Is Portugal LGBT Friendly?
Portugal is known as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. LGBT people have access to a variety of rights, such as gay marriage and adoption. Cities like Porto and Lisbon are accepting and have a large LGBT community.
While most LGBT rights laws are progressive, we're not going to sweeten that. The views of Portuguese society tend to reflect homophobia and transphobia. As in most of the world, LGBT people are still discriminated against. Unfortunately, gay couples and trans people can still be yelled at in the streets, even in the capital. In fact, of the incidents of discrimination reported to ILGA Portugal in 2020, most of them were verbal insults and threats. Despite being known to be more receptive, Lisbon (32%) and Porto (15%) had the most reported incidents of discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT people. The Azores, for example, had 0 reports. This does not mean that discrimination does not occur, but rather that it is not reported, or that LGBT people tend to move to urban areas. ILGA also found that 79% of young people witnessed anti-LGBT bullying.
Still, queer people in Portugal persevered for decades and built a beautiful community. One that, as an LGBT expat, you will be welcomed with open arms.
More LGBT-friendly places in Portugal
Lisbon is one of the most LGBT friendly European capitals, with emphasis on the areas of Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real. The city is filled with iconic gay bars and an underground drag scene, as well as a diverse community of queer people. One of the oldest cities in Western Europe, Lisbon has always had an underground gay scene. In the eighteenth century, the writer William Beckford fled England after claims that he was gay and moved to Sintra, in Greater Lisbon. Today, Lisbon is a welcoming European capital for LGBT people, hosting Gay Pride every year in June. Birthplace of Amália Rodrigues, the iconic fado singer, Lisbon is rich in culture, history and breathtaking views.
The second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, Porto is home to an underground LGBT scene. Although the city has fewer bars and activities for LGBT people than the capital, the community has built a home for itself with iconic places like the Invictus drag club and the Pride Coffee gay café. Still underground, the city has many queer saunas such as the Camões Sauna and the Thermas 205 Sauna. Porto is also one of the most visited places in Portugal by tourists and was elected Best European Destination in 2010 and 2014. . From traditional Portuguese activities such as Port wine tasting, to historical attractions, to activities to do with children, the city has a lot to offer. See here our complete guide to Porto.
While many think only Lisbon and Porto have a vibrant LGBT scene, the Algarve region has always been a safe haven for gay immigrants and retirees. This region is geared towards tourists and is very internationalized. From luxury to affordable restaurants, amazing hotels and gay clubs, and the country's best beaches, the Algarve is the perfect LGBT getaway, with LGBT-oriented retreats and hotels founded by LGBT people. The best cities to visit as an LGBT tourist are Tavira, Lagos, Albufeira and Portimão