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Where to celebrate Pride in Europe 2022

written by Cliona Elliott April 10, 2022
People marching in a Pride parade

Parades, parties and a whole lot of pizzazz. With European summer just around the corner, it’s time to get your Pride plans in check for 2022.

You can’t beat a European summer. Where else can you enjoy balmy evenings eating tapas in narrow cobbled streets, sip on wine in ancient squares while listening to local buskers, cruise around cities in water taxis, or listen to jazz in ancient Roman amphitheatres? There are only a few things that could make your European summer adventure even better, and one of them is Pride.

Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or you simply want to show your allyship, here’s our guide on the best European cities to celebrate Pride this summer.

1. Paris, France

Traffic on the Champ Elyees in Paris

Oh, Paris. The City of Love. The romance of the French capital oozes through the streets just as much as the smell of freshly baked croissants and coffee. So, what better place to celebrate love in all its forms. This year Paris’s Pride Parade, or Marche des Fiertés, will take place on Saturday 25 June. Join half a million people to march the streets followed by a huge free party in Place de la République. Keep your eyes peeled for heaps of other Pride events across the Marais district throughout June – think queer roller skating, bingo, free concerts, exhibitions and more.

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2. Madrid, Spain

Madrid's Puerta de Alcalá Gate lit up in Pride colours

Madrid knows how to throw a feisty fiesta, so expect nothing less for Pride. The Spanish capital will host its famous MADO Madrid Orgullo from 1-10 July 2022 in the bustling Chueca neighbourhood where you’ll find the city’s most gay-friendly bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes. Make sure you keep your diary free on Saturday 9 July 2022 for the annual Madrid Pride Parade from Atocha Station to Plaza de Colon along Paseo Del Prado.

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3. Berlin, Germany

An aerial view of Berlin's city skyline

Berlin is one of Europe’s most LGBTQIA+ friendly cities, so it comes as no surprise the Pride celebrations here are something to rave about. The annual Christopher Street Day (CSD) Pride Parade has been celebrated since 1979 and has grown to be one of the biggest in Europe. Join hundreds of thousands of people on 23 July to march through Berlin’s electric streets, dance to DJs cranking the tunes on the back of colourful floats, and party until the wee hours at one of the city’s incredible afterparties.

4. London, United Kingdom

Colourful balloons at London's Pride Parade

2022 is a special year for London’s LGBTQIA+ community as it marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride celebration in the UK. This year’s theme is ‘Jubilee’ to mark Queen Elizabeth’s II Platinum Jubilee on 2 June. Join thousands of revellers at the nation’s biggest and boldest Pride parade on Saturday 2 July, and make sure you don’t miss out on the free concerts in Trafalgar Square and the West End. This year will also feature the 10th anniversary of Pride’s Got Talent showcasing some of the UK’s most incredible queer artists, musicians and performers.

5. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Pride is the largest Pride celebration in Scandinavia. This year’s theme is ‘Time to Confess Colour’ so expect the event organisers and crowds to pull out all the stops when it comes to the visuals. The week-long celebration will take place from 1-7 August including an open-air festival, a parade through central Stockholm (Saturday 6 August), a pride market, and workshops and political debates in Pride House.

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6. Brussels, Belgium

Bright neon lights lighting up old buildings in Brussels

After a short hiatus due to COVID-19, Pride Belgium is back – and it’s bigger and better than ever. Keep 21 May free as this is when Belgium‘s LGBTQIA+ community will be hitting Brussels streets for the Belgium Pride Parade. Expect a weekend of creativity and fun at Rainbow Village and countless parties across the city. This year’s theme is ‘OPEN’ to push for more inclusiveness, respect and equality for all people. Amen.

7. Amsterdam, Netherlands

People waving flags at the Amsterdam Canal Pride Parade

Amsterdam is a cracker of a city at the best of times, and even more so during Pride. This year’s theme for Pride Amsterdam is ‘My Gender, My Pride’ which aims to broaden the conversations and amplify the voices around gender identities and everyone’s right to self-determination. The highlight is undoubtedly the famous Canal Parade (Saturday 6 August) where you can watch elaborately decorated boats and barges (in every theme imaginable!) cruise through the city’s usually peaceful canals. There’s also the annual Pride Walk and the Pride Park festival in the gorgeous Vondelpark on 30 July.

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8. Prague, Czech Republic

A lively square in the Czech Republic's historic Old Town

It might only be in its 11th year, but Prague knows how to celebrate Pride. Prague Pride is one of the most LGBTQIA+ friendly events in Central and Eastern Europe with a whole week of debates, parties, exhibitions, free concerts and its very own Pride Village on Střelecký Island. The star of the show is the parade – taking place on Saturday 15 August – where you can march through the historic city centre followed by an open-air party in Letna Park overlooking the picturesque River Vltava.

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What’s the meaning of the rainbow flag?

Most people recognise the bright colours of the rainbow flags as a symbol of LGBTQIA+ Pride. While there are many variations of the flag to represent different groups within the community – like the bisexual flag, the lesbian flag, the pansexual flag, etc. – the same colours are used to symbolise certain values. Red represents life, orange is healing, yellow is sunshine, green represents nature, blue is harmony, purple is spirit, black and brown represent the BIPOC community, and light blue and pink for the trans community.

If you’d like to celebrate Pride in one of these amazing cities, check out our Europe tours this summer.

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