6 of the best Pride Festivals: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Culture Around the World

Pride is a time for celebration and bringing together the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Annual pride events can be a great way to share LGBTQ+ joy, but it’s also important to remember that the first Pride wasn’t a festival, it was a protest, and that many LGBTQ+ people around the globe are still fighting for equal rights.

Here's the lowdown of some of the best pride festivals around the globe, and the dates for the 2024 pride celebrations. So LGBQT+ folks and allies unite, it’s time to celebrate all sexualities and gender identities across the world!


London Pride celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, celebrating the inaugural Pride event on 1st July 1972, led by the Gay Liberation Front. The original date was chosen as the closest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, which happened three years previous.

Today, London attracts over 1.5 million spectators to its Pride festival, who line the streets to watch the 30,000-strong parade. The parade route passes many iconic London landmarks, starting in Hyde Park, and passing Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.

Concerts are hosted in Trafalgar Square, and the party continues in the central London gay village of Soho. This year’s Pride in London is happening on 29th June.

New York

New York Pride is perhaps the most significant Pride in the world due to its origin. In 1969, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan—a haven for LGBTQ+ people—was raided by police. This led to riots as the LGBTQ+ community fought back, notoriously led by Martha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman, who paved the way for the LGBTQ+ movement for equal rights.

Pride celebrations around the world and World Pride Day are now centred around the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, with New York Pride taking place on the last Sunday in June every year. In 2019, the 50th anniversary of the riots was marked with 4 million people in attendance—making it the largest parade in North America.

New York Pride in 2024 will take place on Sunday June 30th, themed as ‘Reflect. Empower. Unite’. The organizers have said this is a call to action, to reflect on the past and continue to ignite change.

Events at this year’s pride party include the parade, a street festival, and Youth Pride—celebrating LGBTQ+ youth—in Brooklyn’s Domino Park. The march will begin from 25th Street and 5th Avenue at 11 am.


Madrid’s Pride festival, or ‘Orgullo Gay de Madrid’ happens on the first Saturday in July every year. The festivities start on Wednesday, building up to the huge parade on Saturday afternoon. Madrid’s pride event is one of the biggest celebrations in Europe, and globally too.

In 2017, Madrid hosted World Pride, bringing together many nationalities under the Spanish sun to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture.

Celebrations happen throughout the city, centred in Chueca—Madrid’s gay quarter. The parade itself on Saturday travels through the city center, from Atocha train station through to Plaza de Colón. Outdoor stages full of entertainment are set up in plazas across the city, giving the already vibrant capital a new lease of life.

One quirk of Madrid Pride is the famous ‘high-heel race’ which happens across the cobbled streets of the city. Participants race in high heels, with a minimum height of 6 inches! It’s a great spectacle that many locals and visitors gather to watch every year. With prize money up for grabs, and fantastic costumes on display, it’s not one to miss!

Madrid Pride week takes place from Friday 28th June Sunday 6th July 2024.

São Paulo

São Paulo Pride officially holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest pride festival—attracting over 3 million people from Brazil and overseas. The event takes place every year on the Sunday after the Corpus Christi holiday.

São Paulo Pride is a five-day event, but the build-up starts three weeks prior with markets, pairs, performances, debates and more.

The parade itself is a vibrant, colorful affair, which begins at Consolaçao Street and ends downtown in Roosevelt Square. For tourists and locals alike, the sheer amount of people coming together to celebrate transforms the city during the Pride party.

São Paulo Pride this year is on May 30th - June 2nd.


The Icelandic capital has celebrated Pride every year since 1999, when 1,500 showed up in support of LGBTQ+ rights. Today, Reykjavik’s Pride Festival attracts over 100,000 people!

Iceland has an excellent track record for LGBTQ+ rights; the 2023 Equaldex LGBT Equality Index ranked Iceland as the number one LGBTQ+ friendly country in the world, considering several factors such as legal rights and freedom for gay and transgender people, public opinion and safety.

For that reason, it’s no surprise that the small nation’s pride event is a great celebration for the country. The week-long festival features a queer cruise, walks, family-friendly events, gallery openings, a pride parade, and a dance party to close the festivities.

Reykjavik Pride takes place on 6-11th August 2024.


Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the world’s most vibrant LGBTQ+ celebrations. The program includes a parade, Pride pool parties and outdoor celebrations, taking place as Australian Summer comes to a close in February each year.

The main parade happens on Saturday night, starting at Sydney’s Oxford Street, continuing along Flinders Street and Anzac Parade—making it the biggest nighttime LGBTQ+ parade in the world, running from 6 pm through 11pm. The parade is full of floats, dance routines, and over 12,000 participants.

Sydney has it all in terms of parties—from pool parties, drag brunches, a Poof Doof, and Gay boat parties. It’s no wonder then that Sydney was selected as World Pride host last year, welcoming visitors from across the globe to celebrate.

This year’s Pride in Sydney happened from 16th February to 3rd March.

Long story short…

Wherever you decide to celebrate Pride in 2024—whether it’s your home city or a trip abroad, we wish you a happy Pride!

Written by Alex Callahan