There are fabled destinations with long-standing LGBTQ traditions—just ask Lesbos, Mykonos and New Orleans—where escaping from the confines of every day was never so easy, never so limitless and never so completely carefree. But the modern world has offered up fantastic cultural meccas that always take a keen interest in making everyone feel comfortable, and those who identify LGBTQ will fit right in.
So what are you waiting for—the party’s just ahead!
- Berlin, Germany
With a long standing history that is as intense as it is troubled, Berlin has arisen from the ashes of its past to become one of the most diverse, well-rounded, and respecting cities in the world with multi-ethnicities immigrating and thriving with the German population.
In addition to their incredibly progressive views, Berlin is also the gay capital of Europe with a gay museum, a gay memorial, and an openly gay mayor. While that doesn’t cover all the basis, the open-minded city is equally comfortable with the rest of the queer community. Head for Hafen, one of the most famous gay bars in town, Connection, a dance club that shouldn’t be missed, and Gay Hostel for accommodation—you’ll find plenty of like-minded people here to experience this amazing city with.
- Los Angeles, California
While most of Hollywood is constantly under scrutiny of being one or more of the letters in LGBTQ, the truth is that Los Angeles is a great place to be LGBTQ. Between the cultural metropolis and its heavy art, business, and beauty industries, there are plenty of LGBTQ-friendly beaches and nightclubs to frequent, and the weather is always perfect for a stop down by the sea.
Make a stop at The Abbey for the quintessential gay bar-lounge-party time, which includes both an indoor and outdoor areas and the most prominent members of the LGBTQ community as regulars on the busy weekends. Another place not to pass up: The Palms. A long-time hangout for West Hollywood lesbians, it’s been three decades of excellent parties and learning about who’s who, and it looks like it’s for the momentum for another thirty years.
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Marijuana and prostitution aren’t the only things bringing visitors to Amsterdam; it’s also the totally chill vibe of the city of Amsterdam. Between the canals and coffee shops, the city is thoroughly on board with the LGBTQ cause—in fact, the city legalized same-sex marriage in the early 1800s, the first place in the entire world to do so. But enough about the history; time to get to the cool stuff!
When in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdamians do and hit up Cafe Dubbel D (formerly Cafe Rouge), one of the busiest shops in the entire city. Next, plan your day around Rapido parties, because this is a good time you aren’t going to want to miss. Then hit up Thermos for an excellent spa experience and Hemelse Modder for a perfect European meal and excellent service.
- Madrid, Spain
Madrid is home to perhaps the gayest community around, Chueca, where nightlife reigns supreme, as well as lots of rights and cultural nods to gay culture. Madrid recognizes gay marriages and openly uses LGBTQ lifestyles to influence trendy shops, restaurants, and hotels throughout the city. It’s one of the most progressive cities when it comes to gay rights in the world, and that shows in their laws, party scene, and every other corner of life.
The Cage (a popular fetish bar) is always a perfect place to head for a laugh or even something a tad more serious, but Space of Sound is one of my favorite hangouts for the go-go boys and total party vibe. Park it at Medea for the city’s oldest lesbian bar and don’t forget to leave plenty of time for a sauna experience—the Sauna Octopus is a must for every visitor! For a bonus into the city, I suggest downloading apps such as Grindr and Manhunt if outdoor cruising and sex parties are your thing (grab a Virtual Private Network for your phone to make sure the geolocation functions are working correctly)!
- Miami, Florida
Take one look at the hot bods and it’s obvious why Miami is a gay capital of the world—but more than just being a place to get hot and sweaty out in the open, Miami flourishes with culture and happenings that accept all flavors of ice cream (if you pardon my expression).
While I think a stop at the topless-optional South Beach is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I also suggest Da Leo Trattoria, for an excellent meal. Don’t miss out on Twist either for a run around the dance floor and then a relaxing evening on the roof for a drink and an overlook of the city that likes to party all night long.
Any city is a great place for the LGBTQ community to travel, but these picks are a specific brand of cultural richness that will just hit all the right notes, so enjoy!
Have any suggestions on where to head after finishing this list? Leave a comment or a next trip itinerary, and I will personally take the recommendation around for a ride!
About the Author: Cassie Phillips is an active tech guru, digital nomad, and wordsmith discovering the world as readily as she explores obscure depths of the internet. Curious about anything and everything, she loves her cat, her coffee, and her growing photography collection. Ask her about her famous Birthday Cake Pancakes recipe or her one-time run in with Ben Affleck and JLO—both stories are likely to leave you in disbelief!
All photos from pixabay, provided by Cassie Phillips