks, Niagara Falls, and so many other sites.

#15 Ireland

Ireland Gay Travelers
The street Commercial Court with the proud gay colors in Belfast

The last, but certainly not the least on our list is Ireland. This European country decriminalized homosexuality way back in 1993 and has since legalized gay marriage. Ireland is a joy to behold. You can visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, and a host of other exciting locations.

Conclusion

Here you have it, the 15 most interesting countries for gay travelers. You can check out any of the countries above and be sure of having a good time while being completely safe.