Top 7 Most Friendly LGBTQ+ Places to Travel

Enjoy traveling without the need to worry about your safety.

Mariana Arboleda, Editor-in-Chief

Are you queer and worried about being targeted and harassed during your vacations? While many places are accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, there are still many places considered dangerous. 

The friendliest LGBTQ+ places below are determined by the number of laws that support the queer community, and how open and progressive they are. Yet, policy does not always reflect public opinion, so still be cautious when you travel.  

1. Sweden

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According to a report from 2019 by Asher and Lyric, Sweden is categorized as the second safest place to travel for the LGBTQ+ community. It is also recognized as the “most inclusive and progressive” country in the world by the ILGA, or the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association.  Sweden was also the first country ever to allow trans people to change their legal gender post-transition in 1972. Gay marriage has been legal since 2009, and even encourage the community to visit.  

Stay at the rainbow-colored city, Gothenburg at Pigalle, visit the best restaurants in the archipelago or go camping literally anywhere.  

2. Uruguay

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One of the most progressive countries in South America with gay rights and laws, Uruguay occupies the top spot for LGBTQ+ rights. Gay marriage has been legal since 1934, and conversion therapy and discrimination on sexuality remain illegal. According to Lola Mendez of The Times, “same-sex civil unions, marriage, adoption recognition, name changes for children over 12, military service, and blood donation have all been legalized.” 

Visit Playa Chihuahua, known by many LGBTQ+ people, or Montevideo, the capital that holds almost half of the nation’s population.  

3. Aruba 

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Called “One Happy Island,” Arubans are known to be very progressive and inclusive. Aruba is qualified as a “C-”, and they have legalized gay marriage and have LGBTQ+ worker protections. However, they do not criminalize violence against the community and do not have transgender legal identity laws.   

Stay at this beautiful Caribbean Island where you can enjoy its dazzling beaches, or its charming capital, Oranjestad, the island’s cruise port and home of Dutch colonial architecture.  

4. Israel

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Also known as the “gay capital of the Middle East” with its capital, Tel Aviv, having the most gay culture in the nation. A newly progressive nation in LGBTQ rights, same-sex unions have been legal since 2020, and same-sex relations have been allowed since 1988. Transgender identity laws are legal.  

Visit some of the best gay clubs in the nation, Shpagat, or participate in the only gay pride parade in the Middle East in the first weekend of June.  

5. Taiwan

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In a continent where the LGBTQ+ communities are harshly discriminated against, Taiwan stands as the only east Asian country to legalize gay marriage in 2019 and even as of now, same-sex couples can adopt children. Taiwan has never had any anti-LGBTQ+ laws in its government.  

Stay in the busy capital of Taipei or relax in Taichung where you can stay at the best hostel in the area, Norden Ruder Hostel.  

6. South Africa

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Though most of the African continent has anti-LGTBQ+ laws, South Africa, or “The Rainbow Nation” as called by Lola Mendez in The Times, is the first country to have a constitution where it protects sexual orientation. It also became the fifth country to legalize gay marriage in 2006 and held the first African gay pride parade in Johannesburg in 1990.  

Go on an exciting safari tour at the Krugger National Park, or visit Cape Town, recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  

7. Iceland

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According to the Asher and Lyric report from 2019, Iceland occupies the 11th spot as the safest place to travel to, earning an “A-” in how safe it is. It has legalized gay marriage since 2015, worker protections, protection against discrimination, adoption recognition for same-sex couples since 2006, and transgender legal identity laws. The people of Iceland are very accepting of this community, though gay culture is very limited in such a small nation. 

Visit the two only openly gay clubs, Kiki and Curious, in the capital Reykjavik or attend the annual gay parade along with the Rainbow Festival in February.