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The 10 Best LGBTQIA+ Friendly Destinations to Travel to This Summer

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, it can be overwhelming to make travel plans that feel safe and inclusive. Although it is unrealistic to imagine a country free from prejudice and challenges, many cities across the world welcome LGBTQIA+ people with open arms. We’ve researched the globe and compiled a guide to some of the best cities to travel to. So sit back, open your travel wishlist, take notes, and get ready to discover 10 amazing places to check out this summer as we explore some of the best queer hotspots in 2023.

Amsterdam, Holland

LGBTQIA+ community in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam is a city that has long been a hub for queer people. In 2001, Holland was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, paving the way for many other countries that followed. Amsterdam is a city that prides itself on open-mindedness, and it is filled with culture and entertainment that caters to all queers. If you’re looking for a place that combines art, history, and a good dose of fun, Amsterdam is the place for you. Their annual Pride is one of the biggest festivals in the country and an experience like no other.

Have you ever heard of a floating Pride? In Amsterdam, the parades are held in the canals, street parties are held all around the city, and there’s a busy agenda filled with cultural events. The city also includes a “Pink Point,” an LGBTQIA+ information center, where you can find insider tips to get to know all the best local spots.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco is known as one of the US’s oldest and most celebrated epicenters of queer culture. It is home to a vibrant LGBTQIA+ scene with a history of acceptance and inclusivity. San Francisco is where the rainbow flag, an important symbol for the community, was created by Gil Baker in 1978.

Nowadays, you can explore the queer-friendly neighborhoods, such as The Castro District and the Mission District, and find an abundance of queer-owned businesses, bars, and restaurants. San Francisco is also host to a number of annual LGBTQ+ events, including the San Francisco Pride Parade and Folsom Street Fair.

LGBTQIA+ community in San Francisco
San Francisco, USA

Cape Town, South Africa

Pride in Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa

If you are looking for a mix of natural beauty, a laid-back mentality, queer affirmative spaces, and rich history and culture, then you need to check out the “Mother City” of South Africa, the beautiful Cape Town. A popular destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers for its welcoming and inclusive attitude, Cape Town has a long history of intense activism for the LGBTQIA+ community and other minorities, being the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage. Although awareness of your surroundings is still recommended, Cape Town is generally safe, and people are open-minded.

There’s a huge and diverse LGBTQIA+ community and lots of interesting queer events happening in the city throughout the year, like Cape Town Pride or the Queer Feminist Film Festival (QFFF).

You can also experience delicious food from all corners of the world and numerous cultural attractions while learning about this country’s history. Lastly, make sure you don’t miss the jaw-dropping natural beauty of Cape Town. Check out the penguin colonies at Boulders Beach, stand at the edge of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, visit the multi-colored and historic Bo-Kaap area, or catch a cable car to the top of Table Mountain and marvel at the views from above.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin has always been known for its alternative and non-conformist atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for queer people. This city boasts many LGBTQIA+ bars and clubs for the community, where you’ll find a vibrant nightlife and lively underground party scene. Berlin also has a rich history of queer activism and a thriving, supportive community where diversity is celebrated, and the mentality of “refusing to fit in a box” has prevailed. So if you are visiting Berlin, make sure to explore the rainbow neighborhoods around the city, take a street art tour, or visit the Schwules Museum (Gay Museum) for an insightful look into the history and culture that is queer identity.

LGBTQIA+ friendly Berlin
Berlin, Germany
Iceland 2 1
Northern Lights in Reykjavik
Northern Lights in Reykjavik
Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Calling all adventure seekers, Iceland is the perfect destination for people who love the outdoors and enjoy nature in all its forms. Mesmerizing black sand beaches, stunning waterfalls and hot springs, mighty glaciers, and otherworldly scenery are what you can expect from this island in the North Atlantic Ocean. While many travelers are drawn to Reykjavik for its unparalleled natural beauty, it’s important to point out its strong and welcoming queer community.

This small city is one of the most forward-thinking and liberal cities, as LGBTQIA+ rights in the country rank amongst the highest in the world. A buzzing music scene is growing, and for all music lovers, the Iceland Airwaves Festival is a must.

Barcelona, Spain

Of course, we can’t mention iconic queer destinations without mentioning Barcelona.

If stunning architecture and cultural attractions are more your scene, paired with an indulgent amount of tapas and a glass of sangria by the beach, consider Barcelona your next destination!

LGBTQIA+ community in Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

This is a city that truly has it all. Encounter a plethora of queer-friendly bars, restaurants, and beaches, with a chilled and inclusive atmosphere.

Barcelona is colorful, upbeat, and holds queer-affirmative events all year around, like the Circuit Party Festival, the multi-sports tournament Panteresports, and of course, one of the biggest Pride Festivals in Europe, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the queer metropolis. With a strong LGBTQIA+ community and diverse culture, you’ll find the people in Barcelona very open and friendly, making this city a top destination for everyone!

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of queer travel destinations. Contrary to what some might imagine, Taipei has become a popular destination for queer travelers in recent years. Taiwan is generally welcoming and progressive, being one of Asia’s most LGBTQIA+ friendly countries and taking the lead as the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019. A growing and thriving nightlife scene makes the skyscraper city very appealing, with the bustling neighborhood of Ximending home to many LGBTQIA+ friendly establishments and quickly becoming the new unofficial queer district. Aligned with an electric street food culture, making Taipei the perfect destination for a city getaway.

Lisbon, Portugal

The seven hill city of Lisbon, in Portugal, is Europe’s best-kept secret. Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, cultural gems, beautiful beaches, or progressive communities, Lisbon has something for everyone. Wander around the city and prepare to be mind blown by all the ancient castles and palaces, take a walk along the riverside, or find a quirky café to enjoy a classic local snack: an espresso and a custard tart.

At night the city comes alive as people gather in the streets to drink and dance the night away. Visit the queer streets and neighborhoods in the Bairro Alto district, the go-to area for Lisbon’s nightlife. Portugal’s LGBTQIA+ rights also rank as some of the most progressive in the world, and their Gender Identity bills make the country one of the safest for Trans and Intersex people.

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
LGBTQIA+ communities in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Although many South American countries are predominantly Catholic and maintain conservative values, several South American destinations increasingly welcome their LGBTQIA+ communities. Among them, Buenos Aires stands out as the most queer-friendly city in the region.

Catch a Tango show paired with a scrumptious Argentinian steak at the queer-friendly restaurants and bars in the district of Palermo, celebrate queer culture in their BADiversa festival, which includes concerts, events, and parties throughout the month of August, or have the chance to participate in their amazing spring harvesting festival “Vendimia Para Todos” a harvesting celebration for all.

Argentina will surprise you and surely fill your soul with good music, great food, and excellent people. 

Auckland, New Zealand

If you’re looking to vacation in the South Pacific and searching for a more low-profile alternative to big and busy Australia, the neighboring country of New Zealand might just be the perfect fit! An inclusive travel destination, Auckland has a small but thriving LGBTQIA+ community. Kiwis are known for being genuine and friendly, so you’ll find Auckland very welcoming.

Have a taste of the good life while you sit on a pristine white sand beach while sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and marvel at New Zealand’s natural wonders. And if you have a dare-devil spirit, you will be right at home too! There’s no shortage of high-adrenaline sports, so get out of your comfort zone and do base jumping from the Sky Tower, zipline through the vines, or if you’re fearless, why not try the shark cage diving experience?

Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
LGBTQIA+ community
Love is Love
LGBTQIA+ community
Pride Flag
LGBTQIA+ community
Pride

TROORA MAGAZINE | MAY 2023
WRITTEN BY FILIPA ARAÚJO
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIAM GANT | PIOTR MUSIOL | NIKLAS EICHLER | STEFAN WIDUA | BENJAMIN SUTER | FRUGAL FLYER | ENRICO PERINI | THEODOR VASILE | DANIEL FRESE | SVETLANA GUMEROVA | VERNON RAINEIL CENZON | RAFAEL GUIMARÃES | EDUARDO SÁNCHEZ | DAN FREEMAN | ETHAN JOHNSON | SARA RAMPAZZO | POLINA TANKILEVITCH | 42 NORTH

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