As Pride kicks off, 6 of the best LGBTQ+ friendly travel destinations

Pride month is upon us, with celebrations planned around the world – bringing together members of the LGBTQ+ community to protest, celebrate and engage in important conversations.

Jenna Howieson, Pride Travel Expert and Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Skyscanner (skyscanner.net) says: “After largely virtual Pride events over the past two years, 2022 marks the return of Pride. a multitude of in-person events around the world. Much more than just a celebration, Pride is a chance to reconnect with our community, to commemorate, and to push for change and acceptance.

But traveling isn’t always easy as an LGBTQ+ person, with the Human Dignity Trust saying there are 71 countries where “jurisdictions criminalize private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity.”

So what are the best – and funniest – places to soar as a member of the LGBTQ+ community this summer?

Toronto is a place where cosmopolitan life and nature meet.

Canada was one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, in 2005. Simon Hickie, associate director of people at Holiday Extras (holidayextras.com), says, “Canada has some of the most progressive laws on LGBT+ rights around the world, and you can expect a progressive and tolerant attitude across the country. Its largest city, Toronto, is home to a vibrant LGBT scene centered around the Church and Wellesley neighborhood.

“Be sure to visit Woody’s – one of the most famous gay bars in town – to catch one of its drag shows. You might recognize it from the original North American version of Queer As Folk, where it was the main queer hangout.

Copenhagen is having a perfect weekend (Alamy/PA)

Denmark was the first country in the world to legally recognize civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 1989 and continues to pioneer LGBTQ+ rights.

According to Duncan Greenfield-Turk of Global Travel Moments (globaltravelmoments.com): “His Pride Parade could be later this summer. [13-20 August]but Copenhagen is one of the best and friendliest cities in Europe for all members of the gay community.

“Unlike some cities, where there is a specific gay district, Copenhagen doesn’t really have that, which is its charm. There are a number of bars and clubs for the LGBTQ community, such as G*A*Y and Cozy Bar.

Sydney has a thriving LGBTQ+ community (Alamy/PA)

Scheduled to host WorldPride 2023, Sydney has sun, sea, culture and nightlife, making it the perfect holiday destination.

Hickie says: “Sydney is one of Australia’s best-loved LGBT+ cities and is often the first destination LGBT+ travelers visit when exploring the South Pacific.

“The biggest LGBT+ scene in the city is in downtown Oxford Street, but there are plenty of LGBT+ clubs, bars and community events throughout the city. Plus, the city’s beautiful harbor and adjoining opera house provide a relaxing and romantic setting if you’re traveling with your partner.

Lesvos is full of quaint fishing villages to explore (Alamy/PA)

The word “lesbian” comes from the island of Lesbos, where the ancient Greek poet Sappho, known for writing love poems to women, is from.

“Sapphic” is still used to describe lesbians to this day, and Lesvos is a lovely destination for a quiet beach getaway. Expect old towns, great coastlines and fresh food.

New York offers phenomenal drag shows and incredible nightlife, and hosted the groundbreaking Stonewall Riots of 1969, a pivotal moment for LGBTQ+ rights around the world.

Howieson says, “Pride revelers can head to New York throughout June to enjoy a host of events ranging from ‘PrideFest’, the long-running LGBTQIA+ street fair, to ‘The Brunch” celebrating June 19 food stories with bites from six amazing Black LGBTQIA+ chefs. The annual NYC Pride March takes place on June 26th this year and promises to be an epic celebration of pride and the local NYC LGBTQIA+ community.

Clubs like Berghain are making Berlin an LGBTQ+ hotspot, just be prepared to queue (Alamy/PA)

“No European city is as loud, proud and decadent as the German capital of Berlin,” says Hickie. “Schoneberg, in the southwest of the city, has long been the center of LGBT life and culture; today it is notable for its leather scene.

“Berghain [nightclub] is the place to go for a truly authentic experience, where you can expect all the dancing and hedonism you can handle. For something a little tamer, SchwuZ is popular with fans of all things pop.

Looking beyond nightlife, Bram Van Der Hoek, CEO of Sircle Collection Hotels (sirclecollection.com), says: “In addition to cultural institutions – such as museums, theaters and opera – the selection of design and concept stores in Berlin is exceptional. Stores like Andreas Murkudis, The Store at Soho House or Living Berlin are real inspirations for design, fashion and the spirit of the times.

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