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Maria Asaad
Airlines and routes, Travel tips,


Pride is celebrated worldwide, and it provides an opportunity for specific issues to be raised and discussed by the LGBTQ+ community and beyond all around the globe. If you fancy celebrating Pride abroad and getting taste of how other countries mark the occasion, here are some of the top gay-friendly destinations to fly to directly from Heathrow. 



Malta is a sunny, vibrant and inclusive island that celebrates Pride Month to the absolute max with colourful parades, thought-provoking events and lively parties. These will be taking place throughout the month of June to mark Pride 2024, with one of the main highlights being the annual Pride Parade. The colourful extravaganza winds through the streets of the capital city, Valetta, with thousands of locals and visitors coming together to celebrate diversity, equality and love.

The celebrations certainly don’t stop there, as many other events take place during Pride Month in Malta. The country hosts film screenings, art exhibitions, beach parties, and drag shows for whoever wants to join in and celebrate further. Whether you want to hit the dancefloor or are more keen to engage in deep and meaningful conversations, it is easy to embrace the spirit of Pride in Malta. 





Sweden is recognised as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), so it’s no wonder that several people flock to it to celebrate Pride and feel the festivities in one of the most inclusive and progressive countries in the world. The rainbow-flag-waving country marks Pride in many different and colourful ways, with vibrant parades happening all over the country. The festivities take place at the end of July into early August.

The capital city hosts Stockholm Pride, the largest festival in the Nordic region and one of the biggest events in Sweden. The summer extravaganza welcomes tens of thousands of Swedish and international LGBTQ+ visitors yearly, transforming the famous city into one massive celebration. Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, hosts its own version of Pride called West Pride, as it is located on the west coast of Sweden. The LGBTQ+ community in Gothenburg is just as strong as in Stockholm, and thousands of visitors are attracted every summer, too. Celebrations this year will take place mid-June from 10th – 16th





Iceland is another European country that goes all out to celebrate Pride and mark the occasion in style. Gay Pride in Iceland is known as Reykjavík Pride and is a massive event in the country's national calendar. Icelandic people take celebrating Pride very seriously, and the spirit of equality, diversity, love, and happiness can really be felt in the air. The best time to visit Iceland if you want to embrace the celebrations is during the second weekend in August when the grand Gay Pride Parade takes place.

The city is transformed into a rainbow of love and celebration during Reykjavík Pride, as pure joy is felt throughout the city every August. Thousands of visitors and locals join the festivities, marching through the streets and spreading glitter, love and good vibes. Iceland’s inclusive and progressive nature can really be felt, and it is a very welcoming country for those who want to celebrate Pride in style. 





If you want to explore further afield, consider Thailand next on your agenda. The South-East Asian country has a rich LGBTQ+ history, dissimilar to many of the places listed above. Despite this, it only took the first steps to legalise same-sex marriage in 2024. 

Thailand has warmly embraced LGBTQ+ tourists for decades and is frequently known as the ‘land of smiles’ due to its friendly and hospitable population. A lot of the LGBTQ+ activity is concentrated in big cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. 

Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis with famous night markets, massive shopping malls and home to many LGBTQ+ venues, to be found in Silom and Sukhumvit Road. In 2022, Bangkok celebrated its first official Pride parade in 16 years and was attended by tens of thousands of people, both LGBTQ+ and not. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, Phuket, in southern Thailand, is the place to go and is home to the largest Pride festival in the country. It and its surrounding islands are as welcoming as they are beautiful. Finally, Chiang Mai, in the north and cultural heart of the country, is home to a more laid-back LGBTQ+ scene of hip bars, alternative bookshops, and cafes. 

If you want a hotter, more relaxing, alternative to some of our European suggestions, consider Thailand at the top of your list.  





We arrive at our final destination on our whistle stop tour, Australia. Known as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly destinations in the world with some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws, the land down under is one to put on your list. Whether it is the world-famous Mardi Gras festival on Sydney or visiting the queer hubs of Melbourne or Brisbane, Australia has something for everyone. 

Considered to be Australia’s queer capital, Sydney has more LGBTQ+ venues than any other Australian city and are spread across many neighbourhoods within the city. Sydney also holds the annual Mardi Gras festival, the largest LGBTQ+ festival in the Oceania, and one of the largest in the world. 

Outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offer plenty of the LGBTQ+ community, thanks in part to Melbourne’s thriving arts and creative scene and the Queens Ball celebrated in the month of November in Brisbane. 

If you’re looking for something rural or less bustling, Australia has you well catered for. Smaller towns such as Daylesford, Victoria and Lismore, NSW offer up an alternative to the extraverted coastal cities. Whatever you’re looking for, Australia has it!