The Best Barcelona Gay Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

The Best Barcelona Gay Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

Sassy, cosmopolitan, super cool and sooo gay!

That sums up just why we love Barcelona so much and why we keep returning every year for more! Regardless of how long you plan to visit, how much ground you hope to cover, and the kind of vibe you want to be around, Barcelona is filled with multiple options for gay travellers. We’ve always found the perfect place to suit our needs – whether we were just craving a short city break or a full-on romantic reenactment of our honeymoon.

There are plenty of choices for those willing to paint the town green (with those dollah dollah bills y’all), or who need to keep a tight grip on those purse strings. Either way, Barcelona is a calling you…so it is your duty to answer!

We’ve rounded up our picks of the coolest Barcelona gay hotels in this guide, so you will have all the info you need to book your own perfect fabulous stay.

Barcelona Gay Hotels – Where to Base Yourself

Situated in the Eixample district, the main gay area is nicknamed, Gaixample (pronounced: gay-sham-pleh). Here you can find tons of LGBTQ bars, clubs, cafés, restaurants and shops to explore. It’s an entire gay village that we get all to ourselves! Who will be the Queen of the village? That’s a hard question as there are tons of candidates vying for the spot…but obviously, it’s us! If you want to be walking distance to the most hip-and-happening gay hangouts, as well as the main tourist sights of Barcelona, then this is where we recommend you base yourself. Read more in our gay travel guide to Barcelona as well as our guide to the city’s best gay bars.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Dubai Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

Dubai Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

“How dare you promote travel to countries where being gay is illegal Nomadic Boys, you should be ASHAMED!”

…is the typical comment we receive on social media each time one of our posts about gay Dubai, gay Abu Dhabi or gay Iran gets shared. But before you judge, remember that whilst a country has anti-gay laws, that same country still has an LGBTQ community who you risk turning your back on, right when they need you the most.

We have always been adamant that just because a country has spurious LGBTQ laws, this should not prevent us from visiting. We instead believe that it is far more productive to get out there and be a visible and positive representation of our community to show to that society that we are not some freak perversion that needs to be persecuted. Doing this is going to do so much more for the local LGBTQ community’s struggle for visibility against an oppressive government, than boycotting them is going to achieve.

Dubai Gay Life

But look, we get it! We also used to feel this way. After all, the United Arab Emirates is no different than its Middle Eastern neighbours when it comes to LGBTQ rights. In short, there are none. Being gay here is a crime, full stop! Officially it’s punishable by imprisonment, deportation, a fine, and worse, death. Whether or not these are strictly enforced, the very existence of these laws is so insulting that it simply serves to conjure up natural feelings of intense hatred within us – “how can such a government be so loathsome of us that it wants to eradicate and kill us? How dare they?!”

Yet we disagree that boycotting them is the solution. That is what these oppressive governments want us to do: ignore and turn our backs on them so they can continue crushing any LGBTQ visibility and pretend we don’t exist! Instead, from our travels in countries with anti-gay laws, we’ve learnt that the more productive way forward is to get out there and support gay friendly businesses in that country as much as we can and use our platform to give a voice to the local LGBTQ community.

Therefore, for this article, we are super proud that our buddy, Zayed, was happy for us to interview him about what gay life is like in Dubai and what it’s like growing up gay in the UAE. Zayed has however asked that he is anonymous in this interview using ‘Zayed’ as his alias.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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

Georgia Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

Georgia Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

“Georgian dance is based on masculinity. There is no room for weakness in Georgian dance!”
So begins the captivating 2019 gay movie “And Then We Danced”, based on the love affair between Merab and Irakli – dancers training at the National Georgian Ensemble in Tbilisi. Whilst the movie is about the challenges of dealing with homosexuality in a conservative society, at its premiere in downtown Tbilisi in November 2019, violent protests were taking place outside by far-right and religious groups. Thankfully the police kept the peace. But what a huge step forward for an ex-Soviet country, where not too long ago, being gay got you thrown into prison!

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991, Georgia has pushed ahead with progressive laws as it has tried to ally itself more and more with the EU. This has included laws to protect its LGBTQ community, like legalising homosexuality in 2000, and an array of anti-discrimination laws from 2006 onwards. Yet, society remains very conservative. So much so that in 2018, the government passed a constitutional ban on gay marriages.

To put things into perspective, in a survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre in 2015/2016 about the acceptance of homosexuality in East Europe, Georgia ranked as one of the least tolerant, with a whopping 93% of the people polled saying homosexuality should not be accepted by society.

About Georgia Gay Life

We absolutely loved Georgia. It’s a stunning country with mountains, beaches, delicious foods, wines and a rich cultural heritage to discover. We were excited to experience all of this and we were not disappointed.

We were also fully aware of the country’s “struggle” (to put it mildly!) with LGBTQ rights before going. We knew we had to be cautious about PDAs. But we never had problems finding gay friendly hotels and even discovered lots of gay hangouts, including the famous Bassiani. The people we met were only ever super sweet and welcoming, and we loved them! But this is from our perspective as a gay couple travelling in Georgia. We wanted to get an idea of what things are really like from a local, so we got our friend Giorgi from Tbilisi to tell us more in this interview about Georgia gay life.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay India – The Nomadic Boys

Gay India - The Nomadic Boys

Touchdown in Delhi, the first thing we see are men walking the streets holding hands…

This is a tradition so deep-rooted in the culture of India: men are very docile around each other, whether straight or gay. It’s not a sexual thing, simply one of those cultural norms that caught our eyes!

India is often a monstrous feat for tourists. It’s so big, so full of culture, so diverse, that it’s impossible to decide where to visit if you’re going for a short trip. Which is why we didn’t just go for a short trip; we went on a month-long journey covering as much as we could from north to south. From cruising along the backwaters of Kerala, taking in the sounds of wild birds and air whistling through the trees, the Ghats of Varanasi, to the fiery food, that would burn the tongue of any ole’ Westerner (where the hottest spice we’re used to is salt!), India sets out to transform your perception of the world.

What called us to gay India in the first place? Was it the Taj Mahal, with its monumental appearance, a marble fortress set against the dazzling blue sky? Perhaps it was the jumbled landscape, with the extremes of sparse open fields lying next to a never-ending jungle, that lies adjacent to a labyrinth of a city filled with delicious smells, ancient temples and busy markets? Or the people: full of colour, sass, lots of head wobbling and plenty of smiles.

Famous for their unwavering hospitality, Indian people welcome tourists with an open embrace. Everywhere we went, we were met with smiling eyes and greetings of warmth. Chatting to merchants in the street we got to hear all sorts of fascinating stories about their local lives. The hustle and bustle, people brushing past you in tight quarters, and avoiding pickpockets were no mean feat but when matched with the gentle and beautiful hearts of the majority of Indians, it’s all so worth it.

All About Gay India

To learn more about all things tourist-y, food-y, and party-gay-centric around India, check out our ultimate gay country guide right here!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

Malta Gay Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Malta Gay Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

Magnificent, marvellous, mind-blowing Malta!

For such a small country, Malta sure packs a big punch in terms of charm, gay friendliness and having a rich cultural history. This teeny, tiny, unassuming and super Catholic nation has undergone such a huge transition over the past decade that it’s now famously recognised as being one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.

And we are living for it. We loved travelling around Malta. It’s one of the few places in the world where we felt comfortable with PDAs. In addition, the country has so much history to discover, ruins to explore, gorgeous landscapes and some pretty stunning west-facing beaches where you’ll feel inspired to renew your wedding vows at sunset.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best gay hotels in Malta to check out based on our first-hand experience, recommendations from LGBTQ locals and from other gay travellers. We’ve included everything from five-star luxury resorts to intimate guesthouses for the more budget-savvy traveller. To read more about experience travelling in Malta, including the country’s gay scene, check out our comprehensive gay guide to Malta.

Malta Gay Hotels – Where to Start

Valletta is our hands-down favourite place in Malta. It’s a city bursting with culture and history everywhere you step! Fortified walls, medieval castles and winding streets filled with unique shops and bespoke eateries, you’ll easily lose yourself in the sheer charisma of Valletta. This is also where the majority of the gay hangouts are with many delightful gay hotels to choose from, which are mainly on the luxury end, like The Phoenicia, Rosselli and La Falconeria.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Malta Gay Travel Resources

Lebanon Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

When it comes to LGBTQ rights, Lebanon is a bit of a blur. On the one hand, it’s renowned for being one of the most gay friendly Arab countries, but on the other, life is still a challenge for the local LGBTQ community.

Lebanon has a fantastic gay scene (by Arab country standards!), it has the largest gay club of the Arab world (called POSH), it’s the only Arab country that has a Pride event, and has a growing number of politicians that publicly campaign for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

But, this is still a place where conservative homophobic religious voices retain a strong influence in politics as can be seen by the way they try to repress Beirut Pride each year.

We were fortunate to meet the founder of Beirut Pride, Hadi Damien. In 2018, Hadi was arrested and only released on condition that he cancels the remainder of that year’s Beirut Pride. A year later, the 2019 Beirut Pride formally went ahead, but the organisers were, again, forced to cancel the opening event due to the same religious pressure. In this interview, Hadi tells us more about his experience as an LGBTIQ+ activist in Lebanon, his experience being arrested, and what life is like for the local LGBTIQ+ community.

Lebanon Gay Life

I grew up in a family that was not obsessed with gender roles and stereotypes. There were, admittedly, the occasional “you’re a boy, don’t act like a girl” comments which destabilised me and contributed to my self-consciousness. I monitored my gestures, my tone of voice, and later on my glances.

Gay or not, I’d probably have gone to the same school, but my experience with homophobia would have been different.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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 Life in Romania – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Life in Romania - The Nomadic Boys

t’s no secret that gay life in Romania is quite a challenge! Whether it’s one of online polls showing how much Romanian society opposes homosexuality or that hideous referendum in 2018 to ban gay unions (which for the record, failed!), it sure ain’t easy.

We even got a flavour of Romanian homophobia as gay travellers: when approaching a bunch of hotels in Bucharest and Brașov asking whether they’re ok to host a gay couple and allow us to share a double bed, the response we got from quite a lot of them (like the Rembrandt Hotel in Bucharest and the Aro Palace Hotel in Brașov ) was along the lines of:

“We welcome you but on condition you understand we have children in the hotel so all inappropriate behaviour should be avoided in public areas”

…of course…’cause that’s all Seb and I apparently are seen to do as a gay couple…frolic around naked everywhere, shagging everything in sight, children included….ffs!!

Yet despite the homophobic atmosphere prevalent across Romanian society, the country’s LGBTQ community has made great strides towards equality. For example, Romania has full anti-discrimination laws in place (which include hate speech), and every day, more and more politicians are coming out in favour of legalising civil unions. Oh and that awful referendum to ban civil unions in 2018? It simply failed due to lack of voter turnout (30% needed, they only got 20.4%).

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Cruises for Singles – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Cruises for Singles - The Nomadic Boys

Whilst we love going on gay cruises together, we also do the occasional solo trip independently of one another – something we recommend everyone does, whether you’re in a relationship or single. The bane of solo travellers, however, is having to fork out for the luxury of travelling solo…

You’ve also encountered it right? The single supplement!

We get it. Cruises have to account for their costs. But what if you want to set sail and not have to factor in this unnecessary cost? In fact, a question we’re often asked by many of our fabulous readers is “which are the best gay cruises for singles?”

Well guys, we’ve got you covered right here!
We’ve scoured the net and found all the best gay cruises available for solo travellers and put them all in this detailed guide.

Choosing The Best Gay Cruises for Singles

It can definitely be tough scouting out the perfect cruise when travelling solo. Everything is geared towards couples, so branching out can be very intimidating, not to mention expensive since you usually have to budget for that ubiquitous single supplement fee! Luckily, there are several options available for solo travellers

  1. The Room Share Programme

There are a handful of cruise lines that offer a ‘Room Share Programme’. This is where they pair you up with another solo traveller based on whether you are a smoker or non-smoker and sometimes with even more details about your personality. We love this idea because you know that you’re likely to make a new lifelong friend (if not something more!!). The Room Share Programme is also a fantastic way of getting around paying for that single supplement.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys