GLXY Travel Guide - Exploring the LGBT Scene in Bucharest, Romania

25 Aug, 2017
In this article you can find out why and when to visit Romania and Bucharest, how friendly is this city for LGBT persons, where to go for gay-friendly dinner options, bars, clubs and other venues, what are the most important LGBT events of the year not to be missed; how to meet locals; and other interesting and important practical details.

About Romania and Bucharest

Romania is located at Southeast of Europe and its a sovereign state. It is bordering with 5 country which are Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and Moldova, also Romania have border with Black Sea. In comparison to other Balkan countries, it is a bit bigger, covering 92 thousand square miles, and inhabited by almost 20 million people. The history of the country goes way back, and that is the reason why the country is a must see on every travellers list. It is full of historical leftovers that are coloring the aura of the space with secrecy of many magical looking castles and mountain citadels. Except for its rich historical trademarks, Romania is well known for its natural riches. Danube, the second greatest river in Europe, is certainly adding to the beautiful landscape and is tickling the traveler’s imagination to choose to go down for one of the river cruises. Carpathian Mountains dominate central part of Romania, and it is offering retreat in one of the mountain and forest retreats, but also it is known for being one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe, covering almost 27% of the land. Plant species, natural monuments, water recreation. The climate in Romania is something you will especially like. The southeast of Europe is blessed with many sunny days, and 4 seasons distinguished.
Bucharest is the capital city of the country. It is also one of the biggest cities in Europe, and it is 6th biggest city in the European Union, inhabited by almost 2 millions of people. It is also Romania’s cultural, industrial and financial centre, and in the recent years it has been growing rapidly. In 2016, the historical city centre was listed “endangered” by the World Monument Watch.

LGBT situation

Today, in 2017, in order to look at the situation of LGBT people in Romania, we have to be aware enough to provide a broader political picture. Since the beginning of the year, particularly since February, the political stream is being moved to the sphere of fighting government corruption, the LGBTI movement is also participating and asking for their rights.

Until today, Romania didn't manage to proceed with the same sex partnership law, so it is said that Romania is one of few European Union countries that doesn't recognize any form of law for same sex partnership registration. To further, Romania, since 2015, defined marriage exclusively between a man and a woman. We have to admit that doesn't sound really good. On the other hand, GayFest pride marches have been held in Bucharest annually since 2005, organised by ACCEPT (, the largest organisation in Romania advocating for LGBT rights. Also some events are held in Cluj-Napoca organised by Be An Angel which is another organisation which is fighting for LGBT rights. These include the annual Gay Film Nights, an international LGBT film festival, the Gay Prize Gala, which recognises those who have contributed to LGBT culture and rights, and Miss Travesty Romania, a transvestite beauty pageant.
Due to those events, LGBT communities have gained more media space and also they gained visibility, and the community seems to be ever growing. The Penal Code, that tends to give LGBTI people an option for prosecuting homophobes and transphobes, exists since 2006, and at that point in time Romania was praised for being one of the most progressive country on this question. Unfortunately, due to political streams, LGBTI rights activism had some backstops. Since Romania is a part of European Union, it is possible to advocate for LGBT same-sex partnership recognition, because of codex of European Court of Human Rights that accepts all individuals, no matter of their sexual orientation or gender. Following the French example, a Romanian man that married an American man, in Belgium, took the case to the Constitutional Court, asking for a recognition of their marriage in Romania. We are yet to see what is about to happen. Also, worth to mention is that in 2008, the organization Be An Angel produced first LGBT online broadcast television channel, named Angelicuss TV.

LGBT information

Bucharest Pride, previously called GayFest, is taking place in the city for a week during May or June. Except for the Pride Parade, the event includes various LGBT cultural events, such as playing queer movies, organizing discussions, hangouts and barbeques for the LGBT community, art exhibition, theatre performances and also a lot of parties. Until a couple of years ago, the parade would never count more than 500 people. This year, in Pride Parade Bucharest, there was between 2500 and 3000 queers and queer supporters. That puts Bucharest Pride as a must-see and must-experience. On one side, there are amazing parties and cultural events; from the other side, one may still feel a bit of a rebellious marching for the reminder about the necessity of equalization of same-sex partnership and opposite-sex partnership.

There is, unfortunately, only one exclusively LGBT bar, named Queens Club, but there are many LGBT friendly places.

Queens Club is situated on Carol Blvd. not too far from University Square. It is a dance club where the crowd is really friendly. It is opened only on weekends, so if you’re looking for a real hot gay party, this is a place for you.

Control Club is a Pub, Terrace, and Concert Venue where some of the best Queer night parties are held.

Eden Club The club is located in the basement of the palace, mainly electronic music and eclectic themed parties. Special recommendation goes for this place, because of an amazing garden for the summer gatherings.

A1 Bar & Bistro near Calea Victoriei, close to Amzei Sq. While travelling it is very important to eat well, and here, you will get some traditional meals and drinks, while enjoying the artistic pieces of visitors.

Van Gogh Café classy restaurant in the Old Town. It is recommended for its amazing food and wine.