Love is Love
No need to hide or pretend, in 2018 we should all be aware that #loveislove and we should all feel free to explore the world hand in hand with our other half whether that's a man, a woman or transgender. But let's be realistic. We are still SO behind and that's why I'm writing this guide, so that you can enjoy the top LGBTI friendly destinations in Europe without having to worry about being judged, offended or, worse, harrassed.
1. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is probably the quirkiest and most advanced city in Europe. The city makes diversity its main strength and for this reason, in the last few decades, it has blossomed to be one of the coolest and most vibrant cities in the world. There are tons of venues for gays, lesbians, transsexuals and intersexuals. There are also several groups and advice centres in Berlin because no one has to feel alone here.
2. Brighton, UK
Thanks to its laid back and relaxed atmosphere, Brighton is the real LGTB capital of the UK and not London which is spread out and maybe lacks good options for the lesbian community even in its gay-centric Soho.
Chosen as a base by many same-sex couples, Brighton, not only offers a thriving gay scene, but also some of the best gay bars and clubs in the country as wells as other LGBTI attractions, festivals, museums, film, nightlife, comedy and theatre.
3. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has become one of Europe's favourite destinations for the lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual community. As an open-minded and cosmopolitan metropolis, the city offers a whole host of diverse attractions. There is also an LGBTI district in its Eixample and it is known locally as the Gaixample. The best part of this area is that it doesn't cater solely to the LGBTI community but is home to a wide variety of gay-friendly bars, shops and restaurants.
4. Rome, Italy
Surprised? Yes, I was too while I was researching for this article, but I'm told, Rome is quickly becoming Italy's favourite destinations for the LGTB community. Here, the gay scene is one of the most underrated in Europe but there is even an unofficial “gay street” filled with plenty of bars and clubs, including the famous Coming Out. During the summer, for three months, an entire section of a city park is transformed into the Gay Village, a massive party with two open-air dance floors, bars, live music, and even food trucks.
5. Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos doesn't need long introductions, I think, but if it does, let me just say that this is Greece's most famous cosmopolitan island in the heart of the Cyclades.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Not sure you know, but in 1998 Denmark made history when it became the first country in the world to recognise same-sex unions. Its capital, obviously, keeps high the flag of being ahead of the times and forward-looking. It even hosts one of the oldest openly gay bars in Europe, The Centralhjornet which dates back to the 1950s, as well as the modern district of Vesterbro also being home to the Red Light District of the city.
7. Brussels, Belgium
Talking of Gay Pride, Brussels is host to one of the best parades in the world. The event takes place up and down the slopes and narrow alleys of the whole city and attracts people from all over Belgium and abroad. Gay Pride aside, Brussels also has a “gay district", the Saint-Jaques, located next to the famous Manneken Pis. On Marché Au Charbon, the most ‘gay’ street, you can find loads of bars and activities aimed at the LGBTI community.
8. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam features more than 100 venues aimed at the LGBTI public, probably the highest concentration in the world (?). Those include bars, restaurants, cafes, clubs, hotels, saunas and libraries. The gay-friendly neighbourhood, Reguliersdwarsstraat, has it all, including the Havana – a large, 2 floors, legendary bar with an industrial look.
9. Paris, France
The Parisian gay district par excellence is Le Marais, which became a gay-friendly zone in the 1980s when artists started to settle down in the then-cheap district. Today, it is of the most chic spots in the capital, however there are also other less famous but interesting areas all around Paris.
10. Ibiza, Spain
No LGBTI article can be complete without a mention of the wildest, craziest island of the Mediterranean. It might have been a bit neglected by gay travellers in the last few years, but it still remains one of the best destinations to have fun and meet new people.
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