Gayest International Getaways
BY Advocate.com Editors
January 14 2011 10:00 AM ET
The Advocate goes international to find the best gay vacation spots. From Stockholm to Curaçao, find out where to spend your next trip abroad.
Click here to read The Advocate's Gayest Cities in America list.
Swedish gay priest Eva Brunne (left) poses with pastor Tuulikki Koivunen Bylundis after being ordained.
Stockholm — Europe’s undiscovered gem is truly one of the world’s most distinctive cities, perched on 14 islands on the southeast coast of Sweden. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo craze may have put Stockholm on the map, but gay tourists would be wise to move Stockholm to the top of their list of must-visit destinations in Europe. The first country in the world to deem that homosexuality is not an illness (way back in 1944), Sweden has become a pioneering force for gay rights throughout Europe. In fact, being gay is such a nonissue in Sweden, Stockholm doesn’t really have a gay area – the gay clubs are everywhere, and gay restaurants and coffee shops dispersed throughout downtown, old town and even the burbs. For a truly unique experience, party on the Lady Patricia, a gay dance club built on a boat. And for some uniquely gay culture, check out Millesgarden, a sculpture garden named for Carl Milles that boasts a number of homoerotic (and some downright gay) pieces.
The Toronto Pride Parade
Toronto — First-time visitors to this eclectic, gay-friendly metropolitan melting pot often remark on its cleanliness, comparing it to a tidier New York or London. Besides its famed film festival each fall, first-rate theatrical productions, and world-class museums, Toronto is noted for its all-embracing Gay Village, located at Church and Wellesley streets, full of bustling bars and bistros plus LGBT-owned restaurants and shops.
Kylie Minogue performs at the Gay Parade concert at Plaza de Espana on July 3, 2010, in Madrid.
Madrid — Spain's cutting-edge style city also happens to be its capital, where gay marriage and a tradition of Catholicism simultaneously coexist and collide. Madrid has an amazing amount of life to it, with its countless galleries, live music performances, nightclubs, and rich history. Chueca is the chic gay barrio in the middle of the city; it was revitalized by LGBT-owned shops, bars, and restaurants in the last decade, turning it into one of the most racially and sexually diverse neighborhoods in the city. While you're there, hit La Mulata, a beloved bar owned by Javier Bardem's brother; check out the street art; or go pull off a new avant-garde look with the help of the neighborhood’s high-fashion salons and shops. If you come to Madrid and decide to never leave, you won't be alone — most Madrileños are transplants who know well the saying "If you're in Madrid, you're from Madrid."