Love is universal, and Pride celebrations spread across the global and the calendar. Check out these Pride festivals, located in countries that celebrate same-sex marriage and welcome LGBT tourists for an inspiring and memorable vacation.
London Pride Festival – June 9-July 7
With headline sponsors Barclays and the Mayor of London, London celebrates its Pride with a month of fun, education, and engaging events, like talent shows, bowling nights, seminars on health and adoption, and trendy plays. For an adults-only, after-hours party, the Science Museum’s Sexuality Late on June 27 is a must-attend event, hosted by one and only cabaret sensation Michael Twaits. Teen members of the LGBT+ community are invited to the #PrideProm at the Pirate Castle on June 30. Families, join the Pride Picnic on July 1 for open-air fitness classes, organized walk, and soccer, and for an evening of Pride Talent, check out Rising Stars at the Underbelly Festival Southbank with dance, comedy, and acrobatics performances. Culminating the entire month is the 2018 Pride in London Parade on July 7.
Recommended: Show Your Pride – North America Edition
MADO’18 – June 28-July 8
Madrid hosted WorldPride in 2017, the largest LGBT celebration in the world, and it strives to throw another great Pride celebration this year. MADO – Orgullo Gay de Madrid or Madrid Pride – takes place every year following International Day of LGBT Pride and draws more than 2 million people to the Chueca neighborhood with exciting festivities, such as a High Heel Race and the XI Edition Mr. Gay Pride Spain. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Manifestation, or parade, which will run from Atocha to Colón on July 7. A part of MADO, the Madrid Summit 2018 fosters conversation on an international scale with discussions about human rights, education, health, workplace issues, culture, and politics.
Pride Barcelona – June 28-30
Spain keeps going strong with their LGBT festivals, with Pride Barcelona beginning on June 14 with the International Conference: LGBTI Refugees. The festival has opening events, such as the Vermouth Trans, Lovers & Friends at Passatge de Valeri Serra on June 16 and the the IX Gayxample Street Market on June 23. Pride Barcelona 2018 officially kicks off on June 28 during an evening celebration with DJs, artists, and the welcoming address. Stop by the Festival on Av. Maria Cristina on June 29-30 with Pride Kids: Recreation Area & Workshops, Zumba, performances on the Gaixample Stage, the High Heel Race, and an evening party. On June 30, the Demonstration Pride LGTBI BCN 2018 takes to the streets with the theme “for LGTBI refugees.” The after-celebration will offer performances by Loreen (Eurovision 2012), Conchita (Eurovision 2014), Gala, Camela, Ms. Nina, King Jedet, and more.
Recommended: 3 Best LGBT Romantic Destinations
Fortnight of LGBT Fiestas 2018 (Paris) – June 15-30
Paris holds the key to your heart with two weeks of festive and educational Pride events. From Bingo Night on June 16, hosted by Lady Carbone and Kyssy Bang Bang, to the Picnic Pride on June 24 at North Circle Prairie at La Villette, Fortnight of LGBT Fiestas 2018 features a variety of adult-geared activities as well as family fun events to enjoy. The two weeks of events lead up to June 30, a day of endless celebrations. It starts with the LGBT Pride March in Paris and Ile-de-France, and leads to the Great Podium of Pride, a concert by artists committed to equal rights as well as speeches made to promote awareness to LGBT concerns. The day ends with the Big LaserBowl, a large party with DJs, smoke, confetti, pyrotechnics, and more than 90 light machines.
CSD Frankfurt – July 20-22
Frankfurt holds its Christopher Street Day Event – named for the NYC street where the famous Stonewall Bar and riots took place – a bit after its European counterparts and draws an impressive crowd of 200,000. The biggest event is the parade on July 21, which starts at noon and ends at the Konstablerwache, Frankfurt’s central square. Over the Pride weekend, celebrants enjoy a community party at the Konstablerwache, “The Bazaar of Diversity” or “Information Street,” in Great Friedberger Straße with vendors and shops, as well as community members and other information stalls. Also along “Information Street,” you’ll find outdoor events, parties, and of course, the high-heeled shoe race.
Recommended: New Paradise Alert! Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos
Reykjavik Pride – August 7-12
The “biggest small Pride” in the world is back. What started as 1,500 onlookers in 1993 has grown to more than 100,000 participants in 2017, and Reykjavik goes all out. Rainbow designs paint the streets a kaleidoscope of colors before the August 12 parade marches from Hverfisgata via Ingólfsstræti to Hljómskálagarður Park. This is also a great time to learn about the locals with a Queer Icelandic Classical concert spotlighting LGBTQI Icelandic composers, plus parties, mixers, and QueeReads. While in town, explore the multitude of free attractions, including the Þúfa, an outdoor art exhibit; and Nauthólsvík, a relaxing spot where you can enjoy a cool dip in the Atlantic Ocean, steam baths, and hot tubs.
Get into the Pride celebrations across the pond. Together with GOGO Vacations, your local travel agent will get you there.