The Best Pride Parades in the World and How To Celebrate
There’s no better reason for a party than a Pride Parade. A celebration of LGBTQ+ life, culture, and community, Pride is a global event that invites freedom, fun, and creativity, while promoting diversity and equality.
While Pride 2020 saw the LGBTQ+ community and allies hitting the virtual dance floors and social media channels to celebrate, for Pride 2021 there’s a fun mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events taking place across the globe throughout June and beyond. Four leading LGBTQ+ travel experts share their Pride plans, plus discover the top destinations to add to your future Pride travel itineraries.
Robert Schrader is a travel writer, planner, photographer, and founder of travel site Leave Your Daily Hell. "Having spent the first part of the pandemic in my former home city of Taipei, my biggest dream for Pride 2021 would be to spend it back in Taiwan,” he shares. “This is not only because of how much I like the country as a destination or how well it handled Covid-19, but because Taiwan is the only country in Asia where gay marriage is legal. Celebrating Pride here in 2019—before the world was turned upside down, was one of the most joyful experiences of my life. Taiwan is currently closed but given that Taipei Pride takes place in late October, I'm holding out hope something will change before this. I currently live in Kyoto, Japan, where most bars as closed due to the pandemic, so currently I plan to celebrate Pride by living as my authentic self every day, as every LGBT person who has the privilege of living in a free country should do, as a matter of duty."
Aisha & Lexie
Sharing their travel and lifestyle stories, with a “dose of queer black magic" at @thequeernomads, for UK-based couple Aisha and Lexie; “This year we will be celebrating Pride by attending the many online events happening in the UK, especially UK Black Pride in July which we also volunteer for,” they share. "It’s an exciting time here as a lot of the restrictions will be lifted in June and we’re excited to attend smaller local events like Forest Gayte Pride, and Aisha will be running online LGBTQ+ experiences with drag artists & queer performers.”
Travel tastemaker, designer, and hotel guru John Clifford shares his travel tales from @igluxtravel. “After the most difficult pandemic and political year, Pride means more now than ever and is also more encompassing,” he explains. "Most Pride celebrations are looking at safer ways to combine virtual with limited capacity in-person events now that vaccine deployment is reaching critical mass and Covid spread is dropping in many places. But by all means, if you can, get out in the fresh air and march in a parade, support LGBTQ+ businesses at Pride fairs and year round, volunteer or donate to a cause that mirrors your ethos, get involved, and volunteer at homeless LGBTQ+ youth organizations like Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Foundation."
And, even if travel might not be an option right now, you can still make plans for future Pride celebrations. Here are some hot picks for your travel bucket list.
The Best Pride Parades in the World
Parada do Orgulho LGBT in São Paulo, Brazil
A fiesta of sexual diversity, Pride in São Paulo colors the city’s streets every June and culminates in a Pride parade which travels down the historic Avenida Paulista. The party atmosphere is so electric that Grindr users have previously voted it the best in the world.
San Francisco Pride in the USA
In tandem with the city’s Pride events, the country's biggest Trans March storms Mission Dolores Park on the Friday before the parade. And on the Sunday of the parade itself, homes in the Castro neighborhood open their doors to revelers creating a vibe of true inclusivity that spills out onto the surrounding streets.
Taiwan Gay Pride in Taipei
The Taiwanese are the most inclusive of all Asian nations and as such their annual Pride events attract thousands of LGBTQ+ partygoers from neighboring countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. In May 2019, it became the first—and still only, place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Since then, more than 4,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot in Taiwan.
Hinsegin Dagar in Reykjavík, Iceland
Small-fry on the global Pride circuit but one of the biggest LGBTQ+ celebrations in the country, Iceland’s Pride makes the most of the country's midnight sun. In recent years, Jón Gnarr the former mayor of Reykjavík, made headlines around the world for joining in on the fun in full drag.
Brighton & Hove Pride in the UK
This seaside city knows how to throw a party; past headliners include icons Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, and Grace Jones. Expect plenty of colorful costumes, diverse and immersive experiences, and a whole host of club nights.
IDAHO in Havana, Cuba
Known as IDAHO: the International Day Against Homophobia, Havana Pride may be one of the smallest but it certainly packs a punch. Its combination of chilled Caribbean vibes and the vibrant colors of the city’s crumbling façades provide an unforgettable setting for celebration.
Packing Essentials For a Pride Parade
Waist pack: A must-have for a hands-free Pride. Stash your valuables close and keep them safely stowed in style.
Packable daypack: Opt for a lightweight daypack that won’t weigh down the party vibe.
Packing cubes: If you’re visiting multiple venues, consider carrying a backpack with some emergency essentials like fresh clothes and toiletries, stored neatly in water-resistant packing cubes.
And, don’t forget the SPF for daytime sun protection, and a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated.
Hoping to jet off to a Pride parade next year? Read our ultimate travel packing checklist and prep for when you come to pack for your next trip.