Top 10 Gay Destinations Worldwide

What are the top gay destinations in the world and why?  Most LGTBQIA+ people love to travel and when traveling like a mix of partying and sightseeing.  Here are some of the top 10 gay destinations worldwide.

San Francisco USA

Pride Week is capped by the often-outrageous ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Pride Parade’ – where half a million people party in the street on the last Sunday in June. Also in June is the long-running queer film festival.

Sydney, Australia

Hey, in Sydney gay is the new straight. Sydney has an amazing gay community and lesbian culture that are a vocal, vital, well-organized and colorful part of Sydney’s social fabric. Host of the 2002 Gay Games, Sydney also plays host to Australia’s biggest annual tourist event – the Mardi Gras. The joy-filled hedonism-meets-political-protest parade is attended by more than half a million people. Beach life also reigns here, so boys should buff up before hitting the sand. There is even a large selection of LGBTQIA+ nightclubbing venues and dating apps to choose from!

Brighton, England

Perhaps it’s Brighton’s long-time association with the theatre, but for more than 100 years the city has been a gay haven. The vibrant queer community is made-up of 40,000 residents – almost a quarter of the total population. Kemptown (aka Camptown) is where it’s all at, with a rank of gay-owned bars, hotels, cafés, bookshops and saunas. There’s even a ‘Gay’s the Word’ walking tour.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Touted as the gay and lesbian capital of Europe, partisan estimates put the proportion of gay and lesbian people in Amsterdam at 20% to 30%. Though the figures are probably exaggerated, there’s no underestimating the number of venues for gays and lesbians. There are more than 100 bars and nightclubs, gay hotels, bookshops, sport clubs, choirs and support services. Amsterdam hosts the only water-borne gay-pride parade in the world, held on the canals on the first Saturday in August.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s legendary liberalism has spawned one of the world’s biggest gay and lesbian scenes. Openly gay mayor Klaus Wowereit outed himself with the now-popular words: ‘I’m gay, and that’s a good thing’. As befits Berlin’s decentralised nature, the city has no dedicated gay ghetto although it contains a number of established scenes. Huge crowds turn out in early June for Schwul-Lesbisches Strassenfest (Gay-Lesbian Street Fair), which is basically a warm-up for Christopher Street Day later that month.

Cape Town, South Africa

Regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world:- ‘heaven at the tip of Africa’ and voted as one of the top Gay travel destinations, Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city with beautiful people, breathtaking scenery and far too much to see and do in just one visit.

The world famous picture postcard Table Mountain, fine gay accommodation, white sandy beaches, lush countryside, arid plains, game reserves and just about anything else you could imagine discovering in paradise. Including an exciting gay scene. No wonder most visitors return year after year!

Capetonians’ easy-going attitude, together with the new liberal South African Constitution which safeguards gay rights, make Cape Town an extremely gay-friendly city. Today Cape Town has a huge per capita gay population and boasts possibly the most developed gay community on the African continent. Over and above its stunning natural scenery and superb beaches, Cape Town has over 100 gay venues, which includes clubs, bars, businesses and organizations, making it South Africa’s undisputed queer capital.

New York City, USA

New York’s Chelsea and Greenwich Village are synonymous with gay life, possessing a thriving out-there scene. A number of quieter clubs and bars continue to flourish further uptown in Chelsea as well. Every scene, from art to fashion, is hot in New York – and the gay scene is no exception, with great galleries, bars and clubs. June sees the obligatory Gay Pride parade attracting revelers from around the world.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

During Car naval (February or March), thousands of expatriate Brazilian and gringo gays fly in to take part in the fun, with transvestites stealing the show at most balls. Outside Carnival the gay scene is active, though less visible than in cities such as San Francisco and Sydney. The gay capital of Latin America is a mostly integrated scene, with the Entertainment sections of local newspapers and magazines branding establishments ‘GLS’: Gays, Lesbians and Sympathizers.

Prague, Czech Republic

The beguiling bohemian city of Prague inspired Kafka to warn visitors: ‘this little mother has claws’. Its maze of medieval lanes keeps a bevy of bars catering to all fancies: from leather through to rent boy. The cradle of Czech culture, Prague also stages a gay and lesbian film festival annually in November. Despite the city’s wholesale acceptance of same-sex partnerships, there’s a segregated gay scene, and public displays of affection are generally ill advised.

Bangkok, Thailand

There’s no ‘gay movement’ as such in Bangkok, as there’s no anti gay establishment to move against. Thai culture is generally accepting of male and female homosexuality; however, public displays of affection per se are mostly frowned upon. The fairly prominent scene centers on the proliferation of bars, often enlivened by high camp cabaret.

So do you agree that these are the top 10 gay destinations?  Do you have another list?  We would love to hear from you and your comments.

Author: Ben is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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