The Best LGBT Cities To Visit

November 16, 2013

LGBT tourism is growing every day, so get on the bandwagon and hit the best LGBT cities in North America and Europe!

While people still debate over who can love who (yes, we still face these horrible opinions), we still live in a very homophobic world and a lot of countries which seem progressive still have a lot of issues, yet hide under the cap of “tolerance”.

However, many places are also fantastic destinations for LGBT people. So which cities would be the most LGBT friendly?

San Francisco

The city where Gay Pride first happened, where Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to the public office. Where the world first saw the pride flag for the first time and which has the largest gay district in the US. It has been and still is a place where gay people who are not necessarily out to go and be themselves and not be alienated.

The must-visit is surely the Castro district where Harvey Milk began. Everything in the district is done by the LGBT community for the LGBT community, which is a lot of different LGBT establishments: gay bars, lesbian bars, different bookstores, LGBT businesses which you will only find in the Castro and its history as well.


The capital of Illinois is more than pizza and jazz. Being the third largest city in the US, it works as the Midwest’s LGBT hub, attracting thousands of people of all ages and places. The gay scene is split between two places: Boystown (a.k.a. East Lakeview) and Andersonville.

There are countless attractions, and here’s a tip: there are two types of licenses for bars, some will close at 2AM, others at 4AM. If you’re looking to stay until later, plan yourself to make sure you get in before all places are packed after the other bars close.


Sweden itself is so ahead of everyone in equality rights, that being in Stockholm you surely know that regardless of your sexuality and gender identity, you are safe. It’s not just common for gay couples to exist peacefully in Sweden, but it is normal, something which the rest of the world has yet to understand.

Gay pride is a massive event in Stockholm and so is Pink Christmas which is a compilation of different gay events at Christmas in all bars and restaurants. Also known for it’s lesbian bars such as Moxy and Club KG.And of course, the ABBA museum. What isn’t there to love?


Where the first gay monument in the world is, home of weed, the Red Light District and the Van Gogh museum. Amsterdam is there to please all and accept all as well.If you’re going in for the clubs, Amsterdam has a very unique and one of the first openly gay night scenes which include different bars and clubs to everyone’s taste.


Its reputation as a gay hotspot dates back to the early 20th century, in the days of Marlene Dietrich. For a city that went through so much in history, Berlin aged well. More than gay friendly, it’s gay-active. The city is renowned for its wide selection of gay bars, the main ones being the Möbel Olfe, Schwuz (hidden in the back of the Melitta Sundström coffee shop), Barbie Deinhoff, Zum Schmutzigen Hobby and Silver Future. Each has their style, but all will provide you a great time in oh-so-gay Berlin. Oh, and Berlin has an openly gay mayor.

New York

Where LGBT people stopped being silent, that night when a drag queen threw a brick and the Stonewall riots started and nothing was ever the same. Of course, besides riots, if there’s something NYC knows how to pull off it's a party! The gay week goes like this: Monday is Bathsalts at Don Pedro, a drag show, Tuesday is Westgay at Westway (occasionally with performances by Lil’ Kim!), gay bars and cafés on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Hot Rabbit’s dance party on Friday (don’t forget to check their Facebook for free entry), Saturday is the gender-defying Hey Queen, and finally, close your NYC gay week with Scissor Sundays at The Rusty Knot, a tea-time dance party!


If you’re into LGBT TV shows, you’ll surely know Brighton from either Queer as Folk or Sugar Rush or both. Cheeky, bohemian and full of free thinking, it’s perfect for both a calm gay trip to the seaside and also to party hard - there are gay hotels, gay bars, gay shops, gay weddings... If you want a city that can give you all things gay, welcome to Brighton!


Spain is where Almodovar is from and you’ve surely sat a few evenings watching either La Mala Educacion or Todo Sobre Mi Madre (and cried over both). Almodavar has a wide variety of filming in different parts of Spain, so you can choose your pick, but Madrid will still be the heart of the gay scene and frankly, you’ll still feel like you’re a character from his movie. 
Madrid is very welcoming and very gay-friendly up to hotels being proud that they are friendly. Having one of the most legendary and enourmous gay pride Madrid has a lot to be proud of, when Gay Pride is hosted the whole city turns into a massive gay pride and you even forget what is it like not to be accepted as everyone goes around hand in hand and all bookstores change their windows to appeal the gay public.


Toronto will host the World Pride event in 2014. It is also home to many gay neighborhoods of all types. The Queer West is the newest on the list, with a modern and diverse environment and attitude that lets everyone be themselves. Church & Wellesley is the main one downtown, while Greektown, College Street and Leslieville are more residential gay villages. Wherever you go, Toronto’s rainbow flags will greet you.


The South’s brightest LGBT spot, the Advocate elected it America’s gayest city in 2010. Virginia Highland, Midtown and East Atlanta are the places to go for gay Atlanta. ‘The city too busy to hate’ has open arms for LGBT tourists from all over the world.

Now that you know the best LGBT places to visit, go to Trekeffect and plan your trip quick and easily!

-Mariya Tugayeva

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting
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