Is there anything that can get us more excited than planning a holiday? Booking adventures, pouring over photos of sandy beaches and planning out what to eat (and where!) are some of the best parts of travel. But for people in the LGBTQ+ community, travel can pose some unique challenges — particularly if you already live in a queer friendly environment and aren’t used to discriminatory laws based on sexuality or gender expression.
While you truly can travel anywhere in the world, it’s important to remember that some countries can be openly hostile towards queer people. Which is why it’s so important when planning queer-friendly travel, it’s all about knowing your rights, what’s safe, and where you can truly be free. Here are ten LGBTQ+ destinations that are safe for anyone.
While the city’s capital, Prague, is known for its gay scene, the country’s second largest city, Brno is a quirky and growing queer friendly spot with beautiful architecture, a cool art scene and tonnes of cool cafes and bars.
Let's be honest, it's also one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Europe.
With more pride festivals per-capita than anywhere else in the world (including a special Sapmi Pride event for the indigenous Sami people of Lapland), Sweden also makes a point of protecting the rights of women and non-binary travelers creating a safe space that’s truly nationwide.
But for the heart of Mexico’s gay community, check out Puerto Vallarta. The city features queer friendly hotels, tours, cruises, and restaurants, and even boasts a micro brew made just for the town called Purple Hand.
With all these rights in mind, Portugal is starting to become the top destination for queer families and for the one in four Canadian couples planning destination weddings). Planning that it-has-everything spot? The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region has it all with white sandy beaches, villas and quaint fishing villages.
But if you are visiting Copenhagen, be sure to check out Centralhjørnet, the world’s oldest gay bar (it opened in 1917!). And with lots of family-friendly things to do in Denmark (including visiting the home of Hans Christian Andersen), this rainbow family-friendly country is perfect for your family getaway.
With homosexuality having been decriminalized nearly 70 years ago, Greece is a hotspot for gay nightlife and culture, particularly in Lesbos and Mykonos. But beyond these gay friendly islands, the country boasts four separate pride parades annually and one of Europe’s largest gay music festivals – Xlsior which is host to 30,000 party-goers each summer.
The United Kingdom
Since 2004, transgender citizens have been able to legally change their gender, giving them full recognition of their gender for legal purposes, and queer families are a growing part of the UK’s diverse cultural landscape.
The country is perfect for the outdoorsy and adventuresome travelers, and is widely known for it’s breath taking views.
New Zealand is a bucket list destination for many. Beyond the capital city of Wellington, Tourism NZ offers offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences for queer travellers including sharing indigenous Maori culture, food guides, and other queer friendly immersive experiences. .
Remember that no matter where you plan on travelling, it’s important to research and study local customs and laws, and that if you are travelling with HRT medications, medical binding devices, or your gender does not align with your travel documents, you should be prepared to answer questions from local authorities, or present documentation about your medication.
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