When it comes to gay-friendly city guides, in most cases, we refer to destinations for LGBT people in general. However, the reality of facts is that the entertainment is predominantly for the gay male audience. Plenty of destinations have a great gay life and an almost non-existent lesbian life. What about women? I made a list of the best lesbian cities around the world for you.
Girls, read this guide carefully: here are the most beautiful lesbian friendly places in the world!
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Lesbian cities in America
Los Angeles, California
My favorite lesbian cities in the world are in the US, and Los Angeles is definitely one of them. Have you ever watched the tv show, “The L Word”, and dreamed of living this city’s vibrant lesbian life? I definitely did!
In LA, there are parties almost every night and also many LGBTQ events, such as the famous GLAAD Awards, to name one. There’s one event, called the Dinah Shore that attracts lesbian girls around the world every year. It’s celebrated in Palm Springs – just over 100 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The Dinah is the largest and most popular lesbian event in the world and welcomes about 20,000 women from near and far.
Unfortunately, there are no exclusive lesbian bars or clubs in Los Angeles. However, there are weekly lesbian parties that take place in dozens of LGBTQ bars and clubs ready to welcome any queer nightlife lover!
San Francisco, California
California is undoubtedly among the best lesbian friendly places in the world. In fact, near Los Angeles, there is another great American city for lesbians: San Francisco. California’s capital is actually one of the most gay-friendly cities in the United States and its nickname is The Gay Mecca. In SF, the LGBT culture is predominant and far surpasses the heterosexual one. It is no coincidence that queer people make up more than 15% of the entire population, even though it’s more men than women.
Oakland, just over 10 miles from SF, is probably the city with most lesbian couples in the US. So ladies, San Francisco and its neighboring lesbian cities are definitely worth visiting.
New York City, New York
On the east coast of the USA, there’s another lesbian friendly city: New York. Why did I put New York on the list? Because it has something to offer for lesbians of all ages and backgrounds thanks to the diversity of its large LGBT scene. You know, New York is the home of LGBTQ rights!
There are many gayborhoods, but they are mainly frequented by the male audience. Girls have created other hangouts such as Park Slope and Red Hook. Oh, and there is no shortage of exclusive lesbian clubs scattered around the city. Thank you, NYC!
Northampton and Provincetown, Massachusetts
You may be wondering what this small town is doing in the midst of all the big American cities mentioned above. Northampton is actually one of the best places for lesbians to live. It was nicknamed “Lesbianville USA” by The National Enquirer back in 1992, as it is the place with most lesbians per capita in the US. Queer citizens of this lesbian city have full rights and can legally marry their partners.
In addition to Northampton, there is another small town in Massachusetts, called Provincetown, that you absolutely must visit. It’s dubbed as the best gay place ever as well as an important center of American lesbian life.
It is more rare to see a straight couple than a gay couple in Provincetown. It’s incredible!
Toronto is another gay capital of the north and is also one of the most notable lesbian cities. Many of the gay village clubs in Church-Wellesley are dedicated to a mixed – but more male – audience. Also, there are no exclusively lesbian clubs in Toronto but that’s not much of a problem considering that there are many women-only events, parties, and collectives. Among the most famous parties are the Cherry Bomb, held on the third Saturday of every month, and Back to Church, the second Friday of the month. But trust me, you will find events for women who love women throughout the entire year.
Lesbian cities in Europe
Eressos, Lesbos Island
Are you wondering what Eressos is? I’ll explain it to you right away. Eressos is a small town located on the island of Lesbos, famous for being the birthplace of Sappho and her poems about the love between women. Also, the birth of the word “lesbian” is related to her and the island. Thanks to Sappho, today, Eressos is probably one of the best lesbian friendly vacation destinations.
It is estimated that there are about 3-4,000 “Sapphic” tourists per year, and considering the size of the island, this number is significant. Another noteworthy number is the ratio between inhabitants and the number of lesbian clubs: there are 3 venues and about 1500 inhabitants.
Every year, one of the most important festivals in the world is celebrated in Eressos: the International Eressos Women’s Festival.
Regarding nature, this place is as beautiful as the other Aeolian Islands of Greece. Skala Eressos is the area with the longest beach on the island and it’s also where nudity is allowed.
Barcelona is another great lesbian city in Europe. The Spanish population’s mindset is one of the things that makes this place so special, and Barcelona is where the Spanish LGBT+ movement has taken hold. This incredible city has a lot to offer to queer visitors, and lesbians are not excluded.
In the gay area of Eixample, you will find the only lesbian bar in the whole city – Carita Bonita – a hotspot for the community. Regarding parties, there are lesbian themed nights all year round. Oh, and Barcelona also hosts the Girlie Circuit, which is the largest lesbian festival in Europe. Fun guaranteed!
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
If you enjoy northern European countries, you should definitely visit the Netherlands, the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Amsterdam, the capital, is definitely of the best lesbian holiday destinations! Pride in this city is very special and different from the others. The parade takes place along the canals on boats. It is an event you should attend at least once in a lifetime.
Amsterdam is a small city compared to many other European capitals, but it has quite an important lesbian scene. In addition to venues with mixed queer customers, there are also some meeting points with a mainly-lesbian clientele. To name a few, there is The Saarein, the Café’ t Mandje, and the Bar Buka.
Lesbian cities in Oceania
On this lesbian cities list, we cannot exclude Sydney, a beautiful Australian LGBT+ friendly city. Sydney Pride is called Mardi Gras and is basically a three-week festival packed with cultural events and entertainment.
The lesbian public generally heads to the Leichhardt area, also called Dykehardt, although it is generally more common to find older girls there. Nightlife, on the other hand, is concentrated in some other neighborhoods, such as Newtown and the nearby Enmore. These are alternative areas where it is very common to see girls walking hand in hand.
It is not difficult to find LGBT venues with a mixed clientele in this city, but there are also some bars for women only and this is why Sydney is another excellent lesbian vacation spot.
Lesbian cities in Asia
Many people consider Bangkok the gay capital of Asia. Yes! This city has a vibrant LGBTQ community.
As in many other big cities, women-only clubs are quite rare, while those with mixed crowds are very popular. However, these places are welcoming, so it is not difficult to find a fervent lesbian clientele but if you want to experience the genuine lesbian Bangkok, there are several lesbian events throughout the year! The most important are the Go Grrrls, held once a month in one of the venues in the city, and the famous Lesla Party.
If you thought there were no lesbian cities, I hope I made you take another look! Now you just have to choose your favorite lesbian friendly city and pack your bags!