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11 Of The Best LGBTQ Friendly Cities In The World

September 12, 2022

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Traveling is part of discovering who you are and what you want as an individual. Many cities today embrace everyone’s preferences, particularly loving the same sex. Yet, if you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+, there are existing places that are dangerous, even just for a vacation. Which safe cities for LGBTQ+ should you consider visiting then? Let’s explore LGBTQ friendly cities in the world!

Tolerance is not just the factor for making any person of the LGBTQ+ feel secure and involved. Nowadays, it takes a significant step forward in becoming a safe space as a country or city for LGBTQ+.

Being accepted and celebrated globally is extremely important for the LGBTQ+ community as it assures them of their personal rights. Some are health, education, marriage, investments and assets, and even job employment. 

The good news is that many wonderful cities worldwide are friendly and welcoming to gay, queer, lesbians, transgender people, and bisexuals. Here are just a few of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities that you should consider visiting:

Madrid, Spain

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Madrid

Madrid is known for its vibrant nightlife and is a great place for beers, cocktails, bars, and clubs. Check out the hip neighborhood of Malasaña, where many of the city's younger LGBT people hang out or hit Chueca—Madrid's undisputed king of gay nightlife. La Latina is a great introduction to Madrid's tapas culture, while Lavapiés offers cuisine from around the world along with a diverse selection of bars.

Bangkok, Thailand

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in Asia. There are no laws against homosexuality, and lesbians can legally marry their partners. Additionally, transgender people can also legally change their gender on government documents. Bangkok Pride Festival is an annual event held in Bangkok since 2002. It is one of Southeast Asia's largest gay pride festivals, attracting 15,000 to 20,000 participants each year.

Amsterdam, Netherlands 

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Amsterdam Netherlands

As one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, Netherland is one of the most liberal and highly educated LGBTQ+. There are anti-discriminatory laws that protect gay couples for their gender choices and recognition even as transgender people without undergoing surgery. A popular place called Homomonument is a monument to commemorate people who have struggled for rights and freedom to express themselves.

Amsterdam's popular gay bars and clubs are located along the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amstel, and Kerkstraat. The more risqué establishments are in the Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk of Amsterdam's Red Light District.

London, UK

LGBTQ Friendly Cities London

In London, LGBTQ+ nightlife is well-established and welcoming, attracting people from all walks of life. A great night in Soho is one you'll never forget. The bustling nightlife, restaurants, and party scenes will make you feel free. London pride also raises awareness about like-minded groups, especially healthcare and laws protecting the queer community. 

You can find groups that love music, drinking, food, and even just traveling within the streets of London.

Berlin, Germany

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Berlin

Berlin is another excellent choice for LGBTQ friendly cities for travel. The city is very progressive and open-minded, and there is a large and active LGBTQ community. Berlin also has a rich history and culture, making it an excellent destination for those who want to learn more about the world around them. If you’re into the vibrant gay life, Berlin has several queer-open scenes and businesses bustling about. 

Berlin also holds the biggest gay pride event in Germany and has various tourist highlights. Include landmarks like The Black Forest or the Gay Museum. You may even want to watch local queer films for their annual Queer Film Festival.

Barcelona, Spain

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Barcelona

Barcelona is the gay capital of the Mediterranean, and its beaches provide ample proof. Gay-friendly snack bars line the Mar Bella and Sant Sebastià beaches, which both have areas for nude bathing. A few kilometers south, you'll find Sitges, a charming seaside town with a wide variety of gay-friendly bars and restaurants.

New York, USA 

LGBTQ Friendly Cities New York

The city is incredibly diverse and inclusive, with many businesses, organizations, and events catering to the LGBTQ community. New York City also has some of the best nightlife in the world, making it an excellent destination for those who want to experience all the city offers. According to the WorldPride NYC 2019, tens of thousands of people marched in the NYC Pride June, with about 5 million in attendance, constituting the world's largest LGBTQ event.

San Francisco, USA 

LGBTQ Friendly Cities San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most popular destinations for LGBTQ travelers. The city is home to a large and vibrant LGBTQ community, and plenty of bars, clubs and events cater to this community. San Francisco also has a long history of being at the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement. 

Toronto, Canada

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Toronto

Canada is well-known for its acceptance of people from different cultures and backgrounds. Multiculturalism thrives in Toronto. Hence, it is no surprise that it accepts all people who live and visit the city. In fact, Toronto has an established LGBTQ community, so much so that it is now considered the best place for LGBTQ individuals to live or visit in North America.

Buenos Aires, Argentina 

Buenos Aires Argentina

A sexy and sophisticated city, Buenos Aires is the gay capital of Latin America. The city's history, culture, food—and beautiful people—make this an irresistible destination. Gay men feel safe here, but everyone can enjoy the city's attractions. Experience tango dances on lively squares and bursting parrillas (steakhouses) where flavorful slabs of meat are washed down with glasses of wine. Bars fill the city streets with discos and live-music venues for everyone who wants to party all night.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan 

LGBTQ Friendly Cities Kaohsiung

Taiwan is the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriages. Kaohsiung should be on your list if you’re planning to see Asia and enjoy both nature and cityscapes. The Taiwanese are one of the most friendly people for exchanging warm welcomes no matter what your gender preferences are.  

Stroll along the Liuhe Night Market to mingle with your friends. Or, if you want a peaceful hike, visit their temples and pagodas. We recommend Shoushan Nature Park for bike riding or trekking along the marked paths.

5 Non-Friendly LGBTQ+ Cities You Might Want To Skip

Even with the changing times, LGBTQ+ people still face horrifying risks by living in many cities that don’t welcome them. Among the dangerous threats are punishments such as hanging alive related to the death penalty, lashings, and imprisonment.

Of course, you still may want to travel to these amazing cities as there are many landmarks and tourist spots that may pique your interest. Yet, be warned, as flying to these destinations, even if they have anti-gay laws, may not be safe for you!

If you’re planning to travel as a same-sex couple, you may have to consider excluding these cities from your bucket list. 

Moscow, Russia 

Although Russia is a country that has legal protections for gay and trans people, it is not a friendly place to visit as an LGBTQ individual. Moreover, many cities in Russia don't welcome LGBTQ people at all.

Yet, the city of Moscow is generally safe for LGBTQ people to visit, but with certain guidelines. The most obvious issue is that most people are homophobic and transphobic. This ongoing perspective means that you may get stares or rude comments if you're not dressed traditionally male or female enough for their liking. There has also been violence against gay men in Moscow; however, they are usually ignored by police unless they are severe enough to warrant media attention.

Abuja, Nigeria

The law does not protect people from sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in Nigeria. As of this recent writing, no laws protect violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Although there is no specific legislation that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodation, there are some local ordinances that do so at the state level. In many cases, these laws only apply to government employees.

No national laws protect LGBTQ people from hate crimes and hate speech. However, some states have passed their own laws against these forms of discrimination.

Doha, Qatar 

Qatar has some of the most progressive laws in the region, but it's still not a great place to be gay or lesbian. Homosexuality is illegal there and punishable by up to five years in prison. In fact, the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar faces major issues due to its anti-LGBTQ laws. Participating individuals who identify as queer may be in prison or face discriminatory actions against them. Moreover, no laws protect male homosexuality and don't allow people to campaign for same-sex rights.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, and there are reports of people being arrested, fined, and even sentenced to death for being gay. Although the country hasn't executed anyone under its strict Islamic laws since January 2016, it's still not safe to be openly gay in Saudi Arabia. Homosexuality isn't the only thing illegal in Saudi Arabia — women aren't allowed to drive cars and need permission from a male guardian before traveling overseas or getting married. However, if you've set your eyes on visiting this country, there are ways to stay safe and enjoy yourself without breaking the law.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Malaysia has laws against consensual same-sex relations and transgender choices. According to the country's penal code, sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and whipping, with those convicted also facing fines or caning. Being transgender is also illegal in Malaysia, where it can result in up to three years in jail. In 2014, the government proposed amendments including "propagation" of homosexuality as an offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and whipping. The government withdrew the anti-homosexual bill after an international outcry.

Express Your Love With Ling!

Express your love with Ling app

Adventures on a trip to other countries are amazing, as they expand our minds to different cultures, perspectives, and people. Of course, the best way to appreciate these events is to visit them with your loved one! And in what way should you enjoy your vacation rather than declaring your love for people who are important to you? No matter if it’s a romantic or friendly way, expressing your love is what this world needs. 

Planning your next staycation in Madrid? As you may have read, Spain is among the friendliest countries for the LGBTQ+ community. And it is known for being one of the most romantic places to spend a honeymoon or an unforgettable experience. So, if you want to surprise your partner, say te amo and more Spanish love words that will make those heartstrings play. Don’t forget to pack a list of vocabulary words you can use while stopping over these fascinating LGBTQ friendly cities worldwide! Download Ling to start improving your language skills now!

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