Here are some – but certainly not all – of the world's most popular gay-friendly hotels and travel destinations:
England’s capital has an enviable reputation as one of the world's most gay-friendly cities, with dozens of LGBTQ+ bars and clubs located in Soho. This West End neighbourhood’s central location also puts you within walking distance of London’s iconic tourist landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. If you're looking to be close to Soho's most famous bars, such as G-A-Y, Village, Rupert Street, The Yard Bar and Comptons of Soho, consider booking a room near bustling Leicester Square. Sought-after venues include the trendy, hospitable Z Hotel Soho, the opulent Park Grand London Paddington, or the very stylish W London Leicester Square.
The Chueca district of Madrid is a hub for the LGBTQ+ community. Located close to the Gran Via, this progressive neighbourhood also acts as a starting point for the city’s Pride festival during June and July. Beyond the vibrant LGBTQ+ scene you’ll find numerous galleries, restaurants, the San Anton food market, and various examples of traditional Spanish architecture, including the Museum of Romanticism.
For nightlife, you can start by checking out laKama, Barbanarama, Black & White, and D’Mystic. For LGBTQ+ friendly hotels in and around Chueca, consider the adult only Axel Hotel Madrid, the boutique Petit Palace Chueca, or the cheap and cheerful Room007 Chueca Hostel.
Most of the City of Lights' LGBTQ+ oriented venues are in the elegant Le Marais district, which is revered for its sophisticated cafés, historic boutiques, and the magnificent Musée Carnavalet, which exhibits Paris' illustrious past. The neighbourhood is also within walking distance, or a short Metro journey, from the extraordinary Notre Dame Cathedral.
Well-known gay nightlife venues here include Le Souffleurs, Le CUD, Le Cox, Raidd Bar and Freedj, l. Reputed hotels in Le Marais include the majestic Hotel Dupon-Smith, the refined and affordable Vieux Marais hotel, and the friendly and well-presented Le 1er Etage.
Many of Barcelona's friendly gay bars and clubs are centred on the Eixample district, which features many striking Modernista landmarks designed by the prominent architects Antoni Gaudí and Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia.
For LGBTQ+ nightlife and venues with fantastic atmospheres, consider Punto BCN, Museum, Gingin’, Boxer’s Café Bar or Átame. For gay-friendly hotels you could choose the high-end H10 Urquinaona Plaza Hotel, the exquisite H10 Metropolitan, and the value-for-money Hotel Granvia.
Ever since the 1969 Stonewall rebellion sparked the Pride movement, New York has long been a favoured destination for LGBTQ+ travellers. The Big Apple's main gay village is in Manhattan’s Chelsea, where you can find numerous cosmopolitan bars and clubs such as The Eagle, Boxers NYC and Barracuda Lounge.Chelsea is also noted for its boutique stores in the Meatpacking District, a thriving food market, an array of fantastic art galleries, and the impressive High Line Park.
For a truly unforgettable experience, stay at the exclusive Dream Downtown hotel, the enchanting Eventi - a Kimpton Hotel, or the affordable but equally elegant Courtyard New York Manhattan/Chelsea.
Celebrated for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, several world-class art museums, the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and also a vibrant gay community. San Francisco has one of the most famous LGBTQ+ friendly neighbourhoods, the Castro district - home to popular nightlife venues such as Powerhouse and Badlands, and excellent hotels such as the very fashionable Casa Luna San Francisco and the welcoming Inn on Castro.
Amsterdam is internationally known as a top destination for LGBTQ+ travellers. While the entire city has a diverse and welcoming vibe, the areas of Reguliersdwarsstraat, Zeedijk and Warmoesstraat have history as locations for some of the city’s first openly gay businesses. Located close to the Red Light District, Café 't Mandje is the Netherland’s first lesbian bar opened in 1927!
Complementing the wide array of boutiques, bars and coffee shops in these areas, Warmoesstraat is also the focus of Amsterdam's leather scene, hosting the annual Leather Pride. Renowned venues in this area include The Eagle, Dirty Dicks, The Queens Head, and Getto. Popular Amsterdam hotels include the enchanting Ambassade Hotel, the contemporary Hotel Arena, or the competitive Corendon Urban Hotel Amsterdam.