The following is a guest post from Adrian H.
It’s a stark contrast to what the situation was like a few decades ago, or even a few years ago. Today, gay travellers who want to travel across Europe have plenty of choice to have good time without the discrimination. Several major cities across Europe have thriving party scenes for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. A gay-friendly city with a fantastic nightlife experience is just a flight away!
Despite the past, contemporary Berlin is both tolerant and welcoming of the LGBT community. Today, the gay and lesbian lifestyle is widely accepted and there are several pro-gay establishments that can make the tourist feel comfortable. Berlin is one of the few major cities to have elected a mayor who was gay, and made no bones about it. In 2001, before the elections, mayoral aspirant Klaus Wowereit stated proudly, “I’m gay, and that’s a good thing.” His subsequent election proves that the city has no bias. The city’s districts of Schoneberg, Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Tiergarten have several pubs, bars, cafes and discos dedicated to the gay lifestyle.
Madrid is fast emerging as one of the top gay tourist destinations in Europe. Inexpensive airlines fly daily to Madrid from most international cities and with one of the busiest and bustling gay nightlife in Europe, it makes it an ideal destination to explore gay and Latin culture. The Chueca district, just off the city centre, has the highest concentration of gay bars and discos, and is very popular with tourists. Gay tourists can choose from a variety of options including chill bars, flamenco bars, leather bars, drag bars and other themed bars. Several of these establishments mark themselves as gay-friendly with the rainbow flag. Lesbians can find many entertainment options and company in the Lavapies area. The Cava Baja Street and La Latina areas have fewer gay party-goers, but the people there are open and welcoming.
The city of Amsterdam is known to be very broadminded, but look for no further proof of the fact that it’s gay-friendly: the local government recently launched a micro-website that was called ‘Everyone’s gay in Amsterdam.’ This website is perhaps the first-ever official record of gay-friendly places in any city. The city also has a Gay Tourist Information Centre, dedicated to lesbian, gay and transgender tourists. Offline, gay tourists can find much of interest in the districts close to the city centre, a huge cluster of which is located near the Reguliersdwarsstraat, just off Rembrandtplein. The nightlife of this city is busy and happening; though there are several dedicated gay bars, gay tourists may find it worth their time to visit others as well, where there are no biases or discrimination.
London has been an important cultural and commercial city in Europe. Now, it’s leading the way by being a gay-friendly city too. London is said to have the most vibrant gay community in Europe, and the highest number of gay residents on the continent. A very active community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people has developed in the busy SoHo area. The city has special gay tourist offices for information on hotels, maps, guides and even charities. The city has several events catering specially to the LGBT community, and the choices are astounding: from gay parties to amateur strip contests, from special spots for no-shirt partygoers to drag comedy shows. London’s got everything, and it’s served with style! Cafes, bars, shopping centres, pubs and themed restaurants leave the gay tourist with too much choice and too little time to enjoy all of them.