A rainbow-colored spectrum of fabulous cities around the world await those who seek LGBT-friendly destinations. From the laid-back friendliness of Portland, to the clubs of Berlin, to the Pride Festivals of Auckland, we’ve rounded up the top five cities that will ensure your next holiday is incredible.
Tokyo, Japan – there is no city on Earth quite like Tokyo. With its dizzying neon lights and funky neighborhoods (and no street signs!) it is truly a cosmopolitan city and caters to each and every taste. Some of the districts have crazy culture down to a tee, and areas such as Shinjuku contains Tokyo’s main gay scene. The Japanese people are kind and polite, and while they may seem stuffy in a business sense, when the day is done and they head to the bar, it is quite a different story! They don’t judge, especially while drinking. In fact, Tokyo has more gay bars than London!
Berlin, Germany – the creative and open spirit of this city is what gives it its nurturing vibe. Even way back in the 1920’s, Berlin was gay hotspot (think Cabaret!) and this tolerant attitude continues today, making the city so unique and special for all who wish to explore here. Queer parties and meetups abound. Not to mention, incredible queer bars such as Facciola in Kreuzberg and SilverFuture in Neukölln are great places to connect with like-minded travelers. Here you can find both mega techno clubs, and small, intimate watering holes to fit any disposition.
Buenos Aires, Argentina – as the first country in Latin America to legalize gay marriage in 2010, Argentina is very progressive with LGBT rights. Buenos Aires is fantastic because it has one of the best gay scenes in Latin America and is heavily supported by the government. The neighborhood of Palermo, in particular, has a high concentration of LGBT residents. Check out the Glam Club in Recoleta, Sitges Bar in Palermo, and the Pride Café in San Telmo. You can even do the tango with your special someone at the La Marshall in San Telmo, or Tango Queer in Recoleta.
Portland, Oregon – There is a reason the slogan is “Keep Portland Weird,” and it’s not because this is one of the most LBGT-friendly cities in the U.S. It is because Portland is such a liberal place; all sorts of wonderful and interesting people, and yes maybe those who are a little weird, are welcome here with open arms. The Rose City gets high marks for its progressive culture and is very eco-friendly and pet-friendly. There is much to explore here in the way of gay culture – from gay-friendly bars, to frequent social events, meetups, and much more, all year round.
Auckland, New Zealand – A two-week-long Pride event taking place in Auckland every year, usually in February, is chock full of parades, and events such as The Big Gay Out. It is organized by the New Zealand AIDS foundation, and is free to the public. It takes place in Coyle Park, with music, dancing, food and art vendors. New Zealand itself is stunning in its landscape, with so much nature to explore, and the hospitality cannot be beat.