There is no shortage of top travel destinations around the world for gay people. The problem? Most of them are incredibly expensive to travel to. Not a surprise, really. Some of the most accepting towns and cities are those that are relatively expensive places to live.
If you are on a budget, you are going to love this page. We are going to introduce you to the most affordable gay-friendly cities to travel to. We have places from all over the world. Check out any of these destinations, and you’ll notice that they have a wealth of gay resorts and cultural hotspots for you to hang out at!
While most of Western Europe is very gay-friendly (e.g. Brighton in the United Kingdom, or Paris in France), most of the places are incredibly expensive to travel to. Thankfully, there are a few cheaper countries that you can check out. Sofia, in Bulgaria, is one of them.
Not only is the weather fantastic in Sofia fantastic, but it is absolutely loaded with gay nightlife. In fact, there are well over 100 hotels that market themselves to gay people, and over 50 dedicated gay bars and clubs. On top of all of this, Sofia is a pretty old city, which means that you can enjoy the historical culture thing too, which is always amazing!
This is another tremendous European city to travel to if you want affordable prices, and some fantastic nightlife. Not only is Budapest the capital of Hungary, but it is the gay capital of the country. There are some massive nightclubs in Budapest dedicated purely to gay culture, and plenty of awesome hotels and bars to explore. If you’re in Budapest, we encourage you to go to AlterEgo which we genuinely believe is the best gay club in Europe.
As Budapest is very focused on gay culture, you’ll find that the locals in the area are incredibly accepting, and you are free to be open as much as you like in public. You’ll also find that there are plenty of amazing events held through the year too, including a Pride Festival (maybe more than one Pride Festival)
On top of all of this, Budapest is obviously in Europe. This means that you get to enjoy all of the amazing culture that the area has too. We promise you, when you are not partying at the night clubs or drinking at the bars, you’re going to want to be exploring the ancient buildings of Budapest.
Taos, New Mexico, United States
This is one that seems to surprise a lot of gay people. You wouldn’t think that New Mexico would have any major gay cities there, but they have Taos. Taos has always been one of the more bohemian and artistic cities in the country. Over the years, this has attracted a lot of people that follow more alternative lifestyles that are looking to be accepted. Over the last decade or so, Taos has managed to build up quite a sizable gay population, and the number of businesses that cater specifically to pink money is on the rise.
While we wouldn’t say that Taos is the cheapest place in the world, it is a great place to head for gay people that may not necessarily have a passport, or whom just want to stay within the United States.
Salt Spring Island, Canada
If you want a gay travel destination that is so much more than just the nightlife and partying at all sorts of nightclubs, then Salt Spring Island may be worth checking out. While this beautiful gay hotspot does have a lot of businesses (mostly bars and art studios) focused on the gay crowd, it is more of an outdoorsy type place, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fantastic nature that Salt Spring Island offers. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails.
Do bear in mind that this place is a hot spot for lesbians. While Salt Spring Island does attract a lot of gay men, at least in recent years, it may not necessarily be the best place to head if you are a gay man looking to find the love of their life. In our opinion, it is more a place where gay men can head if they want to feel more accepted by people.
We know that Canada doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to being ‘affordable’, we do find that Montreal is good enough and cheap enough for somebody looking for a decent gay-friendly city without breaking the bank. Sure, it probably isn’t going to be as affordable as somewhere like Hungary, but it is a good place to head within North America.
Montreal has a dedicated gay village where the majority of the gay life can be found. Lots and lots of hotels and bars can be found here. Although to be honest, this is Canada. Pretty much anywhere that you head in the city will be fairly accepting of who you are, and it doesn’t really ever feel like you would be unsafe here. We love that.
Mexico City, Mexico
While there are certainly some dangerous travel destinations within Mexico, Mexico City certainly isn’t one of them. As long as you follow some basic guidelines, you’ll be fine here. You’ll also be enjoying one of the cheapest gay-friendly cities in all of North America.
Over the last few years, Mexico City has rapidly become a focal point for LGBTQ+ travelers looking to head to a top destination on a budget. So, no matter what time of year you head to Mexico City, you’ll get to enjoy a gay party atmosphere pretty much everywhere you head.
Surprisingly, a lot of Americans have actually moved to Mexico City because they find that Mexico City is far more accepting (and cheaper) than where they used to live.
Of course, since this is Mexico, you also get to enjoy some fantastic heat throughout the year. While you can head here any time, we find that the best time to head to Mexico City is when the summer starts to roll in. When that happens, you’ll find that the city comes alive with gay people.
This is a place that a lot of people steer clear of. Not a surprise, really. In the past, Ireland hasn’t really been all that accepting of anything anti-Christian. Thankfully, the younger generation has helped to change this. While there may still be some people that turn their nose up at gay people, they are few and far between. You are unlikely to find many of them in Dublin either.
Dublin is perfect if you want a cheap, gay city in Europe. You’ll also have the benefit of traveling to a place where English is the main language, so you shouldn’t really run into any communication difficulties like you would in the cities that we mentioned previously. That’s always a plus, right?
Dublin is a town that is very heavy on the drinking, by the way. We are sure 5that you knew that already (Irish people do have a bit of a reputation for it), so expect to be spending most of your time hanging around in gay bars, etc.
Johannesburg, South Africa
In the past, we wouldn’t have recommended Johannesburg at all. It was a very discriminatory place. However, attitudes have now changed in the area. This is, in part, down to the fact that South Africa has codified anti-discrimination laws, which shook up a lot of the way that South African businesses operated.
Nowadays, the city is incredibly affordable, and very accepting. We’ve found a lot of gay bars and nightclubs spring up in the area.
The downside is that crime may be a little bit higher than some of the other countries on this list. So, if you do head to Johannesburg, you’ll want to keep your wits about you.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finally, we have San Jose in Costa Rica. Each year, the city has a pride festival that attracts over 100,000 people…and it seems to be getting bigger by the year. There is very little discrimination in San Jose, and the residents understand that gay culture delivers a lot of cash into the economy.
As this is Costa Rica, you can expect to spend a lot of time developing a tan, having a swim, and partying at all sorts of nightclubs and bars. You may even be able to sink yourself into some decent food.
The cost of staying in San Jose is incredibly cheap, but you may have to do a bit of shopping around to make sure that you get the right destination for you.
There you have it. If you’re looking for affordable gay-friendly cities to travel to, we’ve given you a great starting point here. You may also want to check out a few other places in Western Europe, or some of the smaller places in the East or West coast of the US. We’ll sure that you’ll find the perfect place to stay!