The Foreign Office issues new travel warning to LGBTQ+ holidaymakers visiting Greece

The Foreign Travel Office has issued a new warning. (Getty)

You might be starting to organise your hot girl summer plans, but the Foreign Office has issued a new travel warning to LGBTQ+ holidaymakers visiting Greece. 

Despite Greece recently legalising same-sex marriage and adoption – becoming the first country with a Christian Orthodox majority to do so – the Foreign Office has suggested that those in the LGBTQ+ community should still remain alert. 

In an update to its Foreign travel advice website, the passage for travellers to Greece reads: “Same-sex sexual relations are legal in Greece and civil unions between same-sex couples have been legal since 2015 and same sex marriage was legalised in February 2024. The age of consent in Greece is 15, this applies to partners of both the same sex and opposite sex. Transgender people are able to change their legal gender. Anti-discrimination and hate speech laws apply to gender identity.

“Public attitudes towards same-sex sexual activity vary throughout the country; showing affection in public by same-sex couples may be frowned upon, especially in rural areas.

“Attitudes are generally much more welcoming in Athens and on many Greek islands, particularly on Lesvos, Mykonos and Skiathos. See our information and advice page for the LGBT+ community before you travel.”

After a gay couple made history with the first same-sex wedding in Greece in March, two 21-year-old trans people were allegedly chased and attacked by a mob of people abusing them with homophobic slurs and throwing bottles at them. 

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In response, a huge crowd of LGBTQ+ folks and allies took a stand against transphobia on the streets of Thessaloniki, northern Greece on 10 March. 

The thousands-strong crowd gathered in Aristotelous Square – the location of the attack – before marching through the streets of the city chanting, waving Pride flags and carrying banners denouncing fascism, homophobia and transphobia.  

The demonstration saw LGBTQ+ folks, women’s groups, anti-fascist coalitions and student organisers come together to stand in solidarity against hate.

In terms of the safest LGBTQ+-friendly countries to visit, Sweden came out on top in a 2020 ranking

Ticking all the boxes on same-sex marriage, discrimination and worker protections, adoption recognition, criminalisation of violence and a strong Gallup poll rating, Sweden earned a great safety score of 322.

Behind it were Canada, Norway, Portugal, Belgium and the UK, all of which are known for being incredibly welcoming to LGBTQ+ travellers. Though, sunshine is never guaranteed with the latter destination.

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