The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

Girls Who Travel | The 10 Top Destinations for LGBTQ Women 

Safety and comfort are always top concerns of women travelers. But when you’re a queer woman like me, finding destinations that are safe and affirming places to travel to is truly transformative. 

Visiting LGBTQ-friendly destinations means that I can present as myself, in ways that I am comfortable. I don’t have to worry about holding my partner’s hand or pretend to be someone that I’m not, or hide under the radar and hope that no one notices me. One of the main reasons we travel is to connect with people and culture – and with welcoming destinations like these, LGBTQ women can bring their full selves on vacation!  

This blog post covers the top destinations for LGBTQ women, in the US and internationally. While a few of these places are still on my bucket list, I have been to most of them myself – and I am happy to share my favorite activities and tips to help you make the most of the LGBTQ scene. So whether you enjoy a laid-back lesbian bar, vibrant queer nightlife, or spending some time in beautiful nature in the company of other women, read on to discover the most lesbian-friendly travel destinations for 2024.  

The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

1. New York City, NY 

Girls Who Travel | The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

New York City consistently ranks as the top LGBTQ destination in the US. 

There are so many fabulous things to do in New York. No queer trip to NYC would be complete without a visit to the Stonewall Inn, the gay bar that played a pivotal role in the LGBTQ rights movement when gay men and drag queens decided to fight back against police brutality. 

Take in the Stonewall Inn and New York’s gayborhood, the West Village, on an LGBTQ history walking tour. 

Queer women won’t want to miss the city’s remaining lesbian bars, Henrietta Hudson in the West Village, and the Cubbyhole, which went viral when a straight female content creator posted a TikTok inquiring whether men are welcome in lesbian bars. 

Alcohol not your thing? Head to the Lesbian Herstory Archives or Bluestockings Bookstore, a radical bookstore that is queer, trans, and sex worker owned, to celebrate queer history.  

2. Provincetown, Massachusetts

Girls Who Travel | The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

Located on the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown – or Ptown, as the locals refer to it – is one part quintessential New England fishing village, one part queer party town. 

The Ptown scene skews male, but queer women are always welcome! Time your visit with one of the many women’s events — like Single Women’s Weekend in May, GirlSplash in June, or Women’s Week in October — and the small town will be overtaken by queer women. 

No trip to Ptown is complete without a beach day. I always go to Race Point Beach at sunset to watch the gray seals migrate along the shore. If you plan ahead, you can enjoy a bonfire on the beach! 

Narrow Commercial Street is packed with shops and restaurants, and it’s the perfect place to people watch. Provincetown is 90 minutes from Boston on the fast ferry, so you could get there and back in a long day trip – but if you fancy spending the night, the campground is the most affordable option. 

3. Puerto Rico

Girls Who Travel | The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

If you’re dreaming of a Caribbean getaway, Puerto Rico is the best pick for lesbians. The island is a US territory, which means LGBTQ rights are fully protected. Plus, you can visit without a passport, and the flight is so short you can even go for a long weekend! 

I visited Puerto Rico a few years ago. I was amazed at how accessible and welcoming the island is. I know I’ll be back, in part because it’s such a comfortable destination for lesbian travelers. 

While I enjoyed exploring the old military forts and cocktail bars of San Juan, my favorite activities were outside the city: secret waterfall hikes in El Yunque, kayaking to a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo, and relaxing at queer-friendly Luquillo Beach.

Off the coast of Puerto Rico lies the island of Vieques, which is reportedly popular among lesbian travelers. Vieques is easily accessible by plane or ferry from San Juan. The island has some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, more bioluminescent bays to explore, and beachside camping ideal for budget travelers.

4. Reykjavík, Iceland

Girls Who Travel | The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

Reykjavík, Iceland, routinely takes the top spot as a safe travel destination for solo women travelers. It also happens to be one of the most queer-friendly destinations I’ve been to, even if they only have one gay bar to explore – Kiki’s. 

The world famous Blue Lagoon is worth a visit at least once, although the newer Sky Lagoon, perched on coastal cliffs near Reykjavík, is a popular and less crowded alternative. Visit in winter (like I did) to soak in a geothermal spa, photograph the northern lights, and explore Reykjavík during the cheaper off-season. It’s less cold than you’d expect, comparable to a Northeast US winter. 

Or visit Iceland in August to attend Reykjavík Pride, which has been going strong since 1999, and enjoy 22 hours of daylight. 

Whenever you decide to explore Iceland’s charms, my LGBTQ Reykjavik guide will help you make the most of your trip!

While Iceland is notoriously expensive, there are frequently cheap flight deals from the US. Or you can take advantage of the famous IcelandAir stopover program and add a few days in Reykjavik to your next Europe vacation.

5. Mallorca, Spain

Spain has some of the most progressive views on LGBTQ+ rights and relationships in Europe. Same-sex marriage has been legal in this European country since 2005. 

Mallorca, off the eastern coast of Spain, combines the country’s progressive and welcoming attitude with a laid-back island vibe. For nine years, the island has played home to the Ella International Lesbian Festival. Ella’s festival is held during August, when an international crowd of shes and theys turn the small island into a majority queer space. 

Whether your idea of fun is a queer film fest, dance party, adrenaline-fueled zipline ride, or a mellow beach day, the festival offers so many incredible-sounding chances to connect with queer women and nonbinary people. I haven’t been, but you can bet it’s on my travel list. 

Can’t make the festival? No worries, Mallorca is LGBTQ-friendly all year round – and they keep an updated LGBTQ travel map to connect travelers to inclusive businesses in the island’s capital, Palma. 

6. Berlin, Germany 

Berlin is a favorite destination of lesbian travelers. The city has many queer-owned businesses, nightclubs, and TEN lesbian bars

The annual Christopher Street Day parade (typically held the third weekend of July) brings thousands of queer women and allies to the city. If you enjoy Pride travel, the parade is not to be missed. 

While German history has its dark chapters when it comes to LGBTQ rights, today’s Berlin offers plenty of opportunities to celebrate LGBTQ lives. The city’s anything-goes vibe means queer couples can display affection in public without worry of attracting strange looks. The same openness can’t be expected traveling around smaller cities in Germany – in my experience, two women together outside Berlin attract the infamous German stare.  

While there is so much incredible arts and culture in Berlin, not to mention queer nightlife, I recommend a visit to the memorial to the LGBTQ lives lost in the Holocaust. Head to the Tiergarten, a sprawling park in Berlin, and spend a few minutes with the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism. The memorial adds moving context to the city’s progressive, queer and sex-positive ambiance. 

7. Dublin, Ireland

Ireland may not be top of mind when it comes to lesbian-friendly travel destinations. For one, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland until 1993! For another, Ireland remains a majority Catholic country, and the Catholic church still sees LGBTQ people as second-class citizens. 

But Ireland has come a long way since the nineties. They’ve elected a gay Pride Minister, and they were first nation to legalize same sex marriage, by popular vote, in 2015! The Irish are known for giving a warm welcome to travelers, including those who identify as queer.  

Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene that includes an annual gay theater festival, a 10-day Pride festival, and lots of queer bars and clubs. There are even LGBTQ hiking groups that welcome tourists who want to explore the city’s nature trails! 

8. Osaka, Japan 

Girls Who Travel | The 10 Top Destinations For LGBTQ Women 

Japan isn’t as open when it comes to LGBTQ rights as some of its Asian neighbors, like Thailand. The country does not allow same-sex marriage and does not offer full legal protection to LGBTQ citizens. 

While Japan still has work to do when it comes to inclusivity, Japan is a safe and inclusive travel destination for queer women. The country is highly safe for female travelers. Japanese people tend to give foreigners a pass for their eccentricities. If you want the freedom to explore without getting odd looks or having your personal space invaded, Japan is an oasis of tranquility. Not to mention the onsens, Japan’s famous bathing culture. 

Three important things to note about onsens: They’re separated for men and women, they are fully nude spaces (you’ll get a modesty towel to cover your bits), and most traditional onsens do not allow anyone with tattoos. If you have tattoos, which many queer women do, look for private onsens that may be more flexible. Some hotel onsens don’t enforce the tattoo policy; I saw many foreigners with tattoos at my hotel onsens. 

Osaka is the unofficial LGBTQ capital of Japan. Not only does Osaka boast multiple queer bars, the city is a haven for nonconformists. Walking around Osaka, I was surprised at how many people defined Japanese cultural norms in their dress and appearance. Wind through Osaka’s neon arcades, seeking out the gay bars tucked down alleyways, and you just might fall in love with the city the way I did.

Make your way to the city’s botanical gardens at night for an experiential digital art exhibition from Tokyo-based collective teamLab Borderless. Insider tip: reserve tickets ahead of time so they don’t sell out. 

9. Bangkok, Thailand 

Thailand has been inching toward legalizing same sex marriage in the last couple of years, under the direction of a progressive political party. While the law has yet to pass, Thailand is famously permissive when it comes to LGBTQ identities. 

While I traveled all around Thailand on my honeymoon and felt totally safe and welcoming, without a doubt the most queer friendly place to visit is Bangkok. Spend your days wandering the Buddhist temples or exploring backpacker neighborhoods, then head to the queer bars in Soi 4 at night. The Soi 4 gayborhood used to have some women’s bars. While those have closed, queer women are welcome in the gay bars. 

10. Bogota, Colombia 

Colombia is one of the most progressive destinations in Latin America for LGBTQs. And cities like Medellin and Bogota are increasingly on queer travelers’ radars. In fact, Colombia was named as one of the top countries for LGBTQ travelers in 2024, according to an Airbnb survey. 

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Colombia since 2015. Discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity is illegal, making Colombia a good choice for travelers who identify outside the gender binary, too. 

Bogota is Colombia’s capital city. The ‘Chapinero’ neighborhood has been nicknamed ‘Chapigay’ for its sizable queer population. Use Chapinero as a home base to explore the vibrant capital city, which transforms during the annual Pride parade in late June. 

Bogota boasts one of the biggest LGBTQ clubs in Latin America, called Thatron. But if you are looking for a quieter place to connect with other ladies, you’ll find mellow cafes and progressive venues that cater to the local LGBTQ population. 

If you’ve had Colombia on your travel bucket list, this might be the perfect time to plan a trip. 

As these ten LGBTQ-inclusive destinations show, queer women have a growing list of global destinations where they can travel out and proud. Whether it’s bustling European cities, small seaside villages that transform into lesbian oases come summertime, emerging destinations like Bogota, or foodie favorites like Osaka, the options for queer women continue to expand. So pick your favorite destination, get your partner or travel crew on board, and venture out there to make some incredible memories! 

Lindsey Danis

Hi, I’m Lindsey 👋 I’ve traveled to 45 US states and 24 countries. I've written about travel for sites like Fodor's, TripSavvy, and Condé Nast Traveler. Now, I help LGBTQ travelers like you research and plan bucket-list outdoor adventures.

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