If you plan a trip across the pond this summer, don’t just think Paris – there are a lot of other rainbow-friendly places to consider, too. The best thing about Europe is that gay culture in some countries is in a close relationship with vibrant and hip neighborhoods. Be ready to discover a selection of fancy bars, great places for entertainment, and the craziest shops. Innovative art galleries also find a home in the more “scandalous” environments.
Unless you plan to go to Russia or other orthodox countries who frown at LGBT people, you will get the vibe that in Europe there is pride. Here a list of excellent places to check off your bucket list.
1. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is the home of countless gay bars and welcomes guests of all ages with a wide range of events, including the annual Christophor Street Day parade with half-million participants. The festivities last for two weeks and include concerts, games and even fashion shows. There is also a queer museum, the Schwules Museum, the first one of its kind.
We love Berlin for the mix of old and new. It’s still a place for leather and bondage display but has also grown a hipster vibe focusing on indie music. It is also the location of choice if you want to experience excellent entertainment. It offers everything from fine opera, to cabaret or even drag queen shows.
The best places include the first gay neighborhood Schöneberg, but also Kreuzberg and Neukoln.
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Another liberal place which embraces people regardless of whom they choose to love is Amsterdam. This has been a pin on the LGBT map since the 70’s and continues to flourish, right next to the Flower Market, on Reguliersdwarsstraat. It is a more touristy area since the bars, restaurants and coffee shops have been featured in most guides. Please note that in the land of tulips when we say coffee shops, it means it’s 420 friendly, although not on the menu, you’ll have to ask for it. If you are more into the hardcore leather scene, look no further than the Warmoesstraat.
3. Madrid, Spain
The LGBT friendly neighborhood of Chueca is in the heart of Madrid. You can wander through the network of narrow cobblestone alleys until you find a bar that appeals to your taste. The community is very friendly and laidback. If you have flexibility the best time to visit is in July, during the Pride Parade. Start exploring the town in the small Chueca Plaza by sipping on a pink gin and tonic, which is native to Madrid.
4. Manchester, The UK
We could have just said Soho, London, but that is as obvious as Paris. We love Manchester for their boldness to call an entire neighborhood The Gay Village. During the day you can catch up on your LGBT culture by visiting the Alan Turing Memorial, dedicated to the man who broke the Enigma code. At night just pick a place which speaks to you, and either have a quiet drink or dance the night away in style. Like most Brits, people here are not afraid of a few extra pints of beer.
5. Prague, The Czech Republic
A quite recent addition to the Pride map, this Czech jewel is a great place to visit on its own. You can still feel a bit of a communist vibe, but that only adds to the charm. To find the best places go in the Old City to party, but also get a feeling of the emerging Žižkov, a gay-friendly area by renting an Airbnb. Get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the prices. The value you get for your money is simply incredible. Speaking of money, don’t forget your debit traveling card: https://aaacreditguide.com/best-debit-cards-for-international-travel/.