Gay or homosexual tourism refers to travel exclusively for the LGBT community. It has been gaining strength in recent years in Europe and America thanks to the wide range of cruises, hotels, spas, bars and beaches that exist today. In what follows we show you the gay-friendly destinations most requested.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Article Index

Gay or LGBT tourism: definition, options and main destinations

What is LGBT tourism?

Gay tourism, LGBT tourism, homosexual tourism or gay-friendly It is defined as a tourist modality aimed at the LGBT community, that is, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. It is especially popular in Europe, Latin America, and some North American countries.

There are organizations around the world whose objective is to promote tourism for gay people. The most important is the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association, abbreviated IGLTA by its original name in English: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

The IGLTA is an international network dedicated to connecting gay tourists from all over the world. At the same time, its objective is to promote the acquisition of good practices when choosing LGBT trips, both for tourists and for companies that offer organized trips, tour packages, etc.

In Spain there is AEGAL, based in Madrid, focused on various sectors where there is room for culture gay-friendly, among them, the tourism sector. AEGAL is the association responsible for coordinating and promoting this type of tourism in Madrid 365 days a year.

The gay tourism industry encompasses several possibilities when it comes to traveling, either nationally or internationally, such as:

  • Cruises
  • Hotels
  • Spas, spas and saunas
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Venues (pubs, nightclubs, etc.)
  • Weekend getaways
  • Beach

The tourist offer varies depending on whether you are traveling as a couple or single. There are numerous offers for Singles around the main cities gay-friendly of the world, as well as romantic hotels, with or without Jacuzzi, destined to spend vacations as a couple.

On the other hand, traveling to go to gay pride parade In the main world capitals it is a highly demanded option among this type of public. Madrid, United States, Amsterdam, London, Argentina, Germany and Israel, among others, are the most gay-friendly nowadays.

Organized trips for gays

There are a large number of cruise lines that offer trips especially aimed at the LGTB community. It is another way to see countries and enjoy an all-inclusive trip in style.

A very good option is cruises. He Great Allure of the Seas, the largest in the world, makes routes through the Mediterranean Sea and travels, among other cities, Barcelona, Roma and Naples. The duration of the tour is about 6 days (5 nights). and is reputed to be the largest gay cruise ship in the world.

Atlantis Cruises is another of the most popular companies worldwide. This line makes available to the public LGTB routes through Mexico during Halloween, as well as through Europe or the Caribbean. The options are endless.

On the other hand, the boom in gay tourism in recent years has been largely reflected in various beaches both in Spain and in other countries. There are nudists or suitable for rural tourism gay-friendly around, depending on the area where you are.

A good example of a beach where most of the public belongs to the LGBT community is that of Maspalomas, located in Gran Canaria. Maspalomas, including its magnificent dunes, is one of the main destinations not only in Spain, but in Europe. Playa del Inglés is also one of the most touristic areas for its nightlife.

Puerto Vallarta, a vacation destination located in Mexico, is gradually becoming another of the star places to enjoy the summer in a gay environment. Its excellent climate, beaches and mountains, together with the charm of Mexico, make it an excellent international destination.

When it comes to going out at night, the various cities listed below offer a wide range of gay nightlife. The options are endless: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, pubs ...

All these possibilities can be easily found in cities such as Oslo, Los Angeles, Madrid, Stockholm, Bilbao, Norway y Prague, among others. In Los Angeles, in addition, tourists can enjoy cabarets, jazz, rock, country or blues concerts, and live shows.

There are also the so-called gay bars where a predominantly homosexual clientele congregates. These places have become one of the favorite spots for tourists from all over the world when it comes to meeting other people with the same interests. Other denominations are: gay club, gay pub, gay bowling o gay disco.

Regarding accommodation, gay hotels or hotels gay-friendly They are hotels specially designed to meet the needs of the LGBT sector, but without excluding the heterosexual public.

The philosophy of this type of tourist offer is promote integration of all members of society within an atmosphere of tranquility, respect and coexistence while offering a wide range of services for fun, parties and especially the enjoyment of users.

There are hotels gay-friendly to this day around the world. The hotel chain Axel It has a large number of international establishments.

Also, some of the most famous hotels in Europe are the Hotel Imlauer Wien, in Vienna, the Hotel Arcotel Velvet Berlin or Hotel Beck's Motor Lodge in San Francisco.

Many of these hotels also include a spa pack with massages, a steam and heat sauna, private relaxation boxes, a Jacuzzi, an exclusive cafeteria, etc.

What are Gay Pride marches?

Gay pride marches are held in numerous world capitals to commemorate the International LGBT Pride Day, which takes place every June 28. It is also known as Gay Pride's day Or simply, Gay pride.

The parades and exhibitions that take place during this festival constitute true spectacles in which there are thousands of gay flags waving as a hallmark of this social group.

The most important celebration in Europe is that of Madrid, attended by more than a million people annually, reaching two million in 2009, when the march took place Europride.

Furthermore, the São Paulo LGBT Pride March receives between 2,5-3 million attendees each year. The marches in Toronto, Mexico City or San Francisco, among others, are equally important worldwide.

The relevance of these parades for the gay community makes them a very attractive tourist option, so a very advisable option if you are looking to have fun and meet people is to travel to attend one of them.

Main destinations

The preferred destinations of the LGBT community are usually those places that stand out for their permissive and liberal nature with regard to homosexuals.


Berlin It is also one of the strong points for homosexual tourism. Many neighborhoods in the city concentrate in themselves the gay life of the German capital. These are examples of the most important:

  • Friedrichshain
  • Mitte
  • Schöneberg
  • Kreuzberg
  • Prenzlauer Berg

Berlin's nightlife features clubs like the Schwuz or Berghain among many others and in June the Gay Pride day is celebrated, known as CDS (Christopher Street Day).

Colonia It is an artistic and fair city, as well as one of the most important economic and communication centers in Europe.

The inhabitants of Colonia are characterized by their cheerful character and their sense of humor, an attitude that is reflected when celebrating events such as the Gay Pride march. Ultimately, the gay scene is part of what this German city has to offer.


In recent years, Argentina has undergone an important change until it has become one of the destinations gay-driendly more attractive to the LGBT community, mainly due to the various official inclusion policies that have recently entered into force.

Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, is the city where there is more tourist offer for homosexual public. Apart from the celebration of the International LGBT Pride Day, during the month of November there are two other major events: on the one hand, the Gay Pride March and the Tango Queer Festival.

However, the most celebrated event of all is the Gay Harvest Festival in Mendoza, which takes place during the month of March.


In 1978 it took place in Australia the revolution of the gay community, which consisted of a protest parade to protest against the illegality of homosexuality.

The success of this revolution led to the fact that in 1984 this community was stopped being punished and, since then, the Gay Pride parade continues to be celebrated in style in Sydney, where the idea of ​​how proud one should feel to be homosexual prevails openly.

Sydney has two events of special relevance to the gay community:

  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: It consists of an annual parade held on Oxford Street between the end of February and the beginning of March and is classified as the largest gay festival in the world.
  • Sleaze ball: is a gay and lesbian themed party that takes place during the weekend of Labor Day week.


Gay tourism is very present in São Paulo. The fact of being the largest city in South America means that it has a cosmopolitan spirit and is open to ethnic, cultural and sexual diversity. Next to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo is one of the main capitals for the LGBT community in Brazil.

The Gay Pride festivals of São Paulo are noted as the most massive in the world and they always have a festive atmosphere of sexual freedom.

There are also a series of gay meeting points, such as Gardens, located in the richest and most sophisticated area of ​​the city. Within this area, the Avenida Paulista and Rua Oscar Freire stand out, where the most expensive and exclusive fashion stores are located.

Rio de Janeiro, for its part, is considered the capital of homosexual tourism in South America. The people of Rio stand out for their unbridled and liberal attitude.

If there is an area par excellence where gay tourism reigns, that is Ipanema, area where most of the beaches, cinemas, theaters, bars, etc. are located. dedicated exclusively to the LGBT community.


Since the law that allows the same-sex union and the adoption of children by gay couples, Canada has become one of the countries in the world with the greatest advances in equality.

En QuebecFor example, there is a very popular gay neighborhood: the Village. There you can find numerous nightlife venues and restaurants reserved exclusively for this public, most of them located in the area that ranges from Saint Catherine Street to Lafontaine Park. Quebec has its own gay festival, the Fierte Quebec.

En Montreal another festival with the same characteristics is celebrated, the so-called Divers / Cité, in which three main events take place: the Cultural Festival, community days and an LGBT parade.

In October, the Black & Blue Festival is also held, which attracts tourists from all over the world as it has a program of more than sixty events.


When you think about gay tourism in Spain, without a doubt the first city that comes to mind is its capital: Madrid. It is one of the key capitals of the LGBT community on a global scale and, as such, it is one of the star destinations among gay tourists.

La Gay Pride Party Madrid is the most important in Europe and has twice won the title to Best Gay Event in the World. The quintessential gay neighborhood is Chueca, where you can find bars with a modern and sophisticated style, fashion stores and gourmet restaurants from Spanish cuisine.

Barcelona it is another very important city when it comes to gay tourism. Areas such as the Eixample or Sitges they are, without a doubt, the most attractive points for the gay tourist. Sitges is a municipality that is located 45 km from Barcelona and stands out for its fine sand beaches and calm waters, where the best gay hotels in Spain.

United States

The liberal atmosphere of San Francisco has become notable in recent years, something that, along with the beautiful landscapes that the city offers, has markedly increased its tourist rate.

The LGBT movement was consolidated in this city in the early 70s and, today, it has numerous restaurants, hotels, exclusive pubs and discos for the enjoyment of gay tourists. The heart of the gay scene is Castro Street.

On the other hand, New York It is the American city where gay culture is lived most intensely, as well as in the most natural way. There are neighborhoods like the West Village where there are hotels and plays that are exclusive to this audience, although not exclusive.

However, it is the Greenwhich Village neighborhood where gay pride is most celebrated, mainly due to the riots that took place in Stonewall in 1959, leading to gay liberation.


Paris It has numerous bars and cafes interesting for the LGBT community, such as the intersection of Rue des Archives and Ste-Croix de la Bretonerie, including Rue Vieille du Temple. However, the epicenter is in Le Marais, the city's oldest gay neighborhood.

Popular bars such as the Open Cafe, located on Rue des Archives, or the Raidd Bar, on Rue du Temple, and the SlyBar, where you can find music, international DJs, go-go and theme nights and open 7 days a week .

Similarly, Nice, capital of the Côte d'Azur, is an emblematic place full of establishments gay-friendly distributed among its beaches, museums, historic center, nightlife, etc.


Many are those who refer to the island of Mykonos as a mecca gay-friendly of Europe. The inhabitants of this place are characterized, without a doubt, by their open-mindedness and free of prejudices. Also, Mykonos It has the best paradisiacal beaches of the Aegean Sea.

Ornos, Platis Gialos, Psarou, Paradise and Super Paradise are the five beaches of Mykonos most frequented by gay tourists from around the world.

While the first three tend to be more relaxed, the last two are ideal if you are looking for parties and celebrations in style. Other perfect beaches for the LGBT public are Elia, with almost white sand, Agrari and Lia, among others.


Contrary to what may seem at first glance, Tel Aviv, Israel's second-largest city, is among the best gay destinations in the world.

This city, which was classified by Hollywood star Claire Danes as the most intense in the world, has the most sophisticated night parties in the gay world.

One of the star places for the LGBT community in Tel Aviv is the neighborhood of Nanuchka, which can never be missing in every gay tourist who travels to Tel Aviv, since there you can find places to dine, go out for drinks until the wee hours of the morning and even dance in a strip pole.

Within this neighborhood, the main street is Calle Lilienblum, where bars such as Shesek and even a Catalan bar called La Champa are located.


Amsterdam is a European city famous for its tolerance, which can be observed in many aspects of the social panorama and, specifically, in gay-friendly. Like Mykonos, Paris, Madrid or London, Amsterdam is on the list of the most important LGBT destinations in Europe.

The city center has more than one hundred premises for the homosexual public, including bars, cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, saunas, hotels or even bookstores.

There is also an exclusive tourist office to learn about the tourist offer gay-driendly that can be found around the entire city: the Gay Tourist Information CenterAs well as Pink point, located next to the Westermarkt gay monument.

United Kingdom

London is the largest European city and one of the busiest in the world by tourists from all social groups.

Although the most common is to visit the most traditional places such as Big Ben, the Tower of London or the British Museum, among others, the truth is that London has one of the most complete neighborhoods in terms of tourism gay-friendly: we talk about Soho.

Soho is a labyrinth of narrow streets and passageways, but there are very popular bars within the LGBT community such as The Edge or Ku Bar, which function as a restaurant during the day and turn into a nightclub when night falls.

The area that encompasses Old Compton Street, Chinatown and Oxford Street is another favorite area for gay tourists, especially in summer when Gay Pride reigns throughout the landscape. In these areas you can also find the lesbian bars most important: the Candy Bar and The Friendly Society.

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