From Reykjavik to Madrid, some of Europe’s queerest destinations are packed with friendly and furry events for bears and their admirers. Whether you’re looking to experience the city for the first time, or simply dance and make new friends (either for life, or an hour or two), these are Europe’s bear essentials.
Sept 1–4, 2016
Iceland has been a hot tourist ticket for several years now. Now recovered from its financial woes, it’s not that cheap anymore, but don’t let that stop you — especially not during Bears on Ice, a terrific showcase of Iceland’s most memorable experiences, including the chance to recharge with the Bears in Iceland’s thermal springs. An active party calendar makes the most of Reykjavik’s famous nightlife.
Sept 2–11, 2016
Sitges can often feel like it’s all about the gays, but through the first week of September, it’s also all about the fur. This packed ten-day festival is one of the world’s top bear events, taking over the famous gay resort town, and crowning Mr Bear Sitges.
Friday, Oct 28, 2016
For the first time, Mad.Bear Madrid is heading to Beirut as part of its Middle Eastern Festival Tour, hosted at the famous POSH club. Resident DJ of Mad.Bear Madrid, DJ Neixom, will spin tracks all night.
Late November (2016 dates TBA)
Leaving the lion’s share of tourists to Berlin and Munich, Cologne quietly holds its title as the gay capital of western Germany — and possibly of the entire country. Cologne will celebrate Germany’s biggest bear gathering this November after just hosting Bear May Day on May 1, 2016.
Dec 5–12, 2016
Famously playful Madrid will host the 16th annual international meeting of bears, big men and admirers from Spain and abroad. This year’s Mad.Bear falls on Spain’s biggest public holidays of the year, so be sure to get your tickets in advance!
End of December to early January (2016-2017 dates TBA)
Rome’s bear calendar gets off to a spectacular start with a New Year party, followed by a sexy, week-long celebration of all things husky. Sauna afternoons are a fixture, along with bear parties late into the evenings.