Going all the way back to 1970, Spartacus International Gay Guide has provided the LGBT community with an annual guide to gay life in various countries and states all over the world. From bars to hotels, social organizations to sex shops—Spartacus is a comprehensive guide that’s remarkable in its breadth of knowledge.
Let’s be clear: don’t open up Spartacus expecting in-depth historical information for locations around the world. The primary audience for Spartacus consists of gay tourists. Because of this, the book focuses on community features that may be of interest to tourists, including bars, hotels, beaches, saunas, and AIDS hotlines. The businesses highlighted are, in many areas, specifically gay businesses. In countries or cities without a notable gay-specific business infrastructure, gay-friendly businesses are also included. Each country’s section also includes a rundown of current laws regarding homosexuality in that area.
Spartacus opens with a section on health, with specifics on HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted infections.
Of course, carrying around a book like Spartacus may seem a bit old-school these days. In January 2012,Spartacus publisher Bruno Gmünder Media released the guide in app form for iPhone. In addition to all of the content from the printed book, the app includes locations on city maps with GPS, along with information on current activities, events, and specials.
If there’s a word to summarize Spartacus, it’s “efficient.” While you won’t find a ton of details about any particular location business, both the book and the app include an astonishing amount of information. For the gay traveler, it’s a worthwhile investment.