Information about the gay and lesbian scene 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...
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.
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.
Some Popular Gay Barcelona Bars and Clubs:
A very popular club with European house music.
Location: Ronda de Sant Pere 19-21, La Ribera
Tel (+34) 93 318 06 86
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
This discoteca is a gay Barcelona classic.
Location: c/Balmes 32, the Eixample
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Tel: (+34) 93 487 83 42
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.
Lesbian and mixed bars in Barcelona include:
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
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: [url=http://www.hostallazona.com]http://www.hostallazona.com[/url] 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: [url=http://www.casachueca.com]http://www.casachueca.com[/url] 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: [url=http://www.chuecapension.com]http://www.chuecapension.com[/url] 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: [url=http://www.hostalsonsodesa.com/odesa.htm]http://www.hostalsonsodesa.com/odesa.htm[/url]
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: Cadiz@colegaweb.net 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Granada Mixed Bars:
Exclusively Gay Bars:
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