Insider Tips

Gay Bars Dublin & the Dublin Gay Scene

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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Bustling with diversity, Dublin’s welcoming and inclusive vibe extends to its thriving LGBT community and gay scene; full of colour, character and fun. More so than ever before, since Ireland voted to become the first country to pass the same-sex marriage referendum in 2015, Dublin has come into its own as an emerging European gay capital. With the glorious celebration of this monumental day still visible throughout the city, discover where to go and what not to miss with our guide to LGBT Dublin...

Map of Dublin with highlighted LGBT locations  

What to see

Oscar Wilde is rightly regarded as one of Dublin’s most famous literary figures so a trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without visiting the writer’s memorial statue in Merrion Square Park, close to Wilde’s birthplace right in the heart of a beautiful Georgian square. Find out more about how to plan a 'Wilde Journey' right here!

Nearby, visit the stunning Dublin Castle buildings and courtyard, a beautiful and historic landmark where huge crowds gathered in May 2015 to witness the declaration of the Marriage Equality referendum result. Here you’ll find vast castle grounds, two museums, the Chester Beatty Library and even the odd Hollywood star; TV shows such as Penny Dreadful and The Tudors have been filmed on location at the Castle in recent years. 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.

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. Should you wish to explore the capital’s illustrious literary tradition a little more, the Dublin Writers Museum is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Learn about writers such as Wilde, James Joyce and Brendan Behan and see their impact on international literature, as well as finding out about their favourite haunts.

What’s on

Planning your trip to Dublin around some of the city’s numerous gay events is a great way to catch the city at its best. A 10-day festival culminating in the colourful Pride Parade, Dublin LGBTQ Pride is the city’s biggest street celebration next to the St. Patrick’s Festival and takes place at the end of June each year. 2015 saw the biggest parade in Dublin yet, with celebrations in full swing at the Pride Village in Merrion Square; just one of over 15 events that gave the festival its robust character.

Other events include the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival during the August Bank Holiday weekend, the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival that takes place across the city in May and the Bear Féile weekend in April.

For those seeking outdoor adventure and activities, Out and About is Dublin’s lesbian and gay hillwalking group who take regular excursions to the Wicklow Mountains where you can enjoy unrivalled views of the city. Out2Tennis, meanwhile, is Ireland’s gay tennis network who organise social events and tournaments.

Dublin Castle image via 

Going out

Dublin’s best gay bars and clubs are focused around the city centre and there’s somewhere great for every mood. Ireland’s oldest and most famous gay club is The George on South Great George’s Street. Open seven nights a week, this lively establishment boasts the best in DJs and drag artists, while Shirley Temple Bar’s bingo on Sunday nights has become a Dublin institution.

Elsewhere, the stylish Front Lounge on Parliament Street is more suited to a trendy cocktail while the nearby MOTHER club event on Saturday nights attracts hipsters and club kids with its synth and disco soundtrack. Across the river, 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.

To explore more of Dublin’s cosmopolitan side, see our other expert guides to the city’s great foodshopping and street style.

Shirley Temple Bar image via The George
Cocktail image via The Front Lounge