The Republic of Ireland’s capital, Dublin, is situated on the east coast and is an international gateway to Ireland, the UK & Europe.
We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Dublin several times for various reasons over the past decade, and as a same-sex couple, we have never experienced any form of discrimination. While that’s not to say discrimination doesn’t happen, it is rare.
As such, Dublin makes for a beautiful city to explore as a member of the LGBTQ+ community without fear of prejudice.
Table of Contents
- Is Dublin LGBTQ+ Friendly?
- Annual LGBTQ+ Events In Dublin
- LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighbourhoods
- LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels In Dublin
- LGBTQ+ Nightlife In Dublin
Is Dublin LGBTQ+ Friendly?
Dublin may be known to many as a hot spot for stag and hen parties, but it is also a popular travel destination for those of the LGBTQ+ community looking for culture and a good time.
In just a few years, Ireland has come a long way, with gay marriage becoming legal by a landslide vote back in 2015.
This then led to a gay and biracial head of Government being appointed in 2017, and as part of Ireland’s continuous progression, a vote to overturn the ban on abortions was made in 2018.
Annual LGBTQ+ Events In Dublin
Dublin may be a relatively small capital city; however, it still hosts many annual and stand-alone LGBTQ+ events throughout the year. Some of our favourites include;
Gaze Film Festival
Gaze Film Festival was first held in 1992 and has since taken place annually on a Bank Holiday over the summer to support the works of LGBTQ+ people.
Founded by Yvonne O’Reilly and Kevin Sexton, it’s one of Dublin’s most significant LGBTQ+ events after Dublin Pride.
Béar Féile is a highly popular four-day event held at the end of March for all otters, bears and friends.
Events over the long weekend include The Mr Bear Ireland Competition, late-night parties, traditional Irish music and even guest DJ sets.
Dublin Pride is the largest annual LGBTQ+ event in Dublin, taking place in June and lasting one week with the grand finale, a large parade through the city taking place on Sunday.
Clubs, bars and pubs across the city come out to support the LGBTQ+ community with a wide variety of special events over the week.
However, you’ll find the party really comes alive from Friday so if you only have a short time in the city I’d look to visit then.
International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
Another prestigious event in the Dublin calendar is the Internation Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.
The festival was first created back in 2004 to celebrate a queer icon, Oscar Wilde. However, since then, the annual event has evolved to focus on the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in theatre, both past and present.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighbourhoods
If you’re looking to support LGBTQ+ owned businesses or stay long-term in Dublin, then checking out the most LGBTQ+ friendly neighbourhoods in the city is well worthwhile.
Situated in the north of the city, Stoneybatter is not only the most prominent gay neighbourhood in Dublin but the whole of Ireland.
When polled in 2018, it was found that almost 9% of all Stoneybatters residents were in a same-sex relationship.
However, the fact that Stoneybatter is the most popular gay neighbourhood in all of Ireland is only one reason to visit.
The second is for the incredible array of laid back artisanal coffee shops and the sleek restaurants that feature creative global cuisine alongside modern takes on traditional food.
Grand Canal Dock
Grand Canal Dock is the modern hub of Dublin and home to a variety of office buildings and luxury condos.
As such, if you’re looking for fine dining or rooftop bars serving luxury cocktails, then the Grand Canal Dock is the neighbourhood for you.
However, while this neighbourhood has transformed drastically over the past three decades, it’s not forgotten about its history and shares it in detail on the incredible high-tech displays at the floating Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre.
The neighbourhood around Christchurch and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals is one of the most beloved by the LGBTQ+ community in Dublin.
We love this neighbourhood as it’s still got all the charm of Dublin, a variety of traditional pubs and restaurants but doesn’t see the rowdy behaviour you might see elsewhere in the city.
It’s also within perfect walking distance of major attractions such as the 1,000-year-old Christchurch Cathedral, the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Dublin Castle and even the Guinness Storehouse.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels In Dublin
While there are no dedicated LGBTQ+ hotels or hostels in Dublin, many LGBTQ+ friendly options are still available. Our favourites include;
The Marker Hotel
The Marker Hotel is located in Dublin’s business and cultural quarter on Grand Square.
The hotel is perfectly situated for guests to explore the sights of Dublin, with Temple Bar just one mile away and The Guinness Store House a 45-minute walk or 20-minute bus ride across the city.
However, the hotel doesn’t just benefit from a fantastic location as it’s ultra-modern and comes complete with a rooftop cocktail bar, infinity pool and spa.
The Conrad Dublin is a luxury five-star hotel in Dublin city centre, just a stone’s throw from Grafton Street and the National Concert Hall.
The hotel features an all-day brasserie, a luxury lounge bar and a gourmet restaurant while the bright and spacious rooms include sleek wooden floors, oak panelling, Irish artwork and Nespresso coffee machines.
The Intercontinental Dublin
A 20-minute drive from the city centre, you’ll find the five-star Intercontinental Dublin.
This hotel is a fantastic choice for those hiring a car and travelling with children, situated on two acres of land and home to an award-winning on-site restaurant, large swimming pool and extensive spa facilities; what this hotel lacks in location, it certainly makes up for in amenities.
Temple Bar Inn
If you’re looking to be in the heart of the action during your trip to Dublin, then look no further than the Temple Bar Inn.
This hotel is just 350 yards from Dublin Castle and a 3-minute walk from O’Connell Street and Trinity College.
However, despite the just about perfect location, this hotel doesn’t compromise on facilities, with each modern room featuring a mini-fridge, flat-screen TV and tea and coffee facilities.
We stayed at the Generator Hostel during our first trip to Dublin and were incredibly impressed by the value for money offered.
Situated just next door to the Jameson Distillery and a 16-minute walk from the iconic Temple Bar region, the hostel offers a range of private rooms and dorm rooms, making it an incredibly affordable option for those travelling to Dublin on a budget.
LGBTQ+ Nightlife In Dublin
Like many cities around the world, the number of LGBTQ+ venues in Dublin is sadly declining, with many venues running for multiple decades closing their doors for the final time.
Therefore if you’re looking for a fantastic night out in Dublin, it’s well worth supporting the remaining LGBTQ+ establishments here in the city;
The George Bar
Situated just a stone’s throw from Dublin Castle, The George Bar is a fantastic low-lit front bar that takes you from afternoon to after midnight without skipping a beat.
This iconic LGBTQ+ bar and club has been at the forefront of Ireland’s LGBTQ+ scene for more than 30 years and has a range of entertainment throughout the week, including drag shows & resident DJ sets.
Street 66 Dublin
Situated in the city’s Temple Bar neighbourhood, you’ll find Street 66 Dublin.
This bar only opened a few years ago. Yet, it’s already incredibly popular with the LGBTQ+ community here in the city, and it’s safe to say this popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the bar recently making it onto Lonely Planet’s list of the top 20 pubs in Dublin.
Not only does Street 66 Dublin offer a fantastic night out, but it also hosts some incredible entertainment, including; Drag & Draw, games nights & live music.
Pantibar is a fantastic bar run by the local gay rights activist and drag performer Rory O’Neill, also known as the queen of Dublin, Panti Bliss.
Open seven days a week; it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing drink on weekdays or a party on the weekends with a range of glitter-filled events.