Best LGBT Cities 2017

To celebrate LGBT Pride Month and commemorate the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we’re recognising 100 cities with active LGBT communities. At Nestpick, we aim to help people relocate to the cities that offer them the best possible quality of life. That’s why we considered thousands of destinations worldwide before shortlisting 100 cities, ranking them based on relevant factors to compile one of the largest rankings of its kind to date.


For a city to rank strongly as an LGBT destination, we determined that it must have a vibrant gay dating scene, a lively alternative nightlife, open minded citizens, and low levels of hate crime. We also took into account the national laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, such as the right to get married or adopt children. Once calculated, the final scores reveal the top 100 Best LGBT Cities for 2017.


“It’s no coincidence that the world’s most exciting cities have a strong LGBT community, contributing much to the dynamism, openness and prosperity which defines locations such as Madrid, Amsterdam and Berlin”, states Ömer Kücükdere, Managing Director of Nestpick.

Update: With the positive outcome from the snap vote on same-sex marriage having taken place in Germany on Friday 30th June, the LGBT Rights data below will have altered significantly for German cities in the ranking. Please email [email protected] for data reflecting the new rankings.

Cities Ranking

# City Country Dating LGBT Nightlife Openness in the city Safety LGBT Rights Total(Out of 25)
1 Madrid Spain 4.63 4.87 4.87 4.19 5 23.56
2 Amsterdam Netherlands 4.81 4.66 4.72 4.07 5 23.26
3 Toronto Canada 4.60 4.57 4.78 3.74 5 22.69
4 Tel Aviv Israel 4.72 4.81 4.81 4.23 4 22.57
5 London UK 4.94 4.97 4.94 2.61 5 22.46
6 Berlin Germany 4.97 5.00 4.97 3.95 3 21.89
7 Brighton UK 4.15 4.45 4.66 3.54 5 21.80
8 Barcelona Spain 4.84 4.78 4.75 2.41 5 21.78
9 New York City USA 5.00 4.94 4.91 2.85 4 21.70
10 San Francisco USA 4.75 4.84 5.00 3.02 4 21.61
11 Paris France 4.91 4.72 4.45 2.49 5 21.57
12 Montreal Canada 4.42 4.39 4.60 3.10 5 21.51
13 Manchester UK 4.54 4.60 4.54 2.65 5 21.33
14 Melbourne Australia 4.78 4.91 4.84 3.78 3 21.31
15 Lisbon Portugal 4.51 3.94 3.78 3.99 5 21.22
16 Vienna Austria 3.81 4.12 4.30 4.71 4 20.94
17 Vancouver Canada 4.09 4.09 4.09 3.58 5 20.85
18 Sitges Spain 3.21 3.66 4.57 4.35 5 20.79
19 Copenhagen Denmark 3.69 3.78 4.69 3.62 5 20.78
20 Bristol UK 3.60 4.24 4.24 3.66 5 20.74
21 Cologne Germany 4.69 4.63 4.63 3.70 3 20.65
22 Ibiza Town Spain 3.06 3.72 3.69 4.87 5 20.34
23 Maspalomas Spain 2.97 3.54 4.27 4.51 5 20.29
24 Austin USA 4.03 3.97 3.84 4.15 4 19.99
25 Munich Germany 3.87 4.06 4.00 5.00 3 19.93
26 Dublin Ireland 4.36 4.36 4.06 1.80 5 19.58
27 Miami USA 4.66 4.51 4.51 1.72 4 19.40
28 Mykonos Greece 3.78 4.18 4.42 4.96 2 19.34
29 Edinburgh UK 3.09 3.57 3.27 4.40 5 19.33
30 Stockholm Sweden 4.21 3.48 4.18 2.45 5 19.32
31 Helsinki Finland 3.24 3.42 3.87 4.67 4 19.20
32 Sydney Australia 4.45 4.30 4.33 3.06 3 19.14
33 Valencia Spain 3.33 2.54 3.94 4.27 5 19.08
34 Glasgow UK 3.57 3.81 4.39 2.17 5 18.94
35 Sao Paulo Brazil 4.57 4.75 4.36 1.12 4 18.80
36 Portland USA 3.75 4.03 4.48 2.53 4 18.79
37 Puerto Vallarta Mexico 4.06 4.15 3.75 3.82 3 18.78
38 Reykjavik Iceland 2.78 2.75 3.54 4.59 5 18.66
39 Leeds UK 3.45 3.90 3.45 2.77 5 18.57
40 Los Angeles USA 4.87 3.75 4.12 1.60 4 18.34
41 Rio de Janeiro Brazil 4.48 4.69 3.97 1.08 4 18.22
42 Lyon France 3.63 2.84 3.42 3.30 5 18.19
43 Buenos Aires Argentina 4.39 4.48 3.90 1.36 4 18.13
44 Dusseldorf Germany 3.84 3.45 3.39 4.43 3 18.11
45 Chicago USA 4.30 4.27 4.15 1.28 4 18.00
46 Auckland New Zealand 3.72 3.39 3.48 2.37 5 17.96
47 Frankfurt Germany 3.90 4.00 3.66 3.26 3 17.82
48 Hamburg Germany 4.33 4.33 4.03 2.09 3 17.78
49 Prague Czech Republic 4.24 3.84 3.33 4.31 2 17.72
50 Calgary Canada 2.57 2.27 3.72 4.03 5 17.59
51 Liverpool UK 2.69 3.30 3.24 3.34 5 17.57
52 Boston USA 4.12 3.33 2.90 3.18 4 17.53
53 Birmingham UK 2.87 3.87 3.81 1.92 5 17.47
54 Brussels Belgium 3.94 4.44 3.15 1.68 4 17.21
55 Seattle USA 3.39 3.24 3.30 3.22 4 17.15
56 Cork Ireland 2.00 2.06 2.78 4.75 5 16.59
57 Nuremberg Germany 3.30 2.81 2.97 4.47 3 16.55
58 Las Vegas USA 3.97 3.36 3.63 1.52 4 16.48
59 Bordeaux France 3.15 2.60 2.81 2.89 5 16.45
60 Oslo Norway 2.60 2.57 4.21 2.01 5 16.39
61 Bangkok Thailand 4.27 4.42 3.57 2.05 2 16.31
62 Mexico City Mexico 4.18 4.21 3.60 1.24 3 16.23
63 Rotterdam Netherlands 2.75 2.51 3.36 2.57 5 16.19
64 Cardiff UK 2.28 2.72 2.93 3.14 5 16.07
65 Brisbane Australia 3.42 2.93 3.21 3.50 3 16.06
66 Lille France 2.90 2.69 2.69 2.73 5 16.01
67 Adelaide Australia 3.51 2.90 2.60 3.86 3 15.87
68 Bogota Colombia 3.18 3.63 2.63 1.32 5 15.76
69 Leipzig Germany 3.03 3.69 3.03 2.98 3 15.73
70 Tokyo Japan 2.42 3.27 3.12 4.83 2 15.64
71 Tallinn Estonia 2.22 2.30 2.45 4.63 4 15.60
72 Gothenburg Sweden 2.66 2.42 3.18 2.33 5 15.59
73 Antwerp Belgium 2.30 3.03 3.51 2.69 4 15.53
74 San Juan Puerto Rico 4.00 2.87 2.30 1.20 5 15.37
75 Bergen Norway 2.12 2.09 2.72 3.42 5 15.35
76 Montpellier France 2.54 2.36 2.54 2.81 5 15.25
77 Utretcht Netherlands 2.06 2.03 3.00 2.93 5 15.02
78 Zurich Switzerland 2.63 2.78 2.66 4.92 2 14.99
79 Split Croatia 2.72 2.48 2.48 4.11 3 14.79
80 Perth Australia 3.48 3.06 2.75 2.25 3 14.54
81 Stuttgart Germany 2.09 2.39 2.39 4.55 3 14.42
82 Thessaloniki Greece 3.00 2.63 2.57 3.90 2 14.10
83 Hong Kong China 2.84 3.15 2.27 4.79 1 14.05
84 Rome Italy 3.54 3.60 3.06 1.56 2 13.76
85 Budapest Hungary 2.39 3.09 2.84 3.38 2 13.70
86 Marseille France 2.36 2.45 2.42 1.44 5 13.67
87 Milan Italy 3.12 3.51 3.09 1.88 2 13.60
88 Santiago Chile 3.66 3.18 2.87 1.76 2 13.47
89 Shanghai China 2.93 3.21 2.51 3.46 1 13.11
90 Cape Town South Africa 3.27 2.18 2.18 1.16 4 12.79
91 Durban South Africa 2.45 2.97 2.36 1.00 4 12.78
92 Athens Greece 3.36 3.00 2.15 1.96 2 12.47
93 Warsaw Poland 2.51 3.12 2.33 2.13 2 12.09
94 Johannesburg South Africa 2.48 2.21 2.24 1.04 4 11.97
95 Dresden Germany 2.24 2.15 2.12 2.29 3 11.80
96 Zagreb Croatia 2.03 2.66 2.09 1.40 3 11.18
97 Sofia Bulgaria 2.33 2.24 2.21 2.21 2 10.99
98 Bratislava Slovakia 2.81 2.00 2.00 1.64 2 10.45
99 Belgrade Serbia 2.18 2.33 2.06 1.48 2 10.05
100 Beijing China 2.15 2.12 2.03 1.84 1 9.14

Methodology

Total Score = Dating + LGBT Nightlife + Openness + Safety + LGBT Rights

Maximum available score = 25

To make the list truly comprehensive and inclusive, thousands of cities were considered in the development stage. We conducted polls in 80 countries among the LGBT community using social media and other polling tools. We asked over 2500* participants from each city to give three lifestyle factors a rating out of five stars: the strength of their city’s gay dating scene, the quality of its LGBT nightlife, and the openness of their fellow citizens. Cities needed to average of at least two out of five stars for each of the three lifestyle factors in order to qualify the final shortlist. Thus, the maximum score is five and the minimum possible score is two for the first three categories.


We then added the fourth category of safety to the ranking. This used public data provided by police departments of each of the 100 cities on the official number of hate crimes reported in 2016 per capita. The city with the lowest number of crimes reported was awarded a maximum safety score of five, and the city with the highest number of crimes reported was awarded a minimum score of one.


Finally, we added a fifth category that considered the LGBT rights of citizens in each of the 40 countries included in the ranking. We conducted an in-depth review of regional and national legislation (as of May 2017) affecting members of the LGBT community in each of the respective countries. A maximum score of 5 was awarded to countries that allow same sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, LGBT citizens to serve in the military, for anyone to change their gender identity, and ban all anti-LGBT discrimination.


The sum of three lifestyle factors plus the two additional factors determines the final overall score (maximum available score = 25). More information on why we chose to include these five factors is provided below.


Lifestyle factors


Dating Score: Tourists and professionals are more likely to travel or relocate to cities where there is a higher chance of them developing friendships and relationships with other members of the LGBT community.


LGBT Nightlife Score: With their vibrant atmosphere and sense of inclusivity, gay-friendly parties and venues are often the beating heart of a city’s night scene. Having a particular strong LGBT night scene is what helps some cities to establish themselves as leading gay destinations.


Openness in the City Score: Feeling proud and confident in who you are is an integral part of being comfortable in a city. The openness of fellow citizens towards different orientations influences how at ease members of the LGBT community feel.


Other factors


Safety: Being protected against hate crime and other forms of prejudice is necessary in order for an LGBT community to truly flourish. Being renowned for safety helps a city to attract minority orientations. For this factor the study used public data provided by police departments of each of the 100 cities on the official number of hate crimes reported in 2016 per capita. The city with the lowest number of crimes reported was awarded a maximum safety score of five, and the city with the highest number of crimes reported was awarded a minimum score of one.



LGBT Rights: The rights of LGBT citizens vary greatly from country to country. Progressive laws in certain countries such as the right to marry or adopt encourages couples and individuals to relocate to those destinations in order to benefit from those liberties. In each of the 40 countries included in the ranking, we conducted an in-depth review of regional and national legislation (as of May 2017) affecting members of the LGBT community in each of respective countries. A maximum score of 5 was awarded to countries that allow same sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, LGBT citizens to serve in the military, for anyone to change their gender identity, and ban all anti-LGBT discrimination.


*Margin of error in the polls for each city is -/+ 4.5%