Toronto Gay Nightlife – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Toronto Gay Nightlife - tnThe Nomadic Boys

Diverse, exciting, buzzing and…best ass?

Yup, that’s actually a thing in the Toronto gay scene! Over at Woody’s gay bar, every Friday evening, they host the “best ass” competition!

Butts aside, the gay scene of Toronto truly has something for everyone. The city is home to Canada’s largest LGBTQ community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life.

Just like the gay scene of Montreal, the gay village of Toronto is huge. It is located at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, hence its nickname: the “Church and Wellesley Village”, or just “The Village”…or, “ya’ll wanna go out in Church later?”. This is where the majority of the best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and clothing stores can be found.

Toronto’s Gay Village is also ground zero for the annual Toronto Pride week every June, which is one of the largest Pride events in the world. Whether you come to the Toronto gay village in the deep winter or summer, there’s always a buzz in the air, which is why we love it.

In this guide, we’ve put together our list of favourite Toronto gay nightlife – gay bars and clubs in Toronto. Also, be sure to watch our vlog about the gay scene of Toronto above.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Toronto Gay Travel Resources

Gay Phuket – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Gay Phuket - The Nomadic Boys

Grab a water gun, head here in mid-April and you have a legit free pass to spray water at any cutie you see walking down the street!

Songkran is the Buddhist New Year festival, which takes place every year from the 13th to 15th April. Around this time, Phuket and Bangkok host some of the biggest gay parties across all of Asia. But the thing to do in Songkran is chuck water at everyone. Seriously – in Buddhism, this symbolises the washing away of bad luck from the previous year. It cleanses you! And oh boy do we gays love a bit of cleansing? Trust us to take this to a whole different level, using it as an excuse to sashay the streets topless (it is, after all, super hot here in April!), chuck water at each other and make it into a massive party!

Phuket continues the festivities right after Songkran when Phuket Pride kicks off. Though to be frank, we found Phuket to be one big gay partyville throughout the entire year. There’s an entire area of gayness here in Patong affectionately nicknamed “Paradise Complex”, where all the gay bars and clubs of the island are. Head a few blocks from here and you reach Patong gay beach, full of hot speedo-clad guys posing, tanning, cruising, Instagramming, TikToking…suffice to say, if you’re looking for a gay beach holiday in Asia, Phuket’s got you covered!

This is our detailed gay guide to Phuket based on our trip here including the best gay hangouts, where to stay covering all budgets, gay spas, things to do and more. Note for LGBTQ travellers heading beyond Phuket, be sure to also check out our bumper gay guide to Thailand.

Gay Phuket

We loved gay Phuket. It was almost as fun as the gay scene of Bangkok, but right next to the beach!

The main gay strip of Phuket is based in and around the “Paradise Complex” of Patong. This is literally the Phuket gay area, all nicely concentrated within a few pedestrianised streets. More specifically, opposite the Royal Paradise Hotel, just off Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Thailand Travel Resources

Gay Colombo, Sri Lanka – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Colombo, Sri Lanka - The Nomadic Boys

“Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka, is gritty, crowded but super charming.”

It has all the colourful quirks you’d find in India but with a more calming atmosphere. We felt like we were receiving a spiritual cleansing just by walking down the streets!

Colombo is bursting with Buddhist temples, markets and smiling Sri Lankan faces. Every corner is steeped in history and culture. We found ourselves torn over what activity to tackle next, what to see, what story to unravel, who to speak to, where to eat. It never gets dull for a moment!

As tourists with passing interests in history, it more than satisfied our needs. Everything from the museums to the many temples helped unravel the story of this great nation. As gay travellers, we still felt relatively comfortable to be ourselves (more about this below!) and find sparks of queerness in the city tapestry. Whether it be in the fabulous display of masks and costumes we found in the museums or the underground gay scene where we found our fellow brothers and sisters of the gay community.

We’ve put together this guide to Colombo for you to check out all the tips and tricks of exploring the city as an LGBTQ traveller. We also recommend you check out our gay guide to Sri Lanka alongside this guide if you’re exploring more of the country.

Is Colombo safe for gay travellers?

While homosexuality is still illegal in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans are very welcoming people and super curious towards foreigners whether straight or gay. We never felt in any danger for being gay, nor ever experienced any homophobia. Put it this way, we never thought twice about booking a double bed anywhere in Sri Lanka. In fact, there is even a growing number of hotels targeting gay travellers in nearby Negombo.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bangkok – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bangkok - The Nomadic Boys

Bangkok. Practically the definition of a hot mess. Crowds of thronging people and a confusing but delightful mix of traditions meeting modernism. Wonderful food that is quite literally heaven in our mouth. The weather is great too! Though let’s be real here, it doesn’t take much to beat the dreary British weather… With beautiful natural scenery at our doorstep, exotic adventures and amazing cuisine, it’s no wonder we love coming back here!

Thailand is famous for being one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia, with the capital city of Bangkok its beating heart. The gay scene here is thriving, with so many gay bars, clubs, hotels, massage parlours, restaurants and more – largely centred in Silom. We love the gay scene of Bangkok and definitely rank it as one of our favourite in the world.

We also love that no matter how many times we come to Bangkok, it’s always a culture shock, from the food to the hectic polluted traffic – to give you an idea, you MUST try going in a tuk-tuk – the little rickshaws that you see in movies. They are absolutely bonkers and a great way to really get out to see what the city has to offer!

This is our comprehensive gay guide to Bangkok based on our many trips here. We’ve highlighted the best gay friendly hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, things to do, and more.

How safe is Gay Bangkok?

Oh, it’s very safe! Bangkok is frequently rated as one of the most gay friendly cities in Asia due to its inclusivity and safety.

We’ve been to Bangkok many times and have never had hassle from any of the locals for being gay. Thai people are seriously friendly. They have a genuine interest in what is going on in your life. We also found that due to their varied and vibrant culture, they tend not to be judgmental. Which is fantastic! We know it’s not just towards westerners that they are friendly, but they also treat each other with respect. We have quite a few friends in Bangkok who are adamant that their lives are on a parallel with gay lives in London.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Bangkok Travel Resources

Gay Nice – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Nice - The Nomadic Boys

With sunshine all year round, you can’t go wrong with choosing a trip to Nice. This is one of France’s top french cities. Its seaside location is a massive pull for tourists, and its sprawling, albeit surprisingly modern city, is truly breathtaking!

We always feel drawn towards Nice. Sure, Paris is nice, but there’s something particularly magical about Nice. Perhaps it’s the beach location? Or the clash of Mediterranean and Italian influences that intertwine with its culture? Or the winding streets that lead you by old buildings, bespoke restaurants and fascinating landmarks. Maybe also ’cause it’s so surprisingly gay? Whatever it is, we just can’t get enough! As far back as the 1700s, rich folk from all over Europe came here for their holiday. It was their relaxing getaway…and now, we’re also claiming it for us!!

The food, in particular, is noteworthy. We know the French love their food, but Nice is on a whole other level. They have the whole southern hospitality thing down. Seb and I could literally sense that the chefs in each restaurant pored over every aching detail of the dishes they prepared for us. The hard work really shows!

This is our gay travel guide to Nice including the best gay bars, clubs, events, hotels and more.

Pro tip: news for 2020 travel to Nice…

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Nice Gay Travel Resources

Gay Cologne – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Cologne - The Nomadic Boys

Under the constant shadow of the Kölner Dom, Cologne (Köln in German) is a city shrouded in mystique and wonder.

Simply walking through the Old Town is enough to convince you of the wonders Cologne has to offer. With its unique architecture, quaint shops and ancient buildings, it feels like a place from a bygone era. Yet, it is pulsing with so much life and so much modernity that it doesn’t for a second feel like you are stuck in the past.

An artistic city, Cologne is in many ways a cultural hub. With art, literature and music bursting from every street corner, anyone with any creative inclinations would find it hard not to be inspired. It’s also a university town, so expect to see lots of young crowds in their early 20s, wandering around with big eyes filled with dreams and aspirations. This could mainly be due to the amount of caffeine millennials are drinking these days though…

Cologne is vying with the gay scene of Berlin to become the undisputed gay capital of Germany, and for good reason! With gay clubs and bars dotted across the city, LGBTQ folk have such a vivacious and vibrant selection to choose from when going on a night out. Cologne is well known for having the most pubs per person in all of Germany, so one thing is for sure, the locals love a drink! We sure did, as you can see in our Vlog of Cologne:

On top of this, there are so many gay friendly spaces, from restaurants to hotels, plus many queer-centric events held throughout the year. Cologne is also one of the few cities in the world to have a memorial sculpture for LGBTQ victims of the Holocaust. This is our comprehensive travel guide to Cologne, including the best gay bars, clubs, events, hotels to stay in and so much more.

How friendly is gay Cologne?

The people of Cologne are well known for their liberal attitudes, open minds and something called joie de vivre, which basically means ‘joy of life’. To put it simply, the locals are welcoming to all people, as long as they themselves are friendly and laidback. 

There are plenty of LGBTQ events throughout the year, so like it or not, locals are all too aware of the big gay presence that Cologne holds. There is Cologne Pride in June, Carnival in February and to top it all off, the Heavenue Gay Christmas market in December. Plus, with two gay scenes, on either side of the Rhine river, and a young population, there is nothing but acceptance for our homosexual family here! 

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay Ubud – The Nomadic Boys

Ubud – the art and cultural heart of Bali. A place synonymous with yoga retreats, rainforests, lush green countryside, and lots of vegan restaurants (seriously it’s a thing – they even have a Vegan Festival here every October!). Our Seby, who is super passionate about pure and wholesome living, was in his element, living his Julia Roberts Eat, Pray, Love fantasy, cycling through those famous rice paddies…

Ubud is a must for gay travellers visiting Bali. Yes, the gay scene of Bali is a lot of fun, but we highly recommend making time for a visit to this cultural gem. It’s tranquil in gay Ubud, giving you the much-needed mental cleanse that you seek.

The only thing we’d say is that Ubud is just that – nature, beauty, tranquillity and culture. Don’t come here expecting mad parties and crazy all-nighters. Save all that for Seminyak.

We’ve put together our complete gay guide to Ubud featuring the best gay friendly hotels, places to eat, go out, events and some of the not-to-miss highlights.

Is Gay Ubud safe for LGBTQ+ travellers?

As with the rest of Bali, we found Ubud to be very welcoming to us as a gay couple. Unlike the rest of Indonesia (which is going backwards in relation to LGBTQ rights), Bali has held fast to its open-minded values. This is because of the island’s strong Hindu heritage, a far more tolerant religion than Islam, particularly towards the LGBTQ community. In addition, thanks to the large international community of digital nomads and expats basing themselves in and around Ubud, there is a more modern and liberal attitude prevalent here.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Gay Benidorm – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Benidorm - The Globetrotter Guys

In all honesty, we didn’t expect there to be a single gay bar in Benidorm, let alone a thriving gay scene!

Everything we knew was based on the hit UK TV series ‘Benidorm’ showcasing the destination as a very typical ‘Brits abroad’, cheap fun in the sun beach getaway. But there is so much more to this Spanish coastal town!

You can broadly split Benidorm into two. One half is the New Town, where you will find the clubbing strip which is cheap, tacky fun at its best, and doesn’t claim to be anything else!

The second half is the Old Town which took us by surprise. The Old Town, although just minutes away, is a far cry from the style of the New Town. The Old Town is much more traditional, picturesque, has some incredible tapas bars, and most importantly for this article, is where you will find Benidorm’s gay bars!

Read below for a full guide to gay Benidorm, it’s gay bars, beaches, and more.

Benidorm Gay Scene

Benidorm’s gay scene actually goes all the way back to the 1960s, when its first gay bar, called Gay Bar Pretex opened.

Since then, Benidorm’s gay scene has grown throughout the narrow, cobbled streets of the Old Town. There are many small gay bars and a few clubs scattered around which can easily tempt you into a bar crawl.

By Sion & Ben – Full Story at the Globtrotter Guys

Spain Gay Travel Resources

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 Bali – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bali - The Nomadic Boys

“The Island of the Gods!” And in our humble opinion: “The Island of the Gays”!

Bali is the quintessential tropical island getaway high up on most travellers’ bucket lists, particularly amongst those of us inspired by the Julia Roberts movie, “Eat Pray Love”. Surprisingly, Bali is also a popular gay haven in Asia: remember this is part of Indonesia, a country which has over the years become increasingly more homophobic.

Gay Bali stands strong in the face of this rising tide of hatred towards our LGBTQ community in Indonesia thanks to its unique Hindu heritage and the diverse international community across the island.

For LGBTQ travellers, Bali offers a tropical paradise, gorgeous beaches, world-class restaurants, plenty of welcoming gay hotels and an entire strip of lively gay hangouts in Seminyak. We’ve put all of this right here in our lengthy gay travel guide to Bali based on our first-hand experience.

Why is gay Bali so gay friendly?

Before visiting Bali, we were wondering how such a gay haven can possibly exist in a country like Indonesia, where the Islamic government has been working ruthlessly to oppress its LGBTQ community. Over the years, more anti-LGBTQ laws are being passed in Indonesia. Whilst homosexuality wasn’t historically illegal in this former Dutch colony, the government has been ruthlessly trying to introduce laws that effectively criminalise consensual same-sex.

Despite what’s happening on the mainland, Bali continues to thrive, largely unaffected. Unlike the rest of the country, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, Bali is mainly Hindu – a religion which is more tolerant of our LGBTQ family! In addition, Bali is also very touristy, with a vast international community living/working here all year round. As a result, a gay scene has been able to thrive here for many years, along with several gay/male-only hotels.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bali Gay Travel Resources