Are you looking for an LGBTQ+-friendly vacation spot? Several destinations around the world beckon gay and lesbian singles and couples. Damon’s Getaways will help you select the perfect spot so you can be yourself with your friends and loved ones and enjoy your stay.
By Barbara L. Nelson, Content Writer
Whether you’d like to sit by the pool all day, drink in the local culture on a sightseeing tour or party all night, Damon’s can find the destination where you’re sure to have the time of your life! We can help you select the perfect LGBTQ-friendly destination for a wedding and honeymoon or just enjoy the culture or clubbing.
From countries, islands and cities, these are just 10 of our top picks, but there is so much LGBTQ+ travel to discover around the globe. Damon’s will work with you to select the perfect spot for your next vacation.
Malta is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. It’s one of only five countries to make queer rights equal at a constitutional level and holds first place on ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Index, which ranks countries on LGBTQ+ equality. This beautiful island, bathed in the sunshine all year round, offers many gay-friendly bars, hotels, restaurants and clubs. The quality of the welcome, the hospitality of the hoteliers, and even the non-gay-friendly ones make this a pleasant destination for the LGBTQ+ community. Also, don’t forget to discover the delicious Maltese cuisine.
Iceland, one of the world’s most progressive countries, is a must-visit destination for LGBTQ+ travelers who seek nature and adventure in a unique country. Travelers can explore ice caves, glistening glaciers, cascading waterfalls, black sand beaches, and much more. It’s also famous for the Blue Lagoon and many natural geothermal springs for unforgettable soaks surrounded by volcanic beauty. Iceland is also rated as one of the top eco-conscious destinations in Europe.
The beauty of Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, and its people will draw many a traveler. Dublin and the whole of Ireland are embracing a new progressive culture to shed its religious past and socially conservative past. Gay marriage was passed by a landslide public vote in 2015, helping to make Ireland one of the top LGBTQ+ travel spots. During your stay, enjoy its centuries-old heritage, a reputation for hedonism, and a charismatic population that embrace diversity and multiculturalism. Known for its traditions, fine literature, folklore, customary music and dance, Dublin offers amazing Georgian architecture, world-class museums, libraries, public parks, five Michelin-starred restaurants, and fresh pints of Guinness are never in short supply.
Pioneering laws on marriage and adoption for homosexuals have made Brussels one of Europe’s most gay-friendly capitals. The gay scene here is true to Brussels: discreet, varied, and welcoming. The whole region is cosmopolitan, free and easy and tolerant. The locals like to party and speak several languages. Throw into the mix a distinctly French vibe, plenty of traditional museums, historic buildings, the Grand Place (central square) and the daily flower market (between March and October), and you begin to understand why so many gays are flocking to Brussels. Whether it’s for a night, a week, or a long-term stay, queer travelers can feel at ease in this liberal society and free to express themselves in any way they want!
Barcelona is one of Europe’s favorite destinations for the LGBTQ+ community. As an open-minded and cosmopolitan metropolis, the city offers its visitors a whole host of attractions associated with diversity, freedom and tolerance. The LGTBQ+ district is known locally as the Gaixample. Bound by Carrer Balmes, Gran Via, Carrer Urgell and Carrer Aragó, it doesn’t cater solely to the LGTBQ+ community but it is home to a wide variety of gay-friendly bars, shops and restaurants. Barcelona encompasses both the authentically historic and the wildly bizarre. From the scenic trails of the colorful and whimsical Park Güell to the romantic narrow alleys of Barri Gòtic (Barcelon’s oldest quarter); from the beachside nightclubs to the city’s dozens of sacred churches and architectural marvels, this city by the sea seems to attract all types: the adventurer, the couple, the partier, the culture lover – and more – with an almost overwhelming variety of things to do. You could stay for a few days, but chances are you’ll need a whole week to explore.
With its laid-back, bohemian atmosphere and reputation for being cheeky, free-thinking, and LGBTQ+-friendly, Brighton has long been considered the UK’s gay capital. Everyone is welcome here. As well as a thriving LGBTQ+ scene that offers some of the best gay bars and clubs in the country, you’ll also discover a heady mix of attractions, festivals, museums, film, nightlife, comedy and theatre. What’s more, as well as being the proud home to one of the biggest Pride festivals in Europe, the city is also a top destination for civil partnership & same-sex marriage ceremonies, making it the perfect choice for romantic or honeymoon breaks. Brighton in East Sussex is vibrant, hip, and the most happening of British seaside cities. For historical hot spots, cool eateries and traditional seaside. Brighton is the perfect day trip out from London or for a week-long stay!
When it comes to embracing LGBTQ+ culture, Puerto Rico is definitely a leader in the Caribbean. On the very friendly island to LGBTQ+, you’ll find snazzy beachfront hotels, restaurants that serve up an authentic experience, and exciting options for nightlife. At Condado beach, you’ll find no shortage of gorgeous resorts, with one of the most popular being the Atlantic Beach Hotel. Here, you’ll find a well-known gay beach where drag shows are held every week. Food is also served here, along with dance music often provided by a live DJ. When you get ready to check out the local nightlife, keep Circo Bar in mind for its dance shows and drag events. If you feel like swimming or even doing some kayaking with your partner, you can check out the gorgeous Bioluminescent Bay and take in all of the natural beauty it has to offer, especially at night time.
LGBTQ+ travelers looking for the perfect gay-friendly destination will find a lot to love about Curacao. Curacao is a very welcoming and diverse place, full of folks who speak several different languages, including English, Spanish, and Dutch. Curacao is easily the most LGBTQ+-friendly of any Caribbean island. The nightlife scene in Curacao is second to none, offering the most frequented gay bar on the island, known as the Gaze Lounge. There is always something going on at the Gaze, with live DJ acts, dancers, and pool parties being regular occurrences. If you love dancing to some of the hottest stars in electronic dance music, proudly standing as part of the LGBTQ+ community in arguably the most gay-friendly Caribbean island, then Curacao is the destination for you. Not only is it inclusive, but it also offers beauty that is second to none. Enjoy swimming in the turquoise water of the Caribbean or with the sea life through scuba diving or snorkeling.
St. Martin, being French and Dutch, adopts the same progressive stance on LGBTQ+ as its parent countries. You can’t go wrong with St. Martin’s 37 beaches. Orient Bay is great for the nudist crowd of any sexuality, and Cupecoy Beach, known for its dramatic limestone cliffs, has a steady gay following. The St. Martin offers a little bit of something for everyone, but it is also one of the more popular gay-friendly Caribbean islands you can find. You will find plenty of beachfront resorts here as well, with the Belmond La Samann, found on the French side, taking up a whopping 55 acres. Nightlife options in St. Martin are not as impressive as those found in Curacao and Puerto Rico, but you will find that the options here are more than acceptable for most people. If you’re looking for a great gay bar, you will want to check out Bliss, a huge club on the well-known Maho Beach, or Eros which is another popular LGBTQ+ club located in Marigot. Both of these places have been around for quite a while and throw events regularly.
Thailand is one of the most tolerant countries in Asia and has a thriving LGBTQ+ scene. It has a thriving transgender community and boasts hospital services tailored to LGBTQ+ patients. Thailand is known for its stunning beaches, friendly people, elephants, and for having yoga-like Thai massage. Thailand is famous for its delicious food like pad thai, som tum and sticky mango rice, as well as temples, tuk-tuks (auto rickshaw), floating markets and full moon parties. From historical sites and powdery white beaches to vibrant markets and glittering Buddhist temples, Thailand’s tourist attractions are so diverse that you’ll be spoilt for choice when planning your trip here.