Barcelona Gay Shopping – The Nomadic Boys

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!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Gay Sitges – The Nomadic Boys

New York City may have Fire Island, but Barcelona has Sitges!

Sitges is a charming gay seaside town located around 40km (25miles) south from Barcelona. It has many antique shops, bespoke coffee shops, tapas bars and lots of queer hangouts. Located in the Catalonian region, it’s a delicious mix of the refreshing sea air, coastal scenery and local spirit, with modernist touches.

Did we also mention that Sitges is all about beaches, beaches and more beaches?! The town has gay beaches, nude beaches, gay AND nude beaches aplenty! For such a small town (population is less than 30,000) Sitges not only has a large LGBTQ community living here, it receives thousands of gay tourists each year. This is one of many reasons why we rate it as one of our top destinations in Europe. Whether you come here for your holiday or visit as part of a day trip from Barcelona, Sitges is one gay mecca you cannot miss!

This is our comprehensive gay travel guide of Sitges – a place we think is easily one of the most gay friendly travel destinations in the world.

So just how gay is Sitges?

Sitges is leading the pack in terms of its attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. Whilst Spain is already one of the gayest countries in the world, being one of the first places in the world to legalise same-sex marriage back in 2005, Sitges manages to stand out ahead of other cities for many unique reasons.

Not only does Sitges have a huge gay scene, but the locals are also extremely gay-friendly. Although…they don’t really have much of a choice: every year they get a pink invasion with thousands of LGBTQ travellers descending on the city during the summer months, especially during Pride in June and the Bear Week in September.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sitges Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona Gay Restaurants – The Nomadic Boys

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan and exciting city, with a vibrant gay scene. We love coming here to party, celebrate Barcelona Pride, relax and stuff our faces! With such a great mix of people and culture, it makes sense that Barcelona also has a thriving foodie scene.

The unique blend of Spanish, Catalan and Meditteranean cuisine, along with Barcelona’s seaside location, make this a wonderful spot for a gastronomic holiday. You will get to try the freshest seafood, the most delicious tapas and many other types of food from all over the world.

The main gay area of Barcelona can be found in Eixample (often nicknamed ‘Gaixample’), with many fabulous gay hangouts to check out. A word of warning, most restaurants in Barcelona are closed on Sunday, but we’ve included the best ones that still serve food on the day of the Lord (a day when we’re usually nursing a heavy hangover and craving a bit fat greasy burger…!)

During our visits to Barcelona, we’ve managed to experience lots of excellent gay owned restaurants, as well as those with a mostly gay clientele, which serve up the most delicious dishes. These are our favourite gay or gay friendly restaurants which we tried and loved in Barcelona.

Restaurante D’Divine

Restaurante D’Divine has been going strong for around 13 years and is the best place to come to watch a drag show with your meal. Whilst the menu is a bit limited, the cocktails are delicious and the shows, hilarious!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Gay Barcelona – The Nomadic Boys

Barcelona is one of the most open and diverse cities we’ve ever been to. Not only is it tolerant towards gay travellers, they practically roll out the red carpet for us! With a booming gay village, loads of excellent hangouts and fantastic festivals, Gay Barcelona is a pumping city begging to be consumed.

We’ve begun to consider the city as a second home – its frivolous nightlife scene, the large LGBTQ community and stunning weather make it impossible to stay away for too long. Here is our detailed guide to Barcelona for gay travellers following our many visits to this fabulous Spanish coastal paradise.

How friendly is gay Barcelona?

In short – very gay friendly!

In our opinion, we think Barcelona is one of the most gay friendly cities in Europe and in the world. Historically, it is the birthplace of the LGBTQ Pride movement of Spain, where activists in the 1970s took to the streets to demand their rights. This ignited a pink wave throughout the rest of the nation and began to increase visibility for the Spanish LGBTQ community. Today, Barcelona continues to be a pioneer across the world for gay rights – a textbook example for other places to follow on its treatment towards queer travellers and citizens. This is one of many reasons why we rate it as one of our top gay destinations in Europe.

With an exquisite gay scene, filled with clubs, bars, eateries, hotels, and bathhouses, the city is a thriving mecca for LGBTQ culture. On every corner, there is some nod to queer identity. Whether this is a statue honouring one of the country’s most beloved queer writers or a rainbow flag flying outside a bakery, Barcelona is a city which appreciates its gay community.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona Gay Beaches – The Nomadic Boys

We love going to the beach – and the Barcelona gay beaches, only solidify our love for the seashore.

With its epic beach parties, stunning crowds, beautiful weather and lots of activities, Barcelona has a beach to suit every mood. There are beaches for when you need some private time or for when you want to become the life and soul of the party. Each beach has a unique energy and attracts different crowds. However, they all have one thing in common: they’re all fabulous and worth shouting about!

This is our guide to the best gay beaches in Barcelona to check out:

What is the official gay beach in Barcelona?

Barcelona is well-beloved for its beaches and is recognised globally for how incredible they are. In fact, National Geographic has listed it as the number one best beach city in the world.

Whilst only two out of Barcelona’s beaches are considered officially “gay”, we found that every single one we went to is gay-friendly. The official gay beaches of Barcelona are San Sebastian and Mar Bella. However, there are a few others to check out, particularly as you head into Sitges.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Sri Lanka Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

“Funny Boy” is a Sri Lankan book by Shyam Selvadurai, which we recommend every LGBTQ traveller visiting Sri Lanka reads. It tells the story of a young Tamil gay boy called Arjy, growing up in 1980s Sri Lanka during the civil war era, struggling to come to grips with his homosexuality in a very religious and traditional family and society.

Fast forward 30 years when we visited Sri Lanka, at a time when the country is thriving; the Civil War long ended and tourism flourishing more than ever, we wondered if much has changed for the country’s LGBTQ community. Be sure to check out our comprehensive gay Sri Lanka travel guide for our perspective as foreigners visiting. But what’s it like for local gay guys?

We met a Sinhalese author in Colombo who has published various books and poetry, some with an LGBTQ theme. He has asked to remain anonymous in this interview for fear of reprisal from family and his work, so we will instead refer to him by his nickname, “Kaluu”:

Hi Kaluu, please introduce yourself:

Good afternoon Stefan and Seby. I am Sri Lankan born, 39 years old, living in Colombo. I’m also a son, a friend, a gay, a Buddhist, a writer, and a poet. Above all, I am a human!

My friends call me “Kaluu”. It means “black” in Sinhalese and has become my nickname because I have darker skin compared to the average Sri Lankan.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

Gay Sri Lanka – The Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka is a little pearl in the Indian Ocean. This paradise-like island has some of the most delicious food we’ve tried in Asia, the best safaris outside of East Africa and our favourite train journeys. Sri Lanka also has beaches, stunning landscapes for trekking and kind, warmhearted people who love welcoming foreigners, straight or gay.

For such a small place, Sri Lanka offers so much that many come here for their honeymoon. Yet the sting in the tail comes when you quickly realise that the country still clings on to its anti-gay laws introduced by the British during the colonial years in the 1880s. Even though the courts have declared these laws to be unenforceable, the fact that the Sri Lankan government refuses to get rid of them is a sad sign that Sri Lanka is still very much a conservative society where you do need to tread cautiously as an LGBTQ traveller.

We explore the anti-gay laws along with other general advice for LGBTQ travellers in this comprehensive gay country guide to Sri Lanka.

LGBTQ rights in Sri Lanka

On the face of it, it’s illegal to be gay in Sri Lanka. Section 365 of the Sri Lankan Penal Code dating back to 1886 criminalises “carnal intercourse” with up to 10 years in prison and a fine.

This law dates back to the British Colonial days. Ask a local and they will enthusiastically tell you “but it no longer applies!”, which is both technically right and wrong.

On the one hand, the Sri Lankan government refuses to repeal the anti-gay laws and often makes openly homophobic statements. They have even embellished the anti-gay laws. For example, in 1995, the Sri Lankan judiciary amended Section 363 to add “gross indecency” as a crime punishable with a fine and up to 2 years in prison (section 365A) without giving any guidance as to what constitutes “gross indecency”. As such, the LGBTQ community can either be arrested for “carnal intercourse” (if caught in the act), or for the more loosely defined “gross indecency”.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

10 Famous Filipino Foods – The Nomadic Boys

Filipino foods are exciting, surprising and full of wonderful flavours.

We travelled around the Philippines extensively as a gay couple and found many traditional yummy prizes to enjoy. With the exception of balut(!), we’ve put together our favourite foods and drinks from the Philippines that we think everyone must try.

This is our video of our travels around the Philippines as a gay couple, focusing on the awesome gay scene of Manila, party island Boracay (pre-cleanup!) and the stunning Palawan.

1. Chicken adobo: the famous Filipino dish

Chicken adobo is one of the most famous Filipino foods to try in the Philippines, known and loved by everyone.

Adobo means “marinade” in Spanish and this is just that: chicken (or pork) marinated in a mixture of soya sauce and vinegar. This was traditionally used as a way of cooking meat because the acid from the vinegar and high salt content of the soya sauce produced an undesirable environment for bacteria. Other ingredients are added depending on whose recipe you follow. 

An authentic adobo is cooked in clay pots, but today it’s more common to see them prepared in a wok or metal pot.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Argentina – The Nomadic Boys

We love Argentina. It’s got it all: hot guys, delicious food, loads of cute boys, stunning scenery, a huge diversity of wildlife…and did we mention it has the hottest guys on the planet…?!!

Above all else, Argentina is one of the most gay-friendly countries in Latin America and in our opinion, one of the most gay-friendly in the world. It’s a very easy country for gay travellers to explore, with many top not-to-miss highlights to check out. Most of the big cities also have fun gay scenes, particularly Buenos Aires, which has one of the best on the continent.

During our big trip in Latin America, we’ve travelled at length around Argentina, all the way from the Iguazu Falls in the north right down to the Patagonian tip at the other end. Based on our first-hand experience, we’ve put together our comprehensive country guide to Argentina for gay travellers to help inspire your trip here.

LGBTQ+ Rights in Gay Argentina

Despite the strong influence of the Catholic Church, Argentina has one of the most progressive LGBTQ rights in the world. Homosexuality was legalised back in 1887 and in 2010 it became the first country in South America to legalise same-sex marriage, which included adoption rights. Argentina is also one of the most trans-friendly countries in the world, allowing you to change your legal gender without having to undergo hormone therapy, surgery or any psychiatric diagnosis. Rosario, in particular, is famous for being a trans person haven in Argentina.

With regards to the army, gay men and lesbians have been allowed to openly serve since 2009. Sadly, the same law does not (yet) apply for transgender people. Finally, whilst anti-discrimination laws are lacking across parts of Argentina, Rosario and Buenos Aires have their own in place. However, in 2012, legislation was introduced adding life imprisonment to hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Gay Kerala: The Nomadic Boys

Kerala, popularly known as God’s Own Country, has evolved a way of life that was distinct from the rest of the country – a way of life that expressed a fascinating interplay of nature and humanity across the most diverse terrains one could imagine.

Here, every human act is a way of connecting with everything in nature around them. Everything here feels so momentous, and you are intensely aware of how temporary life is. You learn how to appreciate the beautiful moment while they last, and fall in love with your surroundings.

Everywhere we went in this beautiful region of India, we were met with such compassion, and the locals showed such interest in our lives. With so much to discover, so much to do, this is our experience travelling in gay Kerala as a gay couple.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources