It may have taken far too long to get to this point, but same-sex marriage is now legal in 28 countries around the world, meaning everyone has the option of a luxury destination wedding day to commit the rest of their lives to the one they love.
But with so many amazing and romantic cities and destinations around the world to choose from, where are the best locations to tie the knot?
We’ve ranked some of the most popular destinations around the world based on nine factors to find out.
Spain is known as one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world, being the third country to permit same-sex marriage (in 2005).
Madrid just edges Barcelona in our ranking, with a slightly higher LGBTQ+ Openness Score of 4.87 and slightly cheaper accommodation, at £69.50 per night.
Similarly to Madrid, Barcelona is a very open city, with annual Pride and LGBT events and festivals. It’s also located just down the coast from Stiges, which is known as Spain’s ‘queer capital’.
While it just falls behind the capital overall, it does boast a higher number of romantic hotels (119) and restaurants (881) and is also more popular on Instagram, with over 54 million hashtags.
When it comes to romance, it’s hard to look past Paris. After all, it’s called the City of Love for a reason! It’s also an open-minded city, with a large gay scene centred around the historic Marais district.
In our ranking, “Gay Paree” scored top for number of romantic hotels (446), as well as ranking highly for LGBTQ+ Danger Index score (279) and LGBTQ+ openness in the city (4.45/5).
We looked at some of the most visited cities around the world, as well as some which are known for being LGBTQ+ friendly and ranked them on the following nine factors, giving each place a score out of ten for each factor, before taking a weighted average out of ten, with double weighting for the LGBTQ+ friendliness factors.
LGBTQ+ Danger Index Score
A score based on numerous different LGBTQ+ factors according to Asher & Lyric. Note that this score is applied at country level rather than city. In this case, a higher score indicates a country which is safer for the LGBTQ+ community. Factors accounted for in this score include the laws surrounding same-sex marriage, adoption recognition and protections for the LGBTQ+ community from violence and discrimination.
LGBTQ+ Openess in City /5
A score out of five based on how open local citizens are towards different orientations, according to Nestpick.
Number of Years Same-Sex Marriage Has Been Legal
The number of years since same-sex marriage has been fully legal and recognised in each country, according to Wikipedia’s timeline of same-sex marriage. In the case of the UK, we have taken the year when same-sex marriage was legalised in England, Wales and Scotland. However, this was not the case in Northern Ireland until January 2020.
Average Summer Temperature (°C)
The average temperature across June, July and August in Northern Hemisphere countries and December, January and February for Southern Hemisphere countries, according to Holiday-Weather.com.
Average Summer Sunshine Hours
The average number of sunshine hours across June, July and August in Northern Hemisphere countries and December, January and February for Southern Hemisphere countries, according to Holiday-Weather.com.
The number of posts on Instagram that use the hashtag for the city. (The specific hashtag that we looked for each city can be seen in the full table.)