Six Gay Pride Events To Attend in Europe for Summer 2013
Last summer we got a little caught up in Europe’s gay pride events attending Munich Pride, Madrid Pride and Amsterdam Pride. With so many great festivals celebrated in so many unique cultures, how could we not? This summer is looking to be no different as we begin planning some trips! Here’s some of the Gay Pride events we plan to attend as well as a comprehensive list of all the Gay pride events around Europe this summer 2013.
Madrid’s Feria de la Tapa: A Worthy Foodie Event?
For the ninth year, Feria de la Tapa is an event that once again brings a wide selection of more tapas than you could possibly consume from around Madrid to a single locale for your tantalizing pleasure. Nearly forty restaurants participated this past weekend at Palacio de los Deportes. All tapas were equally priced at 1.50€ with cañas (small beers) reasonably sold for 1€ to accompany the tasty selections and entrance is free. We were exited to spend an evening at the four day event consuming some of the best tapas the city has to offer.
Our Picks For Spain’s Best Summer Festivals
May has finally arrived and summer is just behind it! We spent last summer touring Central America for six weeks and then ended it with a three month trek around Europe. We can’t believe we get to spend another summer here, especially since the last one just about wiped us out! But now that spring has eased the winter chill and with the warm weather approaching, it’s time to get outside and enjoy one of our favorite activities: festivals!
A Week of Carnival & Five Must Do’s in Rio de Janeiro
Back in April of 2012 when we were chaotically planning our year long round-the-world trip, we decided ending it in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Carnival 2013 would be the best way to celebrate it coming to a close. Knowing that people would be traveling from all over the world to be in Rio for the festivities, we booked our hostel in advance. Way in advance. 11 months in advance. It was very unlike our “bad tourist” habits of doing things last minute. But we knew it’d be expensive if we waited. In fact, prices were already inflated by the time we booked.
FiveBadTourists: Guinea Pigs And A Peruvian New Year’s
Upon the suggestion of a well informed traveler (from the exotic lands of California) that we had met at our hostel, we went to eat guinea pig – or cuy as it referred to in Peru. We had to fill our stomachs with nourishment before the debaucheries of New Year’s Eve began. We were surprisingly open-minded considering our dining fiascos in Miraflores but we were not disappointed.
A Hong Kong Style Carnival
We almost never manage to plan ahead when we visit a new city, so when we heard about a Carnival Festival in Hong Kong from someone Auston had met earlier in the week, we were eager to join him and his friends for the fun! Meeting locals is an easy way to find out about events going on around the city. Sure, if we planned ahead we would be more aware of current happenings in our travel destinations, but that’s not really our style.
Visiting Amsterdam for Gay Pride
Any trip to Europe has to include Amsterdam and all of its gloriously legal activities (of which we would never take part in, obviously) not to mention it’s amazing Gay Pride Parade and Festival. We visited the Anne Frank House, Red Light District, a sex museum and the Albert Cuyp market. It was a tourist haven and all the better the weekend we arrived because of Gay Pride. Yes, we went to another one. Our final pride event this summer and probably the best, after Phoenix Pride, Madrid Orgullo, and Munich Christopher Street Day. We met some great people and spent the afternoon watching the pride parade on water – a spectacular show to say the least! The pride parade is the highlight of all the events for the weekend, though the outdoor parties and shows were a close second.
London During the Olympics
We weren’t orginally planning on visiting England because there are just so many places to see in Europe and it simply didn’t make the cut. Like most of the plans we make however, this too was quickly changed and we scrapped our previously scheduled time in Belgium for a week in London.
Of course we knew the Olympics were in London this summer. But that they began the day after we arrived was, I embarrassingly admit, news to me. This clearly explained the difficulty in finding a couchsurfing host or decent hostel. In any case, we managed to find a reasonably priced place – a tiny, crammed, dysfunctional space with a slight odor (oh the joys of hostels).
We didn’t go see any Olympic events, but we did manage to run into the route for the road cycling just as the athletes went by. There was also an excellent (and by excellent, I mean mediocre) Olympic festival at Hyde Park. I think after a few years in Chicago, you experience some amazing festival life. So I’ll try not to hold it against London.
I think the best part of our time there, aside from experiencing the great sights, was doing everything without the challenge of a language barrier. After traveling for a few months without knowing the local language, it was actually strange to just walk up to someone and speak English. Quite the relief!
(click here for photos)
Munich Gay Pride Weekend
We had our first couchsurfing stay with an excellent host in Munich during Christopher Street Day (aka Gay Pride). He was also hosting a couple others that weekend and took the time to graciously show us around the city. Traveling can be such a different and unique experience when you have the privilege of staying with a local and enjoying their company. Aside from some rainfall, it was a fantastic weekend. We found the pride parade to be surprisingly better than Madrid’s even though Munich’s Gay Pride event is much smaller.
Here are some photos of the weekend.
The Christopher Street Day Festival in Munich was a blast and we got to eat our first German Bratwurst, while washing it down with a few beers!
Gay Pride in Madrid
We split up from Auston’s family in France to go celebrate Gay Pride in Madrid, as the rest of his family continued on to Paris and London. We arrived in Madrid just in time for Orgullo Madrid, their gay pride festival. We were warned that madrileños have a later schedule than most. But this place takes the cake. Nightlife doesn’t just go until the wee hours of dawn. It straight up passes into the morning. I assume the weekend we were there had to be on overload considering that there was not only Orgullo Madrid, but also the 2012 European Football Championship game of Spain versus Italy.
It was an absolute whirlwind of a weekend and we were happy to do some relaxed sightseeing the days after. We opted out of the traditional hop on/hop off tour bus because it was fairly pricey and instead decided to download a more wallet-friendly Madrid walking tour app. We walked around various points in the city that the app suggested and it had an audio recording about its history. It was so… boring actually. We stopped fairly early and wished we were on a tour bus. :-( But it was worth a shot I guess!
Madrid is an amazing city and I am seriously considering moving my entire family here and settling down. Or possibly ditching them and going solo. I’m still working out the details.
Photos here. Not a lot really because we got caught up in day to day life in Madrid and I don’t regret it!
Waiting for the parade to start
The festival and parade in Madrid in the largest Gay Pride in Spain and is well worth a visit!