The Ultimate Gay Travel Bucket List
Choosing the perfect travel destination can be tricky. Should you plump for a cultured excursion to the historic shores of Italy or head for the party island of Mykonos? While we would highly recommend trips to these fantastic destinations, there are some places which every gay traveller should visit at least once. So, here is our gay travel bucket list of destinations which we think quite simply cannot be missed while you’re traversing the gay globe!
1. Stonewall Inn – New York
This historic gay landmark and site of the 1969 riots is an icon of the gay rights cultural movement. Officially recognized by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as a place of significance, it’s still a working bar today and a must for those wanting to experience what many consider to be the birthplace of the LGBT movement.
2. Gay Pride – Anywhere!
While Gay Pride is not to everyone’s taste, it’s worth going at least once to one of the many festivities which are held annually across the world. Madrid, New York, London and San Franciso are famed for their opulent parades and large parties, there are many much smaller Gay Prides which have an emphasis on cultural events and community activities.
3. Silom Soi 4 – Bangkok
Located just of one of Bangkok’s largest and most popular thoroughfares is Silom Soi 4. This street might be small but it’s one of the most vibrant gay nightlife destinations in the world. The warm, humid evenings see locals and tourists spill out onto the streets for a night of beers and dancing – unparalleled anywhere to the East of Europe. Thailand itself is a fantastically welcoming destination for gay travellers. Island destinations like Koh Tao and Koh Samet are paradisiacal – with pristine beaches lined with shore-side bungalows. Head north for jungle treks and temples in Chiang Mai and Pai where relaxation and culture are the cornerstones of any visitors trip.
4. Party in Rio – Brazil
The beaches of Rio are famed for their weather, cocktails, and body beautiful crowds. Copacabana and Ipanema, both located in central Rio, are busy both day and night with gay travellers from all across the globe. Rio de Janerio’s attractions, such as Santa Teresa and Parque Lage, lie in wait in the impending shadows of Sugarloaf Mountain and the Statue of Christ the Redeemer. The Amazon rainforest and the Iguazu Falls lie in wait for those who want to flee the city and explore this stunning landscapes of Brazil.
5. Tel Aviv – Israel
Tel Aviv remains the premier gay destination in the Middle East. Away from the gay bars, gay clubs and gay cruise clubs is a cosmopolitan city with a history and culture dating back thousands of years. Despite its turbulent political past, Tel Aviv remains largely a safe place to visit – though we do suggest checking with local official government travel advice before booking. If you’re looking for things to do when on holiday in Tel Aviv then take a look at our favorite districts in this fantastic city.
6. London – United Kingdom
The largest city in Europe is home to a cacophony of gay neighborhoods. From Soho to Vauxhall and from kinky to kitsch there is something to suit every taste in one of the world’s greatest cities. Museums like the Tate Modern, National Gallery, and the Science Museum are all free to enter and host work by world-class artists and rotating exhibitions. History dominates this city – Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Kensington Palace are just a selection of attractions that can be visited on a trip to The Big Smoke.
7. Cape Town – South Africa
With its incredible scenic vistas and ebullient cultural heritage, there is nowhere in the world quite like Cape Town. While not the capital of South Africa, the official seat of government is Pretoria, Cape Town is known for being the epicentre of the country’s cultural scene. The city is home to the most welcoming and vibrant gay scene on the continent and with world-class safaris with the opportunity to witness ‘the big five’ on your doorstep a visit to Cape Town is simply a must for every budding gay traveller.
8. Party in Berlin – Germany
Since the days of the Weimar Republic, the German capital has been known as an anything goes destination full of cocktails, kink, and cabaret. Today is no exception, the lures of the city still prevail. Famed for its all-night parties at venues such as Berghain and the Kit Kat Club, Berlin also has plenty of more kitsch gay venues which are sure to please all who visit this grippingly urban and creative destination. Take a look at some of our favourite places to grab a drink and party the night away when you visit Berlin.
9. Hong Kong – China (sort of)
While gay taravellers might not think of China being a mecca for the LGBT community, Hong Kong’s lure of capitalism and cosmopolitanism has made it one of the most gay-friendly destinations in Asia. The area around HK’s Soho, named after its London counterpart, is brimming with gay bars and clubs. Hong Kong lies on a mountainous island just off China’s mainland and the geography is breathtaking. The famous money shot is taken from atop Victoria Peak but the surrounding islands actually offer visitors much more spectacular panoramas. Head to Lantau Island by the city’s excellent public metro system and then take a hike for views which you might only be thought possible on postcards.
10. San Francisco – United States
Last but certainly not least on our list is San Franciso. The city’s role in gay rights and the establishment of gay communities is well documented and it remains one of the most lively and inclusive destinations in the world. The gay community here centres around the Castro district but the city at large offers plenty of activities and opportunities for a fantastic stay. Take a look at some our favorite things to do while visiting possibly the gayest city on the planet.