For the queer tourist Madrid had often been in the shadow of the more fancy and fashionable Barcelona. Sure, the very unique architecture in Barcelona is something that Madrid can not compete with. But Madrid isn’t short on sights, museums and world-renowned art galleries either.
And while the atmosphere in Barcelona tends to become similar to Paris or Milano and a bit snobbish, Madrid is pure Spain and the guys have more fun smiling and flirting. Not surprisingly Madrid has become an insider tip for party guys from all over Europe.
Due to the very progressive laws of gay marriage and anti-discrimination, approved by Spain’s government and parliament in 2005, Madrid was chosen to host the EuroPride 2007. The parade in the very center of Madrid – with more than a million participants and visitors – became the hottest and most colourful gay pride parade Europe has ever seen.
Annual gay highlights in Madrid are the international fetish weekend Sleazy Madrid in spring, Madrid Gay Pride in July, the gay film festival LesGaiCineMad in November and the international bears week Mad.Bear in December.
The center of Madrid’s gay scene is in the Chueca district. Most of the gay bars, cafes and shops and some smaller clubs are located in or close to Chueca.