When people think of Spain, they mostly think of beaches and tapas, sun-drenched terraces and ancient churches. And sure, it has all that, but did you know it’s also one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world?
So, to celebrate pride month, we’re taking you through some of Spain’s LGBTQ+ hotspots you can visit with Contiki.
Ah, Barcelona. Beautiful beach. Beautiful architecture. Amazing food. But it also has an open and vibrant gay scene, with plenty of iconic bars and clubs throughout the city. (The area of Eixample, near the university, is often referred to as Gayxample!). If you’re looking for a hip queer bar, look no further than La Frederica, with laid-back vibes and killer cocktails. If you’re after more of a party, check out Átame Bar Musical, famed for its epic drag parties.
And then there’s the huge annual pride celebration, of course. Where you can get your party/protest on under the Catalonian sun. Bliss.
(And remember, just outside of Barcelona, along the coast, you’ll find Sitges. Arguably the gay capital of the world.)
Some people might consider Madrid quite a traditional city. And while, yes, it does cling onto many classic Spanish cultural touchpoints, it also is packed with buzzy neighbourhoods and has a great LGBTQ+ scene. The Madrid pride party is one of the world’s best, and it also has a great motto: whoever you love, Madrid loves you.
In terms of nightlife, Chueca is the place to be. This buzzy neighbourhood is part of Madrid’s cultural heritage, with iconic bars such as Museo Chicote sitting alongside great musical spots such as Libertad 8 and avante garde scenes like Vuélvete Loca.
As well as serving the best paella in the world, Valencia is home to an emerging LGBTQ+ scene. Playa de l’Arbre del Gos is home to a ‘nude gay beach,’ while there are plenty of lively gay bars, too, including The Muse, perfect for pre-party drinks, and Desero 54 if you want to keep the party going with banging house music, drag shows and podium dancers.
Ibiza had one of the first organised gay scenes in Spain, even though it was by necessity more secretive back in the 60s. The super clubs occasionally host LGBTQ+ specific nights, but you’ll find all club nights here are pretty LGBTQ+ friendly.
Figueretas is regarded as the island’s gay hub, with it’s stunning palm-fringed promenade filled with plenty of lively gay bars and clubs. And if you’re after one of the most iconic gay clubs in the world, then you’ll need to check out Lola’s for a legendary experience.
Ok, it’s not quite Ibiza, but Granada has a great variety of gay bars as well as an amazing tapas culture and inexpensive nightlife. One of the favourite LGBTQ+ hangouts in the city is Fondo Reservado, with awesome decorations, live music, drag shows and proper Carnavals. Check it out if you’re in town.
Granada’s oldest gay bar, La Sal, is known as a lesbian hotspot, with more banging house music and a really friendly, vibey atmosphere.
Sizzling Seville is famed for its gorgeous medieval lanes and moorish architecture. But it’s also a hidden gem when it comes to the LGBTQ+ scene in Spain. Most of the gay scene here is based around Alameda de Hércules, with hip clubs and bars, as well as epic after-parties. ITACA is probably the biggest gay club in Seville, where the cocktails are strong, and the pop bangers don’t stop playing till 7am. The ancient Roman theme is pretty cool, too…