Valencia is a friendly and open-minded city, where everybody is made to feel welcome, whatever their sexuality. For many years the city has had a thriving gay scene with many bars and clubs proudly displaying the rainbow flag. And the annual LGBT Pride celebration has become a major event where everybody, locals and visitors alike, join in the party.
On Saturday 24th June, the streets of Valencia will fill with colour during the Pride Parade. Expect drag queens in their finest outfits and plenty of noise and multicoloured flags, but above all, a joyous atmosphere as the parade goes through the city centre, starting at 7.30pm at Puerta de la Mar.
The parade will end at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Square), where the biggest party of all will then unfold: the Fiesta del Orgullo LGBT, starting at 9.30pm. Get ready to dance well into the small hours to party tunes by a selection of the best local DJs and artists.
But of course, the LGBT Pride celebrations in Valencia don’t last just one day, but over a whole month! Throughout June, the city has played host to an LGBT Film Festival, concerts, book presentations, special theatre performances and exhibitions. Some of these will remain open for longer, such as the Homoalphabet exhibition by local artist Ricard Huerta at the University of Valencia (until 12th July) or Joc, at the Carmen Cultural Centre, by artists Vinz Feel Free and Txema Rodriguez (running until September).
And on 28th June, the Diputación de Valencia (provincial government) building in the historic city centre will light up with the colours of the rainbow flag to celebrate International LGBT Pride Day. The date commemorates a significant event that took place in New York in 1969, when police raided a famous gay bar, triggering the spontaneous reaction of the LGBT community in defence of their right to be accepted and treated just like anybody else, something that continues to this very day.
Finally, on 8th July, the party will move to the seaside with the No Closet Summer Festival taking place from 8pm to 3am at the Marina of Valencia.
Visiting Valencia during any of these events may be special, but members of the LGBT community will have a ball in Valencia any other time. Besides enjoying the beaches, the historic sights, the shops or the fantastic restaurants in the city, they can also check out the lively gay scene. There is no confined gay area in Valencia and great gay-friendly bars and clubs can be found throughout the city. Try some of these:
- Trapezzio Café (Músico López Chávarri 2): a gay-friendly café bar in the Barrio del Carmen with a large terrace, perfect for the summer nights.
- Deseo 54 (Pepita 15): upmarket discotheque with a young clientele, regularly featuring top national and international DJs.
- Nuncadigono (Turia 22): a gay cruise club near the Botanical Gardens, with dark rooms, a maze, swings and naked nights.
- Pub Bubu (Botánico 7): a friendly gay bar for bears, mature men and friends, with occasional parties and special events.
- Som Com Som (Cádiz 75): a night bar for lesbians in the trendy Ruzafa district, offering drinks, games, and even salsa lessons.
- Planet Valencia (Sueca 63): great cocktails and music in Ruzafa, popular with girls looking for girls.
- Piccadilly Downtown Club (Tomasos 14): a very popular club in Ruzafa to dance all night long to the best indie, techno and pop tunes.
Happy LGBT Pride Day!