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At Manchester Airport, we welcome millions of guests from every walk of life through our doors each year. While the UK and much of Europe is generally safe and welcoming for those in the LGBTQ+ community, around the world customs, laws and attitudes differ greatly. We want all our guests to have the perfect holiday, so we've put together a list of the most LGBTQ+ friendly destinations that we fly to - so you can relax and have a great time in the destination of your choosing!
One of the most vocal supporters of LGBTQ+ rights, Norway is an ideal destination for LGBTQ+ travellers. The country has a very liberal attitude towards sexuality and public affection so visitors can be open about their sexuality wherever they go. There are also plenty of LGBTQ+ events including Pride parades across the country and regular performances from Oslo Fagottkor – which refer to themselves as ‘Norway’s most stylish gay choir’.
While many LGBTQ+ friendly destinations have only risen to popularity in the last few years, Lesbos has a history as an LGBTQ+ destination dating back to the era of the ancient Greeks. It was the home of the poet Sappho, a female poet who often wrote romantic poetry for women, and has always had a relaxed attitude to sexuality. However, as a traditional Greek island, public displays of affection are generally frowned upon between both straight couples as well as gay men and women.
One of the most popular LGBTQ+ destinations in Europe, Berlin has the perfect combination of an LGBTQ+ party scene and several key LGBTQ+ monuments. All visitors should take time to visit The Memorial To The Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism in the centre of Berlin. Those who want to experience the LGBTQ+ community of Berlin should take time to research the top LGBTQ+ bars as there are many throughout the city and more springing up every day.
Home to the first gay disco in Spain and considered by many to be the ‘gayest town in Spain’, Sitges is extremely welcoming to members of the LGBTQ+ community. The town is only a stone’s throw from Barcelona and it boasts some of the best beaches on the Spanish coast. With a little research, you can find a fantastic range of LGBTQ+ bars and even a few LGBTQ+ nudist beaches.
Whether you’re hitting the up-and-coming Brooklyn districts of Williamsburg and Bushwick or the world-famous West Village, New York City and its surrounding boroughs have enough LGBTQ+ areas to keep you busy every night of the week. Home of the modern gay movement, thanks to the 1969 rebellion at the Stonewall Inn, which is still a proud gay landmark and wild nightclub, there’s plenty of history to enjoy as well. If you really want to feel the full force of New York’s LGBTQ+ support, visit during pride when the city transforms into one huge party, embracing people from all walks of life.
Although it might not be one of the first destinations that come to mind for LGBTQ+ travellers, Iceland has become a hotspot for the community in recent years. The country has a long history with the gay rights movement and now there are many laws protecting both LGBTQ+ citizens and visitors. If you’re looking for something a little different during your visit, consider visiting Vintage Box in Reykjavik, a gay bar with a cheeky retro ascetic.
We hope this guide to LGBTQ+ friendly destinations helps you find the perfect breaks from Manchester Airport for you. If you want more information on any of our destinations you can check out our A-to-Z holiday destinations.