Love is love: how to celebrate Pride around the world


Love is love: how to celebrate Pride around the world

In honour of the worldwide LGBT festival, we've sought out the sparkliest celebrations from San Fran to Shanghai…

Amelia Mularz

BY Amelia Mularz24 June 2018

We honour all kinds of couples and we’re proud to provide unforgettable experiences for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification. You’ll always be welcome at our hotels, whoever you are, no matter who shares your hotel room. Also, because we’re prone to flights of festival travel, we’ve rounded up some of the weekend’s Pride events in major cities around the would. Be proud and bon voyage!


Who doesn’t love a parade? Especially one awash with such rainbow-hued jubilance, with some head-turning costumes to boot. In addition to the weekend’s main event (which usually takes place in late June or early July), there’s an action-packed programme of events, ranging from the flamboyant and fun (drag shows, lip-sync-a-thons, queer pub quizzes) to the emotive and educational (dedicated art exhibitions, film screenings and talks), plus some outrageous after-parties.

The Stonewall Inn, New York - Mr & Mrs Smith


The one that started it all in 1970, when the city’s LGBTQ+ community marched to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This month-long celebration throughout June is attended by millions and kicks off an overflowing calendar of celebrations, from rallies to immersive meals to bike rides, plays, ballets… You’ll need some stamina, mind – and where better to fuel up for the parade (held on the last Sunday) than at Señor Frogs’ famed drag-centric brunch in Times Square (perhaps the only event that actually makes braving the 42nd Street crowds worth it). Don your biggest wig, most bedraggled fishnets and highest platforms. It’s frivolous good fun, but not without substance – the parade route still passes the Stonewall National Monument a poignant reminder of why Pride is so important.


‘Frisco’s Pride takes place over the last weekend in June, with the parade itself on the Sunday. It all kicked off with a ‘Gay-in’ in solidarity with NYC’s Pride progenitor and retains its radically inclusive spirit today. The city that claims the US’s (alleged) first gay bar, lesbian organisation and same-sex marriage licences – and where the Rainbow Flag was designed – is an excellent place to celebrate love in its myriad forms. Post-parade, make your way to Civic Center for a day full of inspirational performances and speakers, attend the official after-party at City Hall (book well in advance) and then let the de facto ‘gay capital of America’ lead you astray: dance your socks off at the Folsom Street Fair (AKA the ‘world’s biggest leather event’), hang out at the Harvey Milk-founded Castro Street Fair, then down lurid jello-shots on disco-ball-drenched dance floors till dawn.


Body paint, itsy-bitsy outfits, some outré takes on national dress: Mexico really brings it for Pride. The city’s own parade – that’s la marcha del orgullo in Español – is held on the last Saturday in June and has a grand finale in the Zócalo (the city’s main square), where festivities carry on through the night. The Zona Rosa ‘hood is a wellspring of Pride parties, too, where inclusive bars such as Nicho Bears and Kinky will put on quite the show.

Pride outfit - Mr & Mrs Smith


Over the course of 10 days, there are 150-plus events celebrating Norway’s LGBTQ+ citizens, culminating in the parade, which flows neatly into a party at Pride Park. This is the heart of the festival, where live music and DJ sets keep revellers entertained. Highbrow happenings (art shows, talks, community engagement) are held at Pride House in Youngstorget, too, and be sure to book ahead for the lavish Skeiv Natt closing party.


Naturally, this city of love welcomes it in all forms. The Marche des Fiertés LGBT is the apotheosis of a fortnight of celebration, where you can partake in roller-skating, picnics, vogue-offs and more in various arrondisements. Altruistic annual music festival Solidays does its thing, too – that being a weekend of sets from cutting-edge artists and scintillating talks – which benefits the fight against AIDS. So, what better reason to boogie?


The first ShanghaiPRIDE was a watershed moment for China’s LGBTQ+ community, giving them an annual platform through which to be heard. It’s a magical melee of parties, plus bike races, film screenings, and more cultured pursuits, including the 10-day ShanghaiPRIDE film festival. But, the fun doesn’t have to end there, as the organisers arrange drag nights, galas, pub crawls and other gatherings throughout the year.

Celebrate in style and feel full of Pride at our open-to-all hotels around the world