Cibeles Palace in Madrid – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 20th, 2016

Cibeles Palace

Cibeles Palace in Madrid is a lovely, neo-classical structure to admire when you’re from afar. In the afternoon, when the sun is setting, the facade is bathe in shimmering gold. From dawn to dusk, the palace is a thing of beauty in Madrid’s downtown core. Every time I passed by here last summer, this colossal architecture didn’t fail to make me stop and take a shot.

Don’t just stare at its facade. Go inside and up the terrace to see the the 360 degrees view of Madrid. But, don’t expect a spectacular view from up there. Just like any other building around here, this is not tall enough to see the whole city panorama.

From any angle outside, Cibeles Palace is a very photogenic edifice. In front of the palace is the Cibeles Fountain with a goddess sitting on a chariot being pulled by two massive lions. The view from above isn’t really impressive (because it’s not that tall) but it’s still worth checking out.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

The 5 Friendliest LGBTQ Vacation Hotspots

Author: , May 28th, 2016

There are fabled destinations with long-standing LGBTQ traditions—just ask Lesbos, Mykonos and New Orleans—where escaping from the confines of every day was never so easy, never so limitless and never so completely carefree. But the modern world has offered up fantastic cultural meccas that always take a keen interest in making everyone feel comfortable, and those who identify LGBTQ will fit right in.

So what are you waiting for—the party’s just ahead!

  1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin - pixabay

With a long standing history that is as intense as it is troubled, Berlin has arisen from the ashes of its past to become one of the most diverse, well-rounded, and respecting cities in the world with multi-ethnicities immigrating and thriving with the German population.

In addition to their incredibly progressive views, Berlin is also the gay capital of Europe with a gay museum, a gay memorial, and an openly gay mayor. While that doesn’t cover all the basis, the open-minded city is equally comfortable with the rest of the queer community. Head for Hafen, one of the most famous gay bars in town, Connection, a dance club that shouldn’t be missed, and Gay Hostel for accommodation—you’ll find plenty of like-minded people here to experience this amazing city with.

  1. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles - pixabay

While most of Hollywood is constantly under scrutiny of being one or more of the letters in LGBTQ, the truth is that Los Angeles is a great place to be LGBTQ. Between the cultural metropolis and its heavy art, business, and beauty industries, there are plenty of LGBTQ-friendly beaches and nightclubs to frequent, and the weather is always perfect for a stop down by the sea.

Make a stop at The Abbey for the quintessential gay bar-lounge-party time, which includes both an indoor and outdoor areas and the most prominent members of the LGBTQ community as regulars on the busy weekends.

  1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marijuana and prostitution aren’t the only things bringing visitors to Amsterdam; it’s also the totally chill vibe of the city of Amsterdam. Between the canals and coffee shops, the city is thoroughly on board with the LGBTQ cause—in fact, the city legalized same-sex marriage in the early 1800s, the first place in the entire world to do so. But enough about the history; time to get to the cool stuff!

When in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdamians do and hit up Cafe Dubbel D (formerly Cafe Rouge), one of the busiest shops in the entire city. Next, plan your day around Rapido parties, because this is a good time you aren’t going to want to miss. Then hit up Thermos for an excellent spa experience and Hemelse Modder for a perfect European meal and excellent service.

  1. Madrid, Spain

Madrid - pixabay

Madrid is home to perhaps the gayest community around, Chueca, where nightlife reigns supreme, as well as lots of rights and cultural nods to gay culture. Madrid recognizes gay marriages and openly uses LGBTQ lifestyles to influence trendy shops, restaurants, and hotels throughout the city. It’s one of the most progressive cities when it comes to gay rights in the world, and that shows in their laws, party scene, and every other corner of life.

The Cage (a popular fetish bar) is always a perfect place to head for a laugh or even something a tad more serious, but Space of Sound is one of my favorite hangouts for the go-go boys and total party vibe. Park it at Medea for the city’s oldest lesbian bar and don’t forget to leave plenty of time for a sauna experience—the Sauna Octopus is a must for every visitor! For a bonus into the city, I suggest downloading apps such as Grindr and Manhunt if outdoor cruising and sex parties are your thing (grab a Virtual Private Network for your phone to make sure the geolocation functions are working correctly)!

  1. Miami, Florida

Miami - pixabay

Take one look at the hot bods and it’s obvious why Miami is a gay capital of the world—but more than just being a place to get hot and sweaty out in the open, Miami flourishes with culture and happenings that accept all flavors of ice cream (if you pardon my expression).

While I think a stop at the topless-optional South Beach is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I also suggest Da Leo Trattoria, for an excellent meal. Don’t miss out on Twist either for a run around the dance floor and then a relaxing evening on the roof for a drink and an overlook of the city that likes to party all night long.

Any city is a great place for the LGBTQ community to travel, but these picks are a specific brand of cultural richness that will just hit all the right notes, so enjoy!

Have any suggestions on where to head after finishing this list? Leave a comment or a next trip itinerary, and I will personally take the recommendation around for a ride!

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is an active tech guru, digital nomad, and wordsmith discovering the world as readily as she explores obscure depths of the internet. Curious about anything and everything, she loves her cat, her coffee, and her growing photography collection. Ask her about her famous Birthday Cake Pancakes recipe or her one-time run in with Ben Affleck and JLO—both stories are likely to leave you in disbelief!

All photos from pixabay, provided by Cassie Phillips

Gay Malaga, Torremolinos, Granada and Madrid – Nomadic Boys

Author: , February 25th, 2016

Nomadic Boys Gay Malaga

We love Spain. Let’s face it, every gay man will come here at some stage of their life (or wish they did). After 18 months travelling in Asia, it was a refreshing change to visit a country that welcomes gays, like REALLY welcomes us! Spain was recently voted by a Gallup poll as the most gay friendly country in the world.

Whether you’re touching down in the south of the country on flights to Malaga or travelling on to Madrid or Granada, you will be welcomed here with open arms.

GAY MALAGA

This made Stefan chuckle for hours. Malaga (with the stress on the second a) literally means wanker in Greek! The customs official at the airport was less impressed and pointed out the stress is on the first a… Malaga is in the very Southern tip of Spain and boy does it get hot here with temperatures always in the double figures throughout the year.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Biking Madrid

Author: , January 28th, 2015

Carlos Melia - Madrid by Bike

The best decision take was to rent a public bicycle by BiciMAD and biked all over Madrid. The bikes are fantastic and electrically motorized, if you choose to use that feature. Great for a city like Madrid, with so many hills. Let early from the station locate right next to my hotel, the iconic Hotel Ritz by Belmond.

A fantastic way to explore the city, at your own pace, having access to places and landmarks in a completely different way, which happen to be a marvelous day. The process is easy, just get your BiciMAD Card, get some credit and start biking. First stop was Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Almudena Cathedral, Royal Palace and Plaza Espana.

From my last stops, I move on along Gran Via and La Castellana, to Paseo del Prado, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Atocha Train Station and Chueca. Make sure to park your bike every 28 minutes to avoid any extra charges.

From I moved on back to Jardines de Sabatini, and from there all the way down Cuesta de San Vicente to the newest landmark of development Madrid RIO, along Rio Manzanares. I mean, who knew Madrid was crossed by a river ? Did you know that Madrid comes from Arabic roots “al-majrit” meaning “the water channel”. A promenade along the Rio Manzanares extending for over 4 miles, right next to the district of Casa de Campo.

Back to Plaza Mayor, to enjoy a local lunch at one of my favorite restaurants at EBOLI. Great way to relax, stretch my legs and enjoy some local delights.

Next and final stop after biking along Cibeles, Palacio de Cibeles and Puerta de Alcala, was Parque del Retiro, beginning by my favorite entrance the Felipe IV gate. From there to Palacio de Crystal “Crystal Palace”, the statue of the Fallen Angel and the monument to Alfonso XII. BTW.!!!

Did you know that the Statue of the Fallen Angel or the Dark Angel, was thought to be for many years the only of its kind depicting Lucifer. The truth is, that there are two others around the world, one in Italy and the other one in New York. Funny enough, the exact altitude where the statue is located is 666 mts. over sea level. The number of the beast. Coincidence ?

From there, only blocks away, back to my hotel the Hotel Ritz by Belmond, to relax and get ready for drinks at Velazquez Bar followed by dinner at Goya Restaurant. Indeed, don’t you agree with me, it has been a marvelous day.

By Carlos melia – Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog | Madrid Gay Travel Resources

My Favorite Restaurants in Madrid

Author: , January 26th, 2015

Madrid Restaurant - Carlos MeliaI have been to Madrid countless times, and I even lived there for over two years. So each time I visit, it is recreating favorite gourmet experiences which include the high and lows. I always say, that my style of travel is as follows “… A backpacker during the day, exploring the city with no limits, and at night as a king, enjoying the luxury and sophistication…”. Here my list of favorite Gourmet experiences in Madrid, after my recent 72 hours stay over New Year.

After biking around the city for the entire day, I made a technical stop at one of the main landmarks of Madrid, Plaza Mayor. I know, you will say ” How Touristic ” but over the years, this has always been my spot to enjoy a fantastic local lunch over a few Canas (beer).

EBOLI Cerveceria is fantastic. Despite, located in a very popular location, most of the regulars are locals, and prices are very reasonable. My lunch options, well the classics: Patatas Bravas, Boquerones, Tuna with Peppers and olives.

After my lunch, only walking distance from EBOLI is the quaint and happening Mercado de San Miguel. This is a spot I quite enjoy over a glass of wine or a coffee with local pastries. The reason why I do not choose it for lunch, is because I prefer my quiet time seating on my own private table. At Mercado de San Miguel, the ambiance is loud and busy, and seating is very limited. But there is a huge array of local, traditional and international options. It is a great spot to mingle with locals and do some people watching.

On my second night, I decided to go very local and try the marvelous Spanish cuisine and wines. While walking around Chueca, my former neighborhood when I used to live here, I am happy to see that one of my favorite restaurants is still there standing, with it charisma and own local charm.

If you want to experience a true Madrid Gourmet experience, then you must try Riviera do Mino. Where Madrid meets the best of Galician typical dishes. My options: Asparagus and Tomato Salad. A fabulous Merluza. White wine from Adegas Vina Sobreira Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain.

The following day I spent most of my day at the Museo del Prado and then walking along the Retiro Park. Since I was staying at the iconic Hotel Ritz by Belmond, I decided to have a relaxed afternoon an evening enjoying my hotel and my fabulous suite in full. First I began at their Lobby Bar, savoring a traditional Chocolate with Churros.

Went back to my Suite to enjoy a relaxing bath, after a long day walking… and after that I joined my host for a drink at the Velazquez Bar over a Dalitini. The only Krug Bar in the world.

And from there we moved to very sophisticated and intimate gourmet evening at Goya Restaurant, to me one of the best restaurants in Madrid. Check them OUT. Bon Appetit!

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Gay Madrid – Spain’s Sexiest City

Author: , January 16th, 2015

Two Bad TouristsTwo Bad Tourists bloggers (and married couple) on their hometown treasures.

We’ve lived here since…
…2013. Our original plan was to move to Madrid for just 3-6 months to improve our Spanish, but we’ve been here ever since [David and Auston both grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, before moving to Chicago in 2008].

We’ve stayed because…
…we love big cities and Madrid has a big city vibe with a relaxed and laid back lifestyle. Spanish culture emphasizes ‘working to live instead of living to work’. We love this approach to life and fit right in with our surroundings.

For a cheap eats we head to…
…Museo del Jamon. You can buy a bocadillo de jamon serano (ham sandwich) and a beer for just 1.30[euro].

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News | Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Self Guided Tours of Madrid

Author: , November 19th, 2014

Madrid, Spain - Apple MapsAt first glance, Madrid seems like a sprawling maze of neighborhoods, monuments, and museums — but as locals will quickly point out, most of the sites you’re setting out to see are smack dab in the center. The best way to explore the Spanish capital? By foot. Here are four routes you can take to see it all.

Walk Through History:

Start your tour at the Plaza de Espana, a stunning square set on the end of the shopping street, Gran Via, surrounded by Madrid’s two tallest buildings. The square is just a 15-minute walk from the Campo del Moro palace gardens, Sabatini Gardens, and the Palacio Real — the royal palace dating back to the 17th century.

Get lost strolling through the pedestrian-friendly area as you make your way to the Plaza Mayor. Once the site of executions during the Spanish inquisition, the square and its archways are now home to cafe terraces surrounded by the stunning 16th and 17th century architecture. Nearby, the traditional Mercado San Miguel is an indoor market dating back to 1916 with 33 stalls filled with meats, cheese, and tapas.

By Lane Nieset – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

IGLTA’s Annual Conference Comes to Madrid in May

Author: , January 19th, 2014

IGLTA LogoRegistration is live for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s 31st Annual Global Convention, set for May 8-10 in Madrid. It is the association’s first time to hold its premier educational and networking event in Spain.

This year, IGLTA debuts an appointment-driven buyer-supplier marketplace to better facilitate meetings between tourism professionals interested in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market. Buyers may apply to receive free registration to the convention and a table for the five-hour marketplace on opening day where they will have pre-booked meetings with suppliers.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring our convention to Spain – a country known for its progressive LGBT rights – and to the beautiful region of Madrid,” IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella says. “And, it’s an important step forward for the association to launch an appointment-driven buyer-supplier marketplace this year. Our attendees have requested this as a way to improve upon the quality networking opportunities we already offer.”

See the Full Story at ETurboNews

Click here for gay travel resources in Madrid.

Is Madrid Trying to Shut Down Gay Pride?

Author: , November 26th, 2013

Madrid, Spain - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Organizers of Madrid’s Gay Pride festival say the city is trying to financially “strangle” the event by imposing excessive fines that will shut it down if they continue, the Guardian reports:

“You can’t levy such barbaric fines on an event that’s so important to the city,” said Boti Rodrigo, president of the Federacion Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales. “These fines put the survival of Madrid Pride in serious jeopardy.”

This is the fourth successive year the festival has been fined for noise violations. Past fines ranged from [euro]35,000-[euro]50,000, against which organisers successfully appealed and had reduced or waived. The courts have so far reduced one of the fines to [euro]600, but have yet to rule on the other two. This year’s edition of Madrid Pride, held in July, earned 15 fines totalling [euro]159,809. Organisers have appealed against the fines, but said it could take more than a year before they find out if their appeal is successful.

See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

Click here for gay travel resources in Madrid.

Madrid Will Host World Pride 2017

Author: , November 13th, 2013

Madrid, Spain - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

While we’re just gearing up to celebrate World Pride in Toronto next year, already the 2017 city has been chosen–Madrid. This won’t be the first major LGBT event for the city, next year it will play host to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s Global Convention.

Madrid was chosen after 80 international delegates chose the capital in a unanimous vote during the InterPride Boston conference. The Office of Tourism of the City of Madrid, a city that previously hosted World Pride in 2007, believes that the event will bring in thousands of tourists and will help generate much-needed tourism dollars.

Authored By Joseph Pedro – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Madrid.