Top LGBTIQ+ Friendly Destinations to Celebrate Pride

Raise your hand (and your rainbow flag) if you’re ready for the most vibrant LGBTIQ+ friendly destinations? We're thrilled to showcase our carefully curated list featuring 9 of the most welcoming and inclusive places for the LGBTIQ community.

Here at Workaway diversity, love, and pride are celebrated daily, and these destinations in particular have emerged as beacons of acceptance, safety, and pure joy.​​​​​​​ From Canada to Colombia, each place on this list embraces anyone and everyone who identifies as an expression of the rainbow spectrum. 

Better yet, we have Workaway hosts in every single one! 

So pack your pride flag, prepare your flashiest parade outfits, and join us as we delve into a colourful adventure through the most LGBTIQ+ friendly places around the world. Whether you’re looking for a new destination to celebrate Pride, or simply a safe haven to be yourself, add these destinations to your bucket list. 

When you join Workaway, get ready to create unforgettable memories, bask in the warm embrace of acceptance, and celebrate love and pride in all its glorious forms!

group of women posing infront of a rainbow and lake

What Makes a Country LGBTQ+ friendly?

Safety and inclusivity are at the forefront of our selection. These destinations go beyond mere tolerance; they proudly showcase their support for the LGBTIQ community, creating spaces where love is celebrated, and individuality is cherished

Whether you're seeking vibrant Pride parades, cosy LGBTQ-owned establishments, or simply the freedom to be your authentic self, the places on this list have it all. 

two men kissing at pride with rainbow flag
There are also a few tips that can help you in building your LGBTIQ+ friendly bucket list:

Index Guides

Starting with the Spartacus Gay Travel Index. This study began in 2012 and assesses how gay friendly a destination is based on factors such as laws, acceptance of locals and more. For Europe specifically, you can also use the ILGA Rainbow Index which has a similar traffic light system for how welcoming a country is based on several factors from marriage equality to hate crime statistics

Laws & Legislations

Another tip is to search the LGBTQ laws for your intended destination. Partiuclarly, if they have legalised gay marriage. If a government has passed progressive and protective LGBTQ+ laws, then it’s a positive indicator for how gay friendly the country truly is. 

Pride Events

Also check out the country’s Pride events. When a country hosts Pride events, it shows that the LGBTIQ community is supported, celebrated and respected. 

pride parade and flag for solidarity equality

Quiz Your Peers

Finally (and most importantly!) check with others within the community who have recently travelled there. Ask for their firsthand experience, did they feel safe? Would they return? As well as your friends IRL, use blogs, social media and our friendly Workaway community to research your intended destination.  

10 of the Most LGBTIQ+ friendly Destinations to celebrate Pride

1. Valletta, Malta

Pride Dates:  As this year’s host of EuroPride, Valletta sure knows how to throw a party for Pride. With a jam packed events schedule from 6th-15th of September there are so many ways to celebrate.

Reasons to Visit: Not only is Malta number one on the SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index for 2024, but it is also the top ranking country in the ILGA Rainbow Index for five years in a row! 

As the smallest country in Europe, Malta proudly welcomes all, irrespective of gender. There are no “gay neighbourhoods'' as the LGBTIQ+ community is welcomed everywhere across the islands. Displays of affection in public areas are very much accepted and can be witnessed without attracting any attention. 

Although Valletta is the jewel in Malta’s crown for Pride parties, you may also want to head to Paceville in the town of St Julian's. As Malta's most famous nightlife district it promises dancing from dusk until dawn.

If you’re looking for a more tranquil destination, head to the laid-back island of Gozo. Located just a 45-minute ferry trip from Valletta, it is a dream destination for nature lovers and those in need of some rest and relaxation. Fuel up on the delicious local food and wine before hiking and kayaking or sight seeing in the towns of Cittadella and Victoria.

Did we mention we have nearly 40 Workaway hosts in Malta! The majority of which are within the stunning landscapes of Gozo. 
drone picture of malta town by the sea

2. Reykjavík, Iceland

Pride Dates: This year’s Pride takes place from 6th – 11th August 2024. What began as a small celebration in 1999 to 1500 guests has blossomed into one of the biggest Pride parades in the world, welcoming over 100,000 attendees. 

Reasons to Visit: Not only does the LGBT rights in Iceland rank among the highest in the world but In 2022, Reykjavik Pride was attended by over 30% of the Icelandic population! By celebrating in such large numbers, it shows the Icelandic people’s support, recognition and respect for the community.

As well as being the first country in the world to elect an openly gay national leader (Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir) it is also home to the award winning travel service Pink Iceland - a company devoted to the travel needs of LGBT guests.

The country is famously known as "the land of fire and ice," as it is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe as well as some of the world's most active volcanoes. Highlights also include majestic waterfalls like Gullfoss and Skógafoss, the geothermal wonders of the Blue Lagoon, and the mesmerising Northern Lights that dance across the night sky.

With over 35 Hosts in Reykavik alone and over 100 hosts dotted across the island, it could not be easier to join one of the most welcoming nations on earth!
the church of iceland at night

3. New York, New York

Pride Dates: Mark your calendars for 30th June 2024, as NYC Pride promises an unforgettable celebration. Renowned as one of the largest Pride events worldwide, the city comes alive with vibrant festivities, with the grand finale being the highly anticipated parade.

Reasons to visit: No LGBTQ+ excursion to the Big Apple is complete without a visit to the iconic West Village. It was in this very neighbourhood that the historic Stonewall Uprising occurred during the summer of 1969. The Stonewall Inn, a popular gathering place for the LGBTQ+ community, was subjected to a police raid, leading to an outburst of resistance and protest from the patrons. This marked a pivotal moment in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, forever shaping history.

Alongside the iconic attractions such as Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty, immerse yourself in a melting pot of cultures, art, and cuisine in neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and Harlem. 

As it's known as the city that never sleeps there is so much to do after dark, including live music at Madison Square Garden, world-famous Broadway shows or the bustling nightlife of Greenwich Village and Williamsburg.

As well as hosts in New York City itself, we have hundreds of Workaway hosts throughout the USA. Devastatingly, the legal situation for queer people still varies greatly throughout the 50 US states. For example, this map provides a strong visual of the most to least welcoming states based on anti-discrimination laws, marriage equality and more.

new york city skyline at night over a bridge

4. Berlin, Germany

Pride Dates: Mark your calendar for 27th July 2024 for Berlin's renowned Christopher Street Day (or CSD day) the largest Pride celebration in Germany. This annual festival is named after the iconic Manhattan street where the historic Stonewall Inn resides. 

This year, it’s expected that around one million people will take part in the CSD Demonstration! As the organisers want to promote acceptance and take a stand against the pitting of different marginalised groups against each other.

Reasons to Visit: From vibrant drag shows to a clubbing scene that stretches until sunrise, Berlin has a lot to offer locals and visitors alike. 

During the 1920s and 1930s, the city flourished as a haven for queer culture, tragically suppressed during World War II. Following The War the resilient LGBTQ+ community rebuilt itself from the ground up, resulting in the vibrant and captivating Berlin that we know and love today. In particular, Schöneberg is seen as the heart of Berlin's LGBTQ+ scene, boasting a rich history as being one of the oldest gay boroughs in existence.

Don’t miss Schwules Museum, a rare gem dedicated to researching and preserving the history of LGBTQ+ cultures worldwide.

With nearly 100 hosts in Berlin as well as over 1500 hosts across Germany, your next cultural exchange is simply a few clicks away! 
berlin wall mural of two men kissing

5. Barcelona, Spain

Pride Dates: Expect a spectacular showcase of love and pride in Barcelona on 15th July 2024. All are welcome to the fight for freedom, equality and respect for the LGTBIQ+ community. 

Reasons to Visit: Spain has been championing LGBTQ+ rights for decades. The nation proudly legalized same-sex marriage as early as 2005 and has since passed further legislation to ensure equality and protection for queer individuals, including those who identify as nonbinary or transgender.

When in Barcelona, highlights include the vibrant L'Eixample neighbourhood, fondly known as "Gaixample." This thriving area is one of Europe's largest LGBTQ+ districts. Don’t miss Candy Darling, an Andy Warhol-inspired club where you can party during Pride and all year round. 

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without checking out its architectural marvels. Must-visit landmarks include the magnificent Sagrada Familia, the stunning Park Güell designed by Antoni Gaudí, and the artistic Casa Batlló. 

Highlights also include the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) with its narrow streets and historic buildings, local markets like La Boqueria and the vibrant atmosphere of La Rambla, a bustling street filled with shops, street performers, and cafes.

Barcelona is not the cheapest of places to stay and play but that’s where we can help. With nearly 400 Hosts in Barcelona you can enjoy the warm weather and hospitality of Spain all without spending a penny on accommodation. From permaculture to language practice, why not share your skills under the stunning Spanish sun? 

barcelona skyline during sunset over park guell

6. Toronto, Canada

Pride Dates: Block your calendar from 1st-30th June 2024 as Toronto transforms parking lots into parties and streets into parades for their vibrant Pride celebration. Despite nearly one million supporters in attendance, Toronto offers a relaxed and family-friendly Pride experience. 

Reasons to Visit: Canada takes pride in its exceptional protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, ranking among the most welcoming and inclusive countries in the world. 

Church-Wellesley Village is the cherished meeting spot for Toronto's LGBTQ+ community. It transforms from a serene residential and shopping district during the day into a vibrant entertainment hub at night. 

Don’t miss Queen Street which is bustling with the city’s best independent stores, cafes and galleries. Vogue Magazine even named it one of the coolest neighbourhoods - so it must be true, huh?

The area is also renowned as the backdrop for the hit drama "Queer as Folk.'' Fans of the show can even visit Woody’s from the iconic series. As Church Street's oldest LGBTQ+ establishment, Woody's has been an integral part of Toronto's queer culture since 1989. It continues to be a beloved destination for both locals and visitors looking to experience the vibrant LGBTQ+ scene in Toronto.

Other highlights include the breathtaking views from the iconic CN Tower, one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world. The stunning Toronto Islands just off the coast, the street art and shopping at Kensington Market, and Glad Day Bookshop, North America’s oldest surviving gay and lesbian-focused bookstore.

While we’ve covered the highlights, why not get to know real Toronto with one of over 30 hosts in the city? If you want to continue the Pride party a little longer, we have over 2000 hosts across Canada. From cattle ranches to cabins by the lake, there is no better way to experience this charming country. 

toronto night city skyline lights

7. Bogotá, Colombia

Pride dates: From 16th June to 16th July 2024, Bogotá celebrates Pride (Orgullo Gay) with a weekend of parties, political rallies and an epic Pride parade attracting over 70,000 participants!

After the parade, the party continues in Plaza de Bolívar with performances from drag queens to DJs celebrating until sunrise. 

Reasons to visit: You may be a little surprised to see Colombia on this list but as the third-largest city in South America, Bogotá is home to leading universities, an influx of expats and a thriving digital nomad scene.

Thanks to the drastically different walks of life that call this city home, it has helped to create an impressive melting pot. This has helped the city fight for groundbreaking milestones towards LGBTQ+ rights. These include the right for same sex marriage in 2016 and the election of Bogota’s first woman and openly lesbian mayor, Claudia López, in 2019.

As well as the colourful La Candelaria district, the vibrant street art in La Macarena and the spectacular city views from Monserrate, be sure to check out the Chapinero neighbourhood. It is home to nearly one hundred gay-friendly bars, restaurants, and clubs. 

In particular, the Estación Café and Theatron, the largest LGBTQ+ club in Latin America. It's worth noting that Theatron also partners with local NGOs such as Profamilia and Colombia Diversa in Colombia, that continue to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and visibility. 

If you are interested in exploring colourful Colombia, we have over 100 hosts in Bogotá, and over 600 throughout the country. This means there are hundreds of opportunities for you to experience the warmth of Colombian people and give back to these vibrant communities.

colombia bogota mug

8. London, United Kingdom

Pride Dates: This year’s London Pride takes place on 29th June 2024. The parade will see over 600 LGBT+ community groups march, with 30,000 people registered so far this year. As the UK's largest Pride celebration this event promises an unforgettable extravaganza of love, diversity, and inclusion.

Reasons to visit: London has been a prominent hub of queer culture for centuries. As far back as the 18th century, London was home to a flourishing gay subculture thanks to  “Molly Houses” that served as meeting places for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Fast forward to today, the city boasts a thriving LGBTIQ+ community. As someone who spent two years living in London I can vouch for the vibrant LGBTQ+ scene in Soho in particular. It’s home to iconic venues like G-A-Y or Heaven where you can dance the night away.

A visit to Soho wouldn’t be complete without a pint in Admiral Duncan. This iconic pub was targeted in a bombing attack by a Neo-Nazi extremist in 1999.This devastating incident became a turning point for the LGBTQ+ community, sparking a massive rally and uniting the community in the face of adversity. The Admiral Duncan pub stands as a symbol of resilience and the ongoing fight for equality and acceptance, reminding us of the importance of standing together in the face of hate.

Other London highlights include Camden market - boasting an eclectic collection from vintage clothing to international cuisine, there's something for every taste and budget. Or take a stroll along the picturesque South Bank of the River Thames. Here you can spot famous landmarks such as the London Eye, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and the Tate Modern as well as enjoy free street performances. 

Check out Hosts in London for projects involving childcare, permaculture, pet sitting and more! As a tip, it’s also only a one hour train journey to Brighton from London. Brighton’s pride takes place 5th & 6th of August and is renowned in the UK as one of the best in the country. The coastal city is a haven for the LGBTQ community thanks to an inclusive atmosphere, stunning beach front and the perfect blend of excitement and relaxation. Bonus points, we have Workaway hosts in Brighton too! 

urban london skyline sunset

9. São Paulo, Brazil

Pride dates: Some would say we’ve saved the best Pride ‘til last…São Paulo Pride takes place from 30th May to 2nd June 2024. You’ve likely heard of São Paulo’s famous Carnival, but the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade broke the Guinness World record in 2009 with four million attendees! The city has then kept the title of the biggest Pride Parade from 2006 to at least 2017 and usually boasts around 3-5 million attendees each year.

Reasons to Visit: Generally, São Paulo is known as one of the most welcoming cities in Brazil for the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you're looking to party, explore art and culture, or escape into nature, it has something to offer every visitor.

In particular, the bustling neighbourhood of Consolação, home to numerous gay bars, clubs, and LGBTQ+ events. This area is home to the iconic Avenida Paulista, where the annual São Paulo Pride Parade takes place.

Art fans will also enjoy Avenida Paulista as its home to São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) which houses an impressive collection of both Brazilian and international artwork. Foodies should head to the vibrant Mercado Municipal, a bustling food market offering a variety of delicious treats. And if you're on a budget, don't miss the opportunity to stroll through the picturesque streets of the bohemian neighbourhood of Vila Madalena, known for its street art and trendy bars.

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle in Ibirapuera Park, a vast green oasis in the heart of São Paulo. For nature enthusiasts, a trip to the nearby Serra da Cantareira State Park offers stunning hiking trails, waterfalls, and panoramic city views.

From hostels to house sitting, hosts in São Paulo would be eternally grateful for your time and enthusiasm. While the world famous Pride Parade is an incredible reason to visit, the locals here are one of the many reasons to stay. Thanks to Workaway, you won’t feel like yet another tourist, but instead part of the family.

sao paulo city sunset urban skyline

Image via Caio

Exploring these LGBTIQ+ friendly destinations while combining the spirit of Pride and volunteering, is an extraordinary way to embrace your authentic self and make a positive impact. 

Whether you're joining the vibrant celebrations of Pride in cities like New York or São Paulo, or living like a local in the communities of San Francisco's Castro district or London’s Soho, these destinations offer a safe and welcoming environment to celebrate love, diversity, and equality. 

By volunteering in these remarkable places, you not only contribute to meaningful causes but also connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for making a difference. 

So sign up and let’s embark on an adventure that combines cultural exploration, celebrations and the rewarding experience of giving back. Let these destinations inspire you to be yourself, celebrate your pride, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
woman at pride rainbow flag showing solidarity

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About Lauren

Growing up in a small coastal village in Scotland inspired Lauren to seek adventure and challenge the norm. Armed with just her backpack and trusty travel companion Darren, she quit her day job to liv... show more...

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