Four Incredible LGBTQ+ Friendly Destinations You Need To Add To Your Travel Bucket List
This pride month, South Africa celebrates its LGBTQ+ community with an array of events and marches that highlight the importance of equality. South Africa is proud to be recognised as a country that stands proud of its LGBTQ+ community and has been instrumental in driving equality for its members on the continent.
In 2006, South Africa became the first African country, and fifth in the world, to legalise same-sex marriage and it remains committed to protecting those within the community against discrimination based on sexual orientation through its constitution.
There are sadly still many parts of the rest of the world where people are unable to express their true selves due to oppressive laws and unwelcoming societies – but there are plenty of other open-minded places where anyone is free to be themselves.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, whose transit hub in Amsterdam offers the quickest and most convenient connections, shines a light on LGBTQ+-friendly destinations that should be high on your travel list.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Often called the world’s most liberal city, Amsterdam, is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly destinations in the world. Amsterdam’s legendary open-mindedness saw homosexuality decriminalised way back in the early 1800’s and the Netherlands was the first country in the world to welcome same-sex marriages back in 2001. The city, often called Europe’s gay capital, plays host to a number of LGBTQ+ events throughout the year and is home to some of the world’s most popular gay bars – including Spijker Bar, a gay bar which is considered the oldest and friendliest in Amsterdam. However, there is so much more to Amsterdam’s gay scene than it’s many bars. Amsterdam’s Homomonument, inspired by the events of WWII, remembers the LGBTQ+ people who have lost their lives in campaigns of hate and bigotry. Additionally, Reguliersdwarsstraat, known as Amsterdam’s pink street, is still one of the liveliest streets in Amsterdam today and plays host to a number of gay-owned businesses, cafes and clubs, making it a must-visit destination for any LGBTQ+ tourist visiting the city.
This year, Canada was named the safest place LGBTQ+ travellers to visit according to queer travel safety experts Asher and Lyric Fergusson and academic researcher Eliot Assoudeh PhD. As its largest city, Toronto has a bustling queer community and, as a result, is one of the most politically active cities in the world in terms of gay rights. Toronto is famous for having an active and energetic gay village which is full of various gay-owned bars, clubs, and businesses. The city, which is home to tourist attractions like the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum and just a short drive from the world-famous Niagara Falls, also plays host to the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, which occurs over two weeks in May. The festival showcases more than 200 queer-themed films along with artist talks, premieres, and industry panel discussions. Travellers won’t want to miss a visit to Woody’s, the popular gay bar made famous by the television series Queer As Folk as well as a visit to Crews & Tangos, a popular drag bar in the village.
Stockholm is famous for being one of the most open-minded cities in the world. Despite being a country rich in history and filled with gorgeous buildings and tourist hotspots, it’s thriving LGBTQ+ scene makes it a popular destination for tourists from around the globe. Patricia is the city’s biggest gay clubs with parties happening every night of the week. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, a visit to the country’s popular ABBA Museum is a must. If you have time, try visit the well-known dinner musical ‘Mamma Mia The Party’ for the ultimate celebration of this Swedish supergroup. Stockholm’s theme park Tivoli Gröna Lund has been a popular tourist destination for over 135 years and often plays host to a string of local and international acts. Finally, fashion lovers should plan to make a stop at Stockholm’s fashion district ‘Bibliotekstan’ for an incredible shopping experience with some of the world’s most luxurious brands.
If an island holiday is what you are after, many consider Greece’s popular city of Mykonos. Many consider Mykonos as the original gay island in the Mediterranean, a testament to its long-standing relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. Mykonos is home to dozens of gay beaches, hotels, establishments and beaches that are either gay exclusive or gay friendly, making it the perfect city for the LGBTQ+ community to soak up that Mediterranean sun. The nightlife on the island is unmatched. The city is home to a number of popular gay bars, drag clubs and a plethora of gay events. Additionally, the food scene on the island is one of the best in Greece. Filled with delicious Greek taverns, Mykonos remains authentically Greek giving tourists a perfect blend of history, culture and entertainment.