An important part of travelling, whether solo, as a couple or family is feeling comfortable, relaxed and welcome. Here are some of our top destination picks for same-sex couples and LGBT travellers.
Whether you’re all about the nightlife or would prefer to soak up the rays on the beaches at North Bondi and Tamarama, Sydney is the ideal LGBT-friendly destination. Iconic landmarks, a rich history and first-rate restaurants are part of what make the city so popular. So, whether you are after a more secluded intimate getaway, or you are keen to make new friends beneath bright lights, your visit will be anything but dull.
From tropical rainforests, waterfalls and vibrant cities, Argentina is the perfect destination for a memorable holiday, and their laws are wholly in favour of LGBT rights, along with most of Latin America. Buenos Aires itself is full of world-class restaurants, chic bars and luxury hotels, or head into the Mendoza wine region or Patagonia and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Argentina at a more leisurely pace.
Rugged coastlines, pristine beaches and snow-capped mountains; a visit to New Zealand is something truly special. Add to the dramatic scenery, exquisite cuisine and a welcoming and inclusive attitude towards the LGBT community and it’s the ideal place to escape to. It’s perfect for travellers looking for a rich cultural experience, as well as for adrenaline junkies looking for their next thrill. White water rafting, caving, skydiving and bungee jumping are just a few of the many activities that will help make your stay a wild ride.
In energetic Rio, anything goes. Although the famous Carnival lasts just five days, the party atmosphere echoes throughout the Brazilian city all year round. Soak up the rays, catch a wave or play beach volleyball at Ipanema and Leblon, and then when the sun goes down, find your rhythm in the sexy samba hangouts in the city.
Just off the coast of Morocco, the strikingly beautiful volcanic Canary Islands are a year-round paradise. The Spanish island of Gran Canaria ranks alongside Ibiza, Sitges and Mykonos as one of the most popular LGBT destinations in Europe. The scene is diverse and energetic, with dozens of clubs, restaurants, exclusive hotels and a large gay entertainment centre. But it’s not all about the party – rejuvenate as you spend days appreciating the black-and-white sand beaches, lunar landscapes and volcanic peaks.
With some of the most dramatic landscapes in Europe, Iceland’s volcanic rock and lava fields contrast with magnificent icebergs and glacial lakes. It’s an inspiring place for an unforgettable holiday, and it’s also the first country to have had an openly gay Prime Minister. Spend time with the locals in the cafes and bars in Reykjavik, or hit the clubs and dance the night away. Reykjavik Gay Pride attracts huge crowds every year and is only one of the numerous international LGBT festivals that happen there annually. The popular events put as much of a focus on Icelandic culture, art and nature as they do on partying.
Whether you’d prefer to laze on the beaches of Bali, or hit the openly gay nightlife scene of Seminyak, this region has a relaxed and open-minded attitude towards LGBT travellers. Surf the south coast, explore the lush rice terraces, revitalise your mind and body at a wellness retreat, or make the most of the lively nightlife and adventure sports – the ‘Island of Smiles’ has something for everyone.
With progressive laws and a thriving gay village, Cape Town is the perfect place to enjoy fine wine, great food, breath-taking scenery and a stellar party atmosphere. Breathe the fresh air at the top of the iconic Table Mountain, and catch a tan on Camps Bay Beach before hitting the popular clubs in Green Point. The city also has a flourishing theatre and visual arts scene, so you won’t be at a loss for ways to make your trip extra special.
Spain has long been an LGBT favourite, thanks to the vibrant gay villages in most of the major cities. If you love food, music and art – this is the perfect destination for you. If you like to take a break from the cultural exploration, switch the galleries and museums out for the bright lights and thumping beats of Madrid, Barcelona, Sitges and Ibiza’s lively party scenes. Tap into the passion of the country with fiery flamenco and soulful music in the sun-soaked south, and breath the fresh air among the rugged hills and vineyards of the Basque Country.
Thailand has long been known as an accepting, friendly and open country for travellers of all kinds. It’s the perfect destination for lazy beach days along with pulse-racing adventure. Go island hopping in the south, trek across the highlands of Chiang Mai and explore the bustling city of Bangkok. Make the most of the city’s electric club scene, or head out into the breath-taking countryside to discover temples and palaces – whatever your interests, Thailand is ready to welcome you.