When travelling in Eastern Europe how could you go past the Czech Republic — home to such beautiful men that it has become the gay porn capital of Europe.

The Czechs legalised homosexuality way back in 1961 when the country was still known as Czechoslovakia and incorporated its eastern neighbour Slovakia. In comparison, the last Australian state to legalise homosexuality did so in 1994.

Today Prague is a flourishing capital city known for its easy approachable young guys, and its comfortable mixing of the ancient and the new — a city where a surreally modern building like the Dancing House by architects Frank Gehry and

Vlado Milunic can coexist with medieval and Renaissance buildings and somehow it all just feels right.

The Czech Republic has earned a reputation of being far more liberal than its neighbours to the east — such as Poland or the Baltic states — and Czech attitudes towards social issues like gay rights or drug possession are far more progressive. For example, its attitude to the personal possession of marijuana is nearly as tolerant as that of the Netherlands.

One of the biggest examples of the Czech Republic’s acceptance of the GLBT community would be its passing of historic legislation providing registered partnerships for same-sex couples in July 2006, making it one of the first former Soviet bloc states to do so.

This tolerant attitude has meant that today Prague has far more gay and gay-friendly clubs than most Eastern European cities, and is fast becoming one of the most popular travel destination for gay tourists — with an estimated 600,000 gay and lesbian visitors to Prague every year.

The best time to visit the city is from April to September. Prague Pride 2011 will be held on August 10 – 14.

Besides pre- and after-parties, there will be a parade through the old city ending with a four-hour concert with national and international artists.

Czech is the country’s official language but with much of its economy focused on its role as a major road and rail transportation hub, many locals speak English.

Prague – Getting there:

Getting there:

Lufthansa connects from all Australian capitals daily to Prague via Frankfurt or Munich, code-sharing with Singapore Airlines via Singapore and Thai Airways via Bangkok. From Frankfurt, Lufthansa offers several flights a day direct to Prague. From Munich, Cityline or Augsburg Airways-operated flights are offered.

Austrian Airlines operates daily flights from Australia via Bangkok to Vienna, code-sharing with Thai Airways. Austrian connects to Prague five times a day, code-sharing with Tyrolean Airways.
Call 1300 655 727 or visit www.lufthansa.com or www.austrian.com for more information.

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