These are Europe’s most LGBTQ+-friendly countries, according to a new Index

The Rainbow Map has analysed everything from the rights of same-sex couples to legal gender recognition in countries across Europe

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Reykjavik Iceland The Klapparstigur Pedestrian Street
Photograph: Shutterstock

Checking whether a country is friendly towards people in the LGBTQ+ community is as essential for some travellers as remembering their passport. Sure, fabulous, sparkling Pride celebrations can be a pretty good indicator, but a little data never hurt anyone, did it?

To shed some light on the best and safest destinations for LGBTQ+ travellers, ILGA-Europe, an LGBTI organisation, has released its sixteenth annual Rainbow Map. The index involves comprehensive analysis into seven categories, and each country has been given an overall score based on each. 

The categories are: equality and non-discrimination, family, hate crime and hate speech, legal gender recognition, intersex bodily integrity, civil society space and asylum.  

So, where is the most LGBTQ+-friendly country in Europe? Well, given it boasts the fantastic annual Europride celebrations, we’re hardly surprised it’s Malta, for the ninth consecutive year. Iceland climbed three places into second this year, and thanks to its ban on conversion practices, Belgium came third. 

Greece, Germany, Iceland, Estonia and Liechtenstein all made the biggest jumps: Estonia and Greece amended their laws to allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt, and Lichtenstein amended their adoption laws to include gay couples, too.

At the other end of the scale, Russia banned legal gender recognition practices and it occupies last place. Find the full list of the most and least LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Europe below.  

These are the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Europe

  1. Malta
  2. Iceland
  3. Belgium
  4. Spain
  5. Denmark
  6. Finland
  7. Greece
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Norway
  10. Portugal

These are the least LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Europe

  1. Russia
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Turkiye
  4. Armenia
  5. Belarus
  6. Monaco
  7. San Marino
  8. Poland
  9. Ukraine
  10. Romania

You can explore the Rainbow Map and read more information here

Here is our list of the world’s most LGBTQ+friendly cities and the very best places on the planet to celebrate Pride

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