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DIVA’S travel hacks and ad­ven­ture spots

Mon­treal, , Canada

“The most Lgbt-friendly place we’ve been is Mon­treal. We love to go for Osheaga, a sum­mer mu­sic fes­ti­val. Mon­treal has an area called the Gay Vil­lage, where the main street is pedes­tri­anised and lined with coloured or­na­ments (per­fect for a great Instagram pic­ture). A walk­ing tour through Old Mon­treal is also a must. The ar­chi­tec­ture is amaz­ing and it feels like you’re trav­el­ling through time.” Al­lie and Sam, coastal­cu­rios­

San Fran­cisco, US

“It may sound clichéd, but we re­ally love San Fran and felt right at home. With so many Lgbt-friendly bars, restau­rants and ho­tels to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice here. But if you want good weather, don’t visit in July! That’s when we went and thanks to San Fran­cisco’s weird mi­cro­cli­mate it was se­ri­ously windy and foggy the whole time. The best time of year to visit is around Oc­to­ber to Novem­ber, when it’s re­ally gor­geous.” Vic and Elaina, the­free­dom­trav­

Tel Aviv, Is­rael

“Who would think that a placee in the Mid­dle East would be not only gay-friendly, but so out­wardly gay? Tel Aviv hasas plenty of LGBT bars and the largest Pride in the Mid­dle East. There’s also a gay beach, which you can’t miss thanks to the rain­bow um­brel­las, and no­body raises an eyebrow when a same-sex cou­ple walks hand-in-hand through the city or cud­d­less up in a restau­rant. Tel Aviv is also amaz­ing for go­ing out: Is­raelis know how to party! The iconic Sh­p­a­gat bar is great on any day, but Wed­nes­day is girls’ night. Ama­zona Bar has girls’ nights on Thurs­days and on Fri­day af­ter­noon.” Dani, glo­be­trot­ter­

Bangkok, Thai­land

“Thai peo­ple are re­ally friendly, open and wel­com­ing to the queer com­mu­nity. They ad­mire and cel­e­brate LGBT peo­ple through festivals, pa­rades and cabarets. Don’t be afraid to be your­self and def­i­nitely don’t miss out on the la­dy­boy cabarets. They make you feel like you’re watch­ing Miss Uni­verse with all the beau­ti­ful and tal­ented la­dy­boys per­form­ing and look­ing fierce as ever.” Zoey and Mari, lezwan­derthe­

Tokyo, ja­pan

“Head to the breath­tak­ing Meiji Shrine and ex­plore the park sur­round­ing it. Then go to the Hara­juku area. It’s made up of quirky, lit­tle lanes filled with shops sell­ing their cute Ja­panese kawaii items and clothes. Next is lunchtime! Sushi in Ja­pan will blow your mind and it is lit­er­ally ev­ery­where, so dig in. Af­ter­wards, take a stroll over to the Shibuya area, drink cof­fee and play with adorable cats in the Mocha Cat Cafe. Spend the evening at the Ro­bot Restau­rant, where you’ll eat a tra­di­tional Ja­panese din­ner while watch­ing gi­ant neon LED flash­ing ro­bots dance, fight and sing: sounds crazy, but it’s so fun. Lastly, head to one of Tokyo’s best gay ar­eas, Shin­juku. Stop in Dorobune Les­bian Bar for a chilled-out drink and a cool place to meet peo­ple.” Vesna and Ge­or­gia, @nowl­et­slive


“Any day is best started with cof­fee and in Syd­ney, the cof­fee is amaz­ing ev­ery­where. We loved walk­ing around the city with caf­feine in hand. The Syd­ney Har­bour is iconic, and ev­ery trip to Syd­ney has to in­clude the Opera House, Har­bour Bridge, Botan­i­cal Gar­dens and the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art. The ac­ces­si­ble and in­ex­pen­sive pub­lic trans­port makes it easy to get to pretty much any part of the city. Syd­ney also has some great beaches, per­fect for an af­ter­noon rest. Our favourite was Bondi, with Manly be­ing a close sec­ond. You can hop on the ferry to get to Manly, but don’t for­get water and sun­screen. We spent most of our evenings in New­town. They have a thriv­ing gay com­mu­nity and lots of LGBT bars to hit up. On Wed­nes­day nights there’s a les­bian event called Bird­cage –a must for all queer ladies.” Al­lie and Sam, coastal­cu­rios­

New York, US

“Start your day with a run in Cen­tral Park, fol­lowed by a fab­u­lous brunch at 44 & X in Hell’s Kitchen, a gor­geous spot pop­u­lar with LGBT New York­ers and vis­i­tors. Head down to 34th street and walk the el­e­vated park, the High Line, all the way to the end – it brings you right into the West Vil­lage where you can visit the Stonewall Inn LGBT Me­mo­rial. Christo­pher Park is right across the street with its gay and les­bian sculp­tures. Visit the West Vil­lage and do some shop­ping in the quirky stores around Bleecker and Mac­dou­gal Street. Later, drop by the Cub­by­hole, New York’s in­fa­mous les­bian bar. If you feel like danc­ing, head over to Boots & Sad­dle, Stonewall Inn or Henrietta Hud­son.” Dani, glo­be­trot­ter­

Key West, US

“The sub-trop­i­cal is­land city of Key West is amaz­ing for LGBT trav­ellers all year round. Nearly a quar­ter of res­i­dents are LGBT and the of­fi­cial motto is “one hu­man fam­ily”. Be­tween all the snorkelling and sun­set sails, you work up quite an ap­petite. Try a big-ole Amer­i­can brunch com­plete with ba­con, eggs sunny-side up and pan­cakes, served Key West-style: with a drag show on the side. Visit the four-sided rain­bow cross­walk in the heart of Old Town Key West. Other high­lights are Women­fest Key West in Septem­ber and the Head­dress Ball dur­ing the rau­cous Fan­tasy Fest in Oc­to­ber. And I rec­om­mend stay­ing at one of the His­toric Key West Inns, which are es­pe­cially wel­com­ing to same-sex trav­ellers.” Shirley,

Koh Tao, Thai­land

“My girl­friend and I shared a cou­ple of sun­set beers and we were al­most the only ones on the beach. The sun set right in front of us, colour­ing the sky in the most in­tense shades of red and or­ange. My heart was so full of love in that mo­ment, for her, for Thai­land and for our first back­pack­ing trip to­gether.” Dani, glo­be­trot­ter­

The Blue Moun­tains, Aus­tralia

“We love to be out­doors and ex­plore. We used Airbnb and rented a lit­tle cam­per high in the moun­tains. It was so cosy and the per­fect break from tech­nol­ogy to just spend time to­gether and re­con­nect.” Al­lie and Sam, coastal­cu­rios­

Si­hanoukville, Cam­bo­dia

“Imag­ine sand so soft and white that it squeaks un­der your toes, crys­tal clear water and... cats. We spent the evening in Otres Beach with our new furry friends, watch­ing the most spec­tac­u­lar sun­set as we dan­gled our legs from a swing at­tached to a tree. We spent the night in our pri­vate beach hut for a rum­ble (of thun­der - it’s a trop­i­cal cli­mate) as the rain pat­ted down on the roof.” Hol­lie and Claire, hol­sand­


“The most ro­man­tic place we have vis­ited would have to be Cuba. Spend­ing the evenings walk­ing down the beach as the sun sets is just beau­ti­ful and def­i­nitely some­thing we will never for­get.” Jess and So­phie, @jes­sand­so­phie

Paris, France

“We’d had a few cham­pagnes wait­ing for the rain to pass. It wasn’t let­ting up, but we headed to the Pont Alexan­dre III bridge and Vic popped the ques­tion! Paris in the rain, it doesn’t get more ro­man­tic than that.” Vic and Elaina, the­free­dom­trav­

Gili Is­lands, In­done­sia

“The sun­sets are gor­geous, the water is clear as day and you’re sur­rounded by na­ture. The only form of trans­porta­tion avail­able is horse­back and you can walk the en­tire perime­ter of each is­land in just a cou­ple of hours.” Zoey and Mari, lezwan­derthe­

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