Best LGBTQ travel destinations for queer travellers

Queer couple touring rainbow mountains, collage

Queer travellers, good news: there are many amazing travel destinations around the world ready to welcome and celebrate you with Pride!

So let’s run down some iconic holiday inspo for LGBTQIAP+ travellers, no matter if you're keen on exploring, adventuring, or relaxing. 

(And don’t forget to pack travel insurance!)

1. Mykonos, Greece

Collage of a gay couple in Mykonos
Mykonos, Greece.
  • Thriving queer nightlife
  • Beaches for days

You knew it had to be here. The Greek island of Mykonos is famed worldwide for its beauty, culture, and iconic queerness. You can party the nights away, sail the sapphire Aegean Sea, and try some of the most delicious restaurants Europe has to offer. 

But even if the nightlife isn’t for you, there’s plenty of shopping, ancient architecture, and festivals for all kinds of folx to check out. 

Hot tip! Avoid peak season by booking for April to June or late September to October. (The beaches will still be lovely, promise!)

2. Palm Springs, California

Collage of Trixie Mattel in Palm Springs, California
American drag queen Trixie Mattel in Palm Springs, California.
  • Quirky and hawt
  • All the drag

An oasis in the blazing desert, Palm Springs has established itself as one of the premiere destinations for LGBTQIAP+ travellers, primarily thanks to a secret queer history dating back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. (Scandal!) There are drag bars and funky desert markets, and plenty of queer-friendly resorts that are clothing optional. Time to work on your tan!

Plus, you still get access to California in general: Big Sur, San Francisco, Legoland – all kinds of fun for all kinds of gays!

For extra Queer Points, book a stay in the luxe and luscious Trixie Motel. It’s LGBTQIAP-owned and operated, hunty.

3. Berlin, Germany

Collage of Marlene Dietrich against Gorbachev kissing mural in Berlin, Germany.
Marlene Dietrich in Berlin, Germany.
  • Incredible EDM scene
  • Museums and mouth-watering foods

Sculling lagers and partying till sunrise in some of the world’s oldest queer boroughs certainly has its merits, and Berlin has well-earned its reputation as one of Europe’s coolest cities. But this fascinating place is more than just über-Kuhl – it’s rife with culture, delicious cuisines, and deep history. Marlene Dietrich was born here, after all, in the centre of all gay life in Berlin: Schöneberg.

So why not stay in the Gay Hostel (for under 38s) to make some friends? Walk the laneways and tour galleries full of priceless artworks. Blend in with the locals by dying your hair blue. Plus, if you feel like staying, Germany has one of the best rental markets in the world. Sehr interessant!

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Collage of a gay couple getting married against the tulip-riddled backdrop of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • OG gay rights supporters
  • Rainbow party boats on canals

Everybody loves Amsterdam, and Amsterdam certainly loves everybody. Many queer couples flocked to the city to have their relationships recognised as de facto before the Netherlands became one of the first countries to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. 

Now, Amsterdam has become a hotbed for exciting nightlife, eclectic festivals, and intellectualism. Catch some local football or ride a bike to get the most out of the city, and walk the Red Lights district for an eye-opening experience. Behold absolutely stunning works housed in the Van Gogh museum, then cap it all off with drinks on a canal boat.

5. Stockholm, Sweden

Collage of ABBA against Stockholm, Sweden.
ABBA in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Hosts Eurovision in 2024
  • ABBA museum

Speaking of Schengen Area Europe, Sweden (and its meatballs) are unmissable for queer folx. From Scandi fashion (who doesn’t love a long black coat) to epic coffees and gothic architecture, there’s a classy and campy vibe to one of the world’s most welcoming cities in one of the most welcoming countries. 

Stockholm itself is a sprawling wonderland of cobblestone streets, chilly rivers, and delightful queer nightlife. Why not stop by the ABBA museum or book in time to celebrate Eurovision 2024? Sophisticated and cosmopolitan by day, glam pants by night.

6. Auckland, New Zealand

Collage of actor Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield from the Hobbit against Auckland, New Zealand.
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in Auckland, New Zealand. Image courtesy of New Line Cinema and Getty.
  • OMG hobbits
  • Gimme beaches and cheap flights from Australia

Looking for somewhere closer to home? Don’t underestimate New Zealand! The Kiwi capital has a fascinatingly rich and active queer community, alongside the stunning natural surrounds, thriving Maori culture, and day-trip potential. 

Hobbiton, anyone? 

7. Taipei, Taiwan

Drag queen Darice Chang against Taipei, Taiwan, collage.
Nonbinary Taiwanese drag queen Darice Chang in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Vibrant cities and lush forests
  • Yummy street food

Where else can LGBT folx find hot springs and some of the world’s tallest buildings? Yass to Taiwan, which became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019. 

As the progressive capital, Taipei welcomes travellers of all shades of the rainbow and offers delicious dining, shopping, and entertainment to suit different tastes. It’s a city of modernity and tradition, ready to be embraced with an open heart. 

8. Edinburgh, Scotland

Party girl collage in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Adorable queer cafes
  • Breathtaking vistas

Everyone knows to visit London in the UK, but queer folx, take note: Edinburgh is unmissable if you’re sick of being the only gay in the village. Brownstone cobbled laneways, queer bookstores and cafes, and buzzing pub atmospheres make this a friendly place for everyone. 

Hike the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, then come home for a pint and a friendly laugh by the fire. Dance with your special someone at a Friday night ceilidh (kay-lee) before jetting off to the clubs. Ach aye, t’is the best of times.

9. Washington DC, USA

Collage of lesbians in Washington, DC.
Washington, DC.
  • World Pride 2025
  • More than just memorials

As host of the next World Pride event (though Sydney will be a tough act to follow), Washington DC has drawn eyes from queer people around the globe. And no wonders! The capital of the USA is more than just presidential memorials and colonial-style homes: it’s an LGBTQ sanctuary. 

Astonishingly diverse and progressive, Washington DC boasts plenty of ‘gaybourhoods’, trendy nightclubs, and scrumptious restaurants for every delight. Don’t miss the 17th Street High Heel Drag Race!

Bonus! Queer-friendly travel destinations and where to get travel advice

Gay couple looking up travel guides on their laptop

As a Pride Month bonus, here are five more incredible queer-friendly spots to check out:

  • New York, USA
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Reykjavík, Iceland

Keen on more travel inspiration? Queer in the World has a ton of local travel guides, recommendations, and safety advice for LGBTQ+ travellers.

Which destinations are covered by travel insurance?

Smartraveller, run by the Australian government, also has an LGBT hub page for how to stay safe abroad. Destinations rated as Level 2 (exercise a high degree of caution) or Level 1 (exercise normal safety precautions) are typically some of the safest places to travel. They will usually be included in coverage on a travel insurance policy. 

Before jetting off, read up on advice for your chosen destinations, and always read the PDS before signing up for a policy. Happy Pride!

Compare international travel insurance for your next vacation below. Booking flights and accommodation? Compare deals using Wotif or Agoda

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Last updated 21 July 2024 Important disclosures
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Travel Insurance
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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
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    covid cancellation cover
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    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    Enjoy unlimited medical cover and 24/7 emergency assistance services when you travel. Get unlimited cover for cancellation fees and prepaid travel expenses. Cover for luggage and travel documents. $5,000,000 personal liability cover.

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    Choose $10,000 to Unlimited

    Backed by the NIB, one of Australia’s largest travel insurance providers, Travel Insurance Saver brings you peace of mind on your travels. Compare three tiers of insurance cover, featuring benefits like 24 hour emergency assistance, emergency medical cover, luggage cover, cancellation cover and more.

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    Be covered for international overseas and medical expenses. Emergency medical assistance 24 hours/365 days a year. Cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits. Cover for luggage and personal money. Dependents covered free of charge (conditions apply). Limited COVID cover available. Cancellation cover for COVID claims limited to $3,500.

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