Europe contains 44 countries in total, and each of them is completely different. There are so many things to see in Europe, secrets to discover, and beautiful people to meet. Each country in Europe is so diverse and exciting, it’s hard to choose which ones to travel to first! Being part of the LGBT community, we totally recommend seeing the gayest cities in Europe, purely because this is where you feel the most accepted, celebrated, and welcome. Being gay, bisexual, sexual, and queer is something to scream and shout about! Be proud to be queer, and seeing the gay cities in Europe is where you will feel the most uplifted. There is no feeling like it. An unbeatable atmosphere with pride in our hearts dancing the night away in Europe’s busiest and best gay bars, and seeing Europe’s beautiful attractions both historic and modern. There is so much to do and plenty to see.
Some counties in Europe are a little behind when it comes to laws and policies on protecting the LGBTQ+ community. The safest countries are those that have advanced laws to prevent discrimination and hate crime. It’s important that you do your research on the cities you want to see before you travel so you know what to expect and how safe it is for LGBTQ+ travelers. We’ve made it a little easier for you and put together the top 6 gay-friendly cities in Europe.
Valetta is the beautiful city and capital of Malta. Malta holds the title for being the first European country to ban what was believed to be ‘conversion therapy, an inhumane and despicable ‘treatment’ that has sadly affected vast amounts of gay people all over the world. Since then, Malta has been rapidly advancing to become the all friendly gay country it is today. All though Malta has no ‘designated gay area,’ most LGBT travelers in Malta stay around Valetta because it has the most gay bars and gay attractions. Many gay couples who have traveled to Valetta have felt that this was one of the few places they could express public displays of affection without any judgment at all. Valetta’s population is fewer than 6000 people! But despite its small population, it’s sure to take a big place in your heart. Valetta has many tours that are referred to as ‘gailey’ because they happen every day, and they’re super gay friendly. On these tours, you can discover Malta by night, the best gay locations, and historic marks to unveil the city’s oldest secrets.
Amsterdam has often been named the gay capital of Europe, famous for its many accommodations specifically for LGBTQ+ travelers. There are more than 100 gay bars in Amsterdam, with the mayor of this breathtaking place referring to Amsterdam as ‘the gay way to Europe’, which says it all really, no list of the best gay cities in Europe will be legit without it! Being in Amsterdam is like being in a different world. The Red Light District is one of the world’s sexiest scenes, with ladies and gents facing you in the window as you walk by! Prostitution and cannabis are legal and so normalized here; there is absolutely no shame. Amsterdam’s coffee shops serve cannabis amongst other legalized drugs to give you a wild experience if that is what you’re looking for. If you fancy something a little more traditional, Amsterdam has many historic and legendary attractions to see too. Anne Frank’s house is now a massive attraction in Amsterdam, as a young Jewish girl’s home protected many from the Nazis from the German occupational government. Her home has since been turned into a national treasure as a museum. Travel in Amsterdam has stepped up its game, as you can float from one attraction to the next on Amsterdam’s canal bus’s!
The Austrian capital, Vienna, has an incredible gay history to be remembered. From gay emperors to gay movements, Vienna is one of the best gay cities in Europe. Vienna doesn’t have its own gay designated community, but it has a very diverse and lively gay and lesbian scene. There are fewer ‘gay only’ places in Vienna, but all of the attractions and bars here are ‘gay-friendly’ instead and have such a diverse range of people who stop here on their travels. Vienna hosts an annual cultural festival, and its title translates to ‘Vienna is Queer.’ This happens here in Vienna in early June, but Vienna has many other festivals that take place throughout the year, like the Loveball in the art and culture center in December and the Rainbow Parade in late June. In 2019, Vienna was the host of the Euro Pride, which has since vastly increased its already huge numbers of LGBT tourists. The Museums Quarter also holds gay-themed exhibits and presents the work of queer artists, which is definitely a historic must-see.
London holds the largest number of Grindr uses in the world, so you could argue that London is the gayest city in the world using these statistics. Soho is the biggest queer targeted area in London, with endless restaurants, shops, bars, and nightclubs to explore. However, there is some competition between Soho and East London, fighting for the gayest pleasing spot. East London is known for its awe-inspiring drag races that happen around the clock, giving you the best drag queen vibes you have ever seen and insane gay bars to keep you dancing all night long, making it one of the best gay cities in Europe. London has an annual Christmas Fair called Winter Wonderland, which is an amazing romantic experience if you’re looking for an extra magical Christmas this year. There are so many attractions in London as the capital of England, such as the London Eye, a huge millennium wheel to take you to the sky with the best views of the city (and it looks amazing lit up at night), big ben, the world’s most famous clock, Buckingham Palace Gardens, the home of the Royal family and beloved Queen, the Tower of London, Harry Potter studios, treat yourself to some butterbeer and see where all the magic was filmed, and so much more. Plus, the West End Theatre brings to you a range of different musicals all year round. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
C’est la vie, the French way. Paris is known for its romantic affairs that spark connections with strangers or will bring you and your partner closer together. It’s a romance movie turned a dream come true. Since same-sex was decriminalized in 1982, Paris has been known for its pride in the LGBTQ+ community like many other European countries. All bars and clubs here are gay-friendly, and a few are gay only. Some of which host a ‘gay night’ weekly too. Disney Land Paris is a must, of course. It’s such a magical, memorable experience that everyone needs to have at least once in their lifetime, but we can’t promise you won’t want to return. The Marais district is hugely popular amongst the gay community, with so many bars, restaurants, shops, and book stores to keep you entertained. Visit the Eifel tower and take it all the way to the top for the best view in Paris and a super romantic experience. Paris is home to many historic sites, like the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and the Musée du Louvre, which is where the famous Mona Lisa is kept on display for everyone to see. The beauty of Paris speaks for itself. Besides, it is one of the best gay cities in Europe! Explore it in the gleaming sunlight or in all its glory at night time as the lights guide the way.
Portugal has always been super popular in the gay community, but Algarve, in particular, deserves extra recognition and is the most popular part of Portugal to be visited by tourists. Portugal began its journey to becoming gay-friendly in 1982, which is when same-sex couples were legalized. The beaches here are beautiful and clean, plus there are even plenty of gay beaches, some of which are clothing optional. There are many gay bars in Algarve, but again those that are not ‘gay only’ still remain gay friendly. All over Portugal, the citizens are known to be welcoming and very accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, so public displays of affection shouldn’t be a problem. Algarve, in particular, has lovely hosts of hotels. The population here is used to a diverse range of tourists from all over the world, which is a big factor for why it’s one of the most popular LGBT traveler destinations and best gay cities in Europe.
Each of Europe’s 44 counties will give you a different experience. Europe gives you many choices of attractions to see and explore safely. Whether you choose a city like London that gives perfect city vibes or somewhere by the beach in Algarve, you won’t be disappointed in your travels through the gay cities in Europe.