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5 blockbuster gay hot spots for 2016 (that aren’t London, Sydney or NYC)

5 blockbuster gay hot spots for 2016 (that aren’t London, Sydney or NYC)

Beach vacation

Now, don’t get us wrong.

Of course, London, Sydney and New York City are ALWAYS near the top of our LGBTI travel wishlists.

The same goes for any number of well-known, ‘stereotypically’ gay destinations (we’re looking at you, Tel Aviv, Gran Canaria and San Francisco).

But in time for ‘Sunshine Saturday’ – i.e. Saturday 9 January, the most popular day of the year for booking a holiday – we’re spotlighting five mega-gay world cities that are sometimes overlooked in favor of their bigger gay brothers.

So, banish the January blues, dust off your passport and get booking. Happy (pending) holidays!

Rio De Janeiro

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Why go this year? Duh, it’s the Olympics. Kicking off on Friday 5 August and lasting for over two weeks, the world’s gaze will be undoubtedly be transfixed on ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ – or ‘The Marvelous City’ – for much of 2016. The same will surely apply to LGBTI travelers, sport-loving and otherwise; after all, Brazilians are routinely voted among the sexiest people in the world…

São Paulo

sao_paulo

Why go this year? Let’s call it the domino effect – with over 500,000 extra tourists expected to visit Brazil in 2016 for the Olympics, the country’s other major city is bound to see an influx, too. And while it may not be the capital, São Paulo is the country’s most populated city – so it arguably has more LGBTI locals. We say go to both.

Cape Town

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Why do this year? South Africa’s always been known as a gay-friendly oasis on an otherwise tricky continent. But this South African city’s reputation as a major gay destination was cemented last year, with the announcement it would be hosting this year’s International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Annual Global Convention – an annual meet up of LGBTIs in the travel and tourism industry.

Stockholm

stockholm_cityscape

Why go this year? Because quite simply, the Swedish capital is getting gayer and gayer by the minute. From 14 May, the spiritual home of ABBA will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest – essentially a continental LGBTI holiday. Then its Stockholm Pride, taking place, from July 25-30. And, in 2018, it’s hosting EuroPride. Did we mention it won Destination of the Year at last year’s British LGBT Awards?

Amsterdam

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Why go this year? Stockholm may be doing the honors in 2018, but this year’s EuroPride – which could potentially be the biggest pride event on the continent this year – will be taking place in the Dutch capital. The Netherlands has long had a special place in the hearts LGBTI people, after becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001.