EuroPride 2023 Only Increased the Love for the Host Nation of Malta

From this historic, welcoming, and accepting place, we celebrate PRIDE

What was expecting to see when I travel to Malta for EuroPride 2023? I didn’t do a lot of research on the country before going there except for flights and that they use the Euro for currency, but what we as Americans know about Malta is that it is one of the most accepting nations in Europe for our queer community.

Since October 2015, ILGA-Europe has ranked Malta first in terms of LGBT rights legislation out of 49 observed European countries, a ranking it has upheld ever since. As of 2022, Malta is one of the few countries in the world to have made LGBT rights equal at a constitutional level. In 2016, Malta became the first country in the European Union to ban conversion therapy (see the timeline at the end of this post from


I knew it would be safe for us there and of course, even more safe probably year because of EuroPride 2023 being held in Valletta, the nation’s capital. The celebration would not be held in the city where it was unsafe.

Pre Party

The night before the parade, there was a large party held in the inspiring Triton Fountain Square. It was Eurovision Night with some of the most iconic names in the competition. Featuring Conchita Wurst, Katrina & The Roop, it was a star-studded event that transported us into the world of Eurovision. In the best practice of EuroPride, Lithuania’s very own The Roop brought their electrifying performance to the stage. Katrina, formerly known as Katrina and The Waves, took to the stage to deliver her chart-topping hits and infectious energy. Conchita Wurst sang the Eurovision-winning song “Rise Like a Phoenix.” Even with the mist from the Triton Fountain, it was still a very hot night. 

Parade Time


Every Pride Parade is different. Depending on the time of day, the number of participants, the inclusion of politics and religion, the number of floats allowed, music, dancing decorations. What was Malta’s EuroPride parade going to look like?

As we approached the parade route, we weren’t sure what to expect. The parade was to start off on a four-lane road down to the center of town with a median between the sets of lanes. We weren’t sure which side of the road it was going to be on so we jockeyed for the best spot along the Eastern side in the shade, but as soon as the parade began, we realized that the best spot was on the median as floats and people came down both sides. It was a head spinning event, looking to the left, looking to the right, not wanting to miss any of the celebrants and their joy as they marched, road on floats, and took pictures of other people celebrating EuroPride in Valletta.

The two lanes became one and progressed up the hill and then up the Triq Girolamo Cassar (bridge/ramp) to the old part of Valletta were the streets narrowed, and the buildings were more historic. I’m not sure how long we were out photographing and filming the parade, it had to be at least three hours. And you would’ve thought that toward the end, the celebrants and float riders would have been done and tired. But no, the energy and the excitement was present throughout as if they felt they needed to show their pride power and energy from beginning to end, to show it off proud and loud to everyone on the parade route.


Pride Night Party

The EuroPride 2023 concert featured Christina Aguilera. That should be enough said right there.  But no.  It also had so many other great acts building up to her mind-blowing performance. The Granaries, Floriana was the place to be (another open square) as Christina Aguilera and fellow performers blew us all away.  For the whole performance list and some bios, the concert’s webpage is still available to be viewed. From the supporting acts, The Travellers performances and Ira Losco’s presence were two of my top pics that I would like to see again. 


Closing Boat Parade

Pride Around the Grand Harbour returned for it’s 3rd edition and was the official closing event of EuroPride Valletta 2023. There were boats large and small in this cute cruise around the harbor.  We were fortunate enough to be in a 42-foot sailboat to see the pride in the water, in the lights, all around the city.  What a wonderful way to end EuroPride 2023 in Valletta Malta.

EuroPride Valletta 2023 was an absolute success as the joy could be felt all week long. Not only was it a great pride event, but it also introduced so many people to a great and welcoming nation.  


Malta Surprises

Here are some closing thoughts and observations about Malta that I had from my first time visiting this nation.

The Weather – I was fine with the weather in Malta, as I’ve been living in Florida for the past 10 years. The five days that I was there, it was only the last day that felt truly like Florida with the heat AND the humidity whereas the other four days we’re nice and warm, but not the humidity that I was used to.  Don’t get me wrong, I still was hot and sweaty, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Drinking Water – On the island of Malta, buying water is necessity. One thing in America that we have all over are water fountains, where are we drink freely and fill up at water bottles. The government subsidize is desalinization of seawater for homes and businesses.


Sea Water – if you get a chance to go into the Mediterranean, do it! First of all, you can say you’ve went in there, but second of all, you’ll notice that it is a little bit saltier than oceans you might be used to, because well the Mediterranean is a sea and an ocean. But it is saltier and the locals state that it’s because of the evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea that leaves a saltier water behind. You’ll notice a sandy/salty residue left on your body if you don’t shower within a couple hours. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s just different.

Gay Bars and Entertainment – For a nation that is one of the most respected for its LGBTQ acceptance, positive queer laws, and wonderful, LGBTQ forward progression in Europe, there’s only one gay bar.

Michelangelo Club Lounge: Although there are many queer-friendly clubs on the island, Michelangelo is the only dedicated gay club in Malta. Situated in St Julians, just outside of Sliema, the club is set over two floors, open all year round, and particularly popular with locals.

And why there aren’t many gay bars in Malta might also be because of the size of each of the small towns. The capital is about 60,000 people making it the smallest capital city in Europe in a nation of about 520,000. Also, with such acceptance of queer people, is there a need for defined queer spaces?


Lollipop – If there are no bars, but queer people still want to get together, they have another option with the lollipop parties that happen, sometimes twice a month. Attracting a crowd of both locals and foreigners, their vibrant combination of music, glitter, leather has something for everyone. Check out their Instagram account and Facebook page.

The History – I had remembered that they did shoot some scenes for Game of Thrones in Malta, and we were able to see some of those places. We were also able to learn about ancient Malta and its beginnings, as well as endings, its reemergence, the involvement of the Templar Knights, and the prominence of the Maltese eight-pointed cross. Whenever you travel, please definitely look into the history of where you’re at as it’ll help you add layers to your understanding of the nation or city you are visiting.

And that history continues to shine today. As mentioned before, Malta has ranked first in terms of LGBT rights legislation out of 49 observed European countries, a ranking it has upheld ever since. Bravo!   We’re looking to return very soon!

Leave a Comment