10 of the Most Welcoming LGBTQ Countries in the World

Members of the LGBTQ+ community deserve to travel and explore the world freely like anyone else. However, some countries are more welcoming to LGBTQ+ travelers than others. From Malta to Iceland, these countries are the safest places for queer tourists to visit.

1. Malta

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The small Mediterranean island of Malta is one of the most progressive places for LGBTQ+ people to live. The country was one of the first in the world to outlaw conversion therapy or any practice created to repress people’s sexuality in 2016.

2. Canada

Toronto, Canada
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Canada was the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2005. Many areas of Canada are safe to visit and openly be yourself, but Toronto is one of the best destinations for queer travelers. This Canadian city has one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ populations in the world, and they host an incredible Pride festival every year.

3. Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - DECEMBER 15: Plaza indepedencia with the building Palacio Salvo and the statue of Jose Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay at December 15, 2012.
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Uruguay is the best travel destination in South America for LGBTQ+ tourists. Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community was outlawed in 2003, and same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013. Uruguay’s cities host multiple pride events, including the weekend-long seaside celebration at Punta Pride.

4. Australia

Apollo Bay township, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
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Add Australia to your bucket list if you want to enjoy a vibrant queer culture on vacation. Each major city hosts ample queer nightlife, like gay bars and clubs; some even feature LGBTQ+ cafes. The best city with the most famous gay scene is Sydney, Australia’s largest city.

5. Sweden

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Known as one of the most progressive countries globally, Sweden doesn’t disappoint regarding LGBTQ+ rights and culture. Sweden hosts more pride festivals per capita than any other country on the planet. From gay bars, restaurants, hotels, and even a CinemaQueer, an LGBTQ+ film festival, there are plenty of exciting queer activities and events in Sweden.

6. South Africa

South Africa. Safari in Kruger National Park - African Elephants (Loxodonta africana)
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South Africa is the most LGBTQ+-friendly country in Africa, and its cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg are fantastic locations for queer travelers. In between gazing at the gorgeous scenery and embarking on safari adventures, LGBTQ+ tourists in South Africa have access to gay bars and nightlife in the big cities.

7. Chile

Santiago de Chile dwontown after sunset, Chile
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Chile recently legalized same-sex marriage in 2021. While many rural areas are less LGBTQ+ friendly, some Santiago neighborhoods like Bellavista and Parque Forestal are the best places for queer travelers to visit to feel safe and engage in local gay culture. Visit in June to enjoy Santiago Gay Pride and connect with the country’s unique queer culture.

8. Portugal

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Portugal is known as one of Europe’s most welcoming countries to LGBTQ+ people. No matter which big cities you visit, you can find the local queer neighborhood to visit bars, cafes, and hotels designed specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. As you explore the vibrant and colorful cities and enjoy delicious wine and seafood, you will feel at home as a queer person in Portugal.

9. Iceland

Beautiful view of the historic town of Husavik with traditional colorful houses and traditional fisherman boats lying in the harbor in golden evening light at sunset, northern coast of Iceland
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On top of its otherworldly landscapes and unique culture, Iceland is an attractive travel destination because of its attitude toward the queer community. Same-sex marriage was legalized back in 2010. There are many LGBTQ+-specific tours you can take throughout Iceland to learn about the local queer scene and discover LGBTQ+ shops and bars to check out.

10. The Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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As the home of the oldest existing LGBTQ+ activist organization globally, The Netherlands is famous for its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights. Queer culture is vibrant in big cities like Amsterdam, which hosts an annual pride festival and many LGBTQ+-friendly bars and events.
What other travel destinations are LGBTQ+ friendly?

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