10 LGBTQIA+ friendly Travel Destinations to consider for your next trip!
As a professional travel advisor, (and a member of the LGBT+ community myself,) I understand that safety is a top priority for LGBT+ travelers. While there is still a long way to go in terms of equality and acceptance, there are many destinations around the world that are safe and welcoming for LGBT+ travelers.
Here are the 10 safest places for LGBTQIA+ travelers to visit this summer:
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands: With its vibrant LGBTQ+ community and progressive attitudes towards sexuality, Amsterdam is one of the safest and most welcoming cities for LGBTQ+ travelers. Check out neighborhoods like De Pijp, Oud-West, and the NDSM wharf. Also consider traveling outside of peak season (July and August) and instead take your trip between March and April or September and November to enjoy the benefits of fewer crowds and more budget friendly deals.
2. Toronto, Canada: Toronto is known for its diverse and inclusive culture, and its LGBTQ+ community is no exception. Toronto is also one of the only cities in the world to have multiple LGBTQ+ districts, like the Queer West Village filled with posh restaurants and almost post-gay hipster bars, and Old Cabbagetown, another up-and-coming 'gaybourhood'.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland: Iceland is known for its stunning natural beauty, and its capital city, Reykjavik, is also known for its extremely welcoming and inclusive culture. LGBTQ+ travelers will feel safe and comfortable exploring this charming city, holding hands, and just being themselves in public. LGBT+ and cis people are equal in the eyes of the law here, and while there is always room for improvement, especially in regard to transgender rights, Iceland is much closer to utter equality than almost any other destination on this list. They elected Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir as Prime Minster back in 2009, making her the world’s first openly LGBTQIA+ head of government.
4. Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, and its LGBTQ+ community is an integral part of its cultural fabric. Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and Barcelona is one of the major LGBT+ centers in Spain. Two of the most popular resorts for LGBTQ+ travelers are Sitges (south of Barcelona) and the island of Ibiza.
5. San Francisco, USA: San Francisco has long been a hub for the LGBTQ+ community, and its progressive attitudes towards sexuality make it a safe and welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. It wasn't an accident that San Francisco became the LGBTQ+ capital of the world. It has always been a welcoming city where boldness and inclusivity is praised, and where nothing is more valued than the freedom to express yourself!
6. Berlin, Germany: Berlin is known for its edgy and alternative culture, and its LGBTQ+ community is no exception. Berlin has a lot to offer LGBTQ+ visitors: from operas, to revues, to the country's largest LGBTQ+ club SchwuZ. Visit the Gay Museum in Berlin and find a wide range of queer film programmes in Berlin’s cinemas. You will also find countless LGBTQ+ events in Berlin’s event calendar on visitBerlin.de.
7. Sydney, Australia: Sydney is a cosmopolitan city with posh cocktail bars, secret events, avant-garde art galleries, and new trendy cafes. LGBTQ+ travelers have chosen Sydney as a popular vacation spot for decades, but visit in March to catch the legendary Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival!
8. Tel Aviv, Israel: Located along the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, and nicknamed Israel’s “City That Never Sleeps”, Tel Aviv is an open-minded, progressive and welcoming place that starkly contrasts the more religious and restrictive areas in the surrounding regions. The city is known for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and as the ultimate LGBTQ+ travel destination in the Middle East! Tel Aviv is internationally known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers with open arms and offering a safe refuge for members of the LGBTQ+ community of surrounding countries in the region.
9. Bangkok, Thailand: Bangkok is an extremely tolerant society where LGBTQ+ lifestyles are generally accepted as a natural way of life. Bangkok is the epicenter of LGBTQ+ culture in Thailand. In addition to Bangkok having incredible food, the friendliness of the locals, ancient sites, active nightlife, and trendy shopping destinations are all huge draws for all types of tourists. And a trip to Bangkok is much more affordable when compared to Western destinations!
10. Cape Town, South Africa: Cape Town is a stunningly beautiful city, and is home to the most established LGBT community in Africa. De Waterkant is the heart of Cape Town’s rainbow district and includes many of the city’s 100+ LGBT venues. This hip enclave at Green Point is known for its posh retail shops, boutiques, galleries, award-winning restaurants, and lush green streets lined with colorful homes.
In conclusion, LGBT+ travelers should always prioritize their safety when travelling. These 10 destinations are among the safest and most welcoming for LGBT+ travelers this summer. Be sure to do your research and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, and contact your Travel Agent for travel advisories, tips and more!