For LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) tourists, destinations which are rife with like-minded, tolerant and fun people like themselves are highly desirable. There is an ever-increasing amount of destinations that specifically cater for the LGBT component of the tourist demographic, and this article aims to uncover and describe some of the best locations around for those looking for a thriving LGBT community to engage with on holiday.
Buenos Aires has become one of the most exhilarating and renowned gay destinations in South America. Its rapid rise as a prominent gay-friendly city was consolidated in 2004 when the windy city became the first city in Latin America to legalize civil unions. In 2010, the city’s progressive values extended to granting gay couples full rights regarding gay marriage and adoption. This makes it perfect for gay couples looking to enjoy a honeymoon or even get hitched abroad. The cosmopolitan city also boasts a wide range of attractions and amenities that specifically cater to and aim at a heavily commercialised and celebrated LGBT community. With a host of gay bars and clubs to choose from, nightlife for the LGBT constituent of the tourist cohort is electrifying and vibrant.
Situated amongst the sun-kissed cluster of Spanish Canary Islands located on the west coast of Africa, Gran Canaria is another utopian haven for LGBT tourists. With a plethora of gay beaches, Gran Canaria’s golden coastline openly welcomes all to its crystal clear, water-lapped shores. When the glorious Gran Canaria sun sets on the beaches, the fun continues long into the night, as there is a vast array of gay and lesbian bars and clubs to visit, as well as a range of decadent restaurants offering fine Spanish cuisine. The popular Yumbo Centre is an exhilarating, atmospheric complex rife with numerous gay bars, clubs and restaurants. Meanwhile, for those seeking a calmer, more culturally enriching holiday experience, Gran Canaria is home to a range of picturesque pine forests and quaint villages to visit. The island’s awe-inspiring landscape also boasts jaw-dropping mountains to admire and hike, and stunning lakes to visit.
Located just south of the majestic Barcelona, Sitges is a more serene and relaxed option for LGBT tourists looking for a laidback, calm holidaying experience. With a pedestrian town centre, visitors can escape the noisy hustle bustle of traffic they may suffer to endure at home, and saunter around the town at leisure. It also hosts an annual ‘Gay Pride Sitges’, which promises plenty of entertainment, live acts, pool parties and the renowned ‘pride parade’, which attracts thousands of visitors-last year over 60 thousand revellers were in attendance.
Choose a cruise
For the more intrepid tourist, cruises offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience a broad array of cultures and countries in one expansive trip. Consult online cruise reviews for those seeking reliable advice on which cruises offer the most exhilarating experiences. RSVP offers a rare all-gay Mediterranean cruise on which 2100 LGBT guests enjoy exotic excursions across Mediterranean countries, including the aforementioned Sitges, the renowned Casablanca, Ibiza and Valencia, with indulgent and luxurious voyages at sea forming welcome breaks between each new venture. Indeed, there are enough entertainment amenities, poolside activities and events taking place onboard to make visitors feel reluctant to ever want to leave the ship!
The Big Apple
New York is another city universally renowned for its thriving LGBT community. Recently becoming the 6th US state to legalize gay marriage, it is ideal for couples seeking to get married in a vibrant and exciting foreign location. With such a vast array of fascinating attractions and lively entertainment venues to visit, the city famous for being one that never sleeps will leave visitors up all night trying to enjoy every experience the city has to offer. Home to the gargantuan Empire State Building, visitors can scale the tower’s heady heights to gain a glorious view of one of the most awe-inspiringly vast metropolises in the world. Also boasting the iconic Statue of Liberty, New York offers a culturally enriching and humbling experience for its visitors, who for the duration of their holiday will appreciate the unmatched joys of the American Dream.
Lisa Williams is a freelance travel writer from England who specialises in international travel, cruises and mostly writes with a younger audience in mind. Most of her travel experience came in her twenties when she spent several years in Asia.