While the LGBTQ+ community is not yet free to marry there, some cities do have anti-discrimination laws and the country has gender-identity protection laws. However, the State Department noted some harassment of LGBTQ+ people in its 2020 human rights report on the Philippines. What to see and do: Experience the sandy beaches – the Philippines has an abundant supply with more than 7,000 islands.
LGBTQ+ identities have been legal in former Czechoslovakia since 1962 and couples may enter into civil partnerships. The country also has anti-discrimination laws and gender identity laws recognizing transgender individuals. Slovakia celebrated its first Pride festival in 2010. What to see and do: Have a fun night out head to the capital, Bratislava. One of the most popular places for the LGBTQ+ community is Apollon Gay Club. You can also visit Devin Castle and Old Town.
Poland, a beautiful winter destination, has anti-discrimination and gender-identity laws. And while the U.S. State Department noted reports of threats of violence against the LGBTQ+ community in its 2020 human rights report on Poland, it also said the government investigated, punished and prosecuted the offenders. What to see and do: Love art? How about Cold War nostalgia? Check out Warsaw's Soho Factory, an artistic hub featuring Muzeum Neonów, which is full of vintage neon signs from the Cold War.
Deputy Culture Minister Nicholas Yatromanolakis is Greece's first openly gay cabinet minister. While it still has work to do on the equality front, Greece does have anti-discrimination and gender-identity laws on the books. What to see and do: The capital, Athens, celebrates Pride Week starting July 18 this year. On top of that, the sunsets are breathtaking.
LGBTQ+ rights have continuously expanded over the years. Most legal rights are recognized nationwide, but individual states can differ. What to see and do: Mexico City hosts its Pride March, called la Marcha del Orgullo LGBT, on June 26 this year. You can also feel comfortable sitting on a beach, viewing the Pyramids of Teotihuacan or experiencing the Day of the Dead.
The Czech Republic is a bit of a mixed bag on LGBTQ rights. Gay marriage and adoption are not yet legal, though the country does have anti-discrimination and gender-identity laws. What to see and do: The capital, Prague, celebrates Pride Week Aug. 2-8 this year. You can also stroll across the Charles Bridge, walk up to Prague Castle or people-watch at Letná Park.
14. The United States. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 76.6. Societal acceptance: 72%.
How does the U.S. compare to other countries on the list? Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2015 and adoption followed the next year. Sexual orientation has been covered by federal hate-crime laws since 2009 but progress on gender-identity laws varies by state. What to see and do: Big cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., offer some of the most popular Pride celebrations. There are also a variety of gay bars and clubs in each city, offering a fun and safe place to let loose. And if you're a fan of "RuPaul's Drag Race," you know how strong the drag scenes are in New York and L.A. Check out some drag events and you might get to see alumnae and future contestants live.
13. Israel. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 79.1. Societal acceptance: 47%.
LGBTQ + individuals in Israel enjoy all rights except for marriage equality, though couples married overseas are recognized and cohabitation is legal. What to see and do: The country's biggest Pride festival begins in Tel Aviv on June 25. Tel Aviv is lauded as the gay capital of the Middle East, boasting clubs like Shpagat or Sauna Tel Aviv.
12. Italy. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 82.5. Societal acceptance: 75%.
The country has anti-discrimination and gender-identity laws but does not yet recognize marriage equality. What to see and do: You can experience Pride celebrations in several cities, including Rome and Milan, which has a well-known LGBTQ+ community, with bars and clubs to attend and of course, fashion. And let's not forget the pasta.
11. South Africa: LGBTQ+ travel index score: 86.2. Societal acceptance: 54%.
Rights such as sexual activity, civil unions and military rights have legal for the LGBTQ+ community since the 1990s. What to see and do: While June is the de facto month for most Pride events, that's winter in South Africa, so Johannesburg celebrates it on Halloween. You ca nalso enjoy a safari in several regions or if you'd rather find a good glass of wine, explore the wineries around Cape Town. And if you want to lie in the sun with your partner, explore one of the country's gay beaches.
10. Argentina. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 87.8. Societal acceptance: 76%.
Argentina was the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ+ community enjoys the right to marry, adopt and serve openly. Transgender people's identities are also recognized, though protection from discrimination is not yet available nationwide. What to see and do: LIke South Africa, Argentina's Pride event happens in the fall. It's called Vendimia Para Todos and is held each year in November. If you want to venture outside the capital, head to the Peninsula Valdes to see whales, orcas and sea lions, or explore the Magellan penguin rookery at Punta Tombo.
9. Brazil. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 90.1. Societal acceptance: 67%.
Brazil gets checks across the board in categories such as marriage equality, adoption rights, serving in the military and laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination as well as gender-identity rights for transgender people. What to see and do: Come in June to experience Pride in São Paulo or September to celebrate in Rio de Janeiro. But the entire Brazilian summer is full of Pride activities. And you can experience gay beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema.
8. Australia. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 94.3. Societal acceptance: 81%.
LGBTQ+ Aussies enjoy the right to marry, adopt and serve openly in the military and are protected against discrimination. Transgender people are also recognized, though some states require gender-confirmation surgery in order to change a birth certificate. What to see and do: With six Pride events on one weekend alone, Australia has become a hotspot for festivals and Pride meetups. Conquer your fear of heights by doing the Sydney Bridge Climb or visit Bondi Beach where you can body surf in the Pacific or swim laps in the oceanfront pool.
7. Canada. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 95.5. Societal acceptance: 85%.
Canada is one of the OG countries when it comes to progress on LGBTQ+ issues. Members of the community have been able to serve in the military since 1992. Marriage equality has been the law of the land since 2005; adoption rights followed in 2011. What to see and do: Check out the gay bars, clubs, restaurants and shops in Vancouver's Davie Village or Toronto's Queen West, dubbed "Queer West" for its LGBTQ+-friendly businesses. And if you're outdoorsy, you owe it to yourself to explore Canada's massive national parks, which are bigger than most countries.
6. Germany. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 95.6. Societal acceptance: 86%.
Germany recognized gay rights back in the late 1960s, when it was still two separate countries. Following reunification in 1990, the country has recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry, adopt and serve in the military. It also has laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation and recognizes transgender people's chosen identities. What to see and do: There are Pride events scheduled for every month this summer. Disney fans headed to Munich's celebration in July may want to consider a side trip to Neuschwanstein, the alleged inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's Castle. In fact, Germany has the most castles in the world, with an estimated 25,000 to explore.
5. United Kingdom. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 95.7. Society acceptance: 86%.
The U.K. has made major strides on gay-rights issues since England and Wales decriminalized homosexuality in 1967, followed by Scotland and Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. Marriage, adoption, military and discrimination laws are all on the books over here. Marriage rights in Ireland were just passed last year. What to see and do: The drag scene in the U.K. is prominent enough to warrant its own edition of "RuPaul's Drag Race." Look up your favorite queens from the show to see where they perform live. You can also find London's top drag talent at DragWorld UK. Foodies might also want to try some authentic fish and chips or explore Manchester's Curry Mile.
4. France. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 95.8. Society acceptance: 86%.
LGBQT+ sexuality has been legalized in France since 1791. Over the years, it has become one of the world's most advanced countries in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. What to see and do: Experience Paris, stay near the water in Nice or in Lyon, the third-largest city here. There are also gorgeous hotels nestled in France's gay hotspots, such as Paris' Hotel Jules et Jim.
3. Spain. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 96.7. Society acceptance: 89%.
Gay marriage and adoption have legal since 2005 and the LGBTQ+ community enjoys as much freedom as anyone else. What to see and do: In June there are a few fun LGBTQ+ festivals to attend. The International Lesbians Barcelona meetup is on June 19 and the city's LOVE Fan Fest starts June 25. Architecture fans should check out the incredible Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, the unfinished Romath Catholic cathedral in between the celebrations.
2. The Netherlands. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 97.6. Society acceptance: 92%.
The Netherlands has been accepting love as love since the 1800s when sexuality was legalized. In the late '90s and early 2000s, marriage and adoption followed in 2001. What to see and do: The Amsterdam Pride Festival, which turns 25 in 2021, runs July 31 through Aug. 8. if you go, take a break from the festival to check out the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.
1. Sweden. LGBTQ+ travel index score: 98.2. Society acceptance: 94%.
Sweden is ranked among the world's happiest countries and its gay rights make it great for the LGBTQ+ community. Marriage, adoption and gender identity rights have all passed. What to see and do: The capital, Stockholm, is considered one of the world's most open-minded and hosts Scandinavia's biggest Pride festival each summer. But Pride is celebrated in over 30 different areas all over Sweden. Gothenburg is another city full of activities and a gateway to amazing foods. Thinking of buying a Volvo? You can even arrange to buy one, pick it up at the factory in Gothenberg and use it to explore Europe before dropping it off to be shipped to you back home. Or just tour the Volvo factory and museum.