created in partnership with BWYASSS

9 Of The Best Queer-Friendly Holiday Destinations

With Australians receiving an average of four weeks of annual leave per year, deciding where you want to holiday can be a tricky topic. Do you want sun or snow? An adventure or a lay-on-a-sun-lounge-while-being-handed-cocktails-on-tap trip? 
Whilst cost, location and weather are something people toss up, for the LGBTQIA+ community, there’s even more to consider. Will I be able to hold my loved one’s hand in public? Can my female partner and I share a one-bedroom hotel room without fear of judgement – or persecution
These are all valid questions, ones that despite society’s progress on LGBTQIA+ acceptance, queer travellers sadly need to ask.
To help make the travel choice slightly easier, we’ve collated a list of the best queer-friendly holiday destinations, so you can celebrate your love and your holidays the way you deserve. 

Sydney, Australia 

If you’re looking for an interstate (or city) trip this year, Sydney is one of the most LGBTQIA+ friendly cities in the world. From the world-famous Mardi Gras festival to Pride in June, Sydney is a city that elevates (and celebrates) its queer community. 
With the iconic Oxford Street precinct housing businesses that support the LGBTQIA+ community, including BWYASSS, and gay bars galore, you’re sure to have a magical time in the New South Wales capital. 

Wagga Wagga, Australia

It's not all about the metropolitan cities. Take a trip to regional New South Wales on March 9th to attend the Wagga Wagga Mardis Gras festival. There'll be markets, drag bingo, live performances and a parade.
It's one of country New South Wales' biggest parties of the year and an important way for regional queer folks to feel just as loved, celebrated and embraced as those in the major cities.
For more things to do around Australia during Pride (and beyond), take a look at the BWYASSS Supporting Pride Far & Wide site. From inclusive venues to businesses that support and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community, it's a go-to map and resource for queer people and allies.

São Paulo, Brazil

Let’s go international, baby. Beginning in 1997, the Parada Gay São Paulo is one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year. Of course, you don’t need to travel during Pride or even celebrate it on holiday, but the fact that the city has a strong queer community is a comforting fact to know when travelling as an LGBTQIA+ person. 
There are gay districts such as Frei Caneca Street and Largo do Arouche as well as gay club, The Week. If museums are more your style, check out the Museu da Diversidade Sexual (Museum of Sexual Diversity). 

New York City, United States

Bright lights, big city. New York City is a must-do for LGBTQIA+ people. There are so many neighbourhoods rich in queer history including the West Village, Williamsburg, Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea.
If you want to pay homage to the 1969 Stonewall Riots that led to the first ever Pride parade and a turning of the tide on LGBTQIA+ acceptance, head to Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan. With its rich arts and culture scene and large population, New York City is one of the most queer-friendly destinations in the world. 

Mykonos, Greece  

If you’re up for a beachside holiday, consider Mykonos. It’s a top gay-friendly destination and there are a number of LGBTQIA+ positive hotels and clubs to choose from. 
Also in Greece is Lesbos, home to Sappho of Lesbos, an ancient Greek poet whose name and passionate work inspired the terms 'sapphic' and 'lesbian’. Many LGBTQIA+ women make the pilgrimage to her birthplace in the village of Skala Eresou. 

Barcelona, Spain  

Whilst many parts of Spain welcome LGBTQIA+ people with open arms, Barcelona is a great pick. It was the first Spanish city to hold a demonstration for LGBTQIA+ rights in 1977 and has a strong drag culture. 
The L'Esquerra de l'Eixample neighbourhood is where many of the gay bars are located if you’re keen to meet new people in a safe space. 

Bangkok, Thailand

When it comes to Asian destinations, Bangkok is a queer-friendly travel location to consider. With a fun nightlife and large acceptance of transgender people, Bangkok is one to put on LGBTQIA+ people’s holiday lists. 

Berlin, Germany

This cultural capital is one to visit if you want to immerse yourself in Europe's famous nightlife. From world-renowned nightclubs to its sex-positive attitudes, Berlin makes for a queer-friendly bucket list location.

Reykjavík, Iceland

Thanks to its progressive laws, Iceland is an LGBTQIA+ haven. The country has some of the most trans-friendly legislations in the world and hosts fun LGBTQIA+ events all year long.
Want to continue supporting local LGBTQIA+ resources? Check out the BWYASSS Supporting Pride Far & Wide site, made in collaboration with BWS.

It features Pride events, inclusive venues, BWYASSS stores, and LGBTQIA+ owned and run businesses across the country who continue to advocate for members of the local community.

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