Top five LGBT-friendly destinations

We all want a holiday where we can relax, and a big part of that is feeling welcome in the town or city we’re visiting. And while the LGBT community is welcome the world over, there are some places that offer a uniquely friendly experience.

Whether you’re travelling solo or with a partner, the options are endless – and we’re not just talking about Brighton and San Francisco.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Proudly flying the LGBT flag is the progressive and culturally exuberant Danish treasure of Copenhagen. Denmark’s capital welcomes everyone and, in 2009, was even the host of the World Outgames, an iconic sporting and cultural event hosted by the gay community.

You’ll find quirky bars and bistros scattered alongside stylish restaurants and trendy clubs. It’s an ideal destination if you’re looking for some enriching culture, a day of fashionable shopping, and a party-packed nightlife.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Noted for its friendly people and stunning natural vistas, Reykjavik is an idyllic LGBT-friendly destination.

Just some of the standout, unmissable places and attractions on offer in Reykjavik include a geothermal beach, an outdoor thermal pool, the Imagine Peace Tower (conceived by Yoko Ono) and the indoor ice caves at the famous Perlan museum.

Best of all, Reykjavik is a true rainbow city with massive crowds gathering in the second weekend of August for unmissable Pride festivals.

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is not just one of Europe’s cultural magnets. It’s also an inclusive hotbed of solidarity and LGBT-specific attractions.

With almost 90 museums and some of the world’s finest architecture, you’ll get your cerebral fix and then some. Later, when it’s time to party, take your pick from a host of gay bars and clubs.

Barcelona, Spain

What’s not to love about Barcelona? Vibrant, imaginative and fresh, everything in Barcelona bubbles with life and exuberance.

Barcelona is home to some great food, so make sure there’s at least one elasticated waistband included in your holiday wardrobe. Tapas is everywhere, as colourful and varied as the Antoni Gaudi-designed architectural masterpieces that punctuate the streets.

With a thriving gay centre, Barcelona also offers gay bars, clubs and cafes as well as restaurants and hotels designed to satisfy the LGBT community.

Paris, France

Paris has long been associated with romantic flights of fancy, but it’s also a great place for same-sex couples looking for a break.

The whole city is overflowing with fashion houses, eateries and hotspots of artistic refinement – enough for even the most discerning culture-vultures. That’s not the whole Parisian story, though. You’ll also find as many openly and specifically gay-friendly places to visit too.

Perhaps the most welcoming LGBT district of all is found in the Marais neighbourhood. This area is home not only to iconic attractions such as the Pompidou Centre, but is also party central when gay pride time comes around.

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