In most U.S. cities, gay pride is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots that sparked the modern gay pride movement.
But in Europe, the dates vary widely over the summer, from June through mid-August. So if you want to keep the party going – or if you just want to travel to Europe in later summer and conveniently hit a fabulous European gay festival – consider one of these out and proud cities that will welcome you with open arms. Among other open things. (They’re a friendly lot.)
A gorgeous city that was spared bombing during World War II, its incredible palaces and churches remain intact, which gives it a very storybook feel. You’ll feel like braiding your hair and skipping across the Charles Bridge. (This goes for the women, too.)
Prague Castle is the largest castle complex anywhere, which only adds to the historical drama that is Prague. Then layer thousands of celebrating gay folk on top, and you have a glittering gay pride that is one of the most memorable in the world.
Prague Pride runs from August 7th-13th, with over 100 events. And Prague is a compact, easily navigable city, with a fantastic system of inexpensive trams, subways and buses. Be sure to jump on a Rainbow Tram with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in its crew.
Brand g’s Prague, Vienna and Budapest cruise (August 11-20) begins with Prague Pride.
Prague Pride Guide:
Stockholm’s pride – July 31 to August 6 – is not only the biggest in Scandinavia, it’s one of Stockholm’s largest festivals of any kind. Their parade features 200 floats and vehicles and nearly half a million spectators and participants. Which makes for a lot of blond hair and perfect cheekbones. (It’s like the runways at Fashion Week exploded.)
This stunning city is built on 14 islands, and is an incredible blend of old and new. Its super charming Old Town, with cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings gives the city a fairy tale look. But that old world feeling is contrasted by Sweden’s incredibly liberal and sophisticated attitudes; it’s Pride, for example, has a Pride Kids group. With their own song.
August is the perfect time to visit, with long days (the sun sets after 9pm and rises again shortly after 4am) and mild temperatures (highs around 70).
Stockholm Pride Guide:
Amsterdam’s pride parade is truly unique, and world famous, for one special reason: it floats.
The parade, which glides through various canals that make up the 4-mile route, begins in the Oosterdok and winds through (among others) the Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel, Prisengracht and Westerdok canals. This long parade route provides plenty of spectator room, so no drag queen gets thrown into the water for blocking the view with her wig.
The parade is limited to 80 floats, and is so popular that a lottery system has to determine who gets to be included. (We’re crossing our fingers for the Amsterdam Fire Department.)
Amsterdam Pride runs July 29-August 6, and attracts more than 350,000 participants, offering everything from dance parties to film screenings, sporting events, debates, exhibitions, and of course, the world famous canal parade.
Start bedazzling your water wings now.
Brand g’s 2018 Amsterdam to Prague cruise (August 5-12, 2018) begins with Amsterdam Pride.
Amsterdam Pride Guide: