Top Destinations: Gay and Lesbian

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Gay and Lesbian

Amsterdam is an excellent choice for a Gay or Lesbian holiday. It is an extremely tolerant destination and the locals in Amsterdam are welcoming and open minded towards the Gay and Lesbian population. This is definitely one of the top ten destination for a Gay or Lesbian holiday.

Hours from UK : 1

Language: Dutch

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 3
  • Disabled Needs : 4
  • Shopping Holiday : 7
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 9

Copenhagen

Copenhagen Gay and Lesbian

The capital of Denmark has become a popular destination for gay and lesbian travellers world-wide; Copenhagen embodies the idea of cool cosmopolitan culture. The gay scene is centred in the old town; a bohemian Soho like area packed with entertainment, amazing restaurants and exciting new art venues. Copenhagen is a particularly open minded city with a laid back attitude making it one of the gay-friendliest nations on the globe. In 1989 Denmark was the first country in the world to offer same-sex civil partnerships. Denmark also has the world’s oldest gay and lesbian association founded in 1948. In 1999 it became possible for gay and lesbian couples to adopt the children of their partner. Copenhagen makes an ideal destination for a gay and lesbian holiday and has Queer Festival in July.

Hours from UK : 1

Language: Danish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 7
  • Disabled Needs : 8
  • Shopping Holiday : 10
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 8

Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca Gay and Lesbian

Two of the biggest gay and lesbian holiday centres on the Costa Blanca are Alicante and Benidorm which have plenty of bars, hotels and also a private beach for gays and lesbians. La Marina, a gay nudist beach which offers a refreshing alternative even to the other gay beaches in Spain, is a 20 minute drive from Alicante, and hosts gay and lesbian party days.

Benidorm equally has a buzzing gay scene, and the Calle Santa Faz is packed with gay and gay-friendly bars and clubs. Zanzíbar has a friendly, mixed crowd, and there are nightly drag shows. Alicante’s gay nightlife is also popular amongst those travelling on a gay and lesbian holiday on the Costa Blanca with El Forat, the oldest gay bar on Plaza Santisima Santa Faz one of the most visited venues. The Missing club on Calle Gravina mixes the friendly atmosphere of a pub and the booming energy of a nightclub.
 

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 8
  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 8
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 9

Ibiza

Ibiza Gay and Lesbian

Extravagance and nightlife is what Ibiza is all about, and holidays for gays and lesbians are popular here. Gay and straight people alike come here to let off steam, wear outrageous outfits and strut their stuff in the clubs and bars, where dress codes are banished – the more daring the better!

You should certainly check out Anfora, the only gay club on the island, which is open seven nights a week with a variety of theme nights. Also worth a look are the gay nights held at Penelope’s, a fairly new club. ´Scandal` is the Pacha party, held every Sunday and ´Gorgeous` is the club-night which can be found on the Terrace at Amnesia (on the road towards San Antonio) ´La Troya` is the Brazillian style gay party and should not be missed if you like non-stop dancing, music and mayhem! Whatever your sexual orientation, Ibiza is a carefree island in which you are expected to be yourself and really let your racier side show.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 6
  • Shopping Holiday : 7
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 9

Lisbon

Lisbon Gay and Lesbian

Lisbon is an excellent gay and lesbian holiday destination. The city is very multicultural with many cosmo-politan and forward thinking inhabitants. Gay and Lesbian nightlife is centered in the hip Bairro Alto dis-trict, where the bars and clubs are mostly mixed, rather than divided into gay or straight-friendly. Prin-cipe Real also has some gay and lesbian venues. Lisbon's Gay Pride festival takes place in June, by the water at the scenic Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) and features an all night party. The area's gay beach is beach 19 on the Costa da Caparica.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Portuguese

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 8
  • Disabled Needs : 6
  • Shopping Holiday : 7
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 8

Madrid

Madrid Gay and Lesbian

Madrid's gay scene is centred around the old quarter of Chueca (pronounced Choo-aye-ka), which is in the old quarter at the centre of Madrid and exudes stylishness and hedonism.

Most people tend to get ready for a night on the town and head to dinner at 10 or 11pm, and then hit the bars around 1am, followed by some serious clubbing around 3am in one of the fantastic gay venues. If you are big on partying it is wise to sleep all day so you are fresh and raring to go for the night-time, when the city really comes to life. It's a tightly compact and usually very busy area and is not for the shy as pretty much anything goes here. Places further away are easily accessible by the highly efficient Metro and you will find that all Spaniards tend to party late, so wherever you go you won’t be at a loss for something to keep your interest.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 4
  • Disabled Needs : 5
  • Shopping Holiday : 10
  • Culture and Arts : 10
  • Nightlife : 9

Prague

Prague Gay and Lesbian

Gays and lesbians will love Prague for a holiday. Why you ask? Because this city is pretty tolerant and isn’t quick to judge them for the choices they have made. Gays and lesbians intending to holiday in Prague will discover the joy of holidaying in a destination that is so accepting of them. Some of the Czechs are still hung up on the shock of discovering that same-sex affection exists much like their morally-conservative Italian brethren. So while most are not totally averse to the idea of gay and lesbian matches what with the Government lending its support to same-sex marriages, it would do you good to not openly flaunt your relationship.

The gay and lesbian scene in Prague is quite happening with plenty of vibrant clubs dedicated to each group. Many plan cute events such as ‘Meet a Partner’ nights, Most are located in the more liberal and open-minded areas such Zizkov, Vinohrady and the New Town.

Publications devoted to covering the gay scene in Prague are the Radnost and Amiga magazine.
 

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Czech

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 5
  • Disabled Needs : 4
  • Shopping Holiday : 6
  • Culture and Arts : 10
  • Nightlife : 8

Vienna

Vienna Gay and Lesbian

Though the history books might not mention it, gay people have strived and thrived in Vienna and the modern day scene is thriving. Vienna is the gay capital of Austria, with an estimated 170,000 of the 1.7 million residents so inclined. The centre of the gay and lesbian scene is the Rosa-Lila-Villa on Linke Wienzeile. Here, both gay and lesbian tourists and natives alike can obtain information and advice on orientation-related issues. There are many competing nightspots that cater for the gay scene in Vienna and competition is fierce. There is even a nude scene in Toter Grund during the summer months. Really Vienna is one of the best spots for a gay holiday.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: German

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 3
  • Disabled Needs : 4
  • Shopping Holiday : 8
  • Culture and Arts : 10
  • Nightlife : 7

Boston

Boston Gay and Lesbian

There is no reason that any gay and lesbian couples wishing to take a trip to Boston should think again. There is a thriving gay community in Boston and nightclubs and bars that can be visited for nights out. There is a website called Edge Boston which is a gay and lesbian source for Boston. The website contains information about clubs, news, gigs, films and anything that might interest Boston’s gay or lesbian community, or anyone who is interested in it. As a liberal city, Boston is welcoming to people of all sexual orientations. Boston has an annual gay pride march. This year’s is on June 13. Why not book your holiday to coincide with it?

Hours from UK : 7

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 3
  • Disabled Needs : 8
  • Shopping Holiday : 8
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 7

Toronto

Toronto Gay and Lesbian

Toronto is a gay and lesbian friendly city, organizing parades and events promoting gay and lesbian pride throughout the year. There is a wide variety of places and things to do and the nightlife for gays is excellent. Pride Week in Toronto takes place every June and is one of Canada's premier arts and cultural festivals.

Toronto’s Pride week is one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world. The festival runs for 10 days featuring highlights such as the Pride Parade, Dyke March, and annual Pride Toronto Gala & Awards. Recent attraction and success has been a Halloween street party organised in Toronto’s “gay village”. Gay areas such as Church Wellesley Village have been dubbed gayborhood, as well as the Gay West Village in Parkdale and “Queer Street West” a section of Queen Street West. Toronto’s gay paper Xtra is a great place to find about local happenings and events within the city.

It must also be mentioned that Toronto is home to North America's first fully recognized same-sex marriage. The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto is a favourite spot to tie the knot for gay and lesbian couples as there are no citizenship or residency requirements when applying for a marriage license in Ontario.
 

Hours from UK : 7

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 7
  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 10
  • Nightlife : 9

Florida

Florida Gay and Lesbian

South Florida, home to three major U.S. destinations for gays in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and Key West, also finds more rivals chasing the lucrative gay market. Key West is the gay Mecca of planet earth. Ever since the "gay revolution" in the 60's, Key West has provided a home for gays & lesbians, transgenders, drag queens, and an unlimited variety of other characters. Gay authors, artists, designers, lawyers, architects, doctors, hairdressers, bartenders, waiters, actors, and just plain folks flock to this tiny island paradise.

Today, Key West boasts one of the most diverse populations anywhere in the world, a special place where closets have no doors. Gay travel is conservatively estimated at 5 percent of U.S. travel spending, or about $70 billion last year, according to San Francisco-based Community Marketing, which specializes in gay travel research. Broward County restaurant inspection reports estimates that gays account for 10 percent of visitor spending, or roughly $1 billion last year. Gays say they enjoy the area's easy access, warm weather and the active resident gay community that operates more than 150 businesses geared toward gay men and lesbians.

Hours from UK : 9

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 5
  • Shopping Holiday : 9
  • Culture and Arts : 6
  • Nightlife : 9

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Gay and Lesbian

The gay scene in Costa Rica is more vibrant than perhaps one would expect. There are many hotels, particularly in San José that advertise their selves as being gay friendly. Costa Rica is well known for being the most tolerant and therefore gay-friendly country in South America. There is a sizeable gay scene in the capital city of San José, with bars, clubs, saunas, restaurants, and an Internet café, as well as a gay hotel and beach in Quepos, on the Pacific coast. In Costa Rica, gay travellers need to keep in mind that although the country’s constitution protects homosexuals, the Catholic heritage of the national culture still leads to some personal condemnation. Just be careful outside of the capital, but in general Costa Rica is a good spot for a gay and lesbian holiday.

Hours from UK : 10

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 2
  • Shopping Holiday : 2
  • Culture and Arts : 7
  • Nightlife : 9

Bangkok

Bangkok Gay and Lesbian

Thailand and Bangkok, on the whole are very open about the gay community. There are various hotels, guesthouses, bars and clubs that cater, if not exclusively, to gay and lesbian clientele. The Thai people are very tolerant and welcoming of gay people and offer a very relaxed and comfortable environment. Holidays for gay and lesbians in Bangkok can be fun, naughty, refined or private, depending on what you prefer.

Bangkok has many discreet gay massage places in Bangkok, or pockets of lively bars and go-go venues. There are also very open gay venues dotted around the city. The famous Thai ladyboys add an extra dimension to the gay community in Thailand. There are various ladyboy bars, clubs and cabaret shows on offer in Bangkok. The Lesbian community is much smaller and more discreet but does exist. There are several lesbian/mixed places on Sukhumvit road that cater especially to foreigners.

Hours from UK : 11

Language: Thai

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 7
  • Disabled Needs : 5
  • Shopping Holiday : 10
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 10

Brazil

Brazil Gay and Lesbian

Brazil is becoming ever tolerant of homosexuality and flourishing gay scenes exists in most of the main cities. In 2005 Sao Paulo hosted the Wolds biggest gay pride event with an estimated 2 million marchers! The gay scene is centred in Rio and Sao Paulo where you will find many western style bars, clubs and saunas. There is a great gay section on Ipanema beach in Rio. Cosmopolitan Cariocas are friendly with gays, lesbians and trans-people, making you feel welcome almost everywhere. Language should not be a barrier. Most people you actually have to deal with understand basic English or Spanish. Others will try hard. And body language is universally understood, of course.

The beach is the perfect setting to make new friends, and find out what is going on. Go to Farme Gay in Ipanema, a little to the east of cross-street Farme de Amoedo. This spot attracts local TV stars, gays and lesbians, international celebrities but, most of all, this is Barbie land (Barbie is a term used by locals to describe muscular and well-off gay men who live on the South Side). Don't miss the gay dodge-ball and volleyball matches on Sundays. You will find more ideas of things to do and see at Rio Gay by Day.

Even smaller cities like Salvador have lots going on. There is also a strong culture of transvestism which is an accepted part of Brazilian life. Each year during the Rio Carnival there is the Scala Gay Ball which is a national televised event. Brazil is a fabulous destination for gay tourists to be strongly recommended.
 

Hours from UK : 11

Language: Portuguese

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 6
  • Shopping Holiday : 6
  • Nightlife : 7

Mexico

Mexico Gay and Lesbian

Puerto Vallerta is the prime destination for a gay and lesbian holiday in Mexico. Gay and lesbian tourists flock here to savor the hedonism of this liberal-minded town. Puerto Vallerta has a 'live and let live' ambience, where queer and straight mingle without any apprehensions. In addition to its liberal-minded ambience Puerto Vallarta also offers a slew of ecological adventures. For example, hop aboard the Princess Yelapa and enjoy the bar on the sail over to the Isle of Yelapa’s hiking trails, waterfall and lagoon.

Although Mexico is a strictly Catholic country homosexuality is legal in Mexico and you will find large gay communities flourishing in cities like Guadalajara, Tijuana, Cancun, Acapulco and Mexico City. A number of gay and lesbian events are organized during peak season such as the Latin Fever in Puerto Vallerta over the Thanksgiving Holidays and the Mexico City Parade, where gays and lesbians come out in colorful and flamboyant parades. Gay and lesbian cruises are popular off the coasts of Mexico.
 

Hours from UK : 11

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 5
  • Shopping Holiday : 7
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 8