The Best Cities in the World to Celebrate Pride 2019
Pride is more than just rainbows and parades. The LGBTQ celebration is especially important this year as it marks the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall riots, which started the gay rights movement in America—and eventually, the world. There will be more than 150 pride festivals worldwide. Here, the eight most over-the-top events across the globe—don’t forget to pack your glitter.
Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.
New York City
As the birthplace of the Stonewall Riots—where police raided a Greenwich Village gay bar in 1969—New York City is key player in the fight for LGBTQ rights. In honor of that, it will host WorldPride the entire month of June, culminating in the massive Pride March on June 30. There’s a star-studded lineup of performances by Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, and Grace Jones. Word on the street is, Madonna might even make a surprise appearance. More than 3 million people are expected to attend the lectures, rallies, and parties as part of NYC Pride 2019, including Pride Island, a two-day music festival on Pier 97 in Hudson River Park.
For years, Madrid Pride has taken the crown as the epicenter of Europe’s biggest festivals. From June 28 to July 7, 2019, there will be high-octane Orgullo events with costumes of all colors, feathers, beads, and leather. The heart of the party is in the gay-friendly neighborhood of Chueca, which will have outdoor concerts, street fairs, and more, but you can also follow the crowd of locals to the bars in Malasaña. In addition to Orgullo, there’s We Pride, a three-day music festival of DJs and drag queens on July 3-7, 2019. The Pride Parade on July 6 marches down Paseo del Prado and ends with art exhibits, film screenings, and an impressive high heels race.
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"Together and Proud" is the theme of EuroPride, held this year in Vienna. The official parties, park, and parade are open and welcome to all—and completely free. For those wanting to be in the center of the action, stay in Wienzeile, the predominantly gay area of the city. June 15 will be the biggest day, with the Rainbow Parade along the Ringstrasse and the after-party at The Circus Club. Other activities include the Andersrum street festival and EuroPride Beach Day on the Danube (complete with DJs and cocktail happy hours). There are even gay city tours available around sights like the Vienna Opera, Neuer Markt, and the Park of Belvedere Palace, the former summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (one of Austria’s most prominent gay figures).
Called the “San Francisco of the East,” Taipei is home to the largest LGBTQ event in Asia: Taiwan Pride. In 2019, the celebration will be even bigger and more meaningful as Taiwan’s parliament just legalized same-sex marriage in May. Over October 26-27, around 80,000 revelers are expected to take over Kaidagelan Boulevard’s Pride Village and the Zhongzheng District, which is home to 25 gay bars and shops. Don’t miss one of the most popular parties at the W Taipei.
The West Coast does it best, starting with Seattle PrideFest. Come June, a host of rooftop parties, activist talks, and art shows will take over the city. Make the W Seattle your home base, as it’s the official PrideFest hotel, with special events like Queer Me Out, a talk with a panel of activists. Then, head out on the town to explore the queer art walks, film fests, and parties at Seattle Center and the gay-friendly Capitol Hill area (think food trucks and five stages of entertainment).
This lively Canadian city is home to Pride Toronto, one of the world’s biggest LGBTQ pride events. The whole month of June is a party for anyone in the queer community to come out and celebrate. Join the diverse events such as the Dyke March, Trans March, and of course the famous Pride Parade, but save energy to dance the day away at the TreeHouse Party, a rave featuring drag queens and DJ sets. Don’t miss other top events like The Freedom Party at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cabana Pool Party.
If you want to party down under, there’s no better place than Australia. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a massive fest that draws LGBTQ people from around the world as well as A-list celebrities like Cher and Kylie. Beyond the traditional parade, there are pool parties like the Strictly Kaftan Party (pack your beachwear) and art and music tours like Queer Art After Hours. The 2020 event will be held on the last week of February, with the parade and major showings happening on February 29.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Miami may be first to come to mind when we think of a gay-friendly city in Florida, but St. Pete actually takes the prize for the state’s most popular pride event. More than 250,000 people show up for St. Pete Pride, held on June 21-23, 2019, with the pride parade marching down Bayshore Drive. There are plenty of festivities, including the Bear Pride Blacklight Glow Party, drag queen bingo, and the 5th annual Interfaith pride worship service. However, the most anticipated aspect is hands-down the live music by headliner Lisa Loeb.
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