11 Most Gay Friendly Countries

Are you feeling the wanderlust itch but are hesitant to leave your love in the closet while traveling? Say goodbye to playing hide-and-seek with your affection and hello to destinations where love knows no bounds. Our list of the most gay-friendly countries in the world is the ultimate guide to traveling with pride. These are not just destinations where LGBTQ+ folks will feel accepted, but they’re celebrated even. Moreover, gay folks can truly relax and unwind better in open-minded and accepting environments, don’t you think? It also allows them to mingle with locals and travelers and actually have a good time, as we all should.

So pack your bags, grab your significant other, and let’s hit the road to explore new cultures, make memories, and, most importantly, let our love shine free and bright. Who says safety and self-expression can’t go hand in hand on an adventure of a lifetime?



Portugal is a country that has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. Decriminalizing same-sex activity in 1852 was just the beginning, even though it went back and forth until it was finally decriminalized in 1982. Today, the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is home to one of the biggest and most colorful Pride parades in Europe. The streets of Lisbon come alive with the vibrant colors of the rainbow as the parade winds its way through the city, filled with celebrants from all walks of life. The energy is electric from the lively and energetic floats to the pulsing beats of the music. You’ll be surrounded by a joyous and inclusive crowd, embracing love in all its forms. It’s an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss!

The second thing you should know about Portugal is that it contains some truly breathtaking sights: Sintra, a magical town that will transport you to a fairytale world with its whimsical palaces and castles; Porto, a charming city in the northwest, offers a blend of history, culture, and culinary delights; the Algarve, with its beautiful beaches and clear waters, is a perfect destination to relax and soak in the sun; and the Azores Islands that will entice nature lovers with its rugged landscapes and unspoiled natural beauty. Each destination promises unique experiences that will leave you wanting more.

The iconic scenery of Alfama district of Lisbon – by Elisa Michelet, Unsplash

The Netherlands


The Netherlands, a small country in Western Europe, is one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. It legalized same-sex marriage in 2001 and was the first country in the world to do so. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s a popular destination for LGBT tourists from all over the world.

Amsterdam’s capital city has a thriving gay scene, and some of its most famous landmarks (like Rembrandt’s House) are known for their LGBT associations. Amsterdam is also famous for its canals, which are lined with beautiful houses and cafes. It’s a great place to spend your vacation, especially if you’re looking for fun activities like drinking beer in cozy pubs or taking a cruise on one of the many boats that traverse Amsterdam’s canals.

Besides Amsterdam, exploring some of the Netherlands’ hidden gems and small towns might be worthwhile. We’d like you to stroll through the “Garden of Europe,” the Keukenhof Gardens, where the tulips and daffodils will bloom just for you and your lover. And speaking of blooming, let’s not forget the Rotterdam Harbor, the largest port in Europe, it’s the perfect place for a romantic stroll along the water, taking in the impressive architecture, and sampling some of the local seafood. These lesser-known destinations in the Netherlands are sure to leave you both feeling rejuvenated and in love!

Amsterdam as reflected by one of its canals – by Tom Podmore, Unsplash



Spain is a country that has an extremely vibrant gay scene, and Madrid, in particular, is home to a huge gay community. There are many things to do in Madrid, as it’s home to some of the world’s most famous museums, such as Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza. There are also art galleries, such as the Royal Palace and the Buen Retiro Park, that offer a great opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of the city. Moreover, its delicious and varied cuisine, from traditional tapas to international cuisine, and famous nightlife are additional reasons to come and visit. With a generally accepting attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community, Madrid is a safe and comfortable place to visit and make unforgettable memories.

Barcelona is another major destination for gay travelers thanks to its beaches and nightlife scene, but there are also many smaller towns with a large gay presence—such as Sitges and San Sebastián—if you’re looking for something more low-key. Sitges and San Sebastián are two popular tourist destinations in Spain, and they have beautiful beaches, picturesque scenery, and vibrant nightlife. Sitges is a Mediterranean seaside town with a gay-friendly atmosphere and rich cultural and historical heritage. Meanwhile, San Sebastián is a coastal city with delicious food, a lively Old Town, and great opportunities for outdoor activities. Both towns are also relatively close to other popular destinations in Spain and are a great option for those looking for a mix of relaxation, culture, nightlife, and outdoor activities.

A balcony decorated with rainbow pinwheels in Sitges, Spain – by Şafak Otur, Unsplash



Uruguay is not only a great destination with so much to see and do, but it’s also where you can celebrate your identity. Case in point: same-sex relations have been legal here since 1934! Besides being one of Latin America’s more open-minded nations, there are a lot of things to see and do in Uruguay. Picture this: you’re sipping on a Mate (Uruguay’s traditional beverage) while enjoying a scenic sunset on the beach.

Uruguay’s miles of coastline offer a range of beaches, from peaceful and secluded to lively and bustling. The beach towns of Punta del Este and Jose Ignacio are particularly popular among tourists and are considered a must-see. However, Uruguay isn’t all about the beaches; the country’s rich culture and history can also be found in its capital city, Montevideo. Montevideo’s historic Ciudad Vieja (Old City) is home to the Teatro Solis, one of South America’s oldest theatres, and the beautiful Basilica del Sagrado Corazon. The city is a foodie’s paradise, with plenty of parrilla (grill) restaurants where you can savor the country’s famous beef. Moreover, what’s a trip to Uruguay without indulging in some tango? The country has a strong tango tradition, and you can find tango shows and classes in the city.

Overall, Uruguay offers something for everyone: beautiful beaches, delicious food, rich culture, and a society that celebrates diversity, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler, particularly the LGBT community.

Municipality of Montevideo during Pride month - by Wikimedia Commons
Municipality of Montevideo during Pride month – by Wikimedia Commons



Are you ready for an adventure? Pack your bags and set sail towards the sunny island of Malta, where the Mediterranean Sea meets history, culture, and acceptance. This small but mighty country, located south of Italy and north of Libya, is home to a population of about 450,000 friendly locals and a member of the European Union. Malta is known for its breathtaking beaches, warm weather, and rich history that spans back to ancient times. Some must-see historical attractions include the Hagar Qim Temples, an ancient complex dating back to the temple period; St. Paul’s Catacombs, a labyrinth of underground tombs; and Fort Ricasoli, a fortress that offers a panoramic view of Valletta Bay.

Malta isn’t just a history lesson; it’s also a pioneer in LGBTQ+ rights. Malta was one of the first few countries to recognize same-sex marriage in 2017, making it a safe and welcoming destination for all types of travelers. After a day of exploring the island, head over to one of the many gay-friendly bars for a night of laughter and libations. For instance, Michelangelo Club Lounge is the latest rage on the gay scene, and it’s not surprising, given its private area, lounge, dance floor, and fully stocked bar! So, wait no longer; grab your sunscreen and your sense of adventure, and set course for Malta! The island awaits, ready to make your vacation dreams come true.

Malta Pride - by aditus foundation, Flickr
Malta Pride – by aditus foundation, Flickr



Argentina, the land of tango and steak, is known to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, and it’s no surprise why. This Latin American country boasts a culture of openness, acceptance, and diversity, making it a perfect destination for travelers seeking out the rainbow experiences. In fact, same-sex marriage has been legal in the country since 2010. Considering it’s a Catholic country, this is a very pleasant surprise.

Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America,” is Argentina’s cultural hub and home to a vibrant LGBT community. The city boasts several neighborhoods with a strong gay presence, such as Palermo and San Telmo, which are filled with gay-friendly bars, clubs, and venues. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or sip on some traditional cocktails, Buenos Aires has something for everyone.

To top it all off, Argentina also boasts some of the world’s best beaches for gay travelers. Mar del Plata and Puerto Madryn are two must-see beach destinations that are perfect for soaking up the sun, meeting new people, and creating unforgettable memories. If you’re looking for a new summer adventure this year, take this as your last call. Come discover Argentina, a land of acceptance, culture, and unending summer fun!

Argentina - by Wikimedia Commons
Argentina – by Wikimedia Commons



Welcome to Sweden, a liberal paradise where equality and acceptance reign supreme. This progressive country has long been a leader in promoting rights for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For instance, it was the first country to allow people to change their gender legally in 1972. This inclusive culture is deeply ingrained in its society, from its laws to its people’s attitudes and everyday life. So, it’s not surprising that IGLTA hailed it as one of Europe’s most gay-friendly countries.

Their capital city of Stockholm is the perfect representation of that culture. The city is home to a vibrant queer scene, where you’ll find a wide range of gay bars and clubs catering to different interests and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a wild night out with friends, a romantic date, or just a casual hangout spot, Stockholm’s gay scene is sure to have something for you.

With its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and rich cultural heritage, Stockholm is a must-visit destination for any traveler. But for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s an especially welcoming and exciting place to be. So come explore, let your hair down, and immerse yourself in Sweden’s liberal and accepting culture.

Stockholm, Sweden - by Mike Kienle, Unsplash
Stockholm, Sweden – by Mike Kienle, Unsplash



Luxembourg, the charming and pint-sized European country, may be small in size, but it packs a punch when it comes to LGBTQ+-friendly experiences. This hidden gem is a veritable treasure trove of delights, from the gay village in the heart of Luxembourg City to the annual Pride festival that takes over the streets with vibrant colors and diversity.

For a night out on the town, head to the gay village in the city center near the train station. This area is home to a number of gay-friendly bars, clubs, and shops. Some popular gay bars in this area include Boyz and Le Baroque, where you can mingle with locals and make new friends. But don’t let the small size fool you, Luxembourg City’s annual pride festival is one of the most vibrant and colorful in the region, a celebration of acceptance and diversity, where you can join the locals and have the time of your life.

Luxembourg is also not just about the nightlife; the country is also home to one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or enjoy sipping on a glass of wine, Luxembourg’s wine region offers the perfect opportunity to explore the countryside. While you’re here, do taste some delicious wine and enjoy the beautiful nature in its finest glory. So, whether you’re looking for a wild night out or a peaceful and picturesque retreat, Luxembourg has something for everyone.

Vianden, Luxembourg - by Iulian Ursu - iursu/Flickr
Vianden, Luxembourg – by Iulian Ursu – iursu/Flickr



Belgium, the land of chocolate, beer, and waffles, is a true feast for the senses. It’s also very gay-friendly, with same-sex marriage having been legalized way back in 2003. So, whether you’re a foodie looking to indulge in some of the world’s most delicious treats or a history buff eager to explore medieval cities, this pint-sized country is excellent for gay travelers.

Brussels, the capital city, is a great starting point for your adventure. With its beautiful architecture, world-class museums, and vibrant nightlife, Brussels truly has it all. Take a stroll through the historic Grand Place and admire the ornate guild houses and stunning town hall. Or head to the trendy neighborhoods of Ixelles and Saint-Gilles for some of the best bars and restaurants in the city.

Hold your horses! Belgium still has more to offer, such as the picturesque medieval town of Bruges, the historic battle site of Waterloo, the trendy city of Antwerp, and so much more. And let’s not forget about the famous Belgian beers and chocolate, which are world-renowned and are a must-try when visiting. Did you know that there are also many charming towns in Belgium worth visiting? With its world-renowned cuisine, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage, Belgium is a destination that truly has something for everyone. This country is calling for you, so come to discover the attractions of Belgium, a place where history meets pleasure!

Dinant, Belgium, by 12019_pixabay.com

New Zealand


A journey to New Zealand is usually epic, where the breathtaking landscapes and progressive culture come together. This land of hobbits and hot springs is not only known for its friendly locals, stunning scenery, and top-notch LGBTQ+ rights but also for being a queer paradise, a place where you can be truly yourself.

New Zealand’s queer scene is as diverse as the country itself, with different options depending on the location. In the bustling city of Auckland, you’ll find vibrant nightlife and LGBTQ-friendly bars, clubs, and venues to explore. If you’re looking for something more low-key, Wellington offers a more laid-back atmosphere with a good selection of gay-friendly venues and activities. And don’t forget about the annual pride events and festivals that take place throughout the country, where you can fully embrace and celebrate diversity.

New Zealand is not just about the city, it’s also a land of natural beauty, where the adventure never ends. From the stunning beaches to the natural hot springs and geysers, the hiking trails, and the ski slopes, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. New Zealand is a destination that combines the beauty of nature and progressive culture. Pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and set off for an adventure that you won’t forget!

New Zealand - by Wikimedia Commons
New Zealand – by Wikimedia Commons



Ah, Canada, the land of moose, maple syrup, and friendly people. This great big country is not only the second-largest in theworld it’s also a great place for LGBT individuals. From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes, there’s a lot to love about Canada, and its inclusive culture is definitely one of them. In fact, it sits at the top of the list of the world’s top LGBT-friendly travel destinations, too!

First things first, let’s talk about the legal side of things. Canada has been ahead of the curve for a long time, as it was one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage. That means no more sneaking around for our queer loves. And the legal protections for LGBT individuals go beyond that, making Canada a safe and welcoming place for all.

Now, let’s talk about the fun stuff. Canada has a lot to offer for visitors, from the many ski resorts (including Whistler Blackcomb) to the annual pride parades. Montreal’s annual pride parade in August is not to be missed, and if you’re in Toronto during June, don’t miss out on the city’s Pride festivities. Beyond Pride, the country is very well-known for its natural beauty, so visiting Canada’s beautiful national parks is a must.

With its diverse cultures, Canada is a great place to explore and find a place where you feel comfortable. So have your luggage prepared, and get ready to explore Canada, the land of diversity, acceptance, and maple syrup on pancakes.

Canada - by Gloria Goldin, Flickr
Canada – by Gloria Goldin, Flickr

Cool Facts

  • Interestingly, the USA doesn’t feature on most lists of gay-friendly destinations anymore, with more than 300 anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ laws proposed in 2022 alone.
  • Did you know that there are gay tours, like the amazing Barcelona Gay Tour? This special tour takes place in its gayborhood of Eixample, or Gaixample, with exclusive entry to clubs, drinks, and expert guidance from a knowledgeable guide!
  • Amsterdam is home to the Homomonument, a memorial in the city center. It pays homage to all gay people who’ve been persecuted due to their sexual orientations. This LGBTQ Amsterdam Private City Walk Tour includes a stop at the monument, which is a very moving place.

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