Participating in Pride is a great reason to explore amazing corners of the world, making your next trip an extra special and memorable experience in the process. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 of this series, where I cover Pride history and the best Pride festivals in North America. Now, let’s take a tour of some of the best Pride celebrations in the most vibrant cities around the world. Mark your calendars!
The best Pride festivals in Europe
London (May – July)
London’s Pride festival lasts for an entire 6 weeks, making it a season of its own! The city plans numerous events each year on top of the actual parade held every June, drawing millions of participants.
This includes conferences, concerts, picnics, fundraisers, talent competitions – they even have a Pride edition of the popular TV show Britain’s Got Talent – cabaret shows, a gamers and board gamers day, bingo games, and a giant outdoor party with live performances in the middle of iconic Trafalgar Square.
This is the perfect time to visit the city and see it really come alive. Flights to London are often on sale, the city being a gateway to the rest of Europe. Check out these helpful tips to make your trip to London memorable.
Madrid (June – July)
Around 2 million people partake in Madrid’s Pride week each year. Diverse events are planned for the occasion, involving sports like swimming, badminton, tennis, and volleyball competitions, as well as cultural events featuring music, dance, theatre, poetry, fine arts, and puppetry.
If you needed a reason to visit the cosmopolitan city of Madrid and its elegant boulevards, dynamic restaurant scene, beautiful parks, and many art museums, now you have one!
The Berlin Pride Festival welcomes half a million visitors each year. It’s famous for its big trucks blasting techno music throughout the streets of the German capital and extravagant costumes. Berlin, once divided in two distinct entities before being reunited after the Cold War, is now a symbol of unity and people standing together.
Don’t forget to check out the city’s landmarks, such as the rebuilt Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral Church, and the Holocaust Memorial. And while you’re there, why not explore the rest of the country? Germany is home to countless beautiful towns featuring unique architecture and culture.
Amsterdam (July– August)
Head to the Dutch capital for a fun-filled week! The Milkshake festival—nothing to do with the beverage—is a one-of-a-kind outdoor party celebrating diversity in all its forms. As the organizers put it: “Humans are the salt of the earth and that’s what we celebrate.”
Festivities also include the Pride Drag Queen Olympics, where drag queens and kings from all over compete in sporting events such as the Handbag Throw, 100m Stiletto Sprint, B*tch Volleyball Tournament, and Tug-of-War.
The parade is also a great opportunity to stroll past Amsterdam’s wonderful canals, gaze at the brick houses and view the city under a different light. If you need a break from the festivities, take the train to Haarlem, a quaint little town only 20 minutes from Amsterdam. You’ll find beautiful medieval streets, a magnificent church, and a windmill, De Adriaan, which rewards visitors with a stunning view at the top, as well as facts on the valuable role that windmills played in the history of the Netherlands.
If you’ve ever dreamt of spending the summer in Europe, you could visit all these vibrant capitals. Plan a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience by embarking on a tour of the old continent (but take note of the ETIAS travel authorization requirements), seeing the best of what all these countries have to offer while celebrating diversity in the process.
The best Pride festivals in Latin America, Australasia and the Middle East
Sao Paulo (June)
The first Brazilian Pride parade was held in 1997, attracting only 2,000 participants. The parade has come a long way since then, with 3 to 4 million people now attending the celebration each year. The Guinness Book of Records recognized Sao Paulo’s Pride parade as the biggest in the world! This is an important milestone in Brazil, as the country does not provide protection against LGBTQ2+ discrimination. Even though same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013, Brazil has the highest rate of violent crime committed against LGBTQ2+ individuals in the world. Get to know this lively city and take a drive to the beach to relax after you’ve visited all of Sao Paulo’s landmarks.
Sydney (June and February)
Sydney has not one, but two Pride events each year—a Pride festival in June and Mardi Gras in February!
The first Mardi Gras was held in 1978 as a night-time commemoration of the Stonewall riots. Many protesters were arrested and outed in the Sydney Morning Herald the next morning, losing their jobs and social status as a result. But Mardi Gras was held again the following year with a much bigger crowd, and again the year after that. The event was soon renamed Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and became one of the largest nighttime outdoor parades in the world.
Sydney’s Mardi Gras now attracts visitors from all over the world and injects millions of dollars into the Australian economy. Don’t miss it when visiting Australia—you’ll be rewarded with a unique visual experience: the streets of Sydney glow in the dark, brightened by the floats, the fun accessories and attire of attendees, and the fireworks illuminating the night sky.
Tel Aviv (June)
This Pride parade will take you through the vibrant streets of Tel Aviv, stopping on a beautiful beach where live performers will make you want to dance all afternoon. Later, the bars and outdoor parties will keep you up all night.
Tel Aviv means “Hill of Spring” in Hebrew. It’s a diverse city with open-minded locals, beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean coast, colourful architectural heritage, non-stop nightlife and creative culture. It’s also a world capital for vegan and vegetarian cuisine. From there, you can take a day tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Taipei hosts Asia’s biggest Pride parade. The sound of parties resonate throughout the streets of the city, with local DJs and celebrities taking to the stage to show their support and light up the crowd.
Taipei is a cool place to visit. The city is a living museum of the mix of Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian, and American culture that blend together to create the unique identity of Taiwan. Check out the many temples, monuments, and the distinctive street food – you can’t leave Taipei without trying their famous stinky tofu.
Hopefully, you’re itchy to travel and ready to purchase a flight for one of these vibrant destinations after reading this. Which one piqued your interest the most? Leave us a comment below to share your own Pride experiences.
Travel with Pride!
Thomas Boudel Tan