Europe has some of the most gay-friendly countries in the world with extremely progressive LGBTQ rights. However, these are largely confined to the North and West. The further East you head on the continent, the less gay-friendly it becomes.
East Europe is notorious for lagging behind the rest of the continent when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Thankfully, when most of them started joining the EU from 2004 onwards, membership requirements forced them to adopt more progressive LGBTQ laws, especially with regards to recognising civil unions for same-sex couples and introducing anti-discrimination legislation.
This is not to say that East Europe is completely void of any fabulousness! During our many trips as a gay couple around the region, we discovered several places that have a more liberal outlook, a thriving LGBTQ community and a vibrant gay scene. Based on our first-hand experiences, we’ve put together what we think are the 5 most gay-friendly cities – gay friendly Eastern Europe.
Disclosure: this was written as part of a paid collaboration with Moon Travel Guides.
What is East Europe?
A quick note about this. Whilst we appreciate that some countries fall into the “Central” rather than “East” Europe grey area, others would argue they are “Baltic” instead, or “Balkan”, there is no clear definition of which countries are strictly defined as “East Europe”.
We’ve therefore taken the UN breakdown of what is East Europe and included the countries that the travel industry also regards as being part of “East Europe”.