Gay Barcelona: A Gay Mediterranean Paradise

Its said that during the years of the repressive Franco regime, the attitude towards homosexuality in Barcelona was generally more accepting than in other major Spanish citiesperhaps demonstrating, even back then, the independent spirit and character for which the autonomous region of Catalonia is famous. No wonder an estimated 150,000 gay travelers from all over the world flock to this Mediterranean port each year.

Today Barcelona gay life revolves around the L'Eixample district, also known as Gaixample thanks to the growing number of queer folks who have settled there over the past three decades. The gayborhood is bordered by Carrer de Balmes and Gran Via de los Cortes Catalanes, and much of its gay-friendly shopping, dining and nightlife lies along Carrer de Diputaci. LExample also counts as one of the citys most bustling commercial and touristic zones. Attractions like Gauds Casa Mil and the trendy shopping promenade Passeig de Gracia draw heavy daytime foot traffic, making it a prime area for beautiful people watching. And with so many restaurants, bars and nightclubs to choose from, LEixamples remains abuzz with activity through the evening and well into morning.

The gay scene is hardly the only reason to visit or live here. Barcelonas cosmopolitan vibe and architectural magnificence serve as a kind of designed backdrop to daily life. Whether strolling down Las Ramblas promenade, exploring the windy streets of the Gothic Quarter or scoping out the art scene of La Raval, theres no escaping the specatacular mix of classical and modernist architecture that makes Barcelona such a visually striking city. From the phallic Agbar Tower to the surrealist playground at Park Gell, the city is landscaped from end to end like a vast parkland, making every section of town worth touring. Again and again.