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13 of the best places around the world to celebrate Pride

These kikis are about to kick off. Don’t miss the out-and-proud LGBTQ+ parades and parties worth travelling for

Written by
Alim Kheraj

Every year, Pride parades, protests and celebrations around the world mark the continued global fight for LGBTQ+ rights. While today’s Pride celebrations can feel less political than those early marches half a century ago, their significance can’t be downplayed. Not that all that history makes Pride a snoozefest: this year, as ever, there’ll be some of the biggest ever parties, kikis and parades happening all around the world for you to fly your rainbow flag.

You can celebrate Pride at its birthplace in New York or venture to Iceland for Reykjavik Pride. Meanwhile, other Prides around the world prove that they still serve an important purpose in gathering together the different strands of the LGBTQ+ community (and its allies) for a show of solidarity and a reminder that there are still prejudices to overcome. 

So pack your best wigs, your highest heels and as much glitter as you can physically carry and get ready to travel. Here are just a few of the best places around the world to celebrate Pride in 2023.

🏳️‍🌈 The world’s most LGBTQ+-friendly cities, according to LGBTQ+ travellers
💞 The best Pride parades and festivals in the USA
🏡 The most LGBTQ+-friendly small towns in the USA

Where to celebrate Pride across the world

New York, June 

New York, as the city of the 1969 Stonewall riots where trans women, drag queens and queer kids kickstarted the gay liberation movement, has a Pride parade of huge historical importance. The usual, and huge, Pride March takes place on June 25. Times Square will host the closing party action, but all over the city there’ll be talks and celebrations.

Christopher Street Day Berlin

Berlin, July 22

Named after the street in New York where the Stonewall riots took place, Berlin’s CSD is split into two sections: the parade – which sets off from Ku’damm and Joachimsthaler Strasse and ends at the Brandenburg Gate; and the rally – a stage with musical performances, talks and DJs. On the previous weekend, you’ll also find the Lesbian & Gay City Festival, a two-day celebration in the neighbourhood of Nollendorfplatz, which hosts street food stalls, music and dancing. As this is Berlin, there’s plenty that’s alternative too. Keep an eye out for breakaway marches with politics at the forefront. If crowds are too much for you, check out the queer picnic at Volkspark Hasenheide, an inclusive space regardless of sexuality or gender identity. And finally, with Berlin’s diverse LGBTQ+ club scene (where basically anything goes), afterparties will be thriving. 


Toronto, June 

Spread over June and with parades in the last week of the month, Pride Toronto is one of the world’s biggest celebrations. It’s also one of the most diverse, with a Dyke March and Trans March as well as the Pride Parade. Then there are the parties, which happen everywhere from the Royal Ontario Museum to inside an aquarium. On Sunday June 25, head away from the Gay Village and visit TreeHouse Party, an all-day rave featuring drag queens and DJ sets – ticket proceeds go to The 519, the city’s LGBTQ+ centre. 

Pride in London Parade

London, July 1

Pride in London has gone through a bit of an identity crisis over the past two decades, and past years have made headlines after transphobic banners appeared in the parade. Nevertheless, it can be a magical day, especially seeing marchers down Regent Street and dancing in Soho. London Trans+ Pride (July 8) is just as effective a reminder of why Pride takes place: to give queer communities a safe space to celebrate and express themselves. 

Reykjavik Pride

Reykjavik, August 8-13

Now over two decades in, Reykjavik Pride (or Hinsegindagar, which translates as Queer Days) is usually attended by nearly a third of the country’s population. In previous years, the city has welcomed volunteers to paint a big rainbow downtown, with the location changing each time. There’s usually a dedicated family march for even more inclusivity. And then there’s the queer cruise (no, not that kind): a party boat that sails around the small islands and the coast of Reykjavik. It’s truly an open event: there was even one year when the city’s mayor marched in the parade in full drag. Werk!

São Paulo, June 11

Last year, five million people took to the streets to celebrate Pride in São Paulo. Past the political turbulence of the past few years, there’s no reason why more crowds will show up in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community than ever. Hot spots for partying should emerge in the queer neighbourhoods of Frei Caneca and Largo do Arouche.

San Francisco Pride

San Francisco, June 24-25 

Like many big city Pride events, San Francisco’s parade has been accused of being overrun with corporate floats, taking away from the spirit of Pride. Well, that hasn’t stopped the city’s flourishing LGBTQ+ community from creating their own kind of party. On the Friday before Pride, the Trans March (the largest trans Pride event in the US) takes place in and around Mission Dolores Park, while on the Saturday of Pride weekend, many bars and clubs host their own shindigs. People even open up their homes for the day, with the area between The Castro and Mission District feeling like one ginormous street party. If leather and fetish gear are your kink, hold off your visit for the Folsom Street Fair, an inclusive festival taking place on September 24. 

Madrid Pride

Madrid, June 23-July 2

As Europe’s biggest Pride, Madrid’s celebration feels more like a festival than a rally. The city’s gay neighbourhood Chueca is flooded with people and, more importantly, parties, while unofficial antics often take place in Malasaña. The parade itself is on July 1. It starts at Atocha Station and ends in Plaza de Colón, where a massive stage hosts performers and talks. Before the parade, there are heaps of cultural events, such as art exhibitions, film screenings and the now famous high-heels race (okay, maybe that’s not so cultural).

Tel Aviv Pride

Tel Aviv, June 4-10

With temperatures in the mid-twenties, you’ll be able to celebrate Tel Aviv Pride at rooftop kikis or party in a water park. The final stop on Tel Aviv’s Pride Parade (June 10) is Charles Clore Park, where celebrations inevitably spill out on to the beach and carry on till sunset. Pack your Speedos for party time.

Manchester Pride

Manchester, August 25-28

There might have been a bit of backlash in recent years about ticket prices for the live music aspect of Manchester Pride but that doesn’t mean celebrating Pride in the city has to be extortionate. The parade (August 26) is still free to attend and this year’s theme is ‘Queerly Beloved’, asking attendees to celebrate love in all its forms. The Pride Village has stalls, performances and even a singalong cinema, and tickets are much more affordable there. And, of course, the city’s gay village Canal Street will be abuzz. 


Valetta, September 7-17

‘Equality From the Heart’ is the theme of this year’s Europride, which lands in Valetta – capital of Malta – in September. Expect heaps of official events, from the Europride Concert to the Europride March, as well as a performance by none other than – get this – Christina Aguilera. With anything up to a million people expected to join in this Pride celebration, there’ll be plenty of chances to get together with the queer community.

Sydney, February 16 - March 3, 2024

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the world’s most famous LGBTQ+ festivals. Although it’s held out of Pride season in Australian summer, the event still draws the big guns, with Cher and Kylie (naturally) both dropping by to perform in recent years. As well as the massive parade, there are events on other dates such as club nights, pool parties and family-friendly events. Time to get saving for a visit Down Under.

Magical Pride

Disneyland Paris, June 17

Sure, some have bemoaned Pride getting more and more commercial, but what could be more fabulous than celebrating being queer with Mickey and the gang? Disneyland Paris’s Magical Pride features the chance to meet your fave Disney characters or have a go on selected rides well into the night. Though, really, we just want to ride the teacups with a drag queen. 

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