40 Best Gay Destinations Worldwide, According to Travelers
Gay Travel Destinations Ranked by Popularity
Looking for the best gay destinations in the world? Well, there’s no better way to find them than by asking gay travelers themselves! I’ve polled thousands of LGBT explorers from around the globe to create this comprehensive list of the most popular gay hotspots.
You’ve probably seen lots of “top gay destination” lists online, but frankly, most aren’t accurate.
Some only mention the obvious spots, while others focus on places that are only marginally welcoming to LGBT travelers, using the term “gay-friendly” instead of “gay destination.”
With wolfyy’s list, you’ll discover the true favorites of gay travelers, with each location ranked in order of popularity.
Remember that every gay destination has its own appeal, whether it’s the nightlife, high density of other gay tourists, annual gay events, beaches, or something else.
Now, let’s get started!
#40: Seattle, Washington
Seattle sometimes flies under the radar when it comes to gay destinations, but there are plenty of compelling reasons to visit!
Gay clubs like The Cuff Complex and Q Nightclub, and local bathhouses like Steamworks are a lot of fun. Locals are super friendly, too. And with 13% of Seattle identifying as LGBTQ, meeting them is easy.
LGBT locals often mention that Seattle is the place they feel most welcomed and accepted in society—not just tolerated. The high rates of same-sex marriage and new micro-gay neighborhoods popping up all over are some clear proof!
While exploring Seattle’s local culture, be sure to stop at the famous Pike Place Market. The Museum of Pop Culture is another awesome experience for gay tourists.
Taiwan’s LGBT-friendly culture makes the country an ideal destination for travelers who want to explore East Asia. The capital of Taipei is packed with exciting gay bars, parties, and saunas—more than you might think!
Taipei also hosts one of the biggest gay pride events in Asia. With one look at the legendary parties (and the sexy dancers that will be there) during Formosa’s Rainbow Music Festival, you’ll see why visiting during Pride is so popular.
Gay travelers that visit Taiwan often mention how safe they felt on their journey, which makes sense given discrimination is so uncommon. The nation also has the strongest LGBT anti-discrimination laws in East Asia.
#38: Athens, Greece
Athens continues to be popular with gay travelers even though Greece’s culture generally isn’t the most LGBT-friendly. Many visit Athens before exploring other gay vacation spots in the Greek Islands or before embarking on a gay sailing trip.
I thought the gay nightlife in Athens was an absolute blast. Nights dancing to international pop hits at Shamone Club can never get old! Alexander Sauna is also a must for some cruising.
With such a diverse bunch of tourists in Athens meeting new people is easy too. I met gay travelers at local gay bars and even on the steps of the Acropolis!
#37: Bali, Indonesia
Bali stands apart from the rest of Indonesia with unique religious beliefs that have led to its popularity as a gay destination. Locals practice a version of Hinduism rather than Islam, which has created a more open and LGBT-welcoming society.
From romantic couple’s retreats to solo backpacking adventures, Bali is a great place for any type of traveler. You can relax in a lavish bungalow with your own private plunge pool, trek the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace, or shop for handcrafted wooden furniture.
No need to worry about Indonesia’s recently passed law criminalizing sex outside of marriage—it won’t apply to tourists! Go ahead and plan that lush Bali gaycation.
#36: Lisbon, Portugal
Easily accessible by both Europeans and North Americans, Lisbon attracts a diverse mix of gay travelers. The city is also a popular ex-pat destination, so making gay friends from other areas of the world will be a breeze.
Travelers love the ability to enjoy the city’s gay nightlife and quaint restaurants along narrow stone pathways while also having access to beautiful regional beaches and parks. In fact, one of Europe’s best gay beaches is right outside of Lisbon.
Lisbon’s Bairro Alto gay district is filled with bars, clubs, and saunas. Start your evening with a streetside drink at Side Bar and then check out Trombeta Bath for some cruising later on.
#35: Toronto, Canada
As Canada’s largest city, Toronto has a substantial LGBT community of its own. The city has hosted one of the largest historical gay pride celebrations in the world and is home to large LGBT film festivals including the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival and the Toronto Queer Film Festival.
Gay travelers love exploring Toronto’s gay areas. The epicenter of local gay life is in Church-Wellesley, also known as “The Village.” Queen Street West has more recently distinguished itself as an enclave of gay activity, as has the Leslieville area.
#34: Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has a relatively tame gay scene in comparison to other gay-popular cities. But this makes it an ideal destination for those who tend to avoid things like loud parties and gay hotels.
Instead, Prague offers a great selection of cozy LGBT cafés and bars to explore. They’re perfect for meeting gay locals or just immersing yourself in the city’s gay culture.
#33: San Diego, California
San Diego’s gay life has grown significantly over the past decades. Locals proudly highlight all the gayborhood’s queer spaces like LGBT shops, restaurants, and the community center.
The large population of active and veteran military members comes up a lot, too—perfect if you love men in uniform!
Walking along University Avenue in the Hillcrest neighborhood, LGBT life is easy to find. Rainbow-painted fire hydrants, crosswalks, and flags make this part of the city feel even more inclusive than the rest.
The Hillcrest Brewing Company is worth a visit, claiming the title of the first gay brewery in the world! The gay and clothing optional Black’s Beach is a must. And for nightlife, check out Pecs Bar and the San Diego Eagle.
#32: Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas attracts gay travelers for a few fabulous, yet obvious reasons!
Stunning performances by gay icons like Britney Spears and Celine Dion, all kinds of drag entertainment, gay pool parties at Luxor Hotel—the list goes on. And that’s all in addition to traditional big-name shows like Cirque du Soleil.
Las Vegas has a ton of LGBT nightlife and saunas, too. You can party at bars like The Phoenix and Charlie’s, and then let off some steam at the city’s most popular gay sauna.
#31: Chicago, Illinois
Chicago might be overshadowed by a few other gay cities in the USA, but there’s still a ton of gay life to experience here.
One of the most popular annual gay events in Chicago is Market Days, bringing travelers from all over for a fun-filled weekend of performances by LGBTQ+ artists.
Another big event, International Mister Leather celebrates the annual Leatherman reunion. It’s one of the most notable gay leather events in the world.
#30: Rehoboth, Delaware
Rehoboth has a history as an LGBT refuge in the coastal Mid-Atlantic region. Each summer, this laid-back beach town attracts people from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. While the town of Rehoboth Beach is not ostentatiously gay, you can bet the atmosphere is incredibly LGBT-friendly.
Poodle Beach is the epicenter of gay activity in Rehoboth, where you’ll find plenty of rainbow umbrellas and beachgoers playing volleyball. The Pines Restaurant is another popular hangout for drag brunches and happy hours.
#29: Montréal, Canada
Montréal is Canada’s top gay travel destination, famous for its iconic gay village, French influence, and unique mix of gay nightlife venues along St Catherine Street East.
Explore the chic vibes at Bar Renard, watch some sexy dancers at the infamous Campus male strip club, or have some seedy fun at a nearby gay sauna—Sauna Oasis is my favorite!
Montréal may not be at the top of your summertime travel list, but warm weather brings out the best of the city. There’s nothing like relaxing in Parc du Mont-Royal, catching an epic city view at Belvédère Kondiaronk, or enjoying some Poutine at an outdoor restaurant,
#28: Paris, France
Paris charms a distinct bunch of LGBT tourists who fall in love with its romantic streetscapes, iconic landmarks, exquisite cuisine, and world-renowned fashion scene.
Whether you’re enjoying a pastry in a Parisian café, perusing high-fashion boutiques, or meandering walkways along the Seine, being in Paris feels like being in a movie. It’s the perfect romantic destination for couples.
#27: Mexico City
Mexico City is a place where gay travelers can truly immerse themselves in the local LGBT community without feeling surrounded by other tourists. Walking into most gay bars, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only tourist there! The experience is truly authentic.
Gay locals are incredibly friendly, which is especially comforting if you’re traveling alone. I made acquaintances at the local leather bar, and even while walking in a nearby park. Based on my experience, Mexico City is one of the best destinations for single gay travelers.
Explore all the queer-friendly spaces in the Zona Rosa gay district, peruse local markets, or take advantage of being in the taco capital of the world and book a taco tour!
#26: Miami, Florida
Miami is one of the best gay destinations in the USA for non-stop fun any time of year. The city’s warm tropical weather is perfect for outdoor dining, jogging, or hitting the beach—all activities that are also perfect for people-watching!
A centrally located gay beach, upscale restaurants, and gorgeous quite a few gay hotel options keep travelers returning to Miami. Hôtel Gaythering has an erotic vibe, and the iconic AxelBeach Miami is the best spot to relax poolside.
Miami’s gay bars and saunas are a ton of fun, and it’s easy to hop between them since most are located in South Beach. Many LGBT travelers visit specifically for massive fun-filled annual circuit events like Winter Party Miami.
#25: Ibiza, Spain
With a massive nightlife scene, beautiful beaches, and an overall LGBT-welcoming atmosphere, it’s no surprise that gay travelers are wild about Ibiza.
AxelBeach Ibiza, one of the prettiest Axel Hotel locations is also here. Axel is a hugely popular gay hotel chain that identifies as “hetero-friendly!”
Platja des Cavallet is Ibiza’s beloved gay and nudist beach, where you can relax, cruise, or hang out at the Chiringay restaurant and bar.
#24: Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is one of the most captivating places on earth. With endless potential excursions, a beautiful white-sand gay beach, and vibrant gay nightlife, Cape Town will keep you plenty busy. It’s also one of my favorite winter gay destinations.
Inviting gay bars, the beach, and local gay tours are all popular ways to explore and make some friends along the way. You can join other tourists on a Table Mountain hiking tour or spend a day traveling down the Western Cape to see the adorable African Penguin colonies.
An evening of drag entertainment with dinner at Beefcakes is also a must. The queens that perform here are hilarious!
#23: Sydney, Australia
The gay capital of the Land Down Under, Sydney evokes thoughts of lifeguards wearing Aussiebum swimsuits, the city’s iconic opera house, and fun-loving, fashionable locals.
Loads of travelers fly in for Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the city’s legendary annual pride celebration. Even if you don’t visit for Mardi Grad though, Sydney will still be an epic place to experience.
Local LGBT life is rooted along Oxford Street in the Darlinghurst neighborhood, where you’ll find a string of popular hangouts like Stonewall and gay nightclubs like Trade and Universal Sydney.
Sydney’s Newtown neighborhood also teems with gay life. Paying tribute to the vibrant local community, the city council renamed the neighborhood’s main public square “Pride Square” before the 2023 World Pride events.
The famous Bondi Beach can’t be missed, either! Be sure to pack your sexiest gay swimwear to show off in the sun.
#22: Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles has a gay culture like no other city in the world. Most of the action is in the famous West Hollywood neighborhood, where you can feel the LGBT energy just walking down Santa Monica Boulevard.
With all the gay locals in WeHo, the area always feels alive. People-watching is super fun here, too! Rambunctious drag brunch restaurants like Hamburger Mary’s, evenings dancing at The Abbey, and perusing quirky items at gay shops like Block Party WeHo are all classic experiences for LGBT travelers.
West Hollywood’s gay life isn’t the only reason Los Angeles is so popular, though. The glamor of the film industry, nearby gay beaches, and Downtown LA’s gay nightlife are all part of the draw!
#21: Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv shines bright as an incredibly gay-friendly Middle Eastern city, which has helped its LGBT population grow and flourish. Along with an open-minded culture, world-class gay nightlife, and tons of handsome men, I don’t blame travelers for including Tel Aviv among the best gay destinations.
Tel Aviv is such a gay nightlife haven, that travelers come from all over the world just to experience it for themselves. Iconic gay parties like Forever Tel Aviv and Eliad Cohen’s Papa Party were first produced here.
Hilton Beach has a special place in my heart and is among the world’s best gay beaches. Both locals and tourists cozy up along the narrow shoreline all summer.
#20: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is unquestionably the best gay destination in South America. Carnival celebrations as well as New Year’s festivities bring huge numbers of LGBT tourists to the city.
If I learned anything while visiting Rio, it’s that Brazilians know how to party. Most of Rio’s gay nightlife consists of regularly scheduled parties, like Treta Festa and The Original Brazilian Pool Party. All of them are consistently epic.
Rio isn’t just a nighttime party destination either. Hanging out in the densely packed crowd of men at Ipanema’s gay beach area is a guaranteed good time. Pack your sexiest gay swimwear!
#19: New Orleans, Louisiana
Gay travelers love New Orleans for its southern charm, large annual gay events, and LGBT-friendly atmosphere. Local cuisine and jazz music are everyday highlights to enjoy, particularly in the picturesque French Quarter.
Southern Decadence is the most famous annual gay event in New Orleans gay event, also known as “Gay Mardi Gras.” I remember having such a blast on Bourbon Street during my visit.
The Red Dress Run, New Orleans Pride, and the Gay Easter Parade are a few other popular local LGBT celebrations. And even though the city is largely visited for gay events, there’s still plenty to experience the rest of the year—like weekend dance parties at Oz New Orleans or even plantation tours.
#18: Torremolinos, Spain
If you haven’t been yet, add Torremolinos to the top of your summertime travel list! Even after an entire week here, I still didn’t want to leave.
An epic gay resort destination, Torremolinos is popular with Spaniards and other southern Europeans, but gay travelers from other areas of the world typically often don’t even know about it!
During the day, vacationers relax by the gay beach and socialize at one of the gay resorts’ pools. High-energy pool parties take over on weekends—and there’s nothing more convenient than when the party comes to your hotel!
The enormous gay nightlife center in La Nogalera comes alive each evening where you can make new friends, catch a drag show, and dance the night away at gay clubs like Centuryon. Delicious local Tapas restaurants are everywhere too, so food is always within reach.
#17: Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is one of Southeast Asia’s top gay travel destinations. It’s an ideal city to meet other LGBT travelers too, with so many solo travelers dipping their toes into Bangkok’s gay bars and clubs.
Grab a seat outside one of the bars in Silom Alley, the clamoring gay street. Travelers love experiencing the gay district grow rowdier as the night goes on.
Experiencing Songkran in Bangkok is also popular among gay travelers. Celebrating the Thai New Year, the streets fill with friendly water fights starting on April 13th. G Circuit is also hosted around this time, one of Bangkok’s biggest LGBT events.
After a couple of days in Bangkok, travelers often head to other gay-popular destinations in Thailand like Phuket and Chiang Mai.
#16: London, England
London has everything a gay traveler could want in a city—bougie hotels, flashy gay nightlife, an epic drag scene, cultural attractions, and world-renowned shopping!
Similar to many other of today’s famously gay world cities, London has a high density of LGBT people. For visitors, this means meeting people will be pretty easy.
Most of London’s gay nightlife is in the popular Soho neighborhood, which is part of the city’s West End area. Vauxhall is home to more gay clubs and LGBT venues like FIRE Nightclub, the Eagle London, and the UK’s only LGBT theatre, Above The Stag.
#15: New York City
New York City is an iconic gay destination famous for its historic and energetic LGBT culture. It has the largest population of gay residents in the USA, many of which are packed into the legendary gay neighborhoods of Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and the West Village.
Gay nightlife never stops in New York. From DJ and drag performances in New York’s best gay bars to colossal gay parties at the city’s largest clubs, there’s always something happening.
Finding your place as a traveler among the local queer community is super easy. From mild to wild, there’s a huge variety of things to do. Meander the world’s first gay art museum, soak up the sun among the massive LGBT crowd in Sheep’s Meadow, or head straight to one of the 25+ local gay sex parties.
#14: Fire Island Pines & Cherry Grove, New York
There’s truly no other gay destination like Fire Island Pines and neighboring Cherry Grove. A historic LGBT community and summertime gay destination, inhibitions are known to disappear the moment you step foot into the Pines.
Fire Island elicits a feeling of freedom like no other place on earth. A beach town without cars that’s only connected via boardwalks helps people connect with nature, themselves, and others.
As any regular will tell you, some of the best memories here are made at pool parties, walking along the boardwalks, singing karaoke at The Blue Whale, and making new friends on the beach.
Weekend parties in the Pines never seem to end, either. Poolside hangouts and classic late-afternoon tea dances by the pier lead into clubbing in the Pavilion. And that’s just the start of a typical night’s activities.
Weekly underwear parties at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove are amazing. Everyone socializes, and dances in their sexiest gay underwear, and some make their way to the darkroom area in the back of the club!
#13: Mykonos, Greece
Despite attracting a crowd that’s far from being entirely gay, Mykonos still ranks among the world’s most famous gay hotspots.
The island’s gay-welcoming atmosphere, unforgettable Cycladic architecture, nude beaches, and high-energy party scene are the perfect recipe for a gay getaway.
Gorgeous men dot Elia Beach, one of the most popular gay beaches along the Mediterranean coast. There’s nothing more fun and relaxing than spreading out on a beach bed in front of azure blue water, especially when the area is clothing-optional!
XLSIOR Mykonos marks the seasonal peak of gay travel to the island as one of the world’s best gay circuit festivals. During the rest of the summer, Jackie O’ Bar is the iconic local gay hangout known for drag shows, wild parties, and unbeatable Mykonos vibes.
#12: Madrid, Spain
One of the best gay destinations in Spain as well as my own personal favorite city in the world, Madrid is bustling with gay locals, safe, affordable, and easy to navigate.
Gay nightlife in Madrid is amazing too, but it’s not for the faint of heart! It’s not uncommon to see locals arriving home from the clubs around 10 AM the next morning.
The Chueca gay neighborhood is a must-visit. There’s no better place to make new friends than in one of the gay bars or shops here.
#11: San Francisco, California
San Francisco is undoubtedly an iconic gay destination. It’s often dubbed the world’s Gay Mecca since the city has historically been a center of progress for LGBTQ rights.
Annual street fairs and fetish celebrations bring huge numbers of gay tourists to San Francisco. Folsom Street Fair is the most famous, but the Up Your Alley Street Fair is also worth a mention!
Everyone loves being in the Castro, San Francisco’s loud and proud gay neighborhood, where you’ll find dozens of gay clothing stores, nightlife, and restaurants along Market Street. There’s also a handful of popular gay hotels in the Castro.
#10: Barcelona, Spain
Gay travelers can never get enough of Barcelona, with its romantic feeling, intense gay nightlife, rich Catalan culture, and gorgeous locals.
Barcelona’s sandy shorelines are also part of what makes it so special. Not many large European cities have easy walking access to a comfortable beach, let alone a gay beach like Platja de la Mar Bella.
World-famous architectural landmarks like Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, volleyball court-lined beaches, and delicious restaurants serving Paella and Sangria are even more things to love about Barcelona. There’s so much to experience!
#9: Berlin, Germany
You can find extraordinarily specific gay fetish and sex parties just about every night of the week. Those hosted at Berlin’s Lab.oratory are the most popular—and in my opinion, are the best in the world.
The number of gay bars in Berlin is also astonishing. Scattered around different neighborhoods, they range from bubbly drag bars to seedy cruising bars with dark rooms (which are quite common in Germany).
#8: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam gained enormous popularity as a gay destination from its flourishing gay scene in the 1980s. The city’s gay culture existed long before this time though, marked by gay bars operating back in the 1940s and 50s!
Dutch culture is historically tolerant—The Netherlands was even the first nation to legalize gay marriage. To this day, Amsterdam remains known for its open-mindedness.
Gay travelers also love Amsterdam for its beautiful canals, especially around Reguliersdwarsstraat and the Amstel. This area has a variety of intimate LGBT cafés and bars to stop into for a coffee or cocktail.
#7: Key West, Florida
Key West is the secluded island destination where gay travelers flock to let loose, party at local gay bars, and enjoy their fabulous gay-specific accommodations.
Staying at one of Key West’s gay hotels is a must—some of the most memorable experiences are gay pool parties at the Island House or sunbathing in the nude in your hotel’s sundeck area.
Everything is pretty compact and walkable, making it easy to hop around to different bars on Duval Street, meet other gay travelers, and explore local sites like the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.
#6: Fort Lauderdale & Wilton Manors, Florida
Fort Lauderdale and neighboring Wilton Manors are always mentioned among travelers’ favorite places for a gay getaway. There’s a variety of lively gay bars, beachfront restaurants, and good-looking vacationers.
During your visit, the local Sebastian Steet gay beach is a must. Or, if you have time for a day trip, the gay and clothing optional Haulover Naturist Beach.
Staying in one of Fort Lauderdale’s clothing optional gay resorts or guest houses is popular with visitors. Most of them are relatively inexpensive compared to resorts in other tropical gay vacation spots.
#5: Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Maspalomas has been popular with European gay travelers for decades. But in recent years, this subtropical gay hotspot has gained more of the world’s attention.
Along the southern shores of Gran Canaria, Maspalomas balances unearthly beautiful landscapes with a rambunctious party scene. The famous Maspalomas Dunes are stunning, and gay visitors love walking through them on their way to the beach!
Local gay nightlife revolves around Yumbo Centre. Tourists flood dozens of small gay bars that now inhabit this old mall-style complex.
Some LGBT travelers visit Maspalomas for long weekends, while others stay for week-long events like Fetish Week and Bear Carnival. But no matter when you visit, the weather will be beautiful!
#4: Sitges, Spain
The most popular gay destination in Europe, Sitges attracts travelers of all ages with its whitewashed buildings, miles of pretty beaches, art galleries, delicious tapas restaurants, and welcoming gay bars. It’s also affordable and easy to reach by train from Barcelona.
Everywhere you go in Sitges, you’ll feel a friendly, sort of magical vibe. Even though it’s a relatively small coastal town, gay men are everywhere! A ton of them hang out at the centrally located gay beach, Platja de la Bassa Rodona.
Bears Sitges is the local bear week that’s known to draw some of the biggest crowds of gay travelers each year. Sitges Pride is also quite popular. If you want to experience this beautiful town at its peak, visit during one of these events!
#3: Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is such a magical gay destination. Clear blue skies, soaring palm trees, mid-century modern architecture, and a thriving LGBT community make gay travelers giddy.
This desert paradise is truly the ultimate safe space for the queer community. Like other cherished gay places in the world, Palm Springs allows everyone to feel completely free to be themselves.
Clothing optional gay resorts in Palm Springs are some of the most popular places to stay. They’re a big part of what makes this town so freeing! They range from luxurious and upscale boutique properties to party hotels with a sexy, cruisy vibe.
A variety of LGBT events take place in Palm Springs, many of which are tailored to a specific crowd. The Dinah Lesbian Weekend, White Party, and International Bear Convergence are just a few! Big-time music festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach also have their fair share of gay attendees.
#2: Provincetown, Massachusetts
There’s something uniquely magical about Provincetown—a charm you can’t find anywhere else. Travelers overwhelmingly agree that Provincetown is the best gay destination in the United States!
Exciting drag shows, upbeat tea dances at the iconic Boat Slip Resort, colorful houses, and a quaint New England vibe are just a few reasons Provincetown is so popular.
A couple of P-town’s epic yearly events include Independence Week as well as Provincetown Bear Week, one of the most popular gay bear events in the world.
Provincetown is a highly seasonal summer hotspot. And believe me—gay travelers secure their accommodations super far in advance. In addition to popular gay guesthouses like Brass Key Guesthouse and White Porch Inn, lots of locals rent their homes privately.
Many rentals are available on VRBO, but you can also find places to stay on the Boys of Provincetown Facebook Group.
#1: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
An epic gay playground, Puerto Vallarta is freeing, beautiful, and has a huge variety of things to do. Everyone can find something to love here.
You can socialize on the beach, swim at the Mantamar pool club, explore local Mexican restaurants, or party all night. Many travelers also just relax in their beautiful Conchas Chinas villas. Everywhere you go, you’ll feel welcomed and at ease.
Puerto Vallarta is especially popular for its gay nightlife. You’ll find rooftop bars, drag venues, tucked-away gay stripper joints, and multi-story gay clubs.
Massive circuit parties come to Puerto Vallarta a few times a year, bringing in even more travelers who want to let loose. If you’re one of them, don’t forget your sexiest circuit gear!