6 Gay-Friendly cities in Brazil (and what to do in each of them)


You’ve probably heard that Brazil is one of the friendliest places in the world for gay tourism, and that sure ain’t no lie. Aside from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, there are a lot more places that offer a safe environment for LGBTQI+ people to enjoy themselves without worrying about respect or acceptance.

Cities like Florianópolis, Salvador, Recife, and Manaus are just a few examples of recognized gay-friendly places you can visit in Brazil, each one offering tons of gay-oriented entertainment to the community.

So, do you want to know what are some of the other gay-friendly hotspots in Brazil so you can start planning your next trip?

Make sure you check out this post all the way to the end, as I’ll be adding all kinds of options for you to get a little taste of what’s waiting for you!

Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Being elected a few times as one of the best gay-friendly destinations in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro has several LGBTQI oriented business establishments and even travel agencies designed for the community.

The beach of Ipanema is undoubtedly a gay highlight, mainly due to the carioca (check this post if you don’t know what this means) lifestyle and beach bods running around everywhere.

So aside from the beautiful natural paradisiac sights, gay tourists are especially attracted to how friendly Rio locals can be, making this a mandatory spot to visit while in Brazil.   

The rainbow flag at the Ipanema beach: safe haven for LGBTQI+ to soak up the sun and have some fun – Wikicommons | Jeff Belmonte

Where to Go and What do Do:

Carnival Parade

This one sure had to be at the top of our gay-friendly things to do in Rio, right? Carnival moves millions of people every year, attracting tons of tourists to the biggest party in the world.

A lot of the blocos (how the street Carnival marching bands are called in Brazil) are targeted at and by LGBTQI+ people, showing that there’s no room for intolerance in this beautiful celebration.

Bloco “Bunytos de Corpo” playing gay classic Spice Girls song “Wannabe” (the audio on this video is LOUD!)

Farme de Amoedo Street (Ipanema Beach)

A well known gay-friendly street in the Ipanema district, Farme de Amoedo is packed with bars and restaurants that locals usually go to have a few warm drinks before hitting the big clubs or after soaking up the sun at the beach.

The Week Rio Nightclub

The biggest gay club in Rio is massive, with three dance floors with different music genres to keep your party going all night long.

The place features go-go dancers, open areas for smokers, and the best local DJs. Make sure to check The Weeks website to find out more about the special guests in the club’s future schedule.

Lapa

Lapa is located in downtown Rio is although the area is not 100% LGBTQI+ oriented, it houses many gay-friendly establishments, like bars and nightclubs. There’s a very famous pub called Buraco da Lacraia that features drag shows and many other entertainment acts.

This video can offer a little glimpse of the many entertainment spots in Lapa, the city’s ultimate hotspot.

If you are a foodie, check out our post about where to eat in Rio as a local (we don’t really have barbeque all the time).

Juiz de Fora

Unknown even to locals, this city three hours away from Rio de Janeiro has been advocating for LGBTQI+ rights and wellbeing for a long time now, even being the stage for the annual Miss Gay Brasil contest, which drag artist Pabblo Vittar was the main act for the year of 2019.

Going to Juiz de Fora can be a great day or weekend trip from Rio, especially if you plan to attend their Pride Parade, the biggest one in Brazil after São Paulo’s.

Also, watch out for:

  • Rainbow Kiosk (Copacabana)
  • Galeria Café Pub (Ipanema)
  • Abricó Nudist Beach (Guaratiba)
  • TV Bar (Copacabana)

São Paulo, SP

São Paulo holds the biggest annual gay pride parade in Brazil and one of the biggest in the world and rightfully so.

Being one of the most populated cities in the country, São Paulo has a lot of diversity and laws protecting the queer community, as well as physical support centers to help and support LGBTQI+ people.

The nightlife in São Paulo is one neverending party, having options for everybody looking for a good time.

Where To Go and What To Do:

São Paulo Gay Parade

Since its debut in 1997, the SP Gay Parade has been the stage for a fight for equality in Brazil. The parade is considered one of the most significant LGBTQI+ manifestations in the world.

The 2011 edition set the record for attendance, having had over 4 million people marching the streets.

Every year, thousands of people fill the streets in São Paulo trying to make a change in gay rights – Wikicommons | Ben Tavener

LGBTQI+ Museum

This admission-free museum is called Sexual Diversity Museum, and it’s a landmark in the city’s gay culture and history. It features special exhibitions from time to time and it’s a must-go if you want to get into São Paulo’s iconic fight for gay rights.

Augusta Street

Filled with bars, pubs, and nightclubs, this street is usually packed during the weekends, and it’s a favorite place for locals to meet up friends and have a good time.

The scene here is very diverse, offering options for pop heads but also housing many underground places.

LGBTQI+ Hotels

If you want to make sure you’re staying in a place completely prejudice-free, São Paulo has many options for you.

With gay-friendly hotels like Hotel Belas Artes, Hotel Unique, and Ibis hotel chain Paulista and Frei Caneca branches, you’ll surely find the best spot to enjoy your stay in the city.

Also, Watch Out For:

  • São Paulo Carnival Parade
  • Praça Roosevelt (Downtown)
  • Lions nightclub (República)

Belo Horizonte, MG

Belo Horizonte (or for the closest friends, “BH”) has been showing love to the LGBTQI+ community for a long time and is now considered as one of the best gay-friendly destinations in the country.

Aside from nightclubs and bars, Belo Horizonte also offers some great daytime options for you to enjoy your trip, earning the second spot in cities with most gay-friendly places in the country after São Paulo.

Where To Go and What To Do:

Savassi

The Savassi area is a large plaza filled with gay-friendly bars and restaurants, as well as nightclubs, being the #1 hotspot for the town’s nightlife.

Look out for Fifty Bar, Royalty Club, and Josefine. No need for plans here, just head down to Savassi and you’ll surely find something exciting.

Café com Letras

This gay-friendly jazz bar is also located in the Savassi area but deserves its own topic for having such a unique vibe.

Either you choose to have a cup of coffee or a few beers, you’ll be able to enjoy live performances from local artists as well as art shows and a lot of entertainment.

Inhotim

Not exactly gay-oriented but very open to diversity and to the LGBTQI+ community, Inhotim is a huge open-air museum located right outside BH. It houses the biggest contemporary art collection in the country.

Make sure to arrive early, as just one day may not be enough to visit all the attractions and sites.

There’s a special bus you can take at the city’s bus station that will take you straight to Inhotim, so make sure to look into more details at Inhotim’s website if you’re interested in checking out their schedules.

Just one of the many art sites in the Inhotim área, you can spend all day in this beautiful place not only looking at art but also experiencing it. – Wikicommons |
Vinicius Depizzol

Cassino da Kayete

This local gay-friendly radio show is a total hit in Belo Horizonte, with host and drag queen performer Kayete in charge of very funny interviews and game rounds with the callers.

It became so big that it was transformed into a comedy play, so definitely keep an eye out for this if you’re looking for some laughs while in town.

You can also listen to their podcasts on this link if you want to practice your Portuguese.

Also, Watch Out For:

  • Downtown BH (similar to Savassi)
  • Gis Club (Barro Preto)
  • Mineiro Bill (Padre Eustáquio)
  • Pampulha Lagoon

Florianópolis, SC

Also known as the “Island of Wonders”, Florianópolis holds a spot in the most gay-friendly destinations in Brazil for a while now. Packed with exuberant beaches, this city even was reported by the NYC Times in 2009 as one of the LGBTQI+ places to be while in Brazil.

Where To Go and What To Do

Jivago Social Club

Wanna just sit with your friends and chill over a drink, maybe play a few arcade games, or even dance the night away at a completely safe LGBTQI+-friendly place?

Jivago Social Club can help you with all of the above. You can even try out your inner pop idol at the karaokê bar, so this is definitely a fun must-go while in the city.

Mole Beach

Also known as Florianopolis gay spot by the sea, this is one of the many paradisaic beaches you’ll find in the city, especially in the far left end of the beach (look out for Bar do Zeca).

You can also take a trail from here to a nudist beach called Praia da Galheta, with many people calling it the most beautiful beach in Florianopolis.

Mole beach and Galheta (on the background) – Flickr | Papa Pic

Rosa beach

The beaches in Florianópolis are the stage to many surfing competitions and Praia do Rosa holds the annual Gay Surf Brazil Competition, focused on LGBTQI+  athletes from all around the world. If you’re a sports lover, this one is definitely a must-see.

Lagoa da Conceição

Mainly known as a place that gathers everything from arts, sports, and good food, you’ll find tons of options along the coast of the lagoon, so you can eat, drink and enjoy yourself with a very nice view.

Lagoa da Conceição – Flickr | Rodrigo Soldon

Jurerê

Also known as the Brazilian Miami, this beach is a favorite amongst the rich and the famous, so it’s very common to spot people being dropped at parties in their helicopters and Ferraris.

If you’re looking to party to some quality electronic music, make sure to check the gay-friendly clubs in Jurerê.

The Jurerê Open Shopping not only has lots of stores you can buy in but also holds concerts and musical performances. – Wikicommons | Josue Marinho

Also, Watch Out For:

  • Lagoinha do Leste
  • LGBTQI+ Gay Pride Parade
  • Conca Club
  • 1007 Club

Salvador, BA

The Carnival party in Bahia is also internationally known for being very accepting of LGBQTI+ people, with an increasing number of blocos (street marching bands) focused on the public each year.

Also famous for the many paradisiac beaches and axé music (check our post on what Brazilians listen to if you don’t know this Brazilian music style), Salvador is sure worth the visit.

Where To Go and What To Do

Praia do Porto da Barra

The #1 spot on the beach for LGBTQI+ people has one been pointed out by The Guardian as one of the best beaches in the world and once you get there, you’ll quickly find out why.

The calm waves and cool transparent water makes the perfect scenario for swimming and watching a damn amazing sunset – Wikicommons | Luan

Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB)

The Grupo Gay da Bahia (Bahia Gay Group) is a non-profit organization that houses the biggest gay-themed archive in South America, being consisted of letters, newspaper cut-outs, vídeos, pictures, and books.

It holds weekly meetings for open debates on sensitive topics to the community, as well as provides the S.O.S Gay services for filing reports on gay crimes/offenses.

Morro de São Paulo

Morro de São Paulo is a city about 1 hour away from Salvador, attracting tourists not only because of its drop-dead gorgeous beaches but also for holding a gay-friendly festival called San Island Weekend.

Brazilian singer and advocate for gay-rights Ivete Sangalo is one of the producers of the festival, also taking the stage to make you dance nonstop alongside a powerhouse line-up of artists.

Breathtaking aerial view of the whole town – Wikicommons | André Urel

Carnival Parade

Aside from the many gay-friendly blocos that roam around the city, Bahia also holds a Gay Costume Contest and a Carnival ball called Baile dos Artistas, both being LGBTQI+ staples in the city’s annual Carnival celebration.

Party all day and all night: after the sun sets, just turn on your neon lights and keep the party going! – Flickr | Rodrigo Sa

Also, Watch Out For:

  • All Club Lounge & Bar (Pelourinho)
  • Jardim de Alah (Pituba)
  • Melancia Blue Club (Barra)
  • Gamboa Nova Theater (Aflitos)

Fernando de Noronha, PE

Considered by the country’s Tourism Ministry as one of the most gay-friendly spots in the country, this archipelagus is a stunner.

If you’re looking for a romantic trip, this is definitely a place to look more in to, not only because of the paradisiac landscape but also because it holds the annual LGBTQI+ festival Love Noronha.

It’s worth mentioning that Fernando de Noronha makes for a more expensive trip, as some beaches are entry-charged and there’s also a daily fee for island preservation.

However, if you are looking for a romantic trip, why not take a look at our post about honeymoons in Brazil? We give you one suggestion per month of the year so that you can have the perfect trip year-round!

Where To Go and What To Do

Sancho Beach

Having been consistently ranked for several years as the most beautiful beach in the world, Sancho Beach is perfect for diving and getting more in touch with nature. You can get there by land or take a boat ride and enjoy the scenery.

The Porto do Santo Antonio beach is also very known for being gay friendly, as well as being the parting point for touristic boat rides.

Sancho beach, one of the best beaches in the world – Canva

Bar do Cachorro

Open for over 30 years and still going strong, Bar do Cachorro is a gay-friendly spot in which you’ll be able to enjoy different kinds of parties almost every day.

The club has even held concerts by Pabblo Vittar, so make sure you check their schedule to find out more about what’s going down.

Love Noronha Festival

The Love Noronha festival is a four-day party that includes fashion shows, concerts, different dancefloors, and above all, love for the LGBTQI+ community. The party has gotten so big that even Britain’s tourism office has sponsored the event. This is just another reason to check it out.

Also, Watch Out For:

  • Praia do Leão
  • O Pico bar (Floresta Nova)
  • Muzenza pizza parlor
  • Bar da Dice (Três Paus)

Well, now that you have all the information you need to make a safe and fabulous trip to Brazil, don’t forget to check out our post if you want to find out more about historical places in Brazil and what else you can do while visiting!

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Credit Cover Image: Wikicommons | Eddo

Ana

Hi, I am Ana, the creator of this blog. I am Brazilian and currently live outside of Brazil. I love traveling, eating and learning about new cultures. I hope the contents of my blog can help you with those things as well!

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