If you’re planning a backpacking tour and you want to make sure you end up in LGBTQ+ friendly spots, you might be looking for some help regarding the top locations – and fortunately, there are plenty for you to consider. Getting out and seeing the world is so important, but you need to make sure you’re doing it in ways that feel comfortable and safe.
Some of the best backpacking locations for gay travel include Sydney in Australia, Reykjavik in Iceland, Lima in Peru, and Berlin in Germany. Other options include places such as Sitges in Spain, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Taipei in Taiwan, and Bangkok in Thailand!
That’s quite a range, so let’s check out each of these possibilities, explore the pros and cons, and help you make decisions about where to go and what to do while you’re there. With careful planning, you can have a phenomenal travel experience!
1) Sydney in Australia
Aussie is a country made for many, and Sidney even more so – it’s hot, it’s fun, and it’s beautiful and vibrant. Sydney is one of the best cities for gay individuals; it’s super friendly toward LGBTQ+ folk, and it’s got an incredible nightlife for all and sundry – so there are tons of things you can do here if you want a fun night out.
Check out the beaches and the gay clubs, and bask in how welcoming and warm the people are – you’ll find this place full of everything you need to feel at ease. Plus, if you love good food (and honestly, who doesn’t?), you’ll love the amazing range of cuisines on offer, and the funky, modern restaurants and cafes serving it up. Seafood, anyone?
2) Reykjavik in Iceland
How about a calmer retreat, where you can focus on yourself and find some inner peace? Reykjavik has what you need to breathe easier and create some space for mental clarity – and it’s also a very LGBTQ+ friendly place, so you know you’ll be doing so in a space that is safe and accepting.
The queer scene is significantly smaller than in Sydney, but it’s still got lots to offer; the LGBTQ+ community here is pretty active, and you’ll find various events going on. If you visit during Pride season (around August), you’ll find tons going on, but if you visit at another time of year, there’s still plenty to do. Check out the bars and clubs, or just relax and stroll around in the beauty of nature. You’ll feel completely refreshed by the time you leave!
3) Lima in Peru
If history is your thing, Lima could be the place to go; it’s filled with the richness of the past, and has plenty of archaeological sites to visit, plus several excellent museums. Additionally, the street life is very lively, and the locals are friendly as can be. You’ll have the chance to soak up some amazing culture, while in a supportive environment.
The food here is again excellent; there are lots of dishes to try, and pretty much anyone can find food to their tastes here. Many people recommend Lima as a great backpacking spot even if you’re traveling alone; it’s safe and will set you at ease.
4) Berlin in Germany
Another safe, easy destination for travelers who are taking it solo, Berlin is a very popular one. First up, the nightlife – what do we even say here? It’s made the city famous for good reason; there are absolutely stacks of activities you can try, with great clubs and bars to check out. Be ready for a really wild time.
You’ll find essentially every kind of music, and plenty of diverse spots where you can dance the night away, make new friends, or just have a great time with your buddies. Of course, you don’t have to spend all (or indeed any) of your time clubbing; there’s plenty of other stuff to do in Berlin.
Check out the zoo, tour the historic city, stroll through Tiergarten, or go to Sanssouci. You could spend weeks checking out this amazing city; it has almost endless activities on offer.
5) Sitges in Spain
You’ll definitely have heard about Sitges before, and it’s a well-known destination for LGBTQ+ individuals, because it’s safe and welcoming. Also, who wouldn’t love to spend some time relaxing in a coastal time, and then partying for hours to finish the day? If you arrive in June, you’ll be there in time for Pride, an unmissable celebration – but not all that this city has to offer.
Traveling in Spain is a wonderful experience; the weather is fantastic and there’s lots to do for backpackers. Make sure you take your swimwear with you so you can make the most of Spain’s beaches, and enjoy yourself to the fullest! Blue skies, sunshine, and friendly people… who could want for more? You won’t forget a backpacking trip here!
6) Puerto Vallarta in Mexico
Party, party, party – that’s what’s going on in Puerto Vallarta for much of the year, and queer folks are always welcome. The local gay scene is fantastic, and there’s absolutely loads to do, especially if you check out the old town area of Zona Romantica.
There’s something going on at essentially every time of year, so no matter when you’re off on your backpacking journey, you’ll find plenty to attend! Turn up in January? You’ll find BeefDip Mexico Bear Festival in full swing. February is quiet, but then there’s Puerto Vallarta Carnival in March.
Next up, May brings in Puerto Vallarta Pride, and then November opens the door for the Thanksgiving White Party – with just a few months until the incredible Gay New Years’ Eve celebrations.
Okay, so you probably won’t be able to hit every single one of those, but even if you just catch one, that should be enough! There’s plenty going on even outside of these events, so pack your bags; it’s time to get backpacking!
7) Taipei in Taiwan
Taipei is much-loved by the gay community, and if you want to do any backpacking in Asia, Taipei is the way to go, with a very welcoming vibe and plenty for you to do. There’s Ximen Red House, which is one of the best and safest places for LGBTQ+ folks, and where you’ll find an activity for every day of the week, no matter what you want to do.
If you want to catch Pride, you’ll need to travel in October, but it’s worth it; this is the biggest queer event in Asia, and brings in huge crowds. There are some great performers, and if you love glitter… well, you’re going to be a very happy camper.
8) Bangkok in Thailand
Do you fall for cities that are full of color and character? Bangkok is the one for you. It’s got everything you could possibly need, including a gay village, rooftop bars with breathtaking views, and mouth watering street food that anybody can enjoy. Spiritual and still energetic, Bangkok has something for everyone, including amazing food and a rich history that pulses in every part of the city.
Bangkok is very much unique; if you want to go somewhere infinitely memorable and very different from the other destinations, this is the one to pick. You won’t get much in the way of beaches in the capital, but that means fewer tourists, and an atmosphere that makes everybody feel wonderful.
9) Amsterdam in the Netherlands
The first country to legalize gay marriage, the Netherlands is famous for being LGBTQ+ friendly, and Amsterdam certainly ticks that box – it’s filled with accepting, welcoming vibes, and there’s tons to attract backpackers here.
With gay bars everywhere and parties galore throughout the streets, there’s plenty to do. If you’re not into the party scene, check out some of the city’s history, and soak up some of the culture, in a city where celebrating diversity is the name of the game.
10) Brighton in the UK
Famous for its glamor and luxury, Brighton is a must-add to the list of places to visit. It’s very beautiful, so if you want an aesthetic treat, get your backpack ready. There’s plenty to do and see here; you’ll find great hotels, wonderful restaurants, and bars galore. This is considered one of the top gay cities there is, so it’s well worth taking the time to visit it, and you know you’ll feel at ease here.
Many people are lured in by Brighton’s fame, but it truly deserves it – you won’t forget a moment of your visit here. Sun yourself on a beach, check out the Pavilion, explore Brighton Pier, and eat some authentic British fish and chips in the sun. When you’re done, check out some of the flea markets, and you may find some fun mementos to take home at the end of your trip.
Pack your bags, grab your tickets, and crack out a map – you’ve now got plenty of great destinations you can head to. All of these cities are welcoming and fun for LGBTQ+ folks, and there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had, parties to go to, and people to meet.