Summer is a fantastic time to visit Europe and Spain is no exception. With plenty of warm and sunny days you could spend months exploring the big cities and Spanish countryside, but given you probably have just a short time to visit you’ve got to pick the best and most exciting.

Summer is also pride season and Spain boasts some of the best gay pride celebrations in Europe and the world. This year Madrid will welcome World Pride 2017 where an expected 3 million people will join in the Spanish capital to celebrate diversity, progress of LGBT rights and well, to simply come together in public and throw a big party. Just a week later Barcelona will follow with its annual celebration on the coast of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. We’ve attended both events and can’t recommend them enough. Plus, if you’re looking to join a gay group tour, our friends at Spain 7 Degrees will take you effortlessly to both cities during pride on a 10-day tour from June 30th to July 9th, with a quick stop in Andalusia in between.

Special Offer! You can save 50€ on the Spain 7 Degrees tour by mentioning “Two Bad Tourists” when booking. Find out more info here!

WorldPride Madrid

The main activities of World Pride 2017 go from June 28th to July 2nd, including the gay pride parade which happens on Saturday evening July 1st. Madrid is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world and the city even estimates the LGBT+ population is around 500,000, which accounts for roughly 10% of the entire city. With numbers this large the community simply doesn't go unnoticed.

Photo by Sasha Charoensub

Madrid has a great gayborhood, called Chueca, but in fact the whole city is incredibly LGBT welcoming and the gays has even moved beyond the borders of Chueca to other great neighborhoods. The vibe in Madrid is not just tolerance, but rather acceptance. There are very few cities in the world that offer the same kind of welcome to LGBT+ residents and visitors. So come visit, be out and be yourself. Madrid even boasts more than 200+ LGBT specific venues including bars, clubs, shops, saunas and more to keep you busy and entertained throughout your visit. Of course, when you’re not joining the pride celebrations, be sure to visit the world renowned museums, do a bit of shopping and enjoy great tapas and Spanish cuisine.

Barcelona Pride

Just one week later the Catalan capital of Barcelona celebrates its pride weekend from July 6th through 8th. Though much smaller than Madrid’s pride, Barcelona still hosts an amazing event with a great, centralized pride village including concerts, food vendors and our favorite activity, the outdoor foam party. The pride is packed with events like a bike ride through the city, high heel race, Miss Drag PRIDE Barcelona and even activities for kids. Of course there’s also the Pride Parade on Saturday that attracts around 200,000 spectators and there are plenty of Pride parties around the city. The Pride Village is located at Avenida Reina Maria Cristina which leads directly to a beautiful fountain with the gorgeous Palau Nacional behind it. Pride in this vibrant, international metropolitan city with Catalan culture and flair is a must attend annual event.

Arc de Triomf in Barcelona

Barcelona also has about 4 kilometers of beaches with two main gay beaches. First, there’s Platja de Sant Sebastià near metro Barceloneta. This beach is right next to the other popular and gay-friendly beach, Barceloneta. The other gay stretch of sand is Platja de la Mar Bella near metro stop Poble Nou. This clothing optional beach, like most nude beaches, is farther out from the center on the northern end of the city’s beachfront. Here you’ll also find Chiringuito BeGay, a popular restaurant and bar where the gays go to dine and drink.

Barcelona is an architecture lover’s dream come true. With so many great examples of different time periods, including many of Gaudi’s most famous masterpieces, you’ll be amazed by all that’s packed into this city. Barcelona also has its share of great museums, restaurants, parks and awesome city views like from the top of Montjuic located just near the city center.

Take a Break in Seville

We love visiting a city during gay pride but if you’re planning to attend both Madrid and Barcelona prides, then you’ll want to get away in between to relax and take a break from party and celebration mode. Seville is an excellent choice to visit between the two events and there are tons of great sights and experiences in the capital of Andalusia. If you’re visiting with Spain 7 Degrees on the pride tour, you’ll spend 3 nights in Seville before heading back up to Barcelona.

Photo by Francisco Colinet via Flickr / CC BY

Seville is in southern Spain and is the capital of Andalusia, famous for flamenco, great food and vibrant, Spanish culture. With year-round warm weather and architectural wonders, it’s a must-see destination for any visitor. Seville is Spain’s 4th largest city and the gay scene is well developed. Seville is a great city to visit and you’re just a short journey from other great weekend destinations like Córdoba, Granada or Ronda.

Day Trip to Ronda

If you join the Spain 7 Degrees tour, you’ll head out to Ronda on a day trip from Seville. Ronda is located in the Málaga region and sits on either side of the Tajo del Ronda, a narrow gorge more than 150 meters deep. Ronda is a magical and picturesque place with amazing views and impressive construction on the side of the cliff. Its most notable features are its three bridges, Puente Romano, Puente Viejo and Puente Nuevo, which offer views of the canyons and mountains in and around the city. Puente Nuevo is the largest of the bridges and despite what its name suggests, it’s not quite all that new having been completed in 1793. Ronda is also home to the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain called the Plaza de Toros de Ronda. There is no gay scene in Ronda but it is absolutely worth the visit as a day trip from Seville.

Want to visit Spain during the largest gay pride celebrations this summer? Don’t forget you can save 50€ on the Spain 7 Degrees group tour by mentioning “Two Bad Tourists” when booking. Find out more info here!

Photo by Klomiz via Flickr / CC BY


Note: this article is sponsored by Spain 7 Degrees. As always, rest assured all opinions are 100% our own and we don't sacrifice our integrity for a sponsorship.