Idyllic beaches, endless nights, unlimited fun, a vibrant atmosphere and an active gay scene. Spain has everything one needs to guarantee the best holiday ever for LGBT communities.
The Spanish legislation is one of the most advanced in the world in the protection of homosexual persons partnered with the many attractions that Spain offers which makes it an ultimate destination where everyone feels welcome. In fact, it has been named as the world´s most LGBT-friendly country according to the Pew Research Center in 2013.
Madrid in recent years is one of the favorite destinations for gays from people all over the world. And for some obvious reasons the capital of Spain is not only a cultural and tourist destination, but it is also a fun, friendly and tolerant city that has much to offer to the LGBT group.
Madrid offers one of the best known neighborhoods between the collective, Chueca , a traditional neighborhood converted into headquarters of modernity, to the latest in fashion and design, and in which there are fun parties and good food. Thousands of visitors who come every day are attracted by Chueca´s culture, leisure experience and shopping offers around the main streets of the neighborhood.
Together with the development of the neighborhood of Chueca and its wide range of leisure activities, Madrid organizes nowadays “the best gay pride parade of the world” as described by many. In recognition of this celebration, Madrid has won twice the title the “best gay event in the world” as awarded by LOGO / MTV in 2009 and 2010 and the World Pride 2017. In conjunction with the Madrid Pride, a fun week known as the pride festivities is also organized during which all the center of the capital, and not only Chueca, joins and raise rainbow flags to squeeze within the city and party to the max.
The Madrid Gay Pride Festival is not only celebrated by the LGBT community, but also by all who believe in equal rights and freedom of choice . It is one of the world’s most emblematic events of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) community.
During the festival, the streets in the Chueca neighbourhood are lined with flags and garlands and the local bars branch out into the open-air. The festivities reach their peak with the parade in favor of LGBT rights, which attracts around two million people every year from all over the world.
As well as open-air concerts, the Gay Pride festival also offers a wide range of cultural, sporting and protest activities as part of the MUESTRA-T and Madrid Visible festival backed by different art galleries, cinemas, bookshops and associations that support the cause.
But of course, Madrid is not only about Chueca and Chueca is not only about party. Both the city and the neighborhood offer wide selection of attractive Gay tourists that go beyond some of the best museums in the world, enjoy a cuisine which is ranked among the best in the world, a sky that looks blue most days of the year, tranquility, freshness, green parks; streets full of fashion, hidden and ancient libraries, activities for kids, the best sporting events just about anything that one can think of in a destination. Ultimately, Madrid is for everyone who enjoys and embraces life to its fullest.
Barcelona is a tolerant and open-minded city. In the 1970s Barcelona was already a pioneering city in the fight for the rights of the LGBT community. From the beginning of the Gay rights movement to the current Eurogames and Pride, together with same-sex marriages that have been held here since 2005, Barcelona has encapsulated the spirit of a modern, forward-thinking European capital.
LGBT tourism has been well received for a long time in Barcelona. Tourists can enjoy a wide range of leisure and cultural attractions in an atmosphere of tolerance and freedom. Right in the heart of the Eixample is a rectangular area bordered by Carrer Balmes, the Gran Via, Carrer Urgell and Carrer Aragó. Known as the “Gaixample”, it doesn’t cater solely to the LGBT community but highlights the city’s inclusive spirit. The area offers a wide variety of gay-friendly bars, shops and restaurants. Many members of the LGBT community have moved to this area and you can see the rainbow flag hanging from balconies and in many shops and bars’ windows.
Barcelona Gay Pride, like its sister festival in Madrid, is one of Europe’s main ‘gay pride festivals’ – and it is the march that attracts about an estimated 150,000 people a year. Apart from the ‘floats’ that parade through the city, you can also find plenty of after-march parties in and around Barcelona. The main march sets off at 6pm on a Saturday via Avinguda Parallel to Plaza Espanya – and then into a huge street festival at Avenida Maria Cristina – where performers will be entertaining the crowd.
One of the first LGBT hotels to open in Barcelona the Axel Hotel (http://www.axelhotels.com/en/axel-group/). Constructed in 2003 aiming to cater to the LGBT clients in Barcelona. It is now one of the most reputable LGBT hotel chains with one that opened in Buenos Aires in 2007 and another on in Berlin in year 2009.
Sitges is an open and easy-going city which is always ready to make sure you have a good time. Its over four kilometres of beach are perfect for a week’s holiday, and its seafront promenade is full of restaurants and hyper-cool shops. At night, you can hear the latest sounds in the discos, and dance until dawn in venues with a predominantly LGBT vibe.
You can have fun in Sitges all year round, but there are some days when the high spirits are even more intense, for example, during Carnival, which takes place in February, or in summer, when every weekend there are gay-themed events laid on in the evenings. Another special date is the Fiesta Mayor, Sitges’ main festivity, held every August and featuring parades, live music and cultural events.
The island’s “gay route” includes numerous venues and terraces located in Ibiza’s harbour, along the Ses Figueretes seafront promenade and in Calle Ramón Muntaner. You’ll find several restaurants and the Ánfora disco, with an exclusively gay vibe, in the old part of the town of Dalt Vila. And of course there are also special sessions in the big discos like Space or Amnesia.
Experience the superb hospitality service in the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, the world’s first Hard Rock Beach Club with a Mediteranean touch. Or enjoy the innovative designs of the Hotel Ushuaia, finalist for the Best Hotel Innovation Award by the Worldwide Hospitality Awards.
During the day, the nudist beach at Es Cavallet, in Sant Josep de sa Talaia, offers peace and seclusion and is another favourite spot with its natural wildness, its sand dunes and its funky beach bar, an ideal place to relax. When summer comes, there’s yet another reason to visit the island with the celebration of the Ibiza International Gay and Lesbian Film Week.
San Bartolomé de Tirajana is one of the most popular European destinations with the gay community, thanks to its diversity, tolerant atmosphere, good weather all year round, and its guaranteed fun. A holiday here in this town in Gran Canaria means you can enjoy a combination of bathing at idyllic beaches (many of them nudist or with a gay vibe) and a lively nightlife in any of its numerous and varied discos, where everyone is welcome.
If you’re visiting in May you can celebrate the Maspalomas Gay Pride Festival together with thousands of others: you’ll be able to catch live shows, enjoy multitudinous parades, and party until dawn. You’ll also love the Maspalomas International Carnival (which usually takes place in March) and the fantastic outfits and stratospheric high heels at the Drag Gala.
And if after all this celebrating you feel like relaxing and looking after your body, you can always go to any of the area’s multiple spas and enjoy a Finnish sauna or a Turkish bath with aromatherapy.