Gay Tbilisi – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Tbilisi - The Nomadic Boys

That Soviet hangover, so prevalent amongst gay bars and clubs across East Europe and Russia: your entry based solely on a bouncer’s snap decision as to whether you’re cool or hip enough to enter inside.

Yet in Tbilisi, it’s also a way the club bouncers and promoters monitor who comes inside in order to prevent any violent homophobic clashes happening.

Face control aside, we completely fell in love with Tbilisi, as do most travellers who visit, both gay and straight. This is a city with a crumbling, yet super picturesque old town – Instagram opportunities abound on every other street corner. There is an evolving queer scene with a super active LGBTQ community, growing massively in confidence by the minute! Tbilisi’s also super cheap, making it a popular base with many expats, digital nomads and property developers looking for the next big “up and coming” investment base in East Europe.

We came to gay Tbilisi to celebrate my birthday and quickly fell in love. This is a city you will want to return to, and for good reason. We know we will! 

We’ve put together our gay guide to Tbilisi based on our first-hand experience and embellished with other nuggets of information passed on to us by gay locals we met along the way.

Is Tbilisi gay friendly?

Compared to Barcelona, Berlin and Amsterdam, not really, no! But compared to the rest of Georgia and most other places in East Europe, we say a big ‘hell yeah!’ It’s all a matter of perspective of course. As a country, Georgia is renowned for being quite homophobic, largely because of the strong influence of the extremely conservative (and backwards!) Orthodox Church.

However, as a gay couple in Tbilisi, we were surprised by how more liberal and progressive the city is in comparison to the rest of the country. There is not only a growing queer scene here (including the largest gay club in the Caucasus), an annual Pride event, but thanks to the rise in tourism, more and more hotels are embracing LGBTQ travellers.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Torremolinos – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Torremolinos - The Globetrotter Guys

Torremolinos is the gay hotspot of the Costa Del Sol. We knew plenty about other popular gay places in Spain like Madrid and Barcelona, but were very surprised to find out that Torremolinos also has a huge gay scene to rival these cities.

Torremolinos is on the South coast of Spain and is part of the Costa Del Sol – literally the ‘Sun Coast’. It’s been an incredibly popular tourist destination for years given that it is only ten minutes from Malaga airport, has hot weather for the majority of the year and beaches stretching all the way along the coast.

When it comes to gay Torremolinos, it has a very long and interesting gay history. Torremolinos was considered to be the liberal, hedonistic escape in Spain during the Franco era and it was here that Spain’s first ever gay bar opened back in 1962.

With this in mind, it starts to make sense why Torremolinos has eventually become a thriving destination for gay travellers with a lot to offer in terms of it’s gay scene.

Perhaps we were late to the party, but this was news to us!

We spent three weeks in Torremolinos and here is everything you need to know, read on for our Torremolinos gay guide.

Gay Torremolinos

The main gay area of Torremolinos is very easy to find and is known as the La Nogalera area.

The gay area is just off Plaza de la Nogalera and forms a huge square of densely packed bars and clubs.

By Sion & Ben – Full Story at the Globtrotter Guys

Andalusia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Moldova – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Moldova - The Nomadic Boys

Moldova is all about wines. Lots of delicious, fine wines that you’ve probably never heard of. What used to be a small slice of the Soviet Union is now one of the most underrated parts of Europe begging to be discovered.

So big is the wine scene of Moldova that the country famously has the largest underground wine cellar in the world. The Milestii Maci cellars are as notorious as they are humongous, holding a record 1.5 million bottles of wine.

There are lots of fun things to see and do in this undiscovered part of Eastern Europe, but as is the case with most places in the region, LGBTQ rights have a lot of catching up to do. We summarise our experience travelling around Moldova in this detailed gay country guide.

LGBTQ rights in Moldova

Moldova, sadly, is strongly influenced by the very conservative Eastern Orthodox Church, which frowns on LGBTQ rights. Anti-discrimination laws for hate crime and gender identity are yet to be passed and the country implemented a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 1994, which is still in place.

On the plus side, being gay in Moldova is legal (since 1995) and anti-discrimination laws exist in employment and in the media. In addition, gays are (theoretically) allowed to serve openly in the army and the right to change legal gender was introduced (but only following a psychiatric diagnosis). 

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Reykjavik – Carlos Melia

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.

Full Story at Carolis Melia

Reykjavik Gay Travel Resources

Gay Malta – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Malta - The Nomadic Boys

“You want to go to a gay bar in Malta? Pick any one you come across and you’ll be just fine!”
So said our Maltese gay friends when we asked them about the gay scene. But we get their point. When it comes to gay friendliness, Malta is killing it! This tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is frequently named as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world and we can totally see why!

What used to be one of the most religious places in Europe (for example, up until 2013, divorce was illegal in Malta!) the country did a 180-degree turn to pass some of the most LGBTQ progressive laws in the world, quickly becoming THE gay haven in the Mediterranean region.

We visited Malta as part of a trip with Teletext Holidays to discover the gay scene and what makes it so appealing to LGBTQ travellers. We left with a strong thirst to return and see more. The people are open-minded, super friendly (Maltese guys – heLLO!), the queer community is very visible and even though it’s such a small nation of just 400,000 people, it still has a vibrant gay scene to check out.

We’ve put together all our findings in this gay guide to Malta as we explored the country from Valletta to Mdina, Gozo to Camino and Dingli to Xlendi.

Gay Rights in Malta

They are extremely progressive!

…or to quote the United Nation’s Equality and Non-Discrimination team:

“Malta has become the gold standard of LGBTQI reforms – a beacon of human rights for LGBTIQ issues!”

This says a lot for a country where up until 2013, divorce was illegal. This gives you an idea of just how Catholic and religious Malta used to be. It all began in 2013 when the progressive centre-left Labour Party came to power and prioritised gay-friendly policies led by the proactive Minister for Equality, Helena Dalli. They began by passing a full range of anti-discrimination laws, recognised civil unions and also passed adoption laws within their first year in power.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Malta Gay Travel Resources

Two Days in Lesbian Lisbon – Once Upon a Journey

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!).

By Maartje and Roxanne – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Lisbon Lesbian Travel Resources

Gay Bucharest – The Nomadic Boys

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!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Brandenburg Tor in Berlin – Keep Calm and Wander

The Brandenburg Tor is the first tourist attraction I visited on my first day in Berlin. It’s an imposing neoclassical gate that appears conspicuously in almost every postcard in the city. Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate bears witness to a tumultuous history of the city and country. And at the same time, it’s an eyewitness to the historical events of a unified European continent.

There were only very few people when I arrived at the gate. The morning sun was just beginning to appear, and its rays peeked through the wide gaps. I was mesmerized by the play of lights and shadows as I looked up, admiring its magnificence. It reminded me of chiaroscuro paintings of Caravaggio and Rembrandt.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay Venice – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Venice - The Globetrotter Guys

Venice is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.

It’s a unique set of archipelago islands, with only boats and gondolas for transport and many beautiful bridges connecting what used to be over hundred individual villages.

Once we had set foot into the city, we immediately fell in love with its charm and felt like we had escaped into some sort of romantic film set.

What’s more, when travelling to Venice, gay travellers like ourselves should feel very welcome. Whilst it may not have a big gay scene, Venice felt safe, gay friendly and put us straight at ease. We had no issues, or even looks, walking around hand in hand and being openly affectionate.

We spent two nights on our ‘gay Venice’ trip and managed to cover plenty of the city whilst still having a relaxing and enjoyable time.

In this guide we have shared our itinerary of how to spend two days in gay Venice as well as a look into gay friendly hotels in Venice, the gay scene, gay rights in Italy and local attitudes.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Venice Travel Resources

 

Nea Kameni – Keep Calm and Wander

Nea Kameni - Keep Calm and Wander

Nea Kameni is one of the volcanic islands situated in the Santorini caldera. It’s almost two millennia old and around the caldera, there are many volcanic islands present – active volcanic islands, mind you.

If you’re holidaying in Santorini, you must go for a day trip to the surrounding islands. Find a tour agency that brings you not just to one island, but two or more. This is what we did – and Nea Kameni was our first stop of the island hopping day tour.

Here are some interesting facts about the island.

An Island Made of Lava

The island and its neighboring Palea Kameni are a result of a repeated dacite lava eruptions and ash. While strolling on the island, you’ll be able to see not just one, but a few deep craters. It’s surreal.

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Nea Kameni / Santorini Travel Resources