There are very few things better than a great party - but there’s nothing better than a party that allows you to feel safe, included, and secure in your identity, in a community of vibrant people who feel the same.
Pride is a fantastic and colourful celebration of love and diversity, it is something to be celebrated, to come together and uplift queer voices. To celebrate Pride Month, we have explored the internet to discover the most inclusive and LGBTQ+-friendly destinations in Europe and the UK. These are the locations that really commit to LGBTQ+ friendly social safe spaces, pride events and safety.
Using a seed list of UK-based cities and destinations in Europe, we were able to determine how progressive each of these locations were, by utilising tools such as Hotels.com, DesignMyNight.com, Yelp and many more. So pour yourself a drink and get ready to paint the town.
Ranked: The Top LGBTQ+ Party Destinations In Europe
First up on the list of the hottest and gayest places to let your hair down in Europe is Prague, renowned for its rich history and enchanting architecture, like something from a fairy tale. Prague is known for being gay friendly, legalising homosexuality 5 years before the UK, with a comprehensive set of anti-discrimination laws in place since 2009.
Did you know it boasts an impressive 52 LGBTQ+ bars within the city? This allowed it to score 7.1/10 in our overall rankings for bars. The main gay area of Prague is in the trendy residential neighbourhood of “Vinohrady”.
We also looked into the safety aspects of walking home alone at night. This highlighted a strong score of 9.2/10, along with a reassuring hate crime rating of 7.5/10. This was discovered on the living database Numbeo, which considers any crime rate lower than 20 very low (Prague scored a very reassuring 17).
Second on the list was Madrid, which scored 7.1/10 when it came to hate crimes, highlighting an impressive level of safety measures for the LGBTQ+ community. Spain has been recognised as one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly destinations in the world, and queer culture has made its mark in Spanish literature, music and cinema as well as social issues and politics.
Our research demonstrated that there were 98 bars in Madrid with over a three-star rating on Google, as well as an overall safety score of 7.9/10.
Finally, in third place was another Spanish city, Gran Canaria. The stunning island boasts plenty of top-quality gay-exclusive accommodation, with establishments created solely with LGBTQ people in mind. This top 3 party destination scored 8.8/10 when it came to the safety of walking home at night, along with a hate crime score of 10/10 - the safest score in the entire list.
Pride Weekenders Around Europe, Ranked
Looking for somewhere to let your pride flag fly? Look no further than these European Pride Weekenders, renowned for their diversity, safety measures and ability to put on a queer party like no other.
Crowned the ultimate European Pride Weekender is Mykonos Gay Pride, which will take place in August, ranking with our top score of 33.4/40. This score takes into account bars, hotels, drinks prices, safety and how Instagrammable the location is - all scored out of 10.
Crack open Skyscanner, as Mykonos scored 9.2/10 when it came to available hotels in the area, with 552 found on Booking.com. It also scored a very impressive 9.2/10 in regards to drinks prices, with the average tipple costing a very fair £1.54 or €1.83.
Taking our second spot came Barcelona Gay Pride, with an overall ranking of 29.3/40. Despite only achieving 4.2/10 when it came to the price of drinks, averaging £3.36 and €4.00, Barcelona steps back into the game with a respectable hotel scoring of 8.8/10.
Finally, in third place we had Rome Gay Pride, which walked away with 28.8/40 - making it a very close call between Rome, Barcelona and Mykonos. Famous for being quite expensive, Rome unsurprisingly scored only 4.2/10 (the same as Mykonos) when it came to the prices of bevs, averaging at the exact same prices too. However, Italy truly comes out on top in terms of Instagrams Pride hashtags, scoring 9.2/10 with an average of 2,700,000 ‘pride’ hashtags.
Ranked: The Top LGBTQ+ Party Spots In The UK and Ireland
Who said you needed to hop onto a plane to have the best queer night of your life? Not us! Utilising a seed list of twelve major UK and Irish cities, we were able to determine a final score out of 40, after considering the range of eccentric clubs, number of hate crimes, general safety, drinks prices, hotels, and social media engagement.
And it’s official - Brighton is the place to be for LGBTQ+ partygoers. Our UK gay capital scored 9.1/10 when it came to overall safety, offering peace of mind to those wishing to express their identity in peace and harmony. Brighton Pride also racked up an incredible 2.7 million TikTok views for its Pride Weekend, with over 500k supporters in attendance.
Taking second place is London, with the highest Pride Hashtag score of 10/10, boasting 227k Instagram captures of the event. It’s also the biggest UK pride with over a million attendees, demonstrating how many people in the LGBTQ+ community are flocking to the big smoke to celebrate love and equality. In total, London scored 32.70/40.
In third place came Edinburgh, with a very impressive safety score of 10/10 when it came to how comfortable people felt walking home. From cosy pubs to a buzzing nightlife, this location also achieved a monumental 9.1/10 for its array of hotel options, along with a 9.1/10 for its low hate crime score. With all of this date taken into consideration, Edinburgh scored 31.8/40.
The Best UK and Irish LGBTQ+ Bars, Ranked
What’s a party without a bar? Not a party at all. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the best gay bars and clubs in the UK and Ireland, scoring each one out of 40. This score takes into account the number of Instagram followers the bar has, the number of hashtags, the distance to public transport (nobody wants to walk that far after a few gins), and Google rating score.
First up, we have Cardiff, serving up the best queer parties with a dazzling score of 24/40. Cardiff comes equipped with bars and safe spaces and such as The Queer Emporium, which often host events with local drag queens and cabarets. The bar also boasts a Google rating of 10/10, along with 8.3/10 when it comes to Instagram followers.
Cardiff's Tonight Josephine, which came in third place, blew everyone out of the running with a staggering score of 80,800 Instagram followers, allowing them to achieve 10/10 in that ranking. This score is unsurprising, due to the brands infamous reputation for drag queen brunches and general boozy debauchery.
Promoting a young and open-minded vibe due to its large student population, Leeds comes second on the list for its gay scene, with an overall ranking of 23.7/40. This score came down to vibrant party locations such as Bar Fibre, which boasts four floors of next-level partying. As well as this, they came out on top of the Instagram world with a gigantic 12,500 followers (10/10).
In third place was London, with a score of 23.1/40. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern took the lead with 28.9/40, with an almost unbeatable Instagram hashtag score of 9,364 - obtaining 10/10 in the rankings. The Cock Tavern, complete with a Georgian Tiki vibe, scored a respectable 24.2/40 overall. The tavern scored 10/10 when it came to their Google ranking, as well as 6.3/10 in terms of Instagram followers.
Despite the world still having a long way to go in terms of acceptance and truly letting go of all its prejudices, there are celebrations of joy and community to be had in the forms of these diverse and inclusive destinations. So raise a glass this Pride Month and have the party of your life!