Although same-sex sexual activity was first decriminalised in Portugal in 1852, this didn’t last long, as it once again became a crime in 1886. Members of the LGBT community faced particularly harsh discrimination and oppression during the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar. After his death, however, attitudes began to soften and in 1982 same-sex sexual activity was once again decriminalised. It did take until 2007 for the age of consent to be brought down to the age of fourteen, though, which is in line with different-sex sexual activity. Today, Portugal has extensive legal recognition and protection of LGBT rights and gay couples are able to marry and do more-or-less whatever straight couples are able to do.

Portugal has a fascinating past and you can learn more about the country when you visit the museums, art galleries and cultural landmarks which are located in its towns and cities. If you intend to head anywhere in Portugal, it is definitely worth taking a trip to Lisbon, the nation’s capital. This is one of the oldest cities in the world and is at the cultural, economic and political centre of the country. Unsurprisingly, then, you will never run out of things to do in this city, whether you wish to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites located there, or get a taste of Portuguese nightlife.

There are plenty of nightclubs and bars in Lisbon and if you’re particularly interested in the gay scene, Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real are the places to be, since these are recognised as the city’s gay villages where you will find a high proportion of gay bars and other gay-friendly establishments. The city also hosts a number of events for the LGBT community including the Lisbon LGBT Pride Parade, the Arraial Pride Party and the Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It is therefore evident that Lisbon is a welcoming, cosmopolitan city with plenty to see and do.

Porto is another Portuguese city which has much to see and do, being a global city and registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The city is home to stunning architecture and plenty of historical sites, making it an ideal holiday destination if Portuguese culture interests you. There is more to the city than its history, though, as there are plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and shop. Plus, the city holds its own LGBT Pride Parade, as well as the Porto Pride Party. Porto is a friendly city and with so many activities to choose from and places to visit, this is also a worthwhile tourist destination.

If you’re looking for locations where major LGBT events are held in Portugal, you might want to think about visiting Coimbra, which is home to one of the oldest universities in the world and has a diverse population. As well as being home to numerous historical artefacts and monuments, the Coimbra LGBT Pride Parade also takes place in the city. The Azores Islands is another Portuguese location which has an annual Gay Pride event that takes place in late August, as well as possessing the additional benefit of some stunning scenery.

Overall, then, Portugal is an ideal country to visit if you want to learn more about the history of one of the oldest nations in the world. As well as being able to learn more about Portugal’s past, you can also explore its contemporary culture and enjoy interacting with the locals, sampling the nation’s food, environment and the nightlife of the different cities and towns that make up this unique country. It is not surprising that many Portuguese cities are so popular with tourists when they all have so much to offer, and so it is worth making the most of your time in the country whichever parts you choose to visit.

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