15 Jun LGBTQ+ in Barcelona: A Great Place to Be Queer 🌈
My name is Joel. I was born in Barcelona and I’m a marketer and content creator who became part of the Absolute Internship team back in 2018. At AI, we stand for diversity and inclusion. Our summer internship abroad program welcomes students from 48 nationalities this year, and many of our students come from different backgrounds, ethnicities and people who identify as LGBTQ+.
Why is writing this post so important to me? Because as LGBTQ+ people, we have to consider our sexuality or gender identity when traveling. It’s easy to forget this when you live in a country that provides love and support for your identity!
This post will hopefully serve as a resource for anyone who just moved to Spain, anyone who is about to do so, and all the LGBTQ+ students across the world to learn why Spain is a diverse, colourful and accepting country.
Let’s dive into being LGBTQ+ in Barcelona, its queer community in one of the most vibrant countries in Europe and my recommendations as a local!
A City That Breathes Freedom and Equality
Consistently at the top of the ranks about LGBTQ+ acceptance, and one of the most popular internship abroad destinations, Barcelona has multiple associations that, since the 1970s, have continued to fight for equal rights. The Barcelona City Hall promotes these associations and offer multiple services from information sessions to legal advice and direct assistance.
Moreover, LGBTQ+ rights in Spain have undergone several significant changes to become one of the most advanced in the world! Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005 in Spain – one of the first countries adopting this regulation!
Sports and Networking Combined
If you like doing sports and getting to know people outside of the LGBTQ+ nightlife scene, there’s wonderful opportunities for you to do so – especially if you’re new to the city! One of my favorite options is The Pink Spot, an association that organizes fun networking events and activities for the community, with the mission to connect open-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Gems for LGBTQ+ in Barcelona
If you feel like exploring the LGBTQ+ community, la Mar Bella beach and its gay chiringuito is the place for you to be this summer. Next to the nude beach in Barcelona (yes, we have those in Spain), you will meet people from all over the world that gather around this area, have picnics, get tanned and swim on a hot summer day. Don’t forget your SPF!
Barcelona even has a gay neighborhood – most known as Gaixample – within the Eixample Esquerra district. This is one of the entertainment areas of great international reference for the queer community. Here you’ll find hotels such as Axel, clubs such as Arena (when they reopen) and bars such as Punto BCN.
Lastly, one of the greatest events for LGBTQ+ in Barcelona is the Gay Pride Barcelona, usually happening at the end of June, This summer the organizers of these famous parades haven’t confirmed yet what Covid-friendly activities and concerts will take place – so stay tuned!!
Other LGBTQ+ Destinations in Spain
If you’re lucky enough to have some spare time and travel around, as queer you should definitely check out spots such as Sitges (see picture below) -a charming town in the coast of Catalunya and 40-minute train ride from Barcelona-, Madrid -and it’s buzzing gayborhood Chueca-, and Ibiza‘s nightlife -fun, cosmopolitan and very Mediterranean!-
As my final note, we have to be a resource for LGBTQ+ travellers, in the same way that we want them to be resources for us when we travel!
More about interning in Barcelona here.