10 Reasons Why Madrid is the Best Gay Destination in Europe
Europe is easily the most tolerant and accepting region in the world and there are many cities across the continent where you can let your true colors shine without fear of judgement or harassment. Places like Amsterdam, Berlin or Barcelona are well known for being gay friendly, tolerant and having a large community of LGBT residents. Still, we think Madrid is perhaps the contender for the number one spot on our list of the best gay destinations in Europe. Certainly, there are a handful of cities that compete for this title, but with the mix of its size, gay scene, events and overall vibe, we’d ague to say that Madrid takes the crown.
We’ve teamed up with the new online, gay meeting place Yurnee, to share our favorite aspects of Madrid. Here are 10 reasons why we think you should visit Madrid and see why we think it’s the best gay destination in Europe.
Gay Madrid: A Gay Travel Guide to Spain’s Capital City
About the Guide
Our readers are constantly asking us for tips and travel advice for popular gay destinations so we’ve decided to create a series of guides to help inspire you and plan your visit. We’ve included just the top recommendations in this post but you can download the full version of the Gay Madrid guide for free. We’ve even included a mobile friendly version to take on the go!
Just provide your email address and we’ll email you a PDF with all the best advice, extra information about the city including best times to go, buying a SIM card, free tours, details on airport transfers, metro maps, more nightlife, restaurant, accommodation and sightseeing options, money saving tips and discounts worth more than 100€.
Madrid Food Tour: 5 Spanish Foods that Surprised Me
I’m not usually a picky eater, but there have been a few Spanish food items that I’ve specifically avoided now having lived a year in Madrid. I enjoy most Spanish foods but I’ll be honest in saying that olives or anchovies aren’t exactly my first choice when I sit down for a meal. But I recently went on the Madrid Food Tour with a friend and was surprised by my reaction to some of these varieties and other foods I tasted on the tour.
I’ve tried Spanish olives plenty of times over the past couple years and I’ve never been fond of them. Along with potato chips, they are probably the most typical free tapas that are served at a bar or restaurant when you order a drink. The most common variety is the green olive and David can eat an entire bowl in one sitting. But even with my distaste for this green Spanish staple, I was happy to discover the more mild, brown variety called campo reales. We tried these at a restaurant called Taberna Real near the Opera metro, which also serves up a number of classic Spanish foods like jamon, almonds or tortilla. So if you’re not normally a fan of olives like me, there’s a good chance this type might be to your liking.
Day Trips from Madrid: Rascafría, Spain is a Fun Alternative
The best places to go skiing or snowboarding in Spain are certainly outside of Madrid, like north to the Pyrenees or south to Sierra Nevada. However, there are a few options for ski resorts in Madrid which, being closer and cheaper, made them a tempting weekend getaways for us. After a bit of research we decided to head to Valdesquí Ski Resort in the north of the autonomous community of Madrid, just an hour away from historic Segovia and about 30 minutes away from a small town which we were delighted to discover, Rascafría.
Gay Madrid Guide: Tips on Finding Gay Hotels in Madrid
Madrid is known across Europe as a gay friendly destination with vibrant nightlife and some of the best gay bars, clubs and events in Spain. Whether you’re looking for a high end gay hotel in Madrid or a budget gay hostal, the city has plenty of gay friendly accommodations to choose from.
Madrid has always been the center for LGBT life in Spain so it’s no surprise that they host the largest gay pride in Europe. Each summer in July, nearly 2 million people attend the festivities and pride parade as people crowd the streets enjoying music, drinks and fun. As an LGBT traveler, it’s important to find accommodations where you feel comfortable being yourself. This is not difficult in Madrid as there are numerous gay-friendly and even gay-owned properties throughout the city.