The best Pride events in Europe

Fly the rainbow flag at Europe’s best gay Pride parties

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist

If you love city breaks and fancy timing a break to coincide with a big annual event, every summer cities across Europe celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life while challenging discrimination and battling for equality. Here’s our pick of the continent’s most enjoyable Pride events, listed in order of date. Grab your rainbow flag and get ready to party...

Warsaw: 9 June 2018

Warsaw’s Pride event is known as the Equality Parade, echoing the fact that neither same-sex marriage or civil partnerships are permitted in Poland yet. The parade was banned in 2004 and 2005 but has grown bigger and better every year since its return, with an estimated 50,000 people attending the 2017 event. The famously lively after-parties will keep you dancing till the next day and maybe beyond.

Madrid: 4 to 8 July 2018

With an estimated two million people attending each year, this is one of the leading European Pride festivals. The event centres around the neighbourhood of Chueca, among the biggest year-round destinations for gay nightlife in the continent.

London: 7 July 2018

The British capital’s Pride, now in its 46th year, features around 300 floats, 50 musical acts, and a celebration of love in all its forms on a route that stretches from Oxford Circus to Whitehall. A whole Pride Fortnight of LGBT+ events takes place on either side of the main parade.

Belfast: 27 July to 5 August 2018

This may not be the biggest Pride event in Europe, but it’s certainly one of the most important and passionately celebrated, since Northern Ireland is the only region of the UK where same-sex marriage is still banned. While there’s a strong campaigning element to Belfast Pride, there’s no shortage of music, dancing and all-round frivolity.

Amsterdam: 28 July to 5 August 2018

The Dutch take the concept of Pride floats very literally, with colourful vessels taking to the city’s canals and drifting past the hundreds of thousands of revellers who line the waterways each year. The Canal Parade will take place on the 4 August this summer, the day before a gigantic concert draws one of Europe’s biggest parties to a close.

Brighton: 3 to 5 August 2018

Around 300,000 people visit the English seaside resort of Brighton every August for its famously exuberant Pride celebration, and this year will no different, especially since Britney Spears will be performing her Las Vegas stage show, Piece of Me, for the first time in Europe with a mega-gig at Preston Park.

Reykjavik: 7 to 12 August 2018

The organisers of Reykjavik’s Pride celebration aren’t wrong when they call it “one of the biggest little Pride parades in the world”. A third of the entire Icelandic population takes to the streets to express their solidarity with the LGBT+ community and attend the dozens of concerts, parties and literary events as well as the Saturday afternoon parade. Iceland was the first country in the world to elect an openly gay prime minister, and this is a chance to celebrate its openness.

Manchester: 24 to 27 August 2018

Few European cities are better known for their LGBT+ scene than Manchester, where the Gay Village blossomed around Canal Street in the 1990s and is now a capital of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture. As well as dozens of parties in the Gay Village and a dazzling parade on the Saturday afternoon, the festival includes a candlelit vigil for those lost to the HIV virus and the Superbia Weekend, a mini-festival devoted to the more cerebral side of LGBT+ culture.

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