The most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in Spain

Learn more about LGBTQ+ culture and rights in Spain. Discover which cities are the most LGBTQ+ friendly and where you can go for a good time.


6 minute read
Updated on 1 Aug 2023

If you're planning to move to a country where LGTBQ+ rights aren't only practiced in everyday life but also celebrated, then Spain's a marvellous choice. As if there weren't enough reasons to move to Spain, you'll be happy to know that Spain's home to one of the biggest and proudest LGBTQ+ communities in Europe. Being yourself freely and loving whoever you want is celebrated throughout Spain. In fact, Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Málaga are home to many pride parades, wildly fun LGBTQ+ festivals, and extravagant gay nightlife.

Aside from the openness in the entertainment sector, there’re also laws to protect and regulate the rights of every member of the LGBTQ+ community and eradicate the phobia against it.

LGBT Rights in Spain

Here’re important laws for protecting LGBTQ+ rights in Spain.

  • Changing your gender became legal in 2006.
  • Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005, making Spain the 3rd country in the world to allow it.
  • Same-sex adoption has been legal in Spain since 2005.
  • Since 1995, prejudice against sexual orientation and gender identity in the housing sector has been illegal.
  • Spain banned hate speech targeting sexual orientation and gender identity in 1995.
  • An act of violence motivated by one’s sexuality and gender identity has been considered a hate crime since 1995.
  • LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace due to sexual orientation has been illegal in Spain since 1994.
  • Since 1977, members of the LGBTQ+ community can openly serve in the military.

LGBTQ+ organisations to join in Spain

Spain has many resources for the LGBTQ+ community. By joining such communities, you can connect with and support each other. Here’re some organisations you can join:

  1. AEGAL: an association of companies and professionals for gays and lesbians in Madrid.
  2. Cambra LGTBIQ+: an association of companies and professionals linked to LGBT diversity in Barcelona, Catalonia.
  3. Association of LGBTI Families in Barcelona: to support the rights of LGBTQ+ parents.
  4. Casal Lambda: to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community in Spain.
  5. COGAM: a collective of gays and lesbians of Madrid.
  6. Ahora Dónde-Le Refuge: to support young LGBTQ+ people who’re rejected by their families.
  7. AMPGIL: to support and help families of LGBTQ+ members.


The capital of Spain's also considered the gay capital of the country. Not only is it home to epic LGBTQ+ parties, festivals and cultural events but also one of the most open and tolerant cities in Europe. You'll find a rental property in Madrid in no time should you decide to settle here.

Love and freedom are so ingrained in the souls of the city’s inhabitants, that Madrid's home to many LGBTQ+ pioneers. In fact, one of the first filmmakers to represent LGBT characters in their work as early as the 1980s was Madrid’s very own director Pedro Almodóva.

The best LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood in Madrid

The go-to district for the best LGBTQ+ parties and events in Madrid's Chueca Square. This street's also one of Madrid’s most fashionable parts. You’ll see many voguish bars and restaurants decorated with rainbow flags here. Everywhere you walk, you’ll find trendsetters hopping from one chic boutique to another.

Top 5 gay bars and clubs in Madrid

  1. Baila Cariño: every Saturday club Sala Cool organises the top gay party in Madrid - Baila Cariño. You shouldn't miss this extravagant party filled with insane light shows.

  2. Why Not?: enjoy the affordable drinks while dancing to a mix of global and Spanish hits in this wood-panelled club. The night starts quite late here, so come around 1 a.m.

  3. Marta, cariño: this movie theatre turned into a modern gay club's a lively dancing destination.

  4. Lakama Bar: a great place to have afternoon drinks before wild parties start.

  5. MalaMala: Madrid’s most prominent gay club hosts breathtaking drag shows and mad dance parties.

The best LGTBQ+ events in Madrid

Madrid pride parade: Madrid's home to Europe’s biggest, liveliest and most colourful pride. Every year over 2 million people dress in bright and creative outfits to attend the parade. They fill the streets of Madrid to celebrate and spread the love for all genders and sexualities. Weekdays are filled with cultural events and activities during the pride, while the nights are one major never-ending party. In 2024, the festivities will take place from 25th June to 7th July.

LesGaiCineMad: the international film festival showcases selective motion pictures from LGBTQ+ directors, writers and actors. It also hosts QueerCineLab under its roof to support creating and producing new film titles focused on diversity.


Barcelona's the heart of the LGBTQ+ community in Spain. The capital of Catalonia has a liberal atmosphere, diverse and vibrant nightlife, and an inclusive community, which makes it a dream destination for the LGBTQ+ community. If you want to live in the Spanish city of pride, be sure to explore homes for rent in Barcelona.

The best LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood in Barcelona

Eixample is arguably one of the most gay-friendly neighborhoods of Barcelona. So much so that the area's nicknamed Gayxample. As you step into the area, you’ll see the flowing rainbow flags, rainbow crosswalks, and trendy LGBTQ+ bars and clubs throughout the streets.

Top 5 gay bars and clubs in Barcelona

  1. El Cangrejo: enjoy impeccable drag shows while eating yummy paella.

  2. La Federica: this place will transport you to the 70s thanks to its interior. It’s a go-to place for theme parties.

  3. Candy Darling: it's a popular bar named after transgender icon and Warhol superstar. From the magnificent burlesque shows to its art-filled interior, this place is everything you can expect from a gay bar and more.

  4. Punto BCN: the first gay bar in Barcelona. It’s still a fan favorite for grabbing drinks before starting the night.

  5. Chiringuito BeGay: located in Marbella beach, it’s the ultimate summer hangout space.

The best LGTBQ+ events in Barcelona

Barcelona pride parade: every year, the streets of Barcelona play host to demonstrations for equal rights and celebrations for the weekend in the summer. This year the pride will start on 13th July 2023.

Circuit Festival: Barcelona bids farewell to summer in August with 10 days of beach parties with world-class DJs. You can find most of the activities at Marbella beach; its most anticipated event Water Park happens at lla Fantasia water park.


Valencia's a flourishing city with a tolerant and open atmosphere. With a fabulous queer scene, affordable gay nightlife, and a liberal population, Valencia was always destined to be one of the world’s great LGBTQ+ friendly cities. Discover houses to rent in Valencia to kickstart your life in the LGBTQ+ city of culture.

The best LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood in Valencia

Although there’s no one designated district popular within the LGBTQ+ community, you’ll find dazzling gay bars, drag shows, and proud rainbow flags all around the city. But if you want a start, make your way to Ruzafa Barrio.

Top 5 gay bars and clubs in Valencia

  1. Deseo 54: top-tier gay club in Valencia. If you’re looking for something different, Deseo 54 is for you.

  2. La Boba y el Gato Rancio: sip your cocktail while catching up with the episodes of RuPaul’s drag race at this bar.

  3. The Muse: start your night of fabulousness with pre-drinks here.

  4. Cafe de las Horas: try their iconic Valencia water (cava + gin + vodka + orange) in this Parisian parlour.

  5. Cross: drag shows, yummy drinks and astonishing people; what else's there to say?

The best LGTBQ+ events in Valencia

Valencia pride parade: throughout June, Valencia hosts many events, shows, film screenings and parties for the community. During the parade month, the streets of Valencia turn into big LGBTQ+ festivities when the clocks hit 7 p.m every Saturday. Then, the festivities turn into a huge party called Fiesta del Orgullo with DJ performances and dance-offs in Town Square.

Mostra la ploma: Valencia’s own LGBTQ+ film festival has encouraged diversity within the film industry since 2019. You can find many documentaries, short films, and movies from the end of October to the beginning of November.


Málaga might not be the obvious choice when talking about the LGBTQ+ scene in Spain. But the city's filled with plenty of nightlife options and events where freedom and diversity are cherished. You'll find a rental home in Málaga easily if you decide to live here.

The best LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood in Málaga

For the coolest gay parties in Málaga, head out to Torremolinos, a short 20-minute drive from the centre. Sometimes parties here last the whole weekend.

Top 5 gay bars and clubs in Málaga

  1. Destynee Cabaret Lounge: enjoy delicious tapas accompanied by a cabaret show.

  2. Theatro club: a casual bar popular with the LGBT community that you should visit for its fun-filled ambiance and after-work parties.

  3. Friends & Mojitos: although not an exclusively gay venue, it’s still a fan favourite among the community.

  4. Vida bar: located in Torremolinos, Vida Bar's a great place to meet new people from the community.

  5. Parthenon: a favourite dancing destination among tourists and locals.

The best LGTBQ+ event in Málaga

Torremolinos pride parade: join the 8 days festivities where the LGBTQ+ community in Málaga gathers to attend workshops, live acts and performances, and parties at night.

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