Tel Aviv, Israel: June 8–14
Tel Aviv, one of the most progressive cities in Israel, is the gay capital of the Middle East. Its weeklong Pride festival is filled with events celebrating the LGBTQ community. The festival culminates in a parade on June 13, which begins at Meir Park and moves toward the Charles Clore Beach and Park. The area is gorgeous, peaceful, and relatively isolated, but it transforms on the day of the parade. The party following the parade is full of thousands of people dancing on the beach until sunset. As the weather in Tel Aviv in June is very hot, almost everyone jumps into the Mediterranean Sea to cool off.
Barcelona, Spain: June 19–29
If you want to experience the Mediterranean coast of Spain, spend a week in Barcelona, Catalan’s capital and Spain’s most cosmopolitan city, and experience the Catalan LGBTQ scene. Pride Barcelona is very new and much smaller compared to MADO in Madrid, but it is growing rapidly each year.
The entire week will be filled with free events. On Friday, June 27, there will be the Miss Drag Pride race, and in the evening everyone will be soaking in the biggest outdoor foam party in Europe. On Saturday, June 28, the parade will wind through the colorful architecture of Barcelona and will transform into a huge party. The weekend will finish off on Sunday, June 29, with a street party filled with food and drink stands, and for amusement park fans, the Tibidabo Amusement Park will be discounted for the day. Tired after this crazy weekend? Relax and recuperate on the beach by the Mediterranean Sea.
Toronto, Canada: June 20–29
InterPride has chosen Toronto, Canada’s cultural hub, to host WorldPride 2014. Get ready to see some incredible glitz and glam as the top entry floats celebrating the theme “Rise Up!” will be awarded with cash prizes in categories that include Best Overall, Best Float, Best Marching, Best Costume, and Best Choreography. The parade will start at 1pm on Sunday, June 29.
Other events taking place during the week include a three-day Streetfair, children’s entertainment, visual and literary arts, drag, burlesque, sports, live music, and loads of DJs and parties. Held on June 28, AQUA will be the largest dance party of the week. Dance from day to evening in a dazzling private oasis surrounded by eight-foot screens in the Yonge-Dundas Square. The party will be hosted by Prism and will feature live performances, dancers, and 22 water fountains.
Madrid, Spain: July 2–6
The Madrid Orgullo (Spanish for Pride), also known as MADO, is held in the lively neighborhood of Chueca in Madrid’s center. Celebrated in Spain’s capital, MADO is the largest LGBTQ Pride festival in Europe. The festivities include performances and concerts on six different outdoor stages, a high heel race, and many cultural events, including art and cinema. The most important event of MADO is the bustling parade that begins in the evening on Saturday, July 5, and celebrates equality and diversity. The parade’s final destination is the stage in Puerta de Alcalá, the Independence Square, where thousands of people will gather for the largest party of MADO.
Amsterdam, Netherlands: August 1–3
On Saturday, August 2, Amsterdam’s canals will be rainbow with 75 decorated boats filled with men and women in incredible costumes. The Amsterdam Gay Pride runs from August 1 to 3, and each year, the streets are overflowing with spectators. The weekend will be filled with dance parties in clubs; while some are free, tickets must be purchased months in advance for others.