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Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Tourist Hotspots

LGBTQ Index


Searches for “LGBTQ+ friendly holiday destinations” have seen a 91% increase over the last 12 months, showing there’s a growing demand for holidays for LGBTQ+ couples and families, who want to travel somewhere that’s fun and safe.

With that in mind, we decided to uncover the top LGBTQ+ friendly cities and countries in the world; and by analysing factors such as marriage laws and the number of LGBTQ+ bars, we’ve done just that! So, read on to discover the LGBTQ+ tourist hotspots of the world, and get ready to book your next break.

1. New York City, USA

The Big Apple comes in first place, as the top LGBTQ+ friendly destination on our list. Not only is adoption and marriage legal for the LGBTQ+ community (as is the case with all cities that fall into our top 30), but it’s also home to the most LGBTQ+ bars, at 27, with Stonewall Inn perhaps the most iconic of all.

If it’s your first time in New York, you’ll want to see all the major tourist attractions: think the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. But if you’re a seasoned regular, then it’s definitely worth spending a couple of days sampling the various neighbourhoods and all the cute coffee shops, restaurants, and bars they have to offer.

2. London, UK

London comes in second place, with the second highest number of LGBTQ+ bars on our list, at 23, and a safety index score of 342, which is the joint ninth highest on our list.

Like New York, there are loads of classic tourist attractions to see if it’s your first time in the UK’s capital: a visit to Hyde Park is a must, as is a trip to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. If you prefer museums, then there’s no end to choose from - from the Natural History Museum to the London Transport Museum, V&A, and everything in between, there really is something for everyone.

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Home to the iconic Christ the Redeemer, the sandy shores of Copacabana, and some of the sultriest nightlife in the world, Rio de Janeiro is the third most friendly LGBTQ+ city in the world.

With the second highest number of LGBTQ+ bars at 23, you’ve got lots of options when it comes to partying. Ipanema is home to upscale bars, whereas Copacabana has plenty of casual beach bars to choose from; but if it’s partying and samba dancing into the early hours of the morning you’re after, then there’s no better place to head to than Lapa.

4. Manchester, UK

In fourth place is Manchester, scoring joint ninth on the LGBTQ+ safety index, alongside having 18 LGBTQ+ bars to choose from – many of which are clustered around the iconic Canal Street.

If you’re considering a city break in Manchester, you could check out some of the museums, including the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, and the National Football Museum – and you could even do a stadium tour of their two world-famous football teams. Alternatively, if it’s retail therapy you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place: head to the designer boutiques in Spinningfields, or spend the day shopping at the Trafford Centre.

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rounding off our top five is Amsterdam, with the city scoring the fourth highest on the LGBTQ+ safety index, and 16 bars to choose from. The Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank’s House are some of the more classic tourist attractions; but a day spent wandering around the winding canals is a great way to truly explore the city.

Alternatively, if you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie, then head to the A’DAM tower, which is home to the highest swing in Europe. Strap yourself in and soar off the edge of the skyscraper, as you take in the beautiful views of Amsterdam.

The rest of the top 10 are taken up by cities in Europe and South America, with Madrid, Paris, and Brussels taking up the sixth, seventh, and 10th places respectively. Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires come in eighth and ninth positions; so, if it’s a sultry South American adventure you’re after, you’ll be in safe hands.

If we then look specifically at the safety index scores, the three cities that top the list, with a score of 383 are all located in Canada: Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa.

The top LGBTQ+ friendly countries

LGBTQ Map


So, we know the top cities, but which countries are the best for LGBTQ+ tourists? The USA features eight times in our top 50 – aside from New York; San Francisco, Las Vegas, LA, Orlando, Miami, Honolulu, and Washington D.C. all feature on the list. Whilst New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas all have more LGBTQ+ bars, same sex marriage and adoption is legal in these states, making it a safer option for tourists.

Both Thailand and Germany feature four times in the top 50, with Berlin and Frankfurt making it into the top 20, and Hamburg and Munich not far behind. Bangkok and Phuket are just two of the Thai cities to feature on our list.

Canada and Italy also make an appearance three times each, with Milan, Rome, and Venice all making it into the top 50, despite same sex marriage or adoption not being legal.

If you’re considering sailing the seas on a South American cruise, or you want to hop across cities and cultures on a European cruise, we can help you to tick off all the sights on your bucket list. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a last-minute holiday, then discover our current cruise deals, which are updated daily, and feature exclusive offers for hundreds of countries around the world.

Methodology

Sources:

  • LGBTQ+ Bars - Trip Advisor
  • Adoption laws - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_adoption
  • Marriage laws - https://www.hrc.org/resources/marriage-equality-around-the-world
  • Safety Index - https://www.asherfergusson.com/lgbtq-travel-safety/

Methodology:


The dataset ranks the 100 cities across the world, based on how friendly they are to LGBTQ+ tourists. These 100 cities were chosen as they are top tourist destinations. To do this, 4 different factors were used. Once the factors were collected, they were then normalised, to provide each factor with a score of between 0 and 1. The normalised values were then summed, to give each city a total score out of 4.

The cities were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores. The factors used are as follows:

  • Safety Index - The score each country has on the safety index based on many different factors.
  • Marriage Laws– Whether Same-Sex Marriage is legal in that country.
  • Adoption Laws- Whether Same-Sex Adoption is legal in that country.
  • Number of LGBTQ+ Bars – The number of gay bars listed on TripAdvisor in each city.

The factors were indexed as follows:


Data gathered is correct as of 21/04/2023.

  • Safety Index - High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Marriage Laws – "Yes" values get a 1. "No" values get a 0.
  • Adoption Laws - "Yes" values get a 1. "No" values get a 0.
  • Number of LGBTQ+ Bars – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.

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