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Despite the late decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland in 1993, the gay scene has always been vibrant in Dublin. You will however find that segregation or gay ghettos do not exist in Dublin. The gay scene spills over into straight venues and vice versa. For a good time you will inevitably have to go to straight venues as well as gay ones. Attitudes in Dublin are exceptionally relaxed with very little hassle. Due to the 'mix and mingle' style of Dublin, the gay scene has not developed into 'extremes', for example exclusively camp or fetish venues. Unlike other scenes in different countries the scene in Dublin is mixed and both gay men and gay women generally go to and socialise in the same pubs and clubs with little or no segregation.
While the gay scene can be quite expensive it is fun and vibrant and one of the only pub and entertainment sectors in Ireland that is thriving at the moment . Like most scenes it can seem intimidating at first but once you give it a try the people on it can be incredibly friendly. All the venues are in city centre and can be reached on foot within a 10/15-minute radius.
The biggest gay bar is Dragon on South Great Georges Street, a massive venue on two floors with dance floor and outside smoking area on the second floor. This gets very busy on weekends. Dragon have recently started to charge 10 Euro on Saturday nights. This is just a cover charge and does not include a free drink.
On the same street couple of doors down is Dublin’s oldest gay bar The George (owned by the same company). The George attracts a slightly younger crowd. After 10 pm entrance is via the laneway around the corner and a cover charge applies. The George also has another part to it, which operates completely separate from the rest. The locals call it Jurassic Park, largely due to its older clientele.
On Parliament Street you will find the Front Lounge, a large airy bar with changing exhibitions. Lesbians mainly take up front area, Gays clientale at the back. The Front Lounge is a welcoming and very popular and trendy bar. It mainly attracts a professional crowd over the age of 21 and is very busy at the weekends. Also, the Front Lounge has a karoke night on every Tuesday, everyone is welcome.
Across the river, on the northside, you will find the Pantibar, a restyled gay bar. 7-8 Capel Street, Dublin 1. The bar attracts the over 25s and increasingly more gay women, but everyone is welcome. Nights events - see website for further details- Pantibar.com There are drag shows on every Thursday and Friday night in Pantibar and there is a comedy night on Mondays. Pantibar is free in every night.
Dublin has a new Bear group called ,simply, Dublin Bears. The group holds monthly club and pub events Upstairs@ Nealons and Downstairs@ Copper Alley. The annual event, Béar Féile takes place every March shortly after the St Patrick's Festival and includes the Mr Bear Ireland Competition.
Also, there has been a recent increase in the amount of nights for queer women and their friends....currently there are 4-5 lesbian nights on every month, see Queerid.com, GCN magazine or Facebook for details! The nights include FaKe, Diva, Miss Match and Revival.
Currently there a few dedicated gay clubs in Dublin but the Dragon and The George have dance floors (alternatively check out the parties below for dancing). Also more recently there are much more independant gay and lesbian nights on. See GCN magazine for details.
There are a number of monthly/weekly parties, which are worth checking out:
Mother - Very popular weekly electro, indie and 80's night, every Saturday in Copper Alley, behind the Front Lounge, 11.00 pm till very late! See Mothers Facebook group for details.
Spice Dragon Bar, Georges St, Dublin 2 - every Friday, 3 rooms, gogo dancers & themed nights
Glitz at Dandelion, St. Stephen's Green, slightly camp mid week night out, every Tuesday.
Fake - a night for women and their friends, on in the Academy, 1st Friday of the month, see Facebook for details.
Miss Match for women- a night for women over the age of 25, see Facebook for details.
Bukakke at Purty Kitchen on Essex Street, Bank Holiday Sunday nights only.
Dublin has two gay saunas: Boilerhouse (Dublin’s biggest) on Crane Lane and The Dock Sauna (Upper Ormond Quay).
Two B&Bs market themselves to the gay market, however gay/lesbian travellers are welcome at all hotels in Dublin
The Nua Havan Gay B&Boffers 4 star (self styled) bed and breakfast. (worth reading reviews)
Almara B&B Dublin www.almarabb.com has been a popular luxury accommodation choice for Gay visitors for over 19 years.
The Dublin section of Enjoy Ireland has up to the minute links
As in any other city anti-gay crime does exist in Dublin, though maybe not on a large scale. Travellers are advised to be vigilant and report any incident to the local police who are increasingly being trained to deal with homophobia.
For up to the minute listings try the local free gay magazine Gay community news. (GCN). The best online source is probably Queerid.com
For information on other cities in Ireland see below.