Gay Gran Canaria: guide to the best gay bars, clubs and events

Gran Canaria is a notorious gay destination in Europe, specifically in Playa del Ingles in the South.

The island has always been a beacon of tolerance whilst in the olden days, mainland Spain used to have an extremely hostile conservative attitude led by the Catholic Church. The Canary Islands were a popular place to exile people who broke social rules and thought differently.

Gran Canaria gay guide to bars
A place for the boys who think a little differently

During the harsh, repressive Franco years, Gran Canaria was too far away from the mainland to bother with, so they turned a blind eye to homosexuality there. From the 1960s, tourism really started to take off, attracting more and more foreigners and therefore even more tolerant attitudes.

Today, the island is a playground for the gay boys, particularly in the famous Yumbo Centre – a shopping mall in Playa del Ingles full of mainly gay bars, clubs and boutique Clone Zone type shops.

There's so many gay hangouts in Yumbo Centre to choose from, we've sifted through some of our favourites in our gay guide to the best gay bars, clubs and events in Gran Canaria.

Sparkles drag gay bar in Gran Canaria
Stefan being de-robed on stage at Sparkles gay bar in Yumbo Centre

Gay hotels in Gran Canaria

There's plenty to choose from, whether you prefer to be based in the heart of the gay scene near Yumbo Centre in Playa del Ingles, or somewhere more plush and luxurious in Maspalomas.

STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL

Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.

Gay Paso Chico

We stayed here with a group of friends and had an amazing time! This is the ideal base for those who want to be near Yumbo Centre. It's a fun and friendly men only gay complex. As well as being only a stone's throw away from Yumbo, it's also walking distance to the sand dunes and the famous gay beach at Kiosk #7.

 

“Together we will conquer any obstacle, even when you steal my food you greedy Frenchman”

A photo posted by Nomadic Boys (@nomadicboys) on

Gay Paso Chico have 6 newly refurbished bungalows, which are spacious, clean and with full kitchen facilities so you can cook your own meals if you don't want to head out.

The other highlight other than the location to Yumbo is the pool. We loved having drinks with friends here listening to music, getting ready to party over in Yumbo across the street.

Rooms start from €75/$84 and minimum stay is for 5 nights.

Gay Paso Chico gay bungalows Gran Canaria
Sebastien the pool boy of Gay Paso Chico

Seaside Palm Beach

After so many drunken nights out in Yumbo, we wanted a break from the party scene, a place to relax and unwind. The luxurious 5* Seaside Palm Beach Hotel in Maspalomas fit the bill nicely.

Seaside Palm Beach has an impressive adult only lagoon pool, surrounded by a lavish palm garden and part of a protected UNESCO nature reserve. It also has a wonderful spa area for adults with saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools and a pretty outdoor patio to relax in.

Rooms start from €210/$240 a night, including breakfast.

Seaside Palm Beach gay hotel Gran Canaria
A romantic moment at the Seaside Palm Beach Hotel's tropical lagoon pool

Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

For a more exclusive experience, stay at the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, which is famous for its Michelin recommended restaurant. Service is taken very seriously here and you're made to feel like a true princess from the moment you set foot in the door.

The Frenchman was particularly pleased by the culinary offerings, from Marinated Atlantic turbot served as Ceviche to beef tartar with fried quail egg – and more!

Rooms start from €385 /$430 a night and includes breakfast and sometimes half board.

Gay Hotel Gran Canaria Grand Residencia
Stefan enjoying the plush pool area at the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

GAY BARS TO START THE NIGHT

  • Terry's Show: Terry's has some excellent Spanish drag shows from 10:30pm-1am, which you will love. They have WiFi so you can Shazam all the awesome hispanic tunes they play.
 
  • WunderBar: Eurovision geeks like Stefan love hanging out here on Mondays and Fridays when they play classics from the show all night long. Otherwise they're open daily from 8pm to 2am, located on the ground floor.
  • Sparkles Show Bar: Sparkles is a show bar open daily from 8pm. Although it's officially a gay bar, it's more likely to be full of hen parties and straight couples looking for what they think is an alternative night out. The drag queens seem to have been shipped in from Blackpool. Go on the right night and you'll see the extremely talented and unique Miss DQ:
 

GAY BARS TO PARTY

  • Coco Loco: popular gay bar next to Terry's on the 2nd floor in Yumbo. First time we went there, around 11pm, it was totally empty. But if you go at the right time it gets quite lively  – usually after the drag shows at Terry's finish around 1am.
  • Mykonos: this is where the young sexy cool kids hang out. It's open from 11pm-3:30am and is one of the larger and more popular bars from all the offerings in Yumbo, playing the best pop music. And it's got poles. Every gay boy secretly wants to be a pole dancer right? This is the place to live out that dream!
  • Tubos: another popular bar, next to Mykonos and also open 11pm to 3:30am. It gets quite packed and the crowds spill out into the corridor outside. Great atmosphere to get warmed up before heading over to Mantrix.
Mykonos gay bar in Gran Canaria Yumbo Centre
…3am and still standing (hiccup)…

AND TO KEEP ON PARTYING…

  • Mantrix: the main gay club in Yumbo, open from 2am till late. Definitely the best club on the island, attracting both locals and tourists. That hottie you met on the beach earlier? He'll most likely end up here at some stage.
Mantrix gay club in Gran Canaria Yumbo Centre
Check out the hottie Stefan picked up at the gay beach and met up with later at Mantrix πŸ™‚

GAY EVENTS IN GRAN CANARIA

Gran Canaria is a lot of fun, but even more so during one of the many big parties that take place throughout the year:

  • Maspalomas Gay Pride: the largest gay summer party on the island, which draws a massive international LGBTQ crowd. It takes place in May.
  • Maspalomas Winter Pride: in case you missed your summer Pride fix, there's one right here in the GC sunshine every November.
  • Carnivals: the famous Catholic winter festival is a big deal in the Canary islands and Gran Canaria has 2, one in Las Palmas and the second in Maspalomas, both in February/March. Check out our guide to the best carnivals in the Canary Islands.
  • Bear parties: bear parties are popular throughout the island. The 2 most prominent are the Bear Pool parties (held in  October and November), and the Bear Maspalomas Carnival in March.
Events and gay parties in Gran Canaria
Ready for a big gay party in Gran Canaria

To read more about alternative experiences on the island, check out our 5 interesting facts about Gran Canaria and also check out our 5 favourite gay friendly hotels in Gran Canaria. Spain is also one of our top 10 favourite gay friendly countries in the world to check out.

OUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL TIPS

⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE β€” We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY β€” All travelers (gay or not) can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY β€” A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where gay dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS β€” When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love Booking.com because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES β€” When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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Nomadic Boys gay guide to the best bars and clubs in Gran Canaria

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspireΒ you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

26 thoughts on “Gay Gran Canaria: guide to the best gay bars, clubs and events”

  1. Great post guysΒ‘ WOW ! To stay in Seaside Palm Beach Hotel is an authentic pleasure, i think is the most luxury (and expensive) hotel in Gran Canaria.

  2. Thank you for this great Blog! We love your fotos.
    An now, we fly this year in October to Gran Canaria!
    Thank you
    Daniel und Jens

  3. All of those bars look like a lot of fun! And, Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia sounds amazing! I could definitely hang by that pool for quite awhile–it’s so beautiful! Looks like you had a great time!

  4. I didn’t realise Gran Canaria was a popular spot for gay travel. Looks like you guys get up to a bit of mischief when you’re away. What’s the difference between a gay friendly hotel and one that isn’t?

  5. The Seaside Grande Hotel looks great and like the frenchman, I would love the Michelen restaurant ….and the fried quail egg: You’ve certainly done a round up of all the parties – can’t believe how many there are.

  6. Seaside Palm Beach Hotel in Maspalomas sounds like my cup of tea. While I don’t party like I use to, I still like finding a luxurious place to relax.

  7. Looks like you guys had a fabulous trip! It is sad to me that mainland Spain was not as welcoming as Gran Canaria! And WOW…Seaside Palm Beach Hotel looks like a real winner as far as places to stay! How pretty! <3

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