Choosing the best gay travel destinations to visit requires you to consider different aspects, including happy quotients, local LGBTQ+ laws, safety concerns, and more. That’s because traveling to destinations where you face discrimination or feel uncomfortable can be disheartening at the least. Besides, in a world where LGBTQ+ rights are hot-button issues, choosing where to spend your vacation can be a political act.

To help you decide where to go on holiday, we’ve compiled the world’s 10 best gay travel destinations. Read on and learn more!

But first things first

What is Pride Month?

Pride month is a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ people all around the world. It’s all about equality, acceptance, love, and raising awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ+ communities. 

Discover more about Pride Month here.

Gay-Friendly Countries to Visit in the World

A queer couple on the beach having fun on their vacation

Did you know that over 69 countries in the world have anti-gay stances? These countries have declared LGBTQ+ as an illegal and punishable offense.

The good news is that more than twenty years ago, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriages in the world, officializing a gay-friendly stance. Since then, more than 28 countries have followed suit. Some gay-friendly countries to visit include the USA, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Australia, South Africa, and Canada, among others. 

Keep reading – we’ve got more to share!

Best Gay Travel Destinations in the World 

It’s crucial for queer travelers to feel welcome and safe while visiting destinations without fear of being caught up in anti-gay movements. Luckily, the world is making progress, and the choices of LGBTQ+ friendly vacation spots are now plenty and better than ever.  

Here are the 10 best gay travel destinations in the world…

Best Gay Travel Destinations: For People Looking for City Trips

#1 Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the best gay travel destinations in the world, Amsterdam, seen her from a bridge to the river

Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital, is a popular destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. And being the first nation to legalize same-sex marriages, the Netherlands is deemed one of the most gay friendly countries to visit and live in.

You can get inspired in Amsterdam’s LGBTQ+ bookstore, the Vrolijk, or discover the drag scene in the Queen’s Head. Also, you can sip cocktails or party at the Exit or Taboo clubs on Reguliersdwarsstraat Street, the city’s gay nightlife street. Don’t forget to visit the Homomonument, a “living monument” to homosexuals that have been oppressed worldwide. 

#2 New York, USA

Brooklyn bridge in New York, one of the most gay friendly travel destinations in the world.

New York has eternally been ranked high on the LGBTQ+ map. Famed for its internationally recognizable skyscrapers, the city is a fantastic travel idea that’ll introduce you to the best gay vacation of your life. The city of the big apple defines the urban lifestyle and represents that ultimate cosmopolitan destination. You can shop till you drop while enjoying world-class performances and the melting pot of culture, commerce, politics, and fashion. 

#3 Bangkok, Thailand

Boats in a canal with goods on board in a docking area

Often overlooked by visitors eager to reach the lush tropical beaches of Southern Thailand, Bangkok has life pulsating from its core. The Asian megacity, the center of queer culture in Thailand, bursts with color and energy. It juxtaposes quiet canal communities against a modern metropolis filled with bars, clubs, cabarets, and incredible shopping areas. Once the sun goes down, Bangkok is home to mouthwatering street food, rooftop bars, and a prosperous and lively gay village. 

Best Gay Travel Destinations: For People Looking for Beach Trips

#1 Tel Aviv, Israel

The coast of Tel Aviv with high rise buildings along the coast

Tel Aviv is the ideal beach destination with unending coasts, over 9 miles of blue sea, sun, and open horizon. The city has several gay-friendly beaches, such as the Ga’ash nude beach and Hilton beach. Besides enjoying the beach, Tel Aviv is a hotspot for nightlife, and one of the most popular locales for queer nightlife is Shpagat. The city is also thriving with hip neighborhoods full of art, cuisines, and, more importantly, a proud and large LGBTQ+ presence.

#2 Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town seen in the distance across the water

If you’re looking for a multicultural place brimming with surprises, Cape Town has you covered. With spectacular mountains, gorgeous drives, and world-famous vineyards, it’s hard to imagine a more ideal travel destination than South Africa’s mother city. The city is also blessed with fabulous beaches, including Clifton Third Beach, which has become a popular spot for gay sunbathers.

Best Gay Travel Destinations: For Nature Lovers and Outdoor Enthusiasts

#1 Iceland

A waterfall seen from within a cave in Iceland, one of the best places for queer people to travel to

With an abundance of volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes, glaciers, caves, and rough terrain, Iceland is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Besides its natural grandeur, Iceland is welcoming for gay travelers. In fact, Iceland, which legalized same-sex marriages in 2010, has been named the happiest country for gay men. As such, Iceland has become a true rainbow paradise and one of the best gay friendly countries to visit.

#2 Vancouver, Canada

The dome of Vancouver viewed across a body of water dotted with canoes

Canada’s largest city, Toronto, was home to the world’s first retroactively legalized lesbian and gay marriage. But from a traveler’s perspective, Vancouver, the glass towered city, is more attractive. Featuring a sparkling ocean, lush rainforest, and majestic mountains, Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful and adventurous cities. You can go scuba diving, snorkeling, or hike the mountains with your partner or friends.

#3 New Zealand

An expanse of land in a valley in New Zealand with a path cutting through

New Zealand is an excellent destination for nature enthusiasts and a sought-after LGBTQ+ friendly vacation spot. The island is home to the Southern Alps, standing over 12,000 feet. It also features some of the most accessible glaciers in the world – you can hike here with ease. Also, make sure you visit the Fiordland National Park for endless exploration of mountains, forests, fiords, and alpine lakes.

Best Gay Travel Destinations: For Religion and History Explorers

#1 Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos classic white architecture looking onto the sea in one of the best gay travel destinations worldwide

The island’s liberal mentality has attracted LGBTQ+ travelers the world over, carving a niche for itself as a much sought-after gay destination. In fact, it’s one of the “big 4” best gay summer travel destinations in Europe. The Island has preserved its Cycladic character, featuring cobblestoned maze-like alleyways, century-old windmills, and traditional whitewashed homes. That has made Mykonos an excellent destination for history explorers.

#2 Taipei, Taiwan

People taking photos on phones of the Taipei skyline in the sunset

Situated off the southeastern coast of mainland China, Taipei is considered to be among the best gay travel destinations in Asia. Unlike other cities, Taipei’s gay culture extends beyond the beaches and bar scenes and into a sector where the queer community is often absent – religion. Each year, over 9000 queer travelers pay pilgrimage to the Wei-ming Temple and pray to Tu’er Shan, the Rabbit God of homosexual love. The city is also home to the biggest Chinese art collection and one of the world’s tallest buildings. As such, Taipei invites queer travelers into a world of fascinating contrasts, a blend of traditional and modern.

The Takeaway: Best Gay Travel Destinations

Whether it’s thumping dance clubs and partying till sunrise, or sunbathing on beaches, these LGBTQ+ friendly vacation spots will ensure your trip is unique. These destinations feature tropical weather with incredible shopping experiences, gourmet food, famous hot springs, and lovely beaches. And with some of the most eclectic nightlife spots in the world, queer travelers are set for unforgettable holidays.

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Hiya, I’m Maud. I’m an English girl who's moved to Berlin - because who wouldn’t fall in love with a country which has words like ‘Kummerspeck’ hidden around every corner... I love traveling and finding out the quirks of each country - and what better way to remember them than on a postcard?

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