Looking for the best gay-friendly spot for your next holiday? Thinking San Francisco, London or New York? Think again, say some of the world’s leading travel agencies, and look beyond the obvious. Here’s what the industry thinks are five of the best up-and-coming, gay-friendly tourist hotspots, in all corners of the world and for every budget.
1. Buenos Aires, Argentina
The South American nation recently became the latest country to legalize same-sex marriages and with a very vibrant gay and lesbian community, cultural scene and low prices is one of the best new destinations in the world.
Look out for one of the dozen new gay-friendly boutique hotels in trendy Palermo Soho, a neighbourhood packed with stores, restaurants and clubs.
2. Curaçao, The Caribbean
Named the best new gay tourist destination in 2009 by the travel agency TripOut Gay, the Dutch Caribbean island is seen as a small version of the European country, with its relaxed attitude, coupled with paradise beaches and all-year-round sun.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
The second-biggest city in South Africa has been named the second most gay-friendly city in the world in a survey by travel website Expedia Australia (Sydney is number one).
According to the travel agency, Cape Town combines breathtaking natural sights with plenty of gay-friendly bars, clubs and accommodation to choose from and for all budgets. Visit the city in February for the two-week-long Cape Town Pride.
4. Shanghai, China
Recommended by Out Traveler magazine and runner-up of TripOut Gay Award 2009 for Breakout Gay City, Shanghai is the place to be if what you’re looking for is city-life with a growing gay scene. Packed with skyscrapers, shops, street food and the chance to escape to some of its, small but beautiful, beaches.
5. Istanbul, Turkey
Where the East meets the West, Istanbul’s history, food, incredible architecture and friendly people make it an amazing travel destination. Add fantastic nightlife and a growing gay community and you have the perfect gay destination.