Gay Villages Around the World: It’s Pride Month! We begin this joyous, meaningful month with a collection of features dedicated solely to LGBTQ+ travelers. Follow a gay writer’s thought-provoking Kentucky road trip and learn about tropical honeymoon hotspots that embrace all genders. Then, find inspiration for your future trips with our guide to gay cruises, charming LGBTQ+ bookstores, and the world’s liveliest gay villages. However you make your way through the facilities, we are glad you are with us to celebrate the beauty of travel space and beyond, and the importance of inclusivity and representation.
In the planet’s largest cities, “gay villages,” or “gayboroughs,” refer to nightlife-focused neighborhoods where LGBTQ+ people congregate and live. Usually littered with queer-focused publications that guide the community on where to party each night of the week, they were born out of necessity. Today, they become magnets for acceptance where authenticity is valued above everything else. Although attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people have changed positively over the years, causing many historically gay neighborhoods to lose business, they are still celebrated as centers of enjoyment for all.
We intentionally left out a few major gay villages, like San Francisco’s Castro, New York’s Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, and Boystown in Chicago, but that’s not to say those neighborhoods aren’t great either. It’s just that they already get a lot of love. Read on for lesser-known homosexuality around the world and get 411 on the best bars, eateries, and other queer-focused businesses that will support you as you travel.
The 8 Best Gay Villages Around the World
- Gay Village, Montreal, Quebec
Montreal’s Gay Village is a concentrated mix of LGBTQ+ watering holes (Bar Aigle Noir, District), strip clubs (Stock Bar and GI Joe), and mega dance clubs (Club Unity), both young and young at heart. People in line are watching as they walk in the street. Since a large portion of Gay Village’s St. Catherine Street East is pedestrianized, it is a leisurely activity that is best enjoyed on a Saturday night or Sunday Funday. Or you can just take a seat and watch the show at Bar Renard, which serves outdoor dining in the hot summer months and bills itself as a safe space free of the label, and spirit of this friendly gay neighborhood. accurately represents.
Cabaret Meadow is the place to see drag shows, while Le Stud is a more casual bar with a “daddy” vibe—and while French is the dominant language in Montreal, you don’t need to speak a lick of it to get here. As most people also speak English, this makes it very easy to flirt while traveling to Paris. If you need a place to couture, the trendy 30-room Studio Living is a queer-owned local hotel.
- Taylor Square, Sydney, Australia
Pumping with queer nightlights, Taylor Square Village and the surrounding gay district of Darlinghurst serve as a central hub for the queer community below. Every year they host their world-famous gay and lesbian Mardi Gras, and in 2023 the venue will host World Pride, exposing Sydney’s beloved homosexuality to a large crowd. “It is also speculated that by the time of the World Pride event, there may be a new LGBTQ+ memorial and museum in the area,” said Dynamite Travel’s Dr. Terika Haynes, a luxury travel consultancy with a specialty in LGBTQ+ travel, said.
Queer people can patronize the gay sauna (Bodyline), drag show bar (Ginger), and even eat and party in what was formerly a funeral home (Kincelles Hotel). The latter is an Art Deco treasure that feels like something out of “The Birdcage,” with street fountains flowing right outside its imposing doors. Meanwhile, the Stonewall Hotel is the place to find an institution and lively theme nights, making it a solid choice for any night of the week. To finally rest your feet, check out the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, which is popular with gay travelers and is close to all the action of Oxford Street’s nightlife scene.
- Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Most LGBTQIA+ life centered around Schoenberg in Berlin until the ’20s. “The great thing about this village is that it includes not only bars and lounges but tag-approved/LGBTQ+ friendly hotels and accommodations as well,” Haynes said. Such queer-focused accommodations include the adults-only Axel Hotel, which has a hot tub, and the Toms Hotel, which is popular with boys and has a range of room types to accommodate everyone from singles to groups.
Berlin is a city where you can find almost any type of nightlife, so expect everything from cocktail bars like Blond to casual lounges like Heil Welt. In New Action, a popular dive with a dance floor filled with laser lights, they are known for their leather and BDSM nights. The friendly Prinzknecht is a Berlin right of way for most queer visitors, styled like a pub serving a great selection of beers—but keeping things interesting with a dash of fetishism, which is what most nightlife in the neighborhood does. is omnipresent. After a night on the town, Schönberg’s breakfast scene kicks off early at the gay-friendly Romeo and Romeo, where the pastries and cakes are delicious, and the quirky-influenced art surrounds you.
- Gayborhood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Follow Google Maps to the intersection of Walnut and 13th Streets and you’ll stand in front of The Woodies, the oldest center of queer life in The City of Brotherly Love, filled with several rooms where you can listen to different styles of music. can dance. , Compact in size, the Geborough of Philly—which is hard to miss because of its rainbow road signs—runs from 11th and Wide Streets to Pine and Chestnut Streets but stretches outside those boundaries.
This lively part of town is home to a number of restaurants on 13th Street, such as the queer-owned and crowd-pleasing Lolita and Barbuzzo. Nok Restaurant and Bar, Taboo Lounge and Sports Bar, and Tavern on Camac, the latter of which is a popular Piano Lounge, where queues look for food and dish. Meander at U Bar, a neighborhood space with windows that face the street for people to see—it’s also the most likely place to have a conversation.
Around the corner, bike stops are a better option for sewing your oats, especially if you’re into leather. The party essentially moves to after-hours in Voyeur, a mega-club with separate dance floors, although over the years, it has become less explicitly queer and includes all the late-night boobies in Philly. . To support gay-owned businesses in town, visit Marcie Blaine for some sweet, Philly AIDS thrift, which gives proceeds to local AIDS organizations, LGBTQ+ bookstore Giovanni’s Room, and knitting shop Loop Yarn.
- Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires has been dubbed one of the most queer-friendly destinations in South America, and the eclectic SoHo section of the Palermo neighborhood is where most of the gay bars, clubs, LGBTQ+ friendly restaurants, and accommodations can be found in La Reina del Plata. can. Bookmark Kimi Zero, Peuteo, and Work Bar for the night, and Maricafe—part cafe, bar, and bookstore—for a more chill experience or just a lovely bite with friends. America, a gay mega-club, keeps the city that goes with salsa very late at night.
We wouldn’t want to mention Tres de Febrero, which has a reputation for gay cruises, but it’s also a lovely park to enjoy and where you’re likely to run into queer porteos as you go about your daily life. And while it’s not located in Palermo, Lugar Gay de Buenos Aires, a slightly upgraded but still no-frills hostel in the San Telmo neighborhood, caters exclusively to gay men and is a good budget-friendly option—rates you. Will run about $60 a night.
- West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
possibly the US The best representation of homosexuality in the U.S., as you drive east on Santa Monica Blvd. From well-organized and residential Beverly Hills, buzzing gay bars, eateries, coffee shops, gyms, and even a quirky identity stand out in contrast to the Med Spa. Compact, walkable neighborhoods are a rarity in Los Angeles, and watching queer people—a mix of pretty muscular boys, twinks, butches, lipsticks, and every stereotype in between—is half the fun of wandering the streets. Most of the action is on Santa Monica Boulevard, including the iconic The Abbey, pulsing Mickey and Revolver, and an abundance of other options to choose from (including Beach, Hamburger Mary, Heart Weho, Hi Tops, and Stache). Even Starbucks here seems weird.
WeHo, as the bay borough is affectionately called, is also where you’ll find gay-themed parties and events that take place at many hotels that boast rooftop pools on Sunset Blvd. Full of Los Angeles glitz, ‘Nabe has sleek hotels that will appeal to creative types and queer travelers, such as the West Hollywood Edition, Pendry West Hollywood, and Hotel Ziggy.
- Zona Rosa, Mexico City, Mexico
“Mexico City has been a leader of inclusivity in the Latin American region with its extraordinary decision to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010,” says Haynes. The Zona Rosa (or “The Pink Zone”) village is the LGBTQ+ place to hang out in CDMX, with friendly bars and clubs attracting locals and those willing to brave their Spanish in North America’s largest metropolis. “The Roma and Condesa areas are also worth mentioning, which are a bit quieter and attract travelers who like something a little different from a wild sweaty night on the town,” Haynes says.
Closer to the trendy neighborhood of Juarez, Zona Rosa’s bars include Almasen, a multi-level crowd-pleaser with different music in each room and where you’re bound to find a packed dance floor. Nico Bears & Bar caters to a furry clientele, while Kinky Bar is a celebration venue for a mixed crowd of people and a slightly chaotic mix of everything packed into the bar—karaoke rooms, a cantina vibe, smoking and dancing dens, and shirtless or under-dressed bartenders.
- West 4th Street, Austin, Texas
They say everything is bigger in Texas, but Austin probably has one of the smaller gay villages on this list. More of a gay “enclave”, Bat City’s queer identity orientates itself on West 4th Street between Lavaca and Colorado Streets. Here, you’ll find a concentrated mix of bars right next to and across from each other. Highlights include Rain, a dance club that includes a rainbow-colored, light-up dance floor; Oilcan Harry’s, the always-bustling bar, with plenty of entertainment and a splendid patio area, hosts straight ladies’ bachelorette parties on some nights—often to the excitement or dismay of patrons.
Bottle service can be found at the Highland Lounge, a large nightclub that draws top drag celebrities like Sharon Sui and Manila Luzon for appearances. The reach of Gaborhood extends a few blocks north to The Iron Bear, a great divider and more local bar with great happy hours and patrons who are very serious about playing a round of pool.