Korčula Gay Travel
Amazing foam parties and quaint historic alleys make Korčula gay travel a must! Here’s where to stay, top restaurants and bars, and gay travel tips.
The Gay Travel Experience: Korčula, Croatia
Korčula has the most authentic, local feel of all the Croatian islands I visited while island hopping. The beaming sun through the stepped pathways of the old city is still so vivid in my mind. In my opinion, Korčula is more romantic than nearby Croatian islands. It’s perfect for couples!
I felt very comfortable traveling Korčula with my gay friends. Later in this guide, I’ll describe an awesome foam party on the island. It was very gay-friendly. We danced with each other all night. Our fellow partygoers loved it! A few may have even taken a video of us.
Korčula is also easy to reach from Dubrovnik or Split for a day trip or as part of a Croatia island tour.
Korčula Experiences for the Gay Traveler
Climb the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Mark in the old city before sunset. If you catch a day with clear skies, the photos you capture will be stunning. The entrance fee is 25 Kuna. The top has a nice panoramic viewpoint overlooking the port and city.
Make sure to take a minute to put down your camera, relax and gaze into the Croatian serenity.
Spend some time at the House of Marco Polo in the town center. The famous explorer Marco Polo lived in Korčula for a lot of his life. Some also speculate he was born on the island.
Other than the other easily findable landmarks, the best part about Korčula is wandering the narrow walkways in the old town center. Pizzerias and glittering jewelry shops line the stone paths with such an inviting feel.
Is Croatia Safe for Gay Travelers?
Gay travelers in Croatia should exercise caution while touring the country for a number of reasons. Although Croatia is part of the European Union and is a popular gay travel destination, there is still a formidable anti-LGBT sentiment among some local Croatians.
Even though the Croatian islands are filled with tourists, locals still live and work on these bits of paradise. The Croatians are not used to seeing overt gay public displays of affection. So, two men kissing in a bar in Korčula may warrant some unwanted attention.
I encountered a few homophobic scenarios while sailing Croatia’s islands with a group of gay friends. A few gay couples joined our trip. After showing some affection in a couple of restaurants and bars, there were some uncomfortable situations.
In short, one restaurant told our friends that two men could not kiss each other while sitting and having dinner. One other instance involved a group of young local men throwing a lighter at a group of us while in a local bar. Both situations were handled, but it was very disheartening to experience.
In my opinion, this information should not deter you from visiting Croatia. Firstly, isolated incidents like these could have happened anywhere. Many locals do support homosexuality and equal rights for LGBT individuals.
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Korčula Restaurants & Cocktail Lounges
Massimo Dutti is the most fantastic and authentic cocktail bar in Korčula. The small and well-known restaurant draws a fun crowd. The rooftop is the highlight of Massimo Dutti, which offers views of the surrounding mountainside, the old city, and wonderful sunsets.
Make a reservation a couple of days in advance for drinks at Massimo Dutti. Otherwise, at least call the morning of. The rooftop has limited space and they don’t accept anyone without a reservation. Drinks are on the pricier side but are certainly worth it. The cost is around 90-100 Kuna per drink.
I enjoyed Pizzeria Tesoro after cocktails. The pizzas were made well, which is not always the case in the touristic areas of the Croatian islands! Super cheesy and heart-warming to say the least.
Korčula Bars & Nightlife
Attending the foam party at a club called The Jungle Korčula was without a doubt the highlight of my visit.
Friends and I arrived just past midnight at what seemed to be an empty, but large outdoor space with several bars. We soon realized the bar wouldn’t be empty for long, even though it was a Monday night!
Loads of travelers poured in ready to play in the foam. I was the guy consistently getting clobbered by the foam gun, and I wasn’t mad about it! The DJ was one of the best I heard while visiting Croatia.
To get to The Jungle Korčula, you can grab a taxi or hop on a free coach bus that shuttles partygoers to the bar. The bus leaves from the port’s main bus stop. It is about a 5-minute ride. Maybe bring a little change in case they do decide to charge-or to tip them.
The party has a 50 Kuna cash entrance fee. To get back to the port, you can either walk 20 minutes along the roadway or grab a taxi outside the bar. You may need to wait a bit for taxis if you stay until the end of the party. There are not too many taxis in Korčula.
Around Korčula’s ACI Marina, there are a few more relaxed outdoor hangouts. For those not looking to go up to the foam party, you can find a bit of nightlife here.
Korčula Gay Travel Tips
A vacation rental in the Old Town is the best option for a place to stay in Korčula. Somewhere near the famous House of Marco Polo will be perfect. The narrow walkways and small restaurants will melt your heart.
Croatia operates a robust fleet of official ferries, some of which stop in Korčula. You can use these ferries for transport to Korčula from mainland towns or for local day trips to other Croatian islands.
See the Jadrolinija Ferry official site for schedules and timetables.
Is Croatia Expensive?
Inexpensive food is hard to come by, but there are still some local street eateries where you can get a cheap dinner and drink for the equivalent of ten Euros.
Gay Life in Croatia & LGBT Rights
Croatia provides a wealth of protections to the LGBT community, however gay life in Croatia for locals is not exactly easy. Most local Croatians keep their sexuality hidden from the public eye out of fear of discrimination.
They do not usually express their identity openly. Hate speech has been on the rise against LGBT individuals and Serbs prior to 2017, according to reports compiled that year on the issue.
Croatia by law defends all citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The country allows gays, lesbians, and bisexual individuals to serve in the military. Changing legal gender is also legal.
A major downfall is that the Croatian constitution bans same-sex marriage. The country revised the constitution to define marriage as a union solely between a man and woman. A 2017 Pew Research Study found that more than 60% of Croatians oppose same-sex marriage.
Gay rights gained more of a foothold in 2014 when Croatia passed the Life Partnership Act. The Life Partnership Act allows gay couples to receive the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples for just about everything except adoption rights.
On a positive note, a 2016 ILGA poll found that 75% of Croatians would have no issue with an LGBT neighbor. 10% of people responded they would be very uncomfortable with an LGBT neighbor.
Most anti-LGBT sentiment can be found in the northwest portion of Croatia. The rest of the country is not so fiercely opposed. Large centers like Dubrovnik and Zagreb advertise themselves as gay-friendly tourist destinations, however, this does not exactly mean discrimination by locals does not occur.