Dublin is a popular gay destination for all the best reasons. Government recognition of LGBT rights in Ireland has expanded greatly over the past two decades. Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993, and most forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation are now outlawed. Ireland forbids incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation, so there are many LGBTQ rights for people in the South of this island, while those in the North continue to be denied what's rightfully theirs.

What makes Ireland such an attractive destination? Well OutUK's Adrian Gillan has been to visit the queer quarter of Dublin to find out if it's true the boys are just so pretty.

Oh, enthral my ears! In fact, the only hope to stop the gab beguiling in a land that bore the likes of Joyce and Wilde is to get lost instead in a pair of glinting Irish eyes set fair in a fresh lad's face. The Dublin gay scene is as friendly, playful and eccentric as you could want, spread out just nicely each side of the Liffey, under an hour away by air from most UK cities. The age of consent in this nation of boy bands and Euros is 17 for all persuasions.
The house where Oscar Wilde was brought up is open for guided tours. It's now owned by an American College and they've restored ground and first floors to their former Victorian glory.
On the city's north side, check out Outhouse on Capel Street, a not-for-profit LGBT community and resource centre which acts as a lively cultural hub with theatre space and events. The building also houses a newly refurbished library stocked with classic LGBT literature. If you're interested in history, The Irish Queer Archive at the National Library of Ireland holds the most comprehensive collection of material relating to LGBT history and literature in the country.

In front of Dublin Castle. Photo: Vichinterlang
You should try and plan your trip to Dublin around some of the city's numerous gay events. A 10-day festival culminating in the colourful Pride Parade, Dublin LGBTQ Pride is the city's biggest street celebration and takes place at the end of June each year. It's a celebration of diversity in modern Ireland with a great carnival atmosphere.
Always watch out for the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival. Each year GAZE put on exciting cinema programme towards the end of September with a handful of socials and special events to meet the artists, audiences and supporters who make this gay film festival possible. The other great events in the city aimed at gay audiences are the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival that takes place across the city in May each year and the Bear Feile weekend, especially for the bears, which is annually in April.


Starting south of the river, is an area that's a particular boon for veggie queens, with bustling Cornucopia offering cheap pulses and gruels. It's very much a case of contemporary meets art nouveau in this gay friendly vegetarian restaurant which caters to various restricted diets.

Panti Bar on Capel Street hosts comedy, drag and is a prime location to spot unofficial 'Queen of Ireland' and national treasure Panti Bliss herself. This cosy little watering hole is a good location to unwind for after work drinks. But Panti Bar likes to throw a party at weekends and they are always kicking. The music is an eclectic mix of pop, indie, electro, disco, and rock.

Back across the river and The George is the scene's oldest and biggest bar - a tried and tested trouper. It has a low-lit front bar with velvet clad barstools and a club room for raucous DJs and live bands. The bar attracts all sorts with its timeless mix of karaoke and drag, it expands upstairs - most notably on a Saturday - from which gallery you can gaze down upon carefree gays shimmying away beneath.
Out and About in the Temple Bar area.
Photo: Vichinterlang
Pennylane has a welcoming vibe as a fairly newish gay bar with an ambient atmosphere and a very modern decor. They offer an outdoor patio when the weather allows for it and inside it's quiet enough to hear friends your with, and the staff are super friendly.
Tucked away in the heart of a trendy south Dublin on Parliament Street close to Dublin Castle and City Hall, Street 66 is a live musical bar with a fun function room. It's a great place for lovers of disco, funk, soul and reggae and has a wide range of Gins, Irish Whiskeys, cocktails and craft beer. This is a gay friendly bar that's named after the reggae song by Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Mother is an old-school club night for disco-loving LGBTQ+ family & friends. Mother is also a main player in creating magical moments at some of Ireland's biggest festivals, including their own Pride Block Party and Love Sensation music festival. They offer a brilliant Saturday night, with retro electric pop mixes but and modern mixes thrown in with an awesome light display. They often feature some visiting DJs.

Giuseppe Milo from Dublin, Ireland
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Boilerhouse is the largest, busiest sauna in town with all the booths and trappings imaginable, including dry sauna, jacuzzi, steam-rooms, play areas and private rooms. They also provide plenty of towels, condoms, flip-flops and even disposable douches.

If you like to work up a sweat outside, then cruise straight to the Papal Cross monument after dark in Phoenix Park north-west of centre - perhaps the Pope's most tangible legacy after his visit a few decades back.

Apart from all the shops and boutiques along Dublin's famous Grafton Street off College Green, you might want to take in a spot of culture and pay homage at Oscar Wilde House where the self-declared genius spent his formative years with his family until the age of twenty one.

To find the best in accomodation in the city click the Bookings button below for great deals on a variety of Dublin hotels.


Bear Feile (facebook)
Cornucopia (19 Wicklow Street; T: 00353 1 677 7583; Website)
Dublin LGBTQ Pride (Website)
GAZE International LGBT Film Festival (Website)
International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (Website)
Mother (Lost Lane, Adams Court, Grafton Street; Website)
National Library of Ireland (2 Kildare Street; T: 00353 1 603 0259; Website)
Oscar Wilde House (1 Merrion Square; T: 00353 1 662 0281; Website)
Outhouse LGBT Community Resource Centre (105 Capel Street; T: 00353 1 873 4999; Website)
Panti Bar (7-8 Capel Street; T: 00353 1 874 0710; Website;facebook)
Pennylane (Regent House, 2 Strand Street Great, North City; T: +353 1 561 2375; facebook)
Street 66 (33/34 Parliament Street; T: 00353 1 679 3369; Website)
The Boilerhouse (12 Crane Lane, Temple Bar; T: 00353 1 677 3130; Website)
The Dock (21 Ormond Quay Upper; T: 00353 1 872 4172)
The George (89 South Great George's Street; T: 00353 1 478 2983; Website)

Revised August 2022.


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