Iceland. It is like living in Jurassic World. One Glacier after the other, Volcanos, Geysers, hundreds of breathtaking Waterfalls, Lava Fields…. Still debating why Iceland is green and Greenland is covered on Ice, but from what I gather after my week research, this originated in a group of Vikings, trying to keep other to come to Iceland to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and taking over the lands.
During my week in Iceland, I took Reykjaivik as my base and from there I took day tour to different locations, to be: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon + Golden Circle + Snaefellsnes Peninsula & National Park and beyond. I also spent one night at the Blue Lagoon – where I stayed at the newly opened The Retreat Hotel & Spa.
While in Reykjavik I spent my nights at the following hotels. EXETER Hotel + APOTEK Hotel + BORG Hotel all three by KEA Hotels Group. Now the highlight of my stays in the main capital, was the very exclusive Tower Suites Hotel, feature only 8-Suites and the the only one offering panoramic views over Reykjavik’s Peninsula and City.
We get a lot of questions about the best things to do in Leavenworth, Washington, as it’s kind of a mystery to people who haven’t grown up here. Leavenworth is the perfect destination for enjoying the mild PNW summers in the mountains, the beautiful snowy season along the Wenatchee River, and for getting your Oktoberfest on in the fall. There are countless things to do in any season, but this is the ONLY guide you’ll ever need for planning an amazing trip
Leavenworth, WA is a top destination for Seattleites and people visiting the Pacific Northwest. There are lots of reasons to love it and even more for why you should visit, so we’ll help you find one that suits yours or your family’s travel style. These are the best things to do in Leavenworth in every season.
LEAVENWORTH’S HISTORY (REAL QUICK!)
It’s cute. It’s quaint. It’s manufactured. Huh? Yep! There’s a great story behind the small Bavarian village at the foot of the Cascade Mountains.
Once upon a time, Leavenworth, WA was a logging town that was failing. As the jobs left and economy fell, the town hired a PR firm to save it from turning into a ghost town. They all worked together, refaced most of the buildings with stereotypical Bavarian façades, added lots of fun character touches, changed many business approaches and created a new destination: Little Bavaria. It’s amazing. The town is adorable and had you not known the history, you might think that it was historically an actual Bavarian settlement.
Having been the birthplace of the LGBTQ movement in Spain, Barcelona is a hot favourite for gay travellers moving across Europe. It has a rich history, fabulous sights, a gorgeous beach and a super hot nightlife at all the Barcelona gay bars.
There is so much variety across the city for when you’re hitting the town. You don’t even need to be the biggest party animal. You can be fairly chilled and still find a comfy corner to spend the evening. Bear in mind, the Spanish do things quite late, so if you’re planning an evening out and about, be sure to factor in an afternoon dolly nap siesta!
This is our comprehensive guide to the best gay bars in Barcelona, which you can see there are plenty to choose from!
Where is the gay neighbourhood of Barcelona?
Tucked into the centre of the Eixample district is the glowing “Gaixample” (pronounced gay-sham-ple) gay neighbourhood of Barcelona. This is where most of the gay bars of Barcelona can be found. The area is more specifically defined as being between Carrer de Balmes, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Carrer del Comte d’Urgell and Carrer d’Aragó.
Barcelona is widely known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in Europe, attracting tens of thousands of LGBT tourists every year. Given its coastal location and year-round climate, its hardly surprising that out of 4km of beaches, more than one has become known as ‘Barcelonas gay beach.’
In fact, both gay locals and tourists to Barcelona are spoilt for choice. Barcelona has no less than 3 gay beaches (with one being very long and technically three in one!). Barcelona’s gay beaches have also been deemed blue flag beaches, awarded for their high levels of cleanliness, environmental standards, safety and facilities.
One of the biggest selling points is how easily accessible the gay beaches are, right on the city’s doorstep. You can easily reach the gay beaches in Barcelona using the cheap public transport regardless of the neighbourhood you are staying in. In fact, one of the things that we loved most when we visited was that we didn’t have to choose between a city sightseeing break or a beach holiday – Barcelona combines the best of both!
Barcelona’s Gay Beaches
Out of the 3 gay beaches in Barcelona, 2 have become more officially known as ‘gay beaches’. The third is still a very popular choice for both gay locals and tourists, so for the sake of this article we will include it in our list as an ‘unofficial gay beach.’
Barcelona’s Gay Beaches #1 – Mar Bella
Mar Bella is known as THE gay beach of Barcelona and is most definitely the go-to choice of both the local LGBT community and visitors. Mar Bella is a little bit further from the city centre than the other beaches, which is possibly why it has become one of Barcelonas only nudist beaches. Being a nudist beach is probably why it has also become the popular gay beach too!
When it comes to gay destinations, let’s just say gay Chisinau isn’t one that’s going to be at the top of LGBTQ travellers’ bucket list. This is one place where LGBTQ rights are sadly lagging behind the rest of Europe, sort of what you’d expect from an East European former Soviet country.
Chisinau is the capital of Moldova, one of the poorest and undiscovered countries of East Europe. Whilst the city itself is nothing much to write home about, it’s the ideal base for trips around the country, particularly for nearby wineries. It’s also a handy base for tours to the stunning Orheiul Vechi Monastery and the fascinating breakaway state of Transnistria.
Chisinau is itself a city with lots of bland Soviet-style buildings. There is no gay scene here nor any obvious queer bars/clubs. In relation to tourist sites, there are a few green spots worth checking out, in particular, the Lacul Valea Morilor. Also, the central park around the Stefan cel Mare statue always has something going on. But be warned, this is quite a strange city: whilst we felt totally safe here, it feels eerie at night due to the lack of street lighting. In the evening when it gets dark, Chisinau feels like some weird ghost town and we often had to use our iPhone torchlight to light our way!
In this gay guide to Chisinau, we’ve set out the best gay-friendly hotels to stay, gay friendly places to go out, restaurants, things to do and more. Be sure to check out our detailed Moldova gay country guide for more inspiration.
Is Gay Chisinau safe for gay travellers?
Look, let’s call a spade a spade; this is as Eastern European as you’re gonna get. LGBTQ life is still very much in the dark ages here, not helped by the strong Russian influence in daily life (Russian, along with Romanian remain the official languages of Moldova). Moldova is a very Orthodox country where most people are extremely religious and socially conservative. They even have a ban in place on same-sex marriage. This is not to say it’s unsafe for LGBTQ travellers. We felt absolutely fine here, but we did avoid PDAs and didn’t publicise our sexuality or relationship.
Lisbon is a city in Southern Europe that should be on your bucket list. It’s currently one of Europe’s hot spots and we can totally see why! Cute cobblestone streets, colorful houses, authentic trams, and delicious food PLUS great nightlife: lesbian Lisbon has it all. 2 days in Lisbon is a good amount of time to see the city, but we warn you: you probably want to come back to see more! In this Lisbon itinerary, we will tell you ALL you need to know about the city.
How Many Days in Lesbian Lisbon?
Lisbon has a lot to offer. Therefore you should spend at least two days in Lisbon. In two days you can see all the highlights of the city. Though, if you also want to go on a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra or explore the Lisbon beaches, we recommend staying at least an extra day.
Lisbon Day 1: Exploring the City Center of Lisbon
The center of Lisbon is great to explore on foot. Make sure to wear good shoes as Lisbon is all made up of cobblestone streets. Lisbon, also known as the city of seven hills, is quite hilly too, so instead of walking uphill, you might want to catch some public transport (the cute tram 28 for example!).
Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, is one of Europe’s hidden gems. It’s a fantastic city to explore – safe, with a rich history, many excellent bars, restaurants, a bustling Old Town and even a (small) gay scene. This is a big deal for an Eastern European country like Romania where LGBTQ rights are sadly lagging behind the rest of Europe.
Bucharest is also very inexpensive compared to other European capitals, and easy to reach with all major budget airlines across Europe. Score!
We used Bucharest as our base to explore Romania – a stunning country, with some impressive mountain scenery in Transylvania in the north and even a beach in the Black Sea at Constantia in the south. Bucharest is located right in the middle of the country with the best connections to all other parts of Romania. It’s also a super fun place to go out, whether in the vibrant nightlife of the Old Town of gay Bucharest or to one of the many gay and gay friendly places we set out in this guide.
This is our comprehensive gay guide to Bucharest from our personal experience and recommendations from friends with our favourite gay friendly hotels to stay, the gay bars/clubs, events, things to do and more.
Is Gay Bucharest Safe for LGBTQ Travelers?
Romania is generally not regarded as a gay-friendly country, but that is changing! As with much of East Europe, homosexuality is a massive taboo in society, which can get you into a lot of trouble if you shout out loud about it. On the plus side, however, as part of its ascension to the EU in 2007, Romania was forced to adopt an array of anti-discrimination laws, particularly in relation to hate crime and hate speech. Laws to recognise civil unions are being discussed and the right to change legal gender was introduced as far back as 1996. And thankfully, in a 2018 referendum, Romanians voted against banning same-sex marriage!
The Reichstag Dome in Berlin is a symbol of the unifying force of what used to be the East and West Berlin. The glass dome is above the Reichstag Building that houses the German Parliament. If you are standing in front of the building, you might think it’s just another dome in Europe. But, hey, it’s not one of those domes! This one is, believe me, one you’ll never forget too soon. You’ll forget about other places you’ve visited in the city but this. This tourist attraction in Berlin is just a few steps north of Brandenburg Tor.
Book Your Visit to the Reichstag Dome
It is recommended to book your visit here, especially in summer. If you’re lazy to do it online, you can always line up at the reservation booth on the right side of the building. If you’re lucky, you might get in on the same day, if there are available time slots. However, you’ll probably get the next-day reservation. You can visit it from 8:00 in the morning until midnight – with the last admission at 10:00 in the evening. Bring your passport – and oh, it’s free!
If you go to a city like Barcelona and don’t overdo it with shopping, did you even really go on holiday? We sometimes bring an extra suitcase with us just so we can fill it up with all the new clothes, art pieces and *cough* toys we find along the way!
The Barcelona gay shopping scene is fantastic for gay shops, with loads of different options. Whether you want to buy new speedos, harnesses, a few tank tops, or just something for a quick jerk-off(!), there’s always plenty to discover.
Sure, sex shops can seem quite intimidating from the outside, but hey, we’re all human. We all have desires, and these places are committed to helping you fulfil them. So shop til you drop using our guide to the best gay shops in Barcelona.
Gaixample, Heart of the Barcelona Gay Shopping Scene
The gay village of Barcelona is located in the large residential Eixample neighbourhood, bordered by the following streets: Carrer de Balmes, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Carrer del Comte d’Urgell and Carrer d’Aragó. This section of Eixample is nicknamed, “Gaixample” (pronounced “gai-sham-ple”). Read more about the gay scene in our comprehensive gay guide to Barcelona.
To get our bearings, we always look for the main Axel Hotel which is right in the heart of Gaixample, then work things out from there. Most of the shops in this guide are located in and around Gaixample. You could also orientate yourself on one of these gay tours of Barcelona!
Portugal’s Pink Street in Lisbon is hot and happening – you must’ve come across the photos on social media! But what’s the story? How to get to the pink street in Cais do Sodre and when is the best time to visit? It’s not just a picturesque street, it’s home to some of the best bars in Lisbon too! So if you’re looking for Lisbon nightlife – look no further. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about this quirky pink street.
Rua Cor-de-Rosa aka Pink Street
So how did the red light district turn pink?! Rua Nova do Carvalho was painted not that long ago actually! The painting started in 2011 and was finished by 2013. Since then, it has become locally known as Rua Cor de Rosa, meaning Pink Street. The project was supposed to make the neighborhood better – gentrification at it’s finest. And it has worked. Brothels closed, new bars opened and the street has replaced the shady nightlife and turned it into something hip.