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Seven gay bars in Sydney for every day of the week!

Stefan Arestis
Seven gay bars in Sydney for every day of the week!

There is a gay bar in Sydney hosting an epic party every single day of the week! In this guide, we tell you which are the best ones to head to.

The gay scene in Sydney is on fire!

That was our first impression as we made our way over to the Stonewall bar to watch the drag show. Our eyes sparkled like kids in a candy store, enchanted by the vibrant atmosphere! Everyone was smoking hot, yet as friendly as pie and down to earth. It's what we love most about Australians, particularly Sydneysiders.

The gay scene of Sydney is largely based in and around Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. Open up your Grindr here and BOOM…you'll feel like the hottest gossip in a room full of juicy secrets!

Darlinghurst stands as the pulsating heart and soul of gay Sydney. The gay bars here are a treat! Something always happens every day of the week, especially on weekends.

Based on our experiences, we've compiled this guide to the best gay bars to visit each day of the week. For a deeper dive, you should also hit up our gay guide to Sydney for first-timers, and if you're planning on diving in the Great Barrier Reef, you should read our experience of snorkeling with manta rays at Lady Elliot Island.

Heads up: We just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links. That means if you book something through one of those links, we'll get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. It helps us keep our blog going – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥

A drag queen in a Wonder Woman outfit showing tourists gay hotspots on Oxford Street in Sydney, Australia.

Explore Sydney's gay neighborhood with a drag queen!

Embark on a fabulous journey through Sydney's LGBTQ+ scene with the extraordinary Wonder Mama as your guide! Join this phenomenal drag queen on a tour that unveils the best gay shops, bars, and cafés, all while she regales you with captivating stories of Sydney's LGBTQ+ history.

Find out more

MONDAY: Hospo Monday at Universal

Hospo Mondays began with the idea that people who work in the hospitality industry are busy all weekend long so Monday is their well-deserved day off.

Universal hosts its own gay Hospo Monday party, extending discounted drinks to anyone with an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol ) training card.

Of course, you don't have to work in hospitality to attend the Hospo night at Universal, but if you're looking for a happening place to head on a Monday evening, we recommend checking it out. They have a rotating series of drag shows hosted by legendary Sydney Queens like Tina Bikki, Marilyn Mootrub, Faux Fur, and Jacqui St Hyde.

This is also a great choice if you fancy a fun night out, but don't want something too crazy. Weekend parties at Universal are often heaving, but we found Hospo Monday parties to be more laid back.

We recommend Hospo Monday to dip your toe into the Sydney gay scene or as the perfect antidote after heavy Sunday partying at The Beresford!

  • Location: Universal is located at 85-91 Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.
  • Opening hours: Hospo Mondays take place from 10 pm, every Monday night.
Gay guys drinking and partying at the Universal gay bar in Sydney.
The Hospo gays at Universal

TUESDAY: Naughty Numbers Drag Bingo at The Oxford

While ordinary bingo has long been associated with old ladies, drag bingo has transformed this classic game into a lively and pretty remarkable experience. We love a drag bingo – it's crass with guaranteed non-stop laughter from start to finish…and those Aussie queens sure don't hold back!

If the Oxford Hotel is the glittering crown jewel of the Sydney gay scene, then its Naughty Numbers Drag Bingo party is undoubtedly its glamorous tiara.

Upon entering we were engulfed in a dazzling sea of rainbow colors and glitz. The energy felt positively electric…although part of that may be from the three rounds of Margaritas we'd had…

As soon as the drag queens take the stage, they host that bingo like nobody's business! They bring the sass, the class, and a whole lot of ass-kicking humor, making those bingo calls sizzle hotter than a fire-breathing dragon!

The core of the event is, of course, playing bingo. Attendees purchase bingo cards, just like in traditional bingo, and use markers to tick off called numbers. The drag host then announces the numbers with a playful and entertaining flair. Forget the usual monotone bingo calls, here it's witty and humorous commentary, playful banter, and plenty of audience interaction.

At the Oxford Hotel, Tuesday Drag Bingo is not just glittery, it's one of the sparkliest, sassiest, and most unforgettable parties of the week!

  • Location: The Oxford Hotel is located at 134 Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.
  • Opening hours: Naughty Numbers drag bingo takes place on Tuesdays from 7:30 pm.
Stefan and Adam at the Oxford gay bar in Sydney with teapot Margaritas.
You can also get a margarita in a teapot, which feels, correct!

WEDNESDAY: Malebox at Stonewall

As the week cruises into Wednesday night, the temperature rises in Sydney thanks to the sexy legendary Malebox party at Stonewall. This is the ultimate gay pick-up night where the bar is bustling with hot singles in search of Mr Right (or, let's be honest, Mr Right Now).

Picture a soirée where love, romance, and a hint of mischief all mix together. That's what Malebox is all about: like a post office, but instead of letters, you're sending out vibes to find your perfect match.

At the Malebox party, a charming and oh-so-sexy “maleman” (geddit?) takes center stage. This charismatic host is like Cupid in a uniform, facilitating connections among singles in the room. It's all about mingling, laughter, and lots of flirting.

You'll find yourself in a playful atmosphere where everyone's on the lookout for a special someone. It's like a gay dating game show but with a twist of comedy and a dash of naughtiness. And fear not, even if a meaningful relationship doesn't materialize, there are pretty Aussiebum dancers on hand to spice up the atmosphere.

  • Location: The Stonewall Hotel is located at 175 Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.
  • Opening hours: Malebox parties are held on Wednesdays from 9 pm.
The GoGo dancers at the Stonewall gay bar in Sydney.
If nothing else, Malebox parties are full of eye candy!

THURSDAY: Let's Get Quizzical at Burdekin

Thursday, the night of charm and glittery revelations, the chance to impress your Grindr date…WHY? ‘Cause it's where you get to show off your knowledge, of course, at Burdekin's “Let's Get Quizzical”. This is a general knowledge and pop culture trivia night masterfully orchestrated by Sydney's own dazzling Glitter King, Kevin in the City.

As you step into the Burdekin for this epic trivia extravaganza, prepare for a sparkling good time. It's not your run-of-the-mill quiz but a pop culture party. Anticipate questions that'll make you ponder and giggle, with bonus rounds that are more fabulous than a unicorn in sequins. It's the quiz night where brains meet bling, an absolute must for anyone looking to have a quizzically good time.

But hold on, there's more! Fabulous prizes await, so irresistible that you'll be vying to sashay with all of them. And keep those eyes peeled for surprise twists that'll have you exclaiming, “Oh, honey, I did not see that coming!”

So, round up your brainiac buddies, don your thinking tiara, and join our Kevin for a night of trivia, laughter, and glittery surprises.

  • Location: The Burdekin Hotel is located at 2 Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.
  • Opening hours: Let's Get Quizzical takes place on Thursday nights from 7 pm.
Gay man topless with rainbow angel wings street art on Oxford Street in Sydney.
What do you call a gay guy with rainbow wings? Loved!

FRIDAY: Flashback Friday at Palms on Oxford

Palms on Oxford is a snug basement dive bar nestled on Oxford Street. It exudes an unpretentious charm that resonates with my soul. Why? Flashback Friday!

For gays of a certain (ahem!) age, we love gay clubs that feature 80s and 90s music. The DJ sets pump-out hits from the crème de la crème of gay icons – Britney, the Spice Girls, Whitney, Christina…

As others have noted, Palms on Oxford has a bit of a “daggy disco ambiance”. Yet it's precisely this characteristic that endears it to us and fuels its Friday night popularity. The crowd is super friendly, everyone seems to be relishing every moment. Macarena dance moves…a Spice Up Your Life singalong…a dash of A-ha Take On Me…Palms is the ultimate Millennial dream!

The only minor hitch at Palms is the inevitable wait in line, particularly after 10 pm. Furthermore, its soaring popularity attracts a mixed crowd. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but occasionally, it feels like the Hen party crowd takes center stage…

Nevertheless, I still love me a Flashback Friday party. It's the best way to kick off an epic gay weekend in Sydney!

  • Location: Palms on Oxford is located at 124 Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.
  • Opening hours: Flashback Friday nights take place from 8 pm.
Gay guys partying at the Palms gay bar in Sydney.
Embracing the retro vibes at the Palms Flashback Friday night!

SATURDAY: Poof Doof at Arq

POOF DOOF is one of our favorite drag shows in Sydney. I always have to suppress a giggle each time I walk past and see the name. It's a hilarious play on the reclaimed gay slur ‘poof', mixed with ‘doof doof music', the Aussie term for dance beats with a thumping bass.

Arq is the club where the legendary POOF DOOF parties are held on Saturday nights. It has two distinct areas. The first for aforementioned heavy bass ‘doof' music complete with a hot team of Pit Crew-like GoGo dancers. The second, where pop music takes the spotlight, and where you'll find us! It's the ‘Snap Crackle Pop' party, named after the rice crispies mascots (also referred to as ‘rice bubbles' in Australia). That's right, from Palms Flashback Friday to Snap Crackle Pop Saturday, that's how we roll here at Nomadic Boys!

And if you swing by Sydney in February/March to coincide with Mardi Gras, then you're in for a treat! POOF DOOF hosts a lineup of epic parties, including the Drag Brunch, the Parade After PartyLong Luncheon, the Big Gay Boat PartySnack Crackle Pop XXL, and the ARQ Underwear Party.

Yet, rest assured, POOF DOOF is a sizzling Saturday night out, a guaranteed blast, no matter the time of year!

  • Location: Arq is located at 16 Flinders Street in Darlinghurst.
  • Opening hours: POOF DOOF parties take place on Saturdays from 9 pm.
The Arq gay club in Sydney which hosts the Poof Doof party.

SUNDAY: Beresford Sundays at the Beresford Hotel

For a laid-back Sunday sesh (Aussies do love to abbreviate!), make your way to the Beresford Hotel. Beresford Sundays is like Gay Church – an institution in its own right!

We usually head here around 3/4 pm for a late lunch then join the crowd in the terrace bar area outside. The first time we came here it felt like the “Who's Who” of the Sydney gay scene. That's how popular it is, everyone comes here!

We loved the vibe in the terrace area, everyone hanging out, groups quickly converging, and new friendships forming. Our advice if it's your first time in Sydney is to head here because you will effortlessly make new squirrel friends. The Aussies are a super chilled and friendly bunch that it's hard not to get chatting to, well, everyone!

As night falls, around 9 or 10 pm, the energy ascends to the dance area upstairs, where the party kicks into high gear, accompanied by a few drag shows. We had an absolute blast, relishing the shows with their uniquely Aussie brand of humor!

Without a doubt, Beresford Sundays has secured its place as our favorite party on the Sydney gay scene.

  • Location: The Beresford Hotel is located at 354 Bourke Street in Surry Hills.
  • Opening hours: Beresford Sundays take place from midday every Sunday. 
Stefan and Seby posing at The Beresford Sundays gay party in Sydney.

For more inspiration:

Stefan Arestis

Hey everyone, I'm Stefan, the curly-haired Greek flavor behind the gay travel blog Nomadic Boys. Together with my other half, I have explored more than 90 countries across 5 continents. What I love most about traveling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends, learning new cultures. I've written about LGBTQ travel in numerous online publications such as Gaycation Magazine, Gaycities, Gay Times and Pink News as well as for other non-gay-specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post. Check my full bio here.

Craig

Tuesday 20th of February 2024

You guys have really covered off on everything on the Sydney gay scene really well. The bars, drags shows, etc. Well done ! That is, as it stands in 2024. However, the scene its a shadow of its former self. I was born and bred in Sydeny and immersed in the gay scene there in the 1980s and 1990s. You think it is fun now...well, it was off the charts back then and sooo many more venues. It was wall to wall guyson Oxford street every weekend. And so so vibrant. Now, it is way tamer nowadays. I think a lot changed with the advent of online dating etc. in the 2000s. Many legendary places closed. Have you ever heard of the Albury Hotel? Amazing drag shows and patrons splilled out onto the street every weekend

Stefan Arestis

Tuesday 20th of February 2024

Thanks Craig!