Knowing where the gay villages of a city or region you’re visiting can make a big difference to how much interaction with other gay travellers and locals you might have on your travels. Having never been to any in North America or Asia, I cannot comment on those, but here are five of my favourites from elsewhere.

Vinohrady, Prague

Prague may be one of Eastern Europe’s most gay-friendly cities, and Vinohrady is the place to be to experience the city’s thriving gay scene.

Vinohrady, Prague
Vinohrady, Prague

Soho, London

Centred around Old Compton Street, Soho may be one of Europe’s oldest gay villages with gay pubs dating back to the 1940s. London might seem like an overwhelming enormous place to the first time visitor, but you never know who you’ll meet: I met my husband here!

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital is definitely something of a gay mecca in South America, and San Telmo, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, is without question at the centre of attention when it comes to all things gay in Buenos Aires. It’s also a great place for market shopping on Sundays.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires
San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Le Marais, Paris

Since the 1980s, this district in the third and fourth arrondissement of France’s capital has had a strong gay presence, and it doesn’t take much wandering around to notice all the rainbow flags, gay nightclubs and men walking hand in hand.

Barrio Alto, Lisbon

The own town of Lisbon, or Barrio Alto, is a less obvious gay village than others, in the sense that many of its bars and clubs are not specifically aimed at a gay clientele, but rather are very gay-friendly. It’s definitely more the place to come if you’re looking for intimate, cosy settings rather than huge nightclubs, which you’ll find elsewhere in the city.

Barrio Alto, Lisbon
Barrio Alto, Lisbon