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Gay In Spain

Currently, it is estimated that 10% of Spanish people live in same-sex couples, or are attracted to the same sex, meaning that there are around four million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people in Spain...

Posted by Sammie

Tagged: spain

Information about the gay and lesbian scene in Spain.

If you’re homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bi sexual or just plain straight and feel like going to a bar where you don’t have to worry about being harassed by the opposite sex, Spain has a thriving and very active gay scene. Gay clubs, bars, hotels and associations are rampant throughout the country with more of a presence in the larger more cosmopolitan cities, yet still very active within smaller cities.

Currently, it is estimated that 10% of Spanish people live in same-sex couples, or are attracted to the same sex, meaning that there are around four million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people in Spain.(Andalucia.com) 

Homosexuality in Spain however, hasn’t always been so accepted. During Franco’s rule in Spain, homosexuality was illegal. With the onset of the Spanish constitution in 1978 it was legalized and since then the gay community in Spain has thrived. Due to the recent introduction of the controversial homosexual marriage law, Spain became the third European country after the Netherlands and Belgium, to legalize same-sex marriage between native Spanish citizens and also registered foreigners living in Spain. Even though the Catholic Church strongly contested the marriage bill, the large majority of people (especially in urban areas) support equal rights for homosexual couples.
An estimated sixty-two per cent of Spanish people supported the move to legalize same-sex marriages. This law now gives Spanish-resident same-sex couples the right to marry and the same rights of ownership, inheritance and adoption as married heterosexuals. An important thing to note is that this law also improves the legal situation for children born into or adopted by lesbian or homosexual couples, giving them civil and inheritance rights currently denied them under law. Since the law has been passed, at least 5,000 couples have already applied for permission to marry.
Due to the new marriage law and the growing support within the country for homosexuality, Spain has become a popular tourist and vacation destination for the gay community.

Specific Gay friendly areas around the country:
When it comes to popular gay travel destinations in Spain, Barcelona has always had the reputation as being a city with a vibrant and integrated gay scene. While there are definitely gay barrios within the city, basically everywhere in Barcelona is welcoming and gay friendly. For both Barcelona residents and travelers the city offers a gay and lesbian hotline (900 601 601) as well as the SexTienda, a useful resource which lists gay bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants within the city.

Popular Gay areas within Barcelona

Eixample is the heart of the gay scene in Barcelona. Although it’s not exclusively a gay area, this is where most of the gay bars, clubs and hostels can be found. This area is a beautiful and relatively modern and trendy district in the centre of Barcelona and offers an active social scene for both the gay and straight community. It is located around c/ de Cent and c/ d’Aribau near the metro stops Universitat, Urgell and Passeig de Gràcia.

Another area that is very popular with the gay community - just an hour outside of Barcelona, is Sitges. Sitges holds the biggest gay event in Barcelona, the Carnaval. Every year in late February or early March Sitges hosts the greatest gay parade in the country.
Sitges was an artists´ colony in the late 19th century, (where Dali had his holidays) and has become one of the most popular gay beach resorts in Europe with the gay population making up almost thirty per cent of summer tourism.
The Gay beach in Sitges is called Playa de la Bossa Rodona and is directly under the Picnic Restaurant on the seafront.
The bars and discos in Sitges are mostly located around Calle de San Bonaventura. Although there are no lesbian clubs right now in Sitges, with the growing number of clubs hosting lesbian only nights, a lesbian club is bound to open in the near future.

  1. The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)-Gay shopping
  2. Gracia   Nightlife - Bars and Disco
  3. Ciutat Vella Saunas, cinema and Nightlife – Disco

Some Popular Gay Barcelona Bars and Clubs:
Salvation
A very popular club with European house music.
Location: Ronda de Sant Pere 19-21, La Ribera
Metro: Urquinaona
Tel (+34) 93 318 06 86  
 
Café Dietrich
This is a restaurant/music bar with food until midnight and intermittent drag shows.
Location: c/ Consell de Cent 245, the Eixample
Metro: Urgell or Universitat

Aire Sala Diana
The most popular lesbian bar and club in town.
Location: c/ Valencia 236, the Eixample
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Tel: (+34) 93 451 58 12    

Arena Madre
This discoteca is a gay Barcelona classic.
Location: c/Balmes 32, the Eixample
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Tel: (+34) 93 487 83 42    


Santanassa
A great bar and club open till 5am with a funkier, more ‘off the beaten track’ gay scene. There’s no cover.
Location: c/ d’Aribau 27, the Eixample.
Metro: Universitat

Lesbian and mixed bars in Barcelona include:

  1. Dietrich-(Dance Floor and Nightly Drag Shows)  Consell de Cent, 255
  2. Zafron -(Lesbian - Gay Bar)on Casanova, 68
  3. Matchin-Casanova, (just above Gran Via)
  4. All free woman-(just above Gran Via) Casanova
  5. Cafe de le Calle-(meeting place for lesbians & gay men) Carrer de Vic, 11
  6. Bahia-(predominantly lesbian bar open until about 2.30am) Carrer de Seneca, 12
  7. La Rosa-(predominantly lesbian) Passatge de Brusi, 39

 

Yet as of late things have been made much easier for gay and lesbian travelers in Spain and in Andalucia in particular. With the incredible support for same-sex marriages in Spain, people are, for the most part, very tolerant if not completely accepting

Popular Gay Areas within Madrid

Like Barcelona, Madrid is also one of Spain´s more cosmopolitan cities, thus it has a thriving and active gay and lesbian community. One of the most known gay areas in Madrid is Chueca. As it stood in the past Chueca was considered to be a dangerous place, that is, until the gay community started to live there and breathe life into it. The old shops were turned into trendy new ones and today Chueca is known as the Soho of Madrid with its alternative cafés and restaurants and avant-garde fashion, all geared primarily at gays and lesbians. 
The two main streets in Chueca with the most going on are Calle Horteleza and Calle de Fuencarral. The gay bars and clubs are easily identifiable as they have the internationally recognizable multi-coloured flags hanging from their doors. For people who don´t want to stick exclusively to the gay clubs in Madrid however and would rather experience an equal mix, Calle Cava Baja (a few minutes walk from the Plaza Mayor) has some great options. This area is full of wine and tapa bars and attracts a great mix of both gay and straight people.

Gay Clubs in Madrid
Club: Escape
Street: Calle Gravina, 13
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5)
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 01:00 – late
Club: Griffins
Street: Villalar, 8
Metro: Retiro: (Red Line, L2) Plus 10 minutes walk.
Hours: Every night midnight – late
Club: La Rosa
Street: Tetuán, 27
Metro: Sol (Red Line, L2); (Light Blue Line, L1); (Yellow Line, L3)
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 22:00 – late

Club: Ohm
Street: Plaza Callao,4
Metro: Callao (Green Line, L5)
Hours: Friday and Saturday midnight – 06:00
Club: Queen
Street: Barbieri, 4
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5)
Hours can vary. To be sure, call the club to check.
Tel: (0034) 91 5220 949
Club: The Moon
Street: Aduana, 21
Metro: Sevilla (Red Line, L2) Plus five minutes walk
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 22:00 – late

Gay Accommodation in Madrid

Hostal la Zona
Street: Calle Valverde 7, 1º and 2º
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5) Plus 5 minutes walk.
Telephone: (0034) 91 521 9904
Website: http://www.hostallazona.com

Casa Chueca
Street: San Bartolome 4, Piso 2, Izqda
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5) Plus 5 minutes walk
Telephone: (0034) 91 523 8127 / (0034) 63 582 9805
Website: http://www.casachueca.com

Chueca Pension
Street: Calle Gravina 4, Piso 2, Derecha (2nd floor, right hand door)
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5) Plus 5 minutes walk.
Tel/fax: (0034) 91 523 1473 / (0034) 66 134 2350
Website: http://www.chuecapension.com

Hostal Odesa
Street: Calle Hortaleza, 38, Piso 3, Izquierda
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5) Plus 5 minutes walk
Tel: (0034) 91 521 0338 / (0034) 91 521 5901
Website: http://www.hostalsonsodesa.com/odesa.htm

Popular Gay Areas in Andalucia

Andalucia is one of the more popular places for gays and lesbians within Spain. With a desirable climate, shopping, beaches and an awesome bar and club scene, there is plenty going on for both gay and straight people.  An interesting thing to note is that the age of consent for gays and lesbians in Spain is 16 yet outside of the major cities and the Costa del Sol and especially out of season, Andalucians may not be as tolerant or open-minded towards gays and lesbians. For example a gay couple walking hand in hand in a rural village will most likely get stares and may be treated rudely if they try to check into a hotel room together. Yet as of late things have been made much easier for gay and lesbian travelers in Spain and in Andalucia in particular. With the incredible support for same-sex marriages in Spain, people are, for the most part, very tolerant if not completely accepting and most hotels in Andalucia are gay friendly.
When it comes to accommodation in Andalucia, along the Costa del Sol, Marbella, Torremolinos and Puerto Santa Maria in Huelva province there is a great selection of hotels and apartments. As well, cities including Cadiz, Granada, Malaga and Sevilla have thriving gay communities which continue to grow quickly. In conjunction with the vast range of hotels and apartments, there are many gender specific bars and cafes with a vibrant night life in Andalucia.

Gay Organizations within Andalucia:
Cádiz
C/Encarnación 5, Local, 11003 Cádiz
Office Hours:10-2:00
Meetings: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Tel: 956 22 62 62
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Granada
C/Alhamar Nº 7 Entreplanta, Granada
Office Hours:10-2:00 and 5-8:00
Meetings: Thursdays at 8:30
Tel: 958 26 38 53
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Huelva
C/ San José nº 35/37 entreplanta D, 21002 Huelva
Office Hours: 10:30-2:30
Meetings: Fridays at 8:15
Tel: 959 28 49 55
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Málaga
C/Victoria 8, 1º A, 29001 Málaga
Office Hours: 9:30-2:00 and 6-8:00
Meetings: Fridays at 8:30 p.m.
Tel: 952 21 71 99
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Sevilla
Plaza de la Encarnación 23, 2ºB 41003 Sevilla
Office Hours: 9 to 2:00 and 5 to 8:00
Meetings: Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Gay Clubs and Bars in Andalucia


Granada
Mixed Bars:

  • Fondo Reservado Address: Cuesta de Santa Inés, No. 3—three blocks upriver from Plaza Nueva, up the hill to the left.
  • El Rincón de San Pedro Address: C/Carrera del Darro no 12—upriver from Plaza Nueva on the right.
  • Perfíl Address: C/Rosario at the intersection with C/Navas—Realejo neighbourhood.
  • 6 Colours Address: c/Tendillas de Santa Paula 6—near the San Agustín market.

Exclusively Gay Bars:

  • The Tic Tac
  • Horno de Haza
  • El Angél Azul
  • El Zoo
  • Moras 2
  • La Sal
  • Al pie de la Vela

Torremolinos

  • Ánfora
  • 22:00 – 02:30, week-ends only Nogalera Lesbian bar
  • Anxo Bar
  • Daily 22:00 - 03:00 Nogalera Gay, ring to enter, rentboys
  • Bar XS
  • Daily from 22:00 Nogalera Gay, porn videos, SM room upstairs
  • Brujas
  • 22:00 -03:00 week-ends Nogalera
  • Estrella ( PK2 )
  • 23:00 - 04:00 Currently closed for renovation Nogalera Gay. Big music bar with dance floor
  • Enigma
  • 22:00-02:00 Nogalera Gay / Mixed
  • Free Eagle
  • 22:00 -02:00 week-ends Nogalera Gay. Bears, SM

    Last updated 22 08 2008

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Comments

If you'd like to ask a question for discussion, please mosey on over to the Spain Forum. See our posting rules and instructions here.

12/Jun/2009:
paraphrasis said:

If you need your certificates, Apostilles and/or other documents translated into Spanish by a sworn translator, either for same-sex marriage or other formalities, and being aware that some Spanish translators refuse to do it, do not hesitate to visit paraphrasis.com and contact me. Obviously, I will treat your details with all respect and confidentiality.
Regards,
Francisco Pérez

 
18/Feb/2011:
Chico said:

Homosexuality was first legalized in Spain in the Constitution of Cádiz in 1831, making it the first country in the world to legalize Homosexuality. The forty year period of General Franco's dictatorship represents, therefore, a shameful blip in Spain's Un-hypocritical stance on this fundamental right.

 
16/Jun/2011:
buzz2011 said:

Arriving to Madrid on 19/08/11, purpose of visit is to investigate the best location to live in Spain.I favor Madrid or Barcelona due to the openness to alternative lifestyles.I am a descendant of grandparents born in NW Spain, both maternal & paternal.
I welcome the opportunity to chat with interested persons.

Be well,
Jim.

 
21/Jun/2011:
silverstone said:

Hi Jim

If you are moving here for some better weather you will have to come further south!! I've only ever seen Barcelona in rain!! Alternative lifestyles appear to be accepted generally in Spain. If you are within 2 hours of the coast then the night life is there for the occasional visit.

 

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