Traveling abroad can present a little extra headache if you’re out with a same-sex partner. Where do you go? What do you do? Will you be treated differently depending on where you explore? Not every country and culture is gay-friendly, but there are many cities where you can find healthy gay populations, a left-leaning political atmosphere, and more open-minded people than most. Here are the most gay-friendly cities in the world.
- London is a great place to start if you don’t want to experience too much culture shock. You won’t have trouble communicating with people no matter where you go, and the city is definitely different than you’re used to if you’ve been living in the U.S. all your life. The city is home to the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. You can check out Old Compton Street in SoHo, or wait until nightfall to bounce around.
- Amsterdam is a required item on this list. The city is one of the most tolerant places in the world when it comes to visitors, gay and straight alike. Tourism is the beating heart of Amsterdam, so you’ll find a place to have fun or relax wherever you go. The Canal Parade is the biggest gay pride even in the Netherlands, so try to time your trip right.
- Barcelona is a great place to visit if you travel to Spain. It’s a liberal bastion in which to spend your time among like-minded people from a different culture and with a different life experience from your own, and it wouldn’t hurt to learn more about the city’s history or its people. A unique 2014 law aims to prevent homophobia by forcing those who would do the community harm to prove their own innocence, instead of the other way around. Needless to say, it was a controversial law then, and still is today.
- Berlin has certainly had its share of historical peaks and troughs, but today there are few better places to be loud and proud anywhere in the world. The nightlife is as diverse as any you’ll find, and you won’t lack for things to do during the day either. If you’re traveling alone, you won’t have any trouble finding friends while you’re in the city.
- Tel Aviv is another good spot, and certainly the best you’ll find in the Middle East. To some, it represents the greatest mashup of gay culture in the world, and wherever you go you’ll find gay friends by your side. There’s no shortage of local events.