Just within the past few decades, 22 countries from around the world have signed anti-discrimination laws for transgender people. And, though it may seem like a small number, these laws only point to a bigger effort taking shape in destinations around the world, spurred by the gender identity rights movement that has finally snagged an international stage over the past decade. To help guide transgender travelers organize a truly magical and safe vacation, we’ve crafted a list of the top transgender-friendly destinations in the most LGBTQ-friendly continent in the world — Europe. From the sunny, accepting shores of Mykonos to the political activism-focused lounges of Copenhagen, these are the destinations guarantee a stress-free, fun environment. Here are the top transgender-friendly travel experiences in Europe.
1. Berlin, Germany
Considered by many to be one of the most LGBTQ-friendly places in all of Europe and perhaps, in the entire world, the city of Berlin, with its plethora of queer nightlife hubs and accepting culture is the top destination in Europe for those who classify themselves as transgender. The entire city is chock full of LGBTQ bars, restaurants, and shops. Transgender tourists especially come to appreciate the incredible drag scene in the city center — primarily located at The Club, which hosts art exhibitions and drag shows. The city is also home to the world’s first queer museum, the Schwules Museum.
2. Manchester, England
It would make sense that the same city that Queer As Folk was filmed in would be accepting of all LGBTQ+ lifestyles — and in every sense, Manchester, England, lives up to the queer hype. Whether you’re more interested in dancing the nights away in one of the many clubs and bars in the city (like G-A-Y or Poptastic), or you’d rather pay homage to the history of the LGBTQ community in Manchester by visiting landmarks like the Alan Turing Memorial or the Transgender Remembrance Memorial, any amount of time spent in this city is sure to feel incredibly special.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
At its very core, Amsterdam is an incredibly accepting city — as is most of the Netherlands. And, when you combine this accepting nature with the many LGBTQ-friendly excursions and events that are constantly taking place around the city, it’s a must-see (and safe) destination for transgender individuals. If you are planning on being there over summer, be sure that you make it to Amsterdam Pride. The parade production runs on boats in the canal instead of the typical floats you’d see at any other Pride parade. If you can’t make it to Pride, then perhaps you can make it to Milkshake, a queer music festival that is designed to be accepting of all, held this year on July 27 and 28.
4. London, England
For those looking to dance and admire art while on vacation, London is the ideal LGBTQ-friendly destination, offering a perfect combination of both at venues like Dalston Superstore, which serves up queer art exhibits and musical performances on the regular — as well as The Glory, a queer and transgender-friendly venue that hosts film screenings, cabaret nights, and performance art on the regular. Aside from these experiences, the city of London also has a plethora of LGBTQ bookstores and sex shops that will allow you to explore your limits while on vacation.
5. Paris, France
While not all parts of France prove to be accepting of transgender people, the city of love is another story entirely — especially if you stay within Paris’ gay district, located by the Hotel de Ville metro in the Le Marais neighborhood. To fully enjoy the LGBTQ scene in Paris, it’s best to start your vacation by taking a nightlife-themed or historical-themed tour of the city through Gay Locals, a local LGBTQ tour agency. That way, you’ll be able to more accurately plan your time in the city — whether that means checking out Oscar Wilde’s grave or grabbing drinks at the queer OPEN Café.
6. Dublin, Ireland
Though Ireland has only allowed same-sex marriage since 2015, the city of Dublin has been accepting of all lifestyles (including those of transgender-identifying individuals) for much longer. If you’re a fan of theater, then you’ll enjoy the city’s International Gay Theatre Festival, held every May, boasting some of the best LGBTQ cinema in the entire world. If you prefer watching drag performances, The George is a must-see, a bar crowded most nights with enchanting and famous drag performers. Or, if you’d prefer to hang around a more sophisticated crowd, be sure to check out Pantibar, owned and operated by Ireland’s most famous drag queen, Panti Bliss.