europe pride parades

Celebrate Pride in Amsterdam. (Photo: Getty Images)

LGBTQ Travel

Feel the Love at Europe’s Hottest LGBTQ Pride Celebrations

Sunshine, smiling faces and rainbow flags strung above streets: When summertime arrives in Europe, it marks the start of the continent’s memorable LGBTQ Pride festivals celebrating the right to love whomever you want.

Dress up extravagantly and gear up for some of the globe’s wildest and most lavish street parties.

Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon’s Pride celebrations. (Photo: Getty Images)

Visiting this gem of a city is always a good idea, but it’s even more fun during Lisbon Pride. Locally known as Arraial Lisboa Pride, the event typically takes place in mid-June. Explore the Pride Village, with its arts and crafts exhibitions and mouth-watering Portuguese food.

Sip cold drinks in the Village’s lounge space, and at night, dance until the early hours on the Terreiro do Paço square (Praça do Comércio) beside the river.

The Lisbon Gay Pride Parade (Marcha do Orgulho LGBT), which passes through the photogenic historic district of Bairro Alto, usually takes place a week earlier.

Tel Aviv, Israel

If you find yourself in Israel during the summer months, try to attend Tel Aviv Pride, a weeklong series of events held each June. Join the large parade that begins at the Gan Meir Park, considered to be the center of the city’s LGBTQ community. Afterward, dance the night away at the immensely popular beach party.

Wander around the capital’s vibrant streets and stop at some gay-friendly cafés, restaurants, gyms and spas. By day, it’s only right to plan a dip in the Mediterranean with the fittest, tannest guys at the unofficial Gay Beach.

Budapest, Hungary

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Wave the flag in Budapest. (Photo: Getty Images)

Journey to this city on the Danube River to attend the Budapest Pride Film and Cultural Festival. You can also enjoy several concerts, film screenings, theater performances, picnics and exhibitions during the event.

The event’s march to promote LGBTQ rights, usually held the first Saturday of July, is the best-known part of the week and ends with the exhilarating Rainbow Party.

Berlin, Germany

Travel to Germany’s laid-back creative capital to experience its annual Pride Week in July. Enjoy funky DJ shows, performances and exhibitions at the Lesbian and Gay City Festival, Europe’s largest street party of its kind.

A week later, join Berlin Pride, one of Europe’s oldest LGBTQ celebrations (since 1979) and one of the largest pride parades worldwide, with half a million visitors and participants. It’s locally known as Christopher Street Day, or CSD, commemorating New York City’s Stonewall Riots in 1969. The parade ends at the iconic Bradenburg Gate, where you’ll rock out at a massive street party.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Pay a visit to the Homomonument. (Photo: Getty Images)

Experience the relaxed atmosphere at Pride Amsterdam, one of the biggest celebrations of LGBTQ pride around the globe, attracting more than 350,000 people. The highlight of the two-week festival is the Canal Parade held on the first Saturday of August. Line the city’s waterways and admire decorated boats with extravagantly dressed dancers representing different organizations, businesses and political parties.

Join the Pride Walk that ends in Vondelpark and hit up one of the many rowdy street parties. Don’t miss the Drag Queen Olympics at the Homomonument and the festival’s closing party at Dam Square.

Prague, Czech Republic

An adventure is waiting for you in this European hot spot, famous for its cobblestone alleys, stunning architecture and art — as well as sights like the Charles Bridge and Old Town Square.

During the Prague Pride Festival held every August, rainbow colors adorn the streets of the Czech capital. Attend some of the festival’s concerts, exhibitions and parties, which culminate with the official parade, where you’ll dance along with tens of thousands of spectators.