LGBTQ Travel in 2019

2019 might just be the queerest year ever in travel. How come? One word: Stonewall. The New York City bar uprising that kicked off the modern LGBTQ-rights movement turns 50 in June and you better believe nearly every Pride event worldwide will be celebrating, big time. Not that Pride events are the only reason to pack our bags.

From gorgeous beach destinations to dynamic urban experiences, LGBTQ travelers are always looking for that next “new” place to visit. But the queer community still has some old standbys, places that are accepting and hold a special place in its collective heart. Here are the top 20 places that should be on the radar for queer travelers in 2019.

Montreal, Canada

In addition to being perhaps one of the most European cities in North America, Montreal hosts one of the largest Pride events in the world. Why spend the money and the time to fly over to Paris, when there’s a lovely alternative that’s less than a two-hour flight from most of the East Coast?

Brno, Czech Republic

While Prague has been hot for many years, gay travelers are also discovering the Czech Republic’s second largest city and the fantastic surrounding Moravian countryside. There is a small town feel to the city, which is sometimes called the country’s Biggest Village. Visitors here enjoy the blend of ancient and modern architecture.


This Southeast Asian gem has only opened up to the rest of the world in the last decade. The country is actively courting tourists in areas, and the American dollar goes extremely far here. While the country’s laws (like many others in Asia) are not friendly to LGBT citizens, more queer visitors are exploring the country’s cities and religious sites and have reported hospitality and acceptance in tourist areas.

New York City

New York is always a queer travelers’ hotspot, but 2019 looks to be something special, with the city’s hosting of World Pride 2019 as well as recognizing the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Visitors can party, see the sights and also reflect on how far we’ve come and what work we still have to do. 


From the urban excitement of Bangkok to the breathtaking beaches of Phuket to the amazing religious architecture of Chiang Mai, there’s an endless variety to see in this Southeast Asian country. Queer travelers have been warmly welcomed here for many years, and it’s inexpensive to get around and explore. Throw in cheap massages and what more can you want?

Chicago, Illinois

Hang out next summer at Chicago’s lovely Hollywood Beach, also called the “gay beach” in Edgewater. Chicago has a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous men, and you’ll find many of them here all summer long, not covering up any more than necessary. Plus, this Midwestern favorite is everything an American city aspires to be with great cuisine, important architecture, a friendly vibe, and impressive lodging to boot. 

Sitges, Spain

While Barcelona is on many best-of lists one of the favorite new queer destinations is this idyllic beach town located about 25 miles southwest of the Catalan giant. Sitges has long been an artistic hangout, and LGBTQ travelers will also enjoy the thriving nightlife scene here.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Queer visitors to this urban mecca come back year after year for its famously sunny weather, miles of great beaches, and gay-friendly vibe. In fact, some people even describe this second largest city in Israel as the gayest city on the planet. Tel Aviv is full of great museums, interesting architecture, hip restaurants and plenty of clubs.

Austin, Texas

Locals in Austin promote the concept of “Keep Austin Weird”—you’ll even see it on shirts and hats. So LGBTQ travelers will find a naturally welcoming place here. Austin is known worldwide for great live music, and its restaurant scene gets better every year. In addition to being an urban paradise, there is plenty of nature close by, so most anyone will find something to love here. 

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

While there’s really no bad time to visit this Mexican city, perched on a graceful bay, queer travelers seem to take it over each year from October through May, when temperatures across much of the U.S. are colder. Hardly a month or two pass by without a major annual event, from Pride to New Year’s to the White Party.

Asheville, North Carolina

This magical North Carolina city is set amidst the state’s western mountains and is perhaps most famous for the nearby Biltmore Estate. But there is a vibrant and active LGBTQ community here, and visitors will enjoy this progressive town’s college vibe, extensive art scene and abundant natural beauty. 

Mexico City, Mexico

Queer equality has been a reality in much of Mexico for years, and gay travelers will find a vibrant, active community in the country’s capital city. The bar scene here is fantastic, and the enormous metro area offers something for everyone, with world-class museums, great food and plenty of outside options, too.

Tokyo, Japan

This city is looking forward to hosting the 2020 Olympics, and queer travelers can get a head start on experiencing the city’s vibrancy in 2019. This densely populated metro area is more accepting of LGBTQ citizens than some expect, and you’ll find the requisite bars, saunas, dance clubs and more. Check out the new Toyosu Fish Market, which recently replaced the venerable Tsukiji market, which had to close due to Olympic construction. The new market is almost twice the size of the old one.

San Francisco, California

The City by the Bay has long been a mecca for gay travelers, and it continues to be an important global destination for LGBTQ tourists. From the nightlife in the Castro to the views around every corner to a thousand magical spots to discover, like the Palace of Fine Arts (pictured), there’s something for everyone in your gay gaggle.

London, England

London is a natural magnet for queer citizens in the United Kingdom and across Europe. It offers a fantastic array of attractions, along with plenty of history, an art and theater scene beyond compare, and plenty of architectural eye candy, both old and new.


Copenhagen, Denmark

This accepting city will be hosting World Pride and the EuroGames in 2021, so get a head start on your friends by checking out the Danish capital in 2019.Denmark was the world’s first country to recognize same-sex partnerships, in 1989, and the nation remains one of the most queer-friendly places you’ll find today.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, located on the picturesque shores of Lake Zurich, may bring to mind banking and finance, but the largest city in Switzerland also boasts convenient access to the Alps, beautiful waterfront promenades, and a liberal mindset that has resulted in a vibrant gay and lesbian scene. Come for the annual Pink Apple Film Festival or the city’s gay Angel parties, which happen four times per year.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong often walks a tightrope between Chinese and Western values, and its past treatment of LGBTQ people has not been good. But change is in the air here, and the city was recently awarded the 2022 Gay Games, giving the local queer community something exciting to build around.

Mykonos, Greece

You certainly can’t go wrong with traveling to a Greek island. But this very tolerant island continues to hold a special place in the hearts of queer travelers, thanks to its turquoise waters, well-preserved architecture, and fantastic weather. Head to the beaches on a sunny day, and you’ll find a plethora of gay and lesbian sunbathers.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The relationship between the gay community and not-queer-enough Vegas has always been somewhat of a bad romance. Dang, we just totally gave away our reason for including Sin City on this list. Yup, Lady Gaga will spend the bulk of 2019 parked at the Park Theater boasting not one, but two shows (“Enigma” and “Jazz and Piano”) right in the heart of the Strip and thus securing the city’s place as a must-visit destination for queers in the coming year. Also playing the Park in 2019? Britney and Cher. It doesn’t get any gayer.

Courtesy of MSN