Rainbow Bucket List: The Ultimate LGBTQ Travel Guide

by Ivan Quintanilla

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday June 1, 2020

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me...

It's going to happen. We promise. We will travel again.
With countries closing borders, airlines canceling flights and cruise ships held at docks, it's easy to get discouraged. But when this pandemic passes, the LGBTQ community will be one of the first to click our heels and rediscover our magical world through travel.

Where will you want to go? We checked in with a few travel experts to create our own "Rainbow Bucket List" of destinations. Get those ruby red slippers ready because the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.

KEY WEST, FLORIDA

Nomadic Boys
Stefan (British/Greek) and Sebastien (French) met in 2009 and have been traveling the world ever since as the Nomadic Boys. They are currently based in Cyprus.


Why Key West?
Key West has a chill, Bohemian vibe, an amazing gay scene and killer sunsets.

Favorite hotel
Island House — It's a gay man's paradise: a clothing-optional resort just for men with fantastic pool parties, gym, sauna and 24-hour bar.

Favorite romantic spot
Latitudes Restaurant — Latitudes is located on its own private island, with outdoor tables lit up by candlelight. It's so romantic!

Favorite nightlife
801 Bourbon Bar — They have some of the best drag shows, hottest guys and best parties on the weekends.

Favorite LGBTQ spot
La Te Da for the Cabaret Shows — Randy Roberts is our favorite. He's hilarious and an incredible Cher impersonator!

Favorite museum
The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory — You can get up close to the biggest and most unique butterflies you've ever seen!

BANGKOK, THAILAND

Once Upon A Journey
Roxanne and Maartje are a Dutch lesbian couple documenting their lives and travels through their impeccable Instagram account and blog, Once Upon A Journey. After being nomadic for three years, they are now living in Amsterdam.


Why Bangkok?
We miss the bustle and craziness of Bangkok, plus the fantastic Thai food. Bangkok has so much to offer!

Favorite hotel
The Siam is a luxurious oasis just a boat ride away from the city center. It's perfect for escaping the bustle and relaxing.

Favorite restaurant
Thipsamai Pad Thai — It's arguably the best Pad Thai ever! It gets so busy that the queue is often over an hour long.

Favorite LGBTQ spot
Silom Soi 2 — This small alley contains most of the LGBTQ clubs in Bangkok. You pay an entrance to enter the alley and then you can visit all the clubs. DJ Station is our favorite!

Favorite gallery
LHONG 1919 — This area has galleries, shops and restaurants—along with street art in many hidden corners.

Favorite Instagram spot
The airplane graveyard is a super unique and perfect for pictures. There are multiple abandoned airplanes that you can explore and take pictures of/in.

Favorite temple
Wat Ratchanatdaram — Bangkok has many temples, which are all so picturesque, but this is our all-time favorite. It is stunning and not visited by many people (yet).

BERLIN, GERMANY

Couple of Men
Karl and Daan are a Dutch-German gay couple living in Amsterdam. They travel the world visiting LGBTQ+ friendly places and share their experiences on social media and their travel blog, Couple of Men.


Why Berlin?
We met in Berlin seven years ago and visit every year to see Karl's family, along with his son and daughter.

Favorite thing to do
Karaoke and the flea-market at Mauerpark — Bring a picnic blanket and allow some time to enjoy a Clubmate drink in the sun while listening to live karaoke. It's also a great place to get your Berlin souvenir on Sunday!

Favorite nightlife
SchwuZ — Located in Kreuzberg, the club was originally Berlin's LGBTQ community organization. Today, it offers multiple, weekly theme parties welcoming the diverse queer life of Berlin.

Favorite LGBTQ spot
Schöneberg — It is Berlin's gay neighborhood with queer shops and gay bars, not far from the former West-German city center. We love to hang out in one of the cafes and meet our local friends there.

Favorite romantic spot
Tempelhofer Feld — The former city airport Tempelhof closed for air traffic a couple of years ago. We love to go for walks, lay down in the grass and enjoy time together—especially during sunset.

Favorite museum
Museumsinsel — Some of the best museums in Germany can be found on Museumsinsel (Museum Island). Our favorite ones are the Bode-Museum and Pergamonmuseum.

TORONTO, CANADA

Asian Maple Leaf
Barry is a Canadian travel writer and influencer currently living in New York City. He loves discovering different cultures and experiencing the local food!


Why Toronto?
It's my hometown and each time I return, I discover a new restaurant or neighborhood. Toronto takes multiculturalism to the next level, and I miss the diversity and amazing food!

Favorite hotel
The Fairmont Royal York — I have so many great memories there including amazing staycations, yummy dinner parties, and their annual holiday tree lighting ceremony (which I've been attending for over a decade). Their lobby bar, Clockwork, is now the place to be!

Favorite restaurant
Canoe — There are many new hotspots, but Canoe has been a staple through it all, serving up contemporary Canadian cuisine on the 54th floor, boasting amazing views of the city.

Favorite LGBTQ spot
Toronto's Gay Village at Church and Wellesley Street — There are many gay bars and restaurants in the area but make sure you start at Woody's, a Toronto institution where they filmed parts of "Queer as Folk."

Favorite romantic spot
Distillery District — A converted distillery is now an art and culture hub, with cobbled-stone walkways and cute cafes. It is perfect for a romantic dinner and evening stroll to take in the local artwork.

Favorite Instagram spot
Graffiti Alley — It features a few blocks of colorful street art and outdoor street murals, so make sure you bring your camera.

BARCELONA, SPAIN

Auston of Two Bad Tourists
Auston worked as an engineer before deciding to travel the world. He is one-half of Two Bad Tourists and is based in Madrid.


Why Barcelona?
Barcelona has the perfect balance of having good weather and being gay friendly with lots of options to enjoy the beach, nightlife and delicious food.

Favorite hotel
Axel Hotel Barcelona — There are countless places to stay in Barcelona, but Axel Hotels is the best known
gay hotel. They coined the term "hetero-friendly" and have a great rooftop terrace with a pool and bar.

Favorite restaurant
El Berro is a no-frills café in the gay neighborhood of Eixample. The food is of good quality at a great price.

Favorite thing to do
Day trip to Sitges — Ironically, I enjoy leaving Barcelona for the day and visiting the cute and gay-friendly beach town of Sitges.

Favorite LGBTQ spot
Eixample — The gay neighborhood of Barcelona is called Eixample (its nickname is "Gaixample"). It's
centrally located in the city and is the heart of the action for the LGBTQ community.

Favorite museum
Park Güell — This park and outdoor museum feature the work of Antoni Gaudi. It's one-of-a-kind and a must-see attraction if you're visiting Barcelona.

SANTIAGO, CHILE

Ravi Round The World
Ravi is an out-and-proud storyteller who brings a dose of "EXTRA" to his travel vlogging on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.


Why Santiago?
Chile was the first destination I visited since getting clean in 2018, so Santiago will always have a special place in my heart. I cannot wait to visit again to relish in the inclusivity and beauty that Chile exudes.

Favorite hotel
Hotel Bidasoa is the only 100-percent green and eco-friendly hotel in South America, with the most lavish restaurant and total baller vibe.

Favorite thing to do
Drag queen walking tour with Pride Tours Chile — You will laugh your booty off and learn all about Chile's capital.

Favorite LGBTQ spot
Fausto Discotheque — This massive club has five different rooms with completely different vibes, but #JustTheTip don't arrive before 11 p.m. Nightlife starts very late in Chile.

Favorite romantic spot
Andes Mountains — You must leave Santiago and hike the Andes. The hikes are aggressive yet stunning and the views are breathtaking! The Andes are a fabulous place to fall in love.

Favorite Instagram spot
Road trip to Valparaiso — Valparaiso is a must-do and a color scheme dream filled with affordable restaurants, vibrant shop and the most eclectic spots for Instagrammable moments.

Cuban born, Miami raised, Dallas and London educated and New York seasoned, Ivan Quintanilla is a travel writer and professional actor living in Hell's Kitchen, NYC. Read about his latest destinations at TravelingIQ and follow him on Instagram at @TravelingIQ

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