Bucket List: Gay-Friendly Must-Visit Spots
Luckily, the world is (slowly) making progress though and the choices of LGBT-friendly travel places on offer are now better than ever.
Here’s a selection of the world’s bucket list gay friendly travel destinations.
Sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is the smallest and most progressive country in South America.
Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1934; anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people have been in place since 2004; and in 2013, gay marriage was legalized. The nation’s capital and home to nearly half of Uruguay’s population, Montevideo is a vibrant and laid-back city with a rich cultural life and stunning Atlantic Ocean beaches.
Since Uruguay is a small country, Montevideo is also the perfect base from which to explore the country on day trips.
Don’t miss the cities of Salto, Paysandu, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Colonia del Sacramento in the west, or do day trips to party-till-you-drop Punta del Este, La Paloma, and Punta del Diablo.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
The Middle East is a region that is notorious for being one of the least gay friendly places in the world (with same gender sex punishable by death in Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia). Israel is a notable exception though, being the most progressive concerning LGBTQ+ rights and even promoting its largest city Tel Aviv as a hotspot for gay tourism.
Situated along the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv is famously known for its beautiful beaches, nightlife, and LGBTQ+ community.
The city is an open-minded and welcoming place that starkly contrasts some of the more religious and restrictive cities in Israel and the surrounding region.
Tel Aviv is welcoming gay tourists with open arms and also offers a safe refuge for those from the LGBTQ+ community of surrounding countries in the region.
Located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, Taiwan is one of the most progressive countries in Asia.
In 2019, it became the first country in the continent to legalize gay marriage. While some parts of this island might still be conservative, gay travelers can feel entirely at ease in Taipei, Taiwan’s largest city as well as its economic, political, and cultural center.
From one of the world’s tallest buildings to the biggest collection of Chinese art, Taipei invites travelers into a world of fascinating contrasts, a mix of the modern and traditional. Add in tropical weather, gourmet food, stunning shopping experiences, lovely beaches, famous hot springs, and some of the most eclectic nightlife spots in Asia, and gay travelers are set for a holiday to remember.
NEW YORK, USA
New York, New York, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! The Big Apple represents the ultimate cosmopolitan destination and defines the urban lifestyle.
Here, you can visit some of the world’s best museum collections, shop till you drop, attend world-class performances, and find yourself having to make tough choices when it comes to dining out.
With one of the world’s biggest queer scenes, a vibrant gay nightlife and a liberal population who have seen and done it all, New York was always destined to become one of the world’s greatest gay cities. New York City also has a rich history of LGBTQ activism: the 1969 riots that occurred at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village are synonymous with the birth of the modern gay-rights movement.
Every day, there is an adventure waiting to happen in Iceland. With an abundance of mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, lakes, caves, and otherwise rough terrain waiting to be tackled, Iceland is truly and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
Besides its natural grandeur, Iceland is also a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ travelers.
There are very few places in the world where people from across the spectrums of gender and sexuality receive as much love, and encounter as little hate, as they do in Iceland.
With almost full legal equality, strong representation in parliament and the media, and an infrastructure that exists to support and elevate queer people, Iceland has become a true rainbow paradise and a popular travel destination for gay people and gender minorities.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa legalized same-sex marriage in 2006, sixteen years after the first Johannesburg pride parade.
Today, the Rainbow Nation is more LGBTQ+ friendly than any other country on the African continent.
Although South Africans are generally very conservative, gay travelers can be themselves in the cities, especially Cape Town. Blessed with fabulous beaches, spectacular mountains, world-famous vineyards, gorgeous drives, and tons of trendy bars and restaurants, it is hard to imagine a more perfect travel destination than South Africa’s Mother city (and frankly, you won’t find a better one).
Combine this with some of the best accommodation and service on offer anywhere in the world and you are left with one of the hottest city destinations you will ever visit.