Barcelona for LGBT+ Individuals
Everything you have heard about how gay-friendly Barcelona feels is true. We have lived here for almost a year and a half now and have yet to encounter any kind of intolerance. This applies to our apartment building, our neighborhood, our daughter’s elementary school, our work environment, and any social gathering. This is not to say that there is no discrimination at all. It just means that we have not encountered it, which at least means it is not prevalent. Also, the city’s mayor, Ada Colau, is an openly bisexual woman now on her second term in office.
As far as gay neighborhoods are concerned, there is no one dedicated and/or recognized district, but most of the gay shops, restaurants, bars, etc. are contained around a few streets, which could be considered a “Barrio Gay.” It is located on Consell de Cent between Casanova and Aribau, on Diputació between Villarroel and Enrique Granados, and on Muntaner between Consell de Cent and Aragó. Additionally, there are other shops and bars along Calabria and Entença south of Gran Via, but the majority of gay entertainment seems to take place in the areas I described first. So, whether you want to just enjoy a nice meal and/or do some shopping in this area, or live in it, the neighborhood is packed with lots of downtime entertainment. Additionally, there is a great bookstore called Antinous (see more information under XYZ) at Casanova 72.
There are too many restaurants, cafes, and bars to rate here, but I would like to give a special mention to Bacon Bear Bar at Casanova 64, which is the only “bear” bar in the city, as well as the terrace bar at the Axel Hotel, which has great drinks, ambiance, and views.
As I wrote earlier, should you wish to live in the middle of, or near to, the gay area of the city, look for housing anywhere within a few blocks of the streets I mentioned earlier. Also, since Barcelona is a great walking city, you will enjoy the walk down to a restaurant, bar or shop in the gay ‘hood. That said, if you are sensitive to noise or traffic, you might want to stay away from Aragó when looking for an apartment. It is a large boulevard with traffic pretty much all day. All the other streets I mentioned are relatively quiet and there are bike lanes on both Diputació and Consell de Cent. The streets perpendicular to these do not have bike lanes until you reach Enrique Granados and Conte d’Urgell. The former is a well-designated two-way bike lane on a narrow street with almost no traffic which goes past many great cafes and restaurants.
Another important LGBT+ location is the “Centre LGBTI de Barcelona” on Comte Borrell 22 in the Sant Antoni neighborhood, which is about a 15 to 20-minute walk from the “Barrio Gay.” The Centre is a large facility that houses various organizations, as well as services and programs, such as LGBT Families, legal counseling, job search assistance and so on. Additionally, there is a great library with an adjacent playground 140 meters away at Comte Borrell 44.
The two closest (just blocks away) subway stations to this Barrio Gay are URGELL (Line 1) and UNIVERSITAT (Lines 1 and 2.) Both lines can connect you to most of the city efficiently and quickly. Additionally, there are several bus lines on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes just a block south of Diputació.
GETTING AWAY LGBT+
In addition to Barcelona’s LGBT options, the beautiful coastal town of Sitges is just a 40-minute ride, either by train or car, from Sants Estació, which is also close to the gay ‘hood. See the article on Sitges in this website.