Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and a popular destination for travelers as it's known for its history, culture, cuisine and overall friendliness and open-mindedness. This city is also super gay-friendly and its official tourism website actually promotes Copenhagen's LGBT community. As an added bonus, English is widely spoken so you should have no problems when it comes to meeting local Danes. These are the many reasons for LGBT travelers to check out this spectacular city in northern Europe.
The year 1948 was monumental for Copenhagen and the gay community when it saw the founding of the first National Association for Gays and Lesbians. But it wasn't until more than 40 years later, in 1989, that same sex civil unions were recognized in Denmark. Still, that's leaps and bounds ahead of the U.S. and many other western nations. A quick 10 years after that, gays were allowed to adopt provided the child was biologically one partners or the others. Then in 2012 same sex marriages were legalized. Gay bars and restaurants are also plentiful today, including their first gay bar from the 1950s - Centralhjornet.
While the city may not have an official "gayborhood," the center offers many gay-friendly establishments. Stroget shopping street in the city center offers numerous opportunities when it comes to the gay scene. Cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants are also plentiful around Studiestraede. It's not all just eating and drinking as the stores, saunas and events all cater to the gay community and will keep you coming back to Copenhagen.
Since Denmark is clearly ahead of many other travel destinations when it comes to favorable gay history and champions of human rights, it's no surprise that the LGBT scene is freely promoted. So much so that in the summer of 2009, Copenhagen hosted what ended up being the largest sporting event in the history of the city - The 2nd Gay World Outgames. And in 2003, they also hosted The Eurogames. The city's liberal attitude is most apparent when visiting Freetown Christiania, an alternative hippie neighborhood founded in 1971 with creative houses, galleries, music venues and restaurants.
As with most cities that have a favorable outlook on the LGBT community, Gay Pride week is not to be missed. August is the month to travel in Copenhagen if you want to catch their Pride festivities. Next year's Gay Pride week runs August 16th - 21st, 2016 with the parade on the 20th. Copenhagen is also home to Scandinavia's longest-running Lesbian and Gay Film Festival known as Mix Copenhagen.
Setting aside the gay scene, there's also plenty to do and see for any sort of traveler, gay or straight. If the beach is your choice, the S-train (combined with local trains) can be taken to Tisvildeleje Station, Ishoj Station or Klampenborg Station for 3 different walking distance beach destinations. Tivoli Gardens and Amusement Park (where Disney got their ideas) can be reached by walking from Town Hall Square and crossing H.C. Andersens Boulevard. Finally, the 800 year old magnificence of Christiansborg Palace is also a must see sight.
What most interests you about visiting Copenhagen?
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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