Lesbian and Gay Friendly Hotels in Portugal
While it’s a traditionally uber-Catholic country Portugal has, in recent years, made much progress to develop the visibility of gay people with same-sex marriage recognised in 2010. It is now one of the most open countries in the world with wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws.
Lisbon has a growing and thriving gay nightlife and has become one of the main clubbing cities of Europe, but it is often quiet until at least 2am. Trumps is the largest gay club in Portugal with several bars and two dance floors or Lux – partly owned by actor John Malkovich – is one of the best clubs in the city regardless of sexuality. Lisbon has three key gaborhoods; Chiado, Bairro Alto and Principe Real.
Lisbon Gay Pride Parade, known as Arraial Pride, is held in June every year and the second largest city of Portugal, Oporto or known as Porto, has hosted an annual pride event in July since 2001. Boys ‘R Us is the best-known gay club in the centre of Porto city.
A popular destination for sunseekers, Portugal’s vast coastline offers long sandy beaches and in most tourist spots you will find a gay beach or nudist beach. Popular tourist resorts for gay travellers in Portugal include Madeira, Algarve and the islands of Azores – where you will also find a number of gay events.
The architecture of Portugal dates back hundreds of years with the quaint medieval villages of Obidos, Monsaraz and Marvao, and for a smaller country has one of the highest number of UNESCO-protected World Heritage Sites, with 14 in total.
Lisbon and surroundings has been an alluring gay destination since at least the 18th century when writer William Beckford escaped a homosexual scandal in England and moved to Sintra. Today, after decades under a homophobic dictatorship and despite the power of the Church in ultra-Catholic Portugal, Lisbon has slowly come out of the closet.