LGBTQ+ Friendly Destinations In Europe For A Holiday Escape
We all need an escape from time to time but for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community, jetting off can be a nerve-wracking experience. While the world is coming on leaps and bounds in terms of equality, knowing where to go to escape everyday life and feel welcomed, relaxed and able to be yourself completely can leave you scratching your head. Luckily, Europe is one of the friendliest continents on the globe for those seeking out a holiday escape with countless countries offering complete acceptance and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. So pack your bags, make sure you submit your E111 renewal and get excited – here are just a few of the friendliest destinations in Europe for a much-deserved escape.
While not so much anymore, Amsterdam was once failed as the gay capital of Europe. However, even though it might not hold the top spot any longer, it’s certainly still one of the friendliest destinations in Europe for LGBTQ+ individuals, with over 100 hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and much more for residents and tourists alike. What’s more, Amsterdam is as diverse of a city as they come. If the nightlife is your thing, then there’s plenty to do and enjoy across the city, including the red-light district, but if you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, you could spend your time exploring the history and culture that the city has to offer including the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. Strolls along the canal are also not to be missed, or you could even hire out a bike and get some exercise while you’re at it!
Copenhagen is certainly no surprise addition to this list considering that, of all the countries in the world to accept same-sex partnerships, Denmark was the first. While the city itself is stunning and a great destination for any city breaker, not least including plenty of entertaining museums, parks and plenty of shopping to keep your bags full and bank account exercised, the LGBTQ+ offerings are plentiful too. In fact, Copenhagen is even home to the oldest gay bar in Europe. There’s even ‘Rainbow Square’, named by the city in honor of the ongoing battle for LGBTQ+ rights.
From Mallorca to Ibiza, you’ll find plenty of LGBTQ+ friendly islands in the Balearics. Take Ibiza for example – while the nightlife is certainly not to be missed, there’s plenty to do during the daytime including relaxing at Ses Salines public beach, stopping for a bite to eat at the gay-owned Chiringay. If you do want to go out and enjoy the nightlife, you can head to Pacha to name just one of plenty of clubs. While these aren’t specifically ‘gay-friendly’, everyone is treated the same here, and you’ll certainly find LGBTQ+ club-goers to party with. If you do want gay-specific events, there are plenty of those too, so take a look and see what’s going on when you travel!
If you’re looking for sun, sand and plenty of opportunity to show off your new swimsuit, the Canary Islands are the perfect place to go. Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas are particularly friendly for Europe’s gay crowds, however, you’ll find that every island is friendly to LGBTQ+ visitors. There are nudist beaches for a true sense of freedom, or you can simply stick to the clothes-on alternatives to work on those tan-lines! The Spanish mentality of ‘live and let live’ is one that the Canary Islands utilizes to its fullest, so you can feel free to have all of the public displays of affection that you like! What’s more, there are plenty of pride and LGBTQ+ specific events going on, so do your research if you’re still looking for the perfect time to travel!
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, or just a city break filled with history and culture to dip your toes into, Paris is the ideal choice. Take time strolling along the Seine River, stopping off at the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre along the way for something to keep you occupied. For sights of significance, take a wander to Oscar Wilde’s grave and visit the former homes of Gertrude Stein and Alive B. Toklas, before stopping off at one of the many gay-friendly cafes, restaurants, bistros, and bars. If you want a spot of shopping there are LGBT-specific stores, though you can really shop anywhere you like. Of course, we can’t talk about Paris without mentioning Disneyland! With Magical Pride taking place in October this year, you could even opt for traveling during the event for a touch of magic for your trip.
Europe truly is one of the most LGBT friendly places in the world with countless countries and cities offering plenty to do, see, eat and drink and all while getting to be your complete self. Whether you’re looking to travel alone or with friends and meet people as you go, or you’re traveling with your partner, you can visit the places on this list with peace of mind knowing you’ll be welcomed with open arms.