Traveling while being part of the LGBTQ+ community can be difficult, depending on where you go. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some destinations are great for the community, even if they seem like they need to be more upfront.
As travelers, you want to be somewhere comfortable but also where you can explore new things. LGBTQ+ travelers want the same things, and they want to be able to travel to different destinations and not be afraid for their safety.
With organizations like IGLTA, the world of travel is becoming available to members of the LGBTQ+ community, which was not even known 10 or 20 years ago. Organizations like IGLTA offer services for LGBTQ+ travelers with guides and studies that ensure your visit will be welcomed.
Additionally, they partner with on-site travel advisors to ensure your stay is safe and comfortable. Here are the top five LGBTQ+ destinations according to studies from IGLTA and others. This will inspire you to travel further when planning your next vacation.
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Milano (Milan), Italy
Milano is an amazing Northern Italian city famous for its gothic architecture and fashion scene that has existed there for a few decades. Not necessarily an obvious choice for LGBTQ+ travel, Milano has numerous friendly restaurants and bars in the Porta Venezia neighborhood.
What’s even more amazing about this destination is that, similar to IGLTA, they have a service called Quiiky Travel that offers tours and experiences for LGBTQ+ travelers. You can take tours like On the tracks of House of Gucci or a Leonardo Da Vinci Gay Tour. These tours reimagine historical moments from a queer perspective.
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San Juan, Puerto Rico
In the Greater Antilles, you’ll find the island of Puerto Rico. It’s a lush tropical island with a unique urban capital and many beaches that can’t be found elsewhere. For LGBTQ+ travelers, places like San Juan and Vieques offer beach vacations with a side of gay that is welcome to any traveler.
Plus, IGLTA has this year’s travel convention on the island. This will highlight Puerto Rico as one of North America’s most prominent LGBTQ+ destinations.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is one of the most diverse destinations in North America. Its gastronomy, architecture, and local culture are so excellent any traveler should check it out. It’s even more popular with LGBTQ+ travelers due to neighborhoods like La Zona Rosa which offer numerous bars and restaurants for the modern-day LGBTQ+ traveler.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil looks like just another beach vacation getaway from the outside, but over 20,000,000 LGBTQ+ people live in the South American country, and much of its business is geared toward this market. Rio has some of the most fantastic bars and restaurants owned or operated by LGBTQ+ people.
Neighborhoods like Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblo are the best if you want to be involved. You’ll be surprised at how many rainbow flags you’ll see while traveling here. It’s a place that will make you comfortable no matter how you identify.
Other destinations in Brazil, like Bonito, offer off-the-beaten-path travel and are suitable for folks that like to be outdoors.
Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal
If traveling to the Iberian Peninsula this year, you must check out Lisboa. Known for port wine and other attractions, Portugal is an excellent place for an LGBTQ+ traveler. The LGBTQ+-friendly area is the old Bairro Alto district and neighboring Principe Real neighborhood.
Here you’ll find some of the giant bars in the country, like Bar TR3S Lisboa, which serves the bear community and has been noted as being one of the best nightclubs in the country. Other attractions include The Late Birds Lisbon, where you can chill by the pool.
The great thing about Portugal is that you can party in the city and hang out surfing in Praia do Norte, north of Lisboa, and it only takes an hour and a half to get there by car.
All these destinations are perfect for LGBTQ+ travelers; you should check them out as soon as possible. Not only are they safe, but they also offer alternative vacations, which the LGBTQ+ community needs. Some members are different, and our holidays should be different.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com