On the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we take a look at the world's best cities for LGBT+ people to live and thrive.
We have come a long way since the dark days of the Stonewall Riots in NYC. This event was started by LGBT+ people (notably LGBT+ people of colour) who resisted police brutality, intimidation and harassment and is often cited as the beginning of the landmark gay rights movement. Years later, there are still LGBT+ people in cities all around the world who still experience the same police brutality, bigotry and persecution that the veterans of the Stonewall riots and communities around the world have fought so hard against.
On the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Nestpick compiled a list of the gay cities in the world for LGBT+ people to live and thrive in, in tribute to places around the world that embrace love, diversity and acceptance. The list was compiled by analysing different locations around the world regarding how they treat LGBT+ based on certain criteria. As well as looking at laws regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people (such as the right to marry, adopt children or equal age of consent), other factors were also considered including the gay dating scene, gay nightlife, the open-mindedness of citizens and levels of hate crime. For each section, the city was ranked out of 5 and their totals tallied which in turn gave the best cities in the world for LGBT+ people in 2017. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 cities on the list:
1. Madrid, Spain
It’s not hard to see why Madrid came out on top. This bustling city achieved almost near-perfect scores under every category. Madrid is home to one of the largest gay communities in the world and is the host of the annual World Pride, which aims to celebrate diversity and highlight communities still fighting for their rights around the world. Madrid was also the host of EuroPride in 2017, making it the centre of pride celebrations that year. Check out our Spanish Hotel Collection to find out which luxury hotels in Madrid we’ve highlighted for your next vacation to Spain.
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2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam has been recognised as one of the most open and liberal places in the world for a very long time and is very inclusive of everyone, no matter their sexuality or gender identity. Amsterdam has many gay-friendly districts, from the LGBT nightlife district around Reguliersdwarsstraat to the LGBT-friendly shops around Zeedijk and Warmoesstraat, and hosts an impressive gay pride celebration.
3. Toronto, Canada
Toronto is one of the most LGBT-friendly and multicultural cities on the planet and is known for being very progressive and accepting of all people. With two gay villages under its belt (Church & Wesley and Queer West), there are many safe places for LGBT+ people around this Canadian city. Our Canadian Eastern Adventure Fly Drive itinerary might give you some ideas for a visit here and to other key Canadian cities.
4. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is the LGBT+ centre of the Middle East, standing out from neighbouring countries that aren’t as gay-friendly. Tel Aviv is an ever more popular tourist destination for LGBT+ people to visit due to its tolerance and diversity, as well as the addition of its amazing weather and beautiful beaches, including Hilton Beach – the ‘unofficial gay beach’ of the city. Experience the excitement and vibrancy of Tel Aviv with our Tel Aviv City Break itinerary.
5. London, United Kingdom
The historic capital of the UK comes in fifth in the survey, scoring highly with its eclectic gay nightlife offerings as well as openness in the city. London is home to one of the most famous gay districts in the world (Soho) and is regularly a world leader when it comes to highlighting LGBT+ rights with the biggest pride celebrations in the country, London Pride. Check out our England: Crown and Country itinerary to get the best out of a vacation to this metropolitan city, as well as Edinburgh in Scotland.
To check out the full list of all 100 cities, click here.