Is Spain a Gay Friendly Destination?

29 de June, 2023

Is Spain a Gay Friendly Destination?

Learn more about safety, cultural agenda, and rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in Spain, one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe.
Reading: 5 min

Spain stands out as a gay-friendly and highly welcoming country for the LGBTQIA+ community. With a solid reputation as a progressive and welcoming country, it is known for its open and inclusive stance towards sexual diversity. In this article, we will talk about LGBTQIA+ safety, diversity and rights in Spain. Learn about its vibrant queer culture and the events geared towards this audience that make it an attractive destination for both travelers and those wishing to settle in the country.

Spain and Portugal: At the Top of the Ranking

Just like Portugal Spain also appears in the TOP 10 of the best gay friendly destinations in the world. Currently, these countries occupy, respectively, the 4th and 9th position in the Gay Travel Index. The ranking was organized by the guide Spartacus, and reported by Forbes. Comparatively, Brazil and the United States both appear on the list in 35th place.

Learn about the Spain Non-profit Visa

LGBTQIA+ rights in Spain

Spain is an example of progress in terms of LGBTQIA+ legislation and rights. At 2005 the country became one of the first to legalize marriage same-sex marriage.

Here are some of the main achievements in Spanish legislation related to the rights of the LGBTQIA+ public:

  • 1987: A descriminalização da homossexualidade na Espanha.
  • 2005: A legalização do casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo.
  • 2005: L egalização da adoção por casais do mesmo gênero.
  • 2007: A aprovação da Lei de Identidade de Gênero, permitindo a mudança legal de gênero.
  • 2010: A proibição da discriminação com base na orientação sexual e identidade de gênero.
  • 2015: A inclusão de pessoas trans na lei de proteção contra discriminação.
  • 2017: A aprovação da Lei de Igualdade LGBTI+ e a proibição das terapias de conversão.
  • 2021: A aprovação da Lei Trans, garantindo os direitos das pessoas trans e permitindo a mudança de nome e gênero nos documentos oficiais.

These achievements demonstrate Spain’s continued commitment to promoting equality and protecting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Security in Spain

Spain is recognized for its welcoming and tolerant attitude toward the LGBTQIA+ community. Major cities such as Barcelona and Madrid provide a safe and open environment for everyone. However, this positive attitude is not limited to these cities. Violence directed toward the LGBTQIA+ community is an uncommon occurrence. Laws against hate and discrimination are strictly enforced.

While violence against this group has increased worldwide, punishments for the guilty have also become more severe. Spain is among the countries that have stepped up their punitive measures in the last 10 years. This is shown by the report of the European International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). According to the study, Spanish courts have adopted a more severe stance in punishing hate speech and crimes committed against the LGBTQIA+ population.

Queer culture in Spain and events for this public

Spain embraces a vibrant queer culture, with a variety of spaces, festivals and events dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community. Cities like Barcelona and Madrid are known for their diverse and lively nightlife scenes, with bars, clubs and festivals catering to different gender identities and expressions.

One of the most important
one of the most important gay parades in Europe takes place in Madrid. In addition, Spain is home to emblematic events such as Maspalomas Gay Pride in the Canary Islands and the Circuit Festival in Barcelona, which attract visitors from all over the world.

Madrid Pride (MADO)

is the biggest Pride festival in Spain. It opens every year at the end of June and for a whole week offers a wide and lively program of events that reaches its peak with the statewide demonstration on the first Saturday in July.

Most gay-friendly cities in Spain

Some of the most popular and vibrant cities for LGBT people in Spain are:


The Spanish capital is home to a thriving gay scene, with a wide variety of bars, clubs and parties geared towards LGBT audiences. The Chueca neighborhood is the main epicenter of gay life in Madrid, offering a mix of LGBTQIA+ friendly establishments, stores, restaurants and entertainment venues.


Another cosmopolitan city, Barcelona is famous for its vibrant and diverse nightlife. The Eixample neighborhood is known for being a popular destination for the gay community. It has a large concentration of bars, clubs, and saunas. The city also hosts one of Europe’s largest gay pride festivals, Barcelona Pride.


Sitges is a charming coastal town located in the Catalonia region, about 35 kilometers south of Barcelona. With a population of approximately 30,000 inhabitants, Sitges is known for its stunning beaches, charming architecture, and LGBTQIA+-friendly atmosphere. The town is famous for hosting events such as the Sitges Carnaval, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.


Located in the Mediterranean Sea, on the east coast of Spain. It is one of the Balearic Islands, along with Majorca, Menorca and Formentera. The island of Ibiza is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and lively nightlife. In addition, Ibiza is world-renowned for its electronic music parties and events, which attract tourists from all over the world.


Spain’s third largest city also has an active gay scene. The Russafa neighborhood is known for its LGBTQIA+ bars and clubs. Malvarrosa beach is a popular meeting place for the gay community during the summer.


Located on the Costa Blanca in the Valencia region, Benidorm attracts tourists from all over, including the LGBT community. The city has a lively nightlife, with several bars and clubs that are LGBTQIA+ friendly. Levante Beach is also known as a popular meeting place for the LGBT crowd, where you can enjoy the sun and sea in a welcoming and inclusive environment. With a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of entertainment options, Benidorm offers LGBT visitors an enjoyable and diverse experience.

These are just a few of the most LGBT cities in Spain, but it is worth noting that the country as a whole is recognized for its welcoming and inclusive attitude towards sexual diversity.

Destination Spain

As we have seen, Spain stands out as a gay-friendly destination. It offers safety, progressive LGBTQIA+ rights, and a vibrant queer culture. With advanced legislation that includes legalizing same-sex marriage and banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the country demonstrates its commitment to promoting equality.

If you are thinking of living in Spain, talk to our consultants and learn about the visas created by the Spanish government to allow a safe and legal move to the country. And if you are entitled to apply for Spanish citizenship don’t waste any more time and assure your right!

Talk to us!



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