17 July 2024

Athens, an LGBTQ+ Friendly city

In an effort to promote Greece as a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers, Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni recently entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation with Queer Destinations, a leading player in LGBTQ+ tourism. This initiative follows the recent legalization of same-sex marriage and adoption in Greece, highlighting the country’s commitment to equality and inclusivity. Queer Destinations, endorsed by the IGLTA (International LGBTQ+ Tourism Association), serves as a link connecting businesses, institutions, and destinations with the LGBTQ+ community. Minister Kefalogianni emphasized Greece’s dedication to creating a welcoming environment for all travelers, aligning with the country’s core principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion within the tourism sector.


30 years ago, the island of Mykonos was a transformative experience for many, offering a sense of liberation to LGBTQ+ travelers with its vibrant queer beaches and bars. This newfound freedom resonated deeply with individuals like myself, providing a level of acceptance and openness that was sometimes lacking in other parts of the world, including London where I grew up. Over the years, Greece’s LGBTQ+ community has navigated a challenging path towards equality, culminating in a significant milestone this month.

In a historic decision, Greece recently became the first Christian Orthodox-majority nation to legalize same-sex marriage, marking a significant step towards LGBTQ+ rights in the region. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the new law, which also permits same-sex couples to adopt children, as a bold move that addresses a longstanding inequality. With this progressive legislation, Greece now stands alongside 35 other countries worldwide that recognize same-sex marriage. The country’s ranking on the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Index, where it places 11th, reflects its commitment to LGBTQ+ equality, surpassing the UK at 15 but trailing behind Malta, which leads the rankings.

Despite the delayed implementation of marriage equality compared to some nations, Greece has made significant strides in LGBTQ+ rights, with laws protecting individuals against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. The country legalized homosexuality in 1951 and passed a law allowing civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 2015. In 2017, transgender individuals gained the right to change their legal gender without surgery, and in 2018, same-sex couples were granted the right to be foster parents.

Athens has been hosting Athens Pride events since 2005, with Thessaloniki also holding its own pride celebration. Many Greek islands are known for being gay-friendly destinations, making Greece a welcoming and inclusive place for the LGBTQ+ community

Click here for your guide to LGBTQ+ guide to Athens 

1 Comment

  • […] Embassies and representatives from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, and many more countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have come together to express their support for the LGBTQ+ community in Greece. […]

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