Every year in June, cities across the world host Pride events to celebrate LGBT communities. The events can include everything from parades, concerts, street parties to art and cultural events and political debates. They’re also a great reason to visit and explore a new destination, so we’ve picked six cities which are hosting Pride celebrations and pinpointed what else you do and see whilst you’re there.
The Pride Park festival area in the city centre is open from 19 through 22 June. The Oslo Pride Parade is on Saturday 22 June. Whilst visiting Oslo, you’ll get to experience its great nightlife and modern museums.
Oslo is a very green city with lots of parks and open spaces and surrounded by vast areas of untouched nature. Take a day trip to Nordmarka Forest for a hike or Færder National Park to explore pretty beaches and little islands - a great way to cool off after the Pride parties.
Helsinki’s Pride is the biggest cultural event in Finland celebrating human rights and diversity. The week-long Helsinki Pride runs from 24-30 June, with the main Pride parade on Saturday 22 June, plus there are various workshops, activities, shows and dance parties to attend as well.
It’s easy to get a bit of a health kick in Helsinki too. The city’s small size means it’s easy to get around on a city bike between the restaurants and museums. The Finns love saunas, and there are a number of public ones to visit like Allas Sea Pool, an oasis right in the heart of the city; it has two warm pools and three saunas. So jump on in.
Chicago Pride is a two-day festival leading up to its colourful Pride Parade on 30 June in the Boystown neighbourhood, known as America’s first recognised gay village. The parade is expected to have up to 100,000 participants, 150 registered floats, performance groups, bands and more!
Chicago is also great for its Jazz scene. You may also want to take a selfie in front of the city’s Cloud Gate sculpture a.k.a the bean – a stainless steel sculpture which draws in lots of tourists.
New York World Pride is hosted in the city throughout June. Its estimated four million people will be taking part this year, with the famous Pride march on 30 June which starts on Fifth Avenue and ends on Chelsea. Organisers expect 150,000 marchers and more than 160 floats. Try and find a spot in a bar on the parade route so you can watch the parade go by.
There are so many events hosted around the city for the whole of June in New York City, your head might spin! Make time to visit the Swan Gallery Pride Sale which is selling books, photographs and art that chronical the history of the pride movement. Cafes and bars will be hosting drag queen shows and dinners. All this is on top of the amazing activities New York always has to offer – from walks in Central Park to the Statue of Liberty, you will be spoilt for choice.
London’s Pride Festival began on 8 June and ends with the parade on Saturday 6 July. The parade route starts at noon at Portland Place, then winds through central London and ends in Whitehall. There are free events throughout June such as bike rides, cabaret shows, plays, self-defence classes and art exhibitions.
When you visit London, don’t miss the chance to catch a musical, visit one of the museums or have a ride on the London Eye.
If you’re too busy throughout June and July, then there’s still time to have a city break to Prague to join in its Pride March on Saturday 10 August. The parade will leave from Wenceslas Square via Příkopy and Revoluční Streets across the river to Letná Park. After the parade, absorb the atmosphere by relaxing in Letná Park’s popular beer garden with a Czech beer.
Whilst you’re there, don’t miss Prague’s top attractions too such as Prague Castle, The Astronomical Clock and The Municipal House to name a few. Prague’s magnificent gothic architecture also leaves a lasting impression on all its visitors as well.
Wherever you are travelling on your holidays this summer, we always advise people to check the Foreign Office’s travel advice, so you have the latest information for the destination you are visiting.
Get in touch with an ABTA travel company who can book your travel arrangements, they may also be able to share some expertise on the local LGBT scene as well.