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Gay Dublin: our complete travel guide for LGBTQ travelers

Stefan Arestis
Gay Dublin: our complete travel guide for LGBTQ travelers

Everything you need to plan a fabulous gay trip to Dublin: gay bars & clubs, Queer events, places to stay, travel highlights and more…

Dublin has all of the best things in life that start with the letter D. Drinks. Dancing. Dramatic arts. And Dickie… i.e. Rock!

When people think about gay-mazing cities in Europe, Dublin is often overlooked for places like Manchester or Berlin. We can’t think of a reason why a place that has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest the most times and also given birth to legendary gay icons like Oscar Wilde isn’t more highly favored amongst the gays.

For one, there is nothing like the Irish sense of humor. After all, Irish people have the best crack in all of Europe. Except they spell it “craic”, and it’s not what you're thinking, it’s the Irish slang saying for “fun” or a “good time”. In fact, the term is so common, locals greet each other by asking ‘any craic?’ or ‘what's the craic?' instead of ‘hello’. So, don’t be alarmed if this happens to you whilst exploring the city!

Another is the city’s incredible energy. Half-modern, half-medieval, there are few other places you can sip a cocktail in a posh metropolitan bar within viewing distance of a castle or cathedral that is centuries old. Every street corner is embroiled in some fascinating historical event. From the iconic O’Connell Street, where you can still see the bullet holes in the GPO building from the 1916 rebellion, to Kildare Street, where Dracula writer Bram Stoker once lived. There is so much to learn about all parts of the city.

And with more and more gay events and spaces sprouting up across the city, it's only a matter of time before Dublin becomes one of the gayest cities of Europe.

And here’s why…

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Is Dublin safe for gay travelers

Dublin is becoming progressively more gay-friendly as the years go on. It’s generally very safe to hold hands with your partner across the inner city, especially in the main built-up areas. Ireland has become a shining example to the rest of the world in its approach to gay rights that we easily rate it as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.

Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage by public vote in 2015. Leo Varadkar, an openly gay son of an Indian immigrant, served as the “Taoiseach” (pronounced tee-shock – the name for the head of the government) from 2017-2020.

While there are some rough areas around the outer skirts of the city, those spots are easily avoidable. As with anywhere in the world, being spatially aware is your biggest asset to staying safe. If you spot a crowd of rowdy lads up ahead, it’s best to keep any PDA at bay. 

Gay area of Dublin

There isn’t a specific gay area of Dublin, but it has tons of queer-centric spaces dotted across the city. For instance, on South Great George's Street, you have the legendary bar and club The George, which has been the home of the LGBTQ community for over 30 years. Along the same street, we spotted many cafes and restaurants that had the rainbow flag hung up in their front windows.

On Capel Street, you have two gay bars facing each other, Pantibar and Pennylane, while across the bridge, you can find gay bar Street 66 on Parliament Street.

Save money on lots of Dublin's attractions with the Dublin Pass

Discounts on major Dublin attractions? Yes, please!

Pre-order the Dublin Pass online to get discounts for many of the city's attractions, along with a digital guidebook. The Dublin Pass also includes a day on the hop-on-hop-off bus which makes sightseeing after a heavy night out SOOO SO much easier!

Find out more

Gay hotels in Dublin

There are no exclusively gay hotels in Dublin like the kind you’d find in Barcelona, Berlin, or Palm Springs, but there are a whole bunch of gay-friendly options which we've set out below. Do note, however, that Dublin is not the cheapest place to visit in Europe. In this section we set out some of the best gay and gay friendly hotels in Dublin to check out covering all budgets:

01

The Westbury Hotel

The Westbury is a luxurious and gay friendly five star hotel in Dublin

In a nutshell


  • Luxurious five-star hotel
  • Central location
  • Two fantastic in-house restaurants
  • Gorgeously decorated rooms

The gay friendly Westbury Hotel sits on the crossroads of Dublin’s Creative Quarter, wrapped within a labyrinth of streets that contain boutique shops, music bars, and top-notch restaurants. It’s minutes away from one of Ireland’s most famous theaters, The Gaiety, a gorgeous city park, St. Stephens Green, and Trinity College.

The standard rooms are decorated with soft tranquil colors and plush furniture, giving resonance to names like ‘The Classic Room’. This would be the perfect choice for gay couples.

The hotel contains the luxurious Wilde restaurant, which has an extensive wine list – that was enough to win us over. Whilst sitting in, we were enamored by the abundance of greenery that the owners added to create an outdoor dining sensation, inside the sun terrace. They also have a bistro called Balfes if you're in the mood for something more casual. It has a strong Manhattan-style atmosphere with its artisan dishes and zinc-covered cocktail bar.

We also loved The Sidecar, an elegant 30s themed cocktail and wine bar. You can even experience one of Dublin's best afternoon teas at the Westbury, in the gallery, where views over Grafton Street are accompanied by sandwiches, scones, pastries, fragrant tea, and a glass from the champagne trolley!

Prices at The Westbury start from $380 per night:


STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL

Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, voiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off our first booking.

02

Schoolhouse Hotel

You can stay in a renovated and historic schoolbuilding at the Schoolhouse Hotel in Dublin

In a nutshell


  • Incredible historic building
  • Dome, restaurant or Irish pub dining
  • Beautifully decorated rooms
  • 10-minute walk to center of Dublin

By staying in the gay friendly Schoolhouse hotel, you’re taking a trip through Irish history. The building has been around since the mid-1800s and was once a school itself. Most fascinating of all was how the building was occupied by volunteer fighters preparing to take part in the 1916 Rising – the rebellion that kickstarted the movement for Irish independence.

Coming here now is the exact opposite of returning to school though, meaning there is no need to worry about turning in your math or geography homework!

We particularly loved the special dining experiences that were offered, which involved us having a scrumptious meal within a private outdoor dome. Great for enjoying a sweet, intimate moment with a loved one in an otherwise lavishly busy hotel.

The Schoolhouse Restaurant is also lovely, situated in what used to be a (pretty stunning) classroom with high ceilings and wooden beams. You can also sit outside in the garden of the Schoolhouse Bar for traditional Irish pub food – and a full Irish breakfast can be served in your room in the morning!

Prices at Schoolhouse Hotel start from $170 per night:


03

Jacobs Inn Hostel

Jacobs Inn Hostel is a lovely budget option in Dublin

In a nutshell


  • Super central location
  • Free city walking tours each morning
  • Private rooms or bunk beds in dorms
  • Cheap bottomless breakfast and a rooftop terrace

Jacobs Inn is a budget gay friendly hostel perfectly suited to solo gay travelers, or those who don't like spending money on unneeded extras. It’s a five-minute walk from Temple Bar, a bustling collection of bars and restaurants.

They offer all kinds of rooms, depending on your group size. There is a private deluxe double room, which would suit a couple looking for a cheaper alternative but not keen on sharing with strangers. They also have both same-gender and mixed dormitory options, some of which can fit up to 12 people in separate pods.

Despite a large volume of guests staying in the hostel at any one time, the place is still spotlessly clean, and the staff always make time for you. There's the option to grab a “bottomless porridge” breakfast in the morning, with lots of fancy toppings as well as bottomless orange juice and coffee.

They offer a free 3-hour walking tour of the city every morning. In the evenings, starting from 8pm, they host a pub crawl, bringing you around the best bars in the city. It’s a fantastic way to socialize with fellow guests and make new friends, only helped along by the lovely rooftop terrace hangout spot.

Prices at Jacobs Inn Hostel start from $20 per night:


Gay bars in Dublin

Of course, if we’re going to talk about any Irish city or town, we have to talk about the places to go out. Dublin has no shortage of gay bars to visit. And whether you want to go watch a sports game, have a low-key drink with friends, join in on a singsong with a live local band, or watch a drag queen perform, Dublin has it all!

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The George

The George is one of the oldest and most well-known gay bars in Dublin

Home of the Shirley Temple Bingo – one of Dublin's best drag shows. Every Sunday evening, Ms. Temple takes over and entertains the crowds…we lapped up every minute – tip: just don't sit too close to the front or she will pick on you! The George is an institution on the Dublin gay scene. By day it's the city's top gay bar. By night, especially on weekends, it's the capital's best gay club (more on this below). Find out more about this awesome place on The George Instagram.

Open: The George Bar is open daily from 5pm (from midday on weekends) until around 1-2am

Location: It is located at 89 South Great George's Street


Pantibar

Pantibar is a fun gay bar in Dublin owned by drag queen Ms Panti Bliss

Owned by the Irish Queen of Drag herself, Ms. Panti Bliss, Pantibar sits at the top of Capel Street. From the giant rainbow flag to the massive outdoor sign that spells out the bar name in glittering lights, you know you’re going to be in for a fun gay time. The bar staff here are super-hot and beyond friendly. Cocktails are surprisingly cheap, by Dublin standards, and delicious. During weeknights, it’s a relatively quiet place while on Saturdays, they often have drag performances – which can sometimes include cameos from Ms. Bliss herself! Also pro-tip: They offer free STIs testing on Saturday afternoons.

Open: Pantibar is open daily from 2pm until 11.30pm and until 12.30am on weekends

Location: It can be found at 7-8 Capel Street


Street 66 Dublin

Street 66 is a fun gay bar and cafe in Dublin for drinks during the day or night

Throughout the day, Street 66 is a café/bar – great for meeting friends over a coffee or day drink. As it moves towards the evening, Street 66 becomes more raucous and party-centric. It attracts a young crowd, who show up for the Top 40 hits, classic pop tracks, and EDM. When we went, there was a drag DJ glammed up for the gawds, churning out gay bop after gay bop. They have a wide selection of drinks, with our personal favorite, the espresso martini! Nothing like a good mix of alcohol and caffeine to give you a perfect buzz for the evening…

Open: Street 66 is open daily from 12.30pm until midnight, and until 2.30am on weekends

Location: It can be found at 33-34 Parliament Street


Pennylane Bar

Pennylane Bar is the quieter sister of Pantibar, but still fabulously gay

Sitting right across the street from Pantibar, Pennylane is a chic cocktail gay bar, also owned by Ms. Panti Bliss. It opened its doors in 2019 and is a relatively demure spot for the Dublin queer community to chill out in. It’s more sophisticated than some of the other bars and clubs we’ve noted on this list. The décor features a red brick wall, marble statues, and plants. The staff at Pennylane are lovely and sure know how to whip up a delicious cocktail. We say grab a drink here and head off for a dance in Pantibar or Street 66 afterward.

Open: Pennylane is open daily from 5pm (on weekends from 3pm) until around midnight

Location: It can be found at Regent House, 2 Strand Street Great


Gay clubs in Dublin

Sometimes you just need a quiet drink, and the rest of the time, you want to party. And Dublin has no shortage of places to go for either of these moods. Strap on those dancing shoes and hit up one of these awesome top gay clubs in Dublin:

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The George

Late at night The George in Dublin switches from gay bar to pumping gay club!

The heart of the Dublin gay scene, The George is our favorite gay club in Dublin. We love coming here for drinks first (see bar section above), then a few dance moves later in the evening when it becomes a club. The George is the place to go for all things drag, pop music, and dancing. The crowd is a great mix of young and old, bear and otters, Irish and international. Spread across two floors, there is plenty of space for dancing, chatting, and flirting. They regularly host drag shows in the evenings, featuring legendary Irish queens like Paul Ryder, Pixie Woo, Davina Devine, and Victoria's Secret. It’s where the Drag Race girls perform on their UK and Ireland club tours as well, so you never know what icon you might come across when visiting.

Open: The George Club is open daily from 5pm (from midday on weekends) until around 1-2 am

Location: It can be found at 89 South Great George's Street


Euphoria Dublin

Euphoria is a fun gay dance party that takes place twice a month in Dublin

Euphoria is held in The Button Factory in Temple Bar two Fridays a month. In terms of music, Euphoria is more house and techno-based than pop or dance. It’s been known to hold themed parties, as well as the Sexy Snowball. So, if you’re over moving to the same old Beyonce and Gaga songs, then a trip to Euphoria might just be for you. I mean, with a name like Euphoria (Loreen at Eurovision 2012 memories anyone?) it already promises one hell of a good time!

Open: Euphoria is open twice a month on Fridays, so check their Facebook page for details of the next party

Location: Euphoria parties are held at the Button Factory on Curved Street, Temple Bar


Mother

Mother is a gay dance party held in Dublin on Saturday nights

Mother is an LGBTQ club night held on Saturday nights at Lost Lane on Grafton Street. It was set up in 2010 as a way for disco and EDM lovers to reclaim their space in the gay community. It is also the mother of all Pride events every June during Dublin Pride with a massive dance party, for which tickets always sell out super fast. In 2019, they hosted the first-ever LGBTQ music festival in Dublin, with tons of performances from queer artists and famous drag queens.

Open: Mother Club is open on Saturdays from 11pm until 3am

Location: It can be found at Lost Lane, Adams Court, Grafton Street


Bukkake

Bukkake gay parties in Dublin only take place occasionally but are not to be missed!

We know the name of this one caught your eye… and the gay event itself is just as scandalous as you’d expect. It’s only on a few times throughout the year on the Sunday before a bank holiday. You can check when these dates are but it’s roughly in March, April, May, June, August, and October. It’s when the hardcore loving subsection of the LGBTQ community comes out to play in the 4 Dame Lane club. On their Facebook page, they note how it’s the perfect event for “fabulous freaks and party monsters”…Why didn’t they just @ us…?!

Open: Bukkake parties take place on select weekends, check their Facebook page for more details

Location: The Bukkake Party is held in a variety of different Dublin locations, so check their Facebook page for details of the next one


DaDDi

If you love bears, daddies and/or leather, head to a DaDDi party in Dublin

The DADDi parties take place monthly, so the crowd always comes out in full force to make the most of it. This themed gay dance party is held for bears, leather lovers, and daddies. The music is heavy and pulsing, so expect to get very sweaty on the dancefloor. Men on the cruise will be sure to pull as the place gets packed to the brim.

Open: DaDDi parties are usually held on a Friday or Saturday night from 10pm until around 3am

Location: DADDi parties move to a new location every month so be sure to check out their website for the most up-to-date info


Sweatbox

Sweatbox is a gay party in Dublin that's held every Friday night

Held every Friday in “The Hub” in Temple Bar, the Sweatbox is Dublin's best gay club for house music. At each weekly party, you just feel obliged to join in and take it off. And by that, we mean your shirt! It’s a night of great music, hot men, and sweaty dancing. What more could you ask for? Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the infamous darkroom… If you’re looking for some fun with a mysterious (anonymous) lover, then you know exactly where to go…

Open: Sweatbox is open on Friday nights from 11pm until 3.30am

Location: Sweatbox parties are held in The Hub at 23 Eustace Street, in Temple Bar


Profile at Voodoo Lounge

Profile gay parties are held once a month in Dublin at varying location

Profile parties happen once a month on a Saturday and celebrate everything gay! From Drag Race premiere parties to Valentine's speed-dating events, Profile always likes to add some fabulous theme onto their night. They often have DJs from around the world performing so expect an eclectic mix of music. This is what we love about Profile parties – you never know what flavor or genre you’ll be getting! The men are hot, the drinks are delish, and the night is always guilt-free fun…

Open: Profile parties are held on one Saturday a month from 11pm until 3am – check their Facebook page for details of the next one

Location: Voodoo Lounge can be found at 40 Arran Quay, Smithfield


Gay saunas in Dublin

Today, there is just one sole gay sauna in Dublin because the rise in gay dating apps has heavily subdued the gay sauna scene of Dublin.

The big name of the Dublin gay sauna game is The Boilerhouse. Secret and hot fun, a trip to the Boilerhouse is like venturing into another world. Situated in the Temple Bar area, the sauna is five floors of salacious activity. Inside, you’ll find a dry sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, private cabins, and sling area. 

It has a surprising mix of guests, with both younger and older guys roaming around. It's mostly busy in the evenings. A lot of people like to hit it up after spending a few hours socializing in The George.

Open: The Boilerhouse is open Monday – Wednesday from 1pm until 9pm and Thursday – Sunday from 1pm until 11pm

Location: It can be found at 12 Crane Lane, in Temple Bar

Dublin Pride and other gay events

Dublin has lots of LGBTQ-themed festivals throughout the year that are worth checking out. Unlike in Barcelona and other warm climates, it doesn’t get to throw beach parties or bathing suit extravaganzas. Instead, it whips out a string of events that celebrate the Irish wit and charm.

Here are some of the best gay events in Dublin to check out:

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Béar Féile (March)

Gentlemen start your engines and may the best bear win. As much as we love a cute twink, we think they get more than enough attention in the gay world. This is why we think it is incredible that Dublin has its own Bear Festival (Béar Féile). The festival spans a few days each spring, with dance nights, a Bear Bus tour, bingo, and a crowning of Mr. Bear Ireland.

Dublin Pride (June)

The biggest LGBTQ event of the year, Dublin gets coated in the rainbow every June. From the Pride flags that get raised along the side of the River Liffey to the gay-themed murals that sprout up around the city, there is no escaping Pride. Events are held throughout the entire month of June. From meetups to movie screenings, dance nights to memorials, there is something for everyone in the community to get into.

It all culminates in the final Saturday of June when the massive parade moves through the central heart of Dublin. Groups from across the country take part in the march with many subsections of the LGBTQ community represented. At the end of the route is the main stage where there are live performances throughout the afternoon. Bars and clubs across the city host Pride-themed events so if you don’t bag a coveted ticket to Mother, the biggest of the parties, you have plenty of other options.

Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (May)

Dublin is theater obsessed. Not only do they have their own Fringe Festival and a Dublin Theatre Festival back-to-back in September/October, but they also have a theater festival just for the LGBTQ community! What started back in 2004 to represent more queer people on the Irish stage, has grown to become a fully-fledged celebration of all things LGBTQ. It’s an ode to the legendary Oscar Wilde and has incredible plays each year that shine a light on all the contributions the gay community brings to Ireland. We LIVE for this!

Gaze Film Festival (Sept/Oct)

Held in the second part of each year, the GAZE film festival is a fantastic way of seeing the best in queer cinema. It holds screenings of both big blockbuster films to smaller art-house cinema. We loved the days where they showed short films that focused on specific groups within the LGBTQ community, such as the “gay shorts”, the “trans shorts” etc. Look out for any discussion panel or Q&As that some movies may have, as actors/filmmakers often make appearances! They also put on screenings of throwback classics that the queer community has loved for years.

Where to eat in Dublin

Here’s to the ladies who brunch…

Eating out in Ireland can be an expensive feat but a very rewarding one with no fewer than 15 Michelin Starred restaurants! We’ve picked out some of our favorite restaurants in Dublin ranging from the high-end cosmopolitan meal to the more local traditional Irish pub:

Glover’s Alley by Andy McFadden

Glover's Alley is an incredible Michelin-starred restaurant in Dublin you need to visit!

This is one of the most high-end restaurants in Dublin – we’re talking Michelin stars here! Its wide-open interior and high ceilings mixed with excellent service add to the cosmopolitan buzz. It’s very much on the pricey side, but worth it if you’re looking to treat yourself, perfect for a celebratory dinner. Serving up scrumptious meals that feature the best of Irish produce, Glover’s Alley is the epitome of fine dining. It also has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. The restaurant faces St Stephens Green, which makes it super convenient to get to if you’re staying in the middle of the city.


Oscars Café Bar

Oscars Café Bar is a lovely spot in Dublin for drinks and food

Based in the trendy Smithfield area, Oscars Café Bar is a high-end restaurant with modern cuisine. The interior is very chic and contemporary, pulling together the feel of a classic Irish pub, yet with an urban flair and polish. It has outdoor dining, which is fabulous to sit in when the sun is out, especially as it overlooks the bustling square where there is always a hive of activity.


J.P. Mooney's

J.P. Mooney's is our top pick in Dublin for a traditional Irish pub meal

Of course, you can find up-scale restaurants anywhere in the world. What you can’t find is the traditional Irish bar but J.P. Mooney's encapsulates just that. With cheeky wait staff, classic Irish dishes, and tons of Guinness (there is even a stew dish infused with the black stuff on the menu), you can’t get any more Irish if you tried. Based on Nassau Street, a stone's throw away from Grafton Street, it’s close to tons of main attractions like Trinity College and St Stephen's Green.


Best things to do in Dublin

We’ve told you all about where to stay, where to drink, and where to eat. But we’ve told you nothing about what to get up to in Dublin – yet! Here's some of our favorite things to do in Dublin:

Oscar Wilde Walking Tour

Gay visitors to Dublin need to stop by the statue commemorating Oscar Wilde

One of the all-time greats in the literary world, Oscar Wilde was beloved for his sharp wit and powerful storytelling; two attributes that this walking tour uses in abundance. We particularly loved this tour because we got an inspiring history about this legend's life at Merrion Square. This is where you can find the Oscar Wilde statue, where the man himself lies suavely over a rock. Our guide gave us the all fascinating history of Oscar Wilde here, along with details about other ‘rogues' from Dublin. A must for all LGBTQ travelers to Dublin!


Guinness Storehouse

You can't visit Dublin and not check out the Guinness Storehouse!

They say no trip to Ireland is complete without sampling some of the black stuff. So why not go to where the precious nectar is created? The famous Guinness Storehouse is situated slightly outside of the main city, close to Dublin Zoo and Heuston Station. It’s about a 10/15-minute bus ride from the central part of the city. In the factory, you’ll be caught up on all the history and legacy of the infamous stout. You’ll learn how it is made, as well as delivered to all the corners of the world. If you’re a lightweight, then you better make sure you arrive on a full stomach, as you’ll get your own drink at the end of the tour. If you think you can handle it, you could even do a combined tour of the Guinness Storehouse AND the Jameson Distillery!


EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC Irish Emigration Museum is a fascinating look at how Irish people have traveled the world

During the Famine and subsequent periods of economic decline, Irish people abandoned their shores for places like the UK and the United States. Exhibits at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum delve into the social and political make-up of Ireland through the years that drove citizens to emigrate. This includes video testimonies of emigrants, delving into their personal stories of leaving home and the life they found abroad. Other exhibits look at the contributions Irish emigrants have made across the world, from music to literature. It's absolutely fascinating and a must-visit.


Trinity College – and the Book of Kells

Visiting Trinity College's Long Room library to see the Book of Kells is a must when visiting Dublin

The world-famous “Book of Kells” is on display in Trinity College in the Long Room, which is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The book was made in 800AD and is thought to contain the four Gospels of the New Testament. As such it's so famous that people travel from all over the world visit to see the incredibly intricate illustrations – it receives around 1 million each year! It's so impressive that it even inspired the Oscar-nominated movie, “The Secret of Kells”. Even if you're not religious Trinity College and the stunning Long Room is worth a visit, you can even combine it with a tour of Dublin Castle.


St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral is a stunning cathedral in Dublin that you need to see when visiting the city

As the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most important places of worship in Ireland. Built on the grounds where Saint Patrick baptized people into the Christian faith, the cathedral itself was constructed in the 12th century. Tours are available that take you around the cathedral, going into the history and cultural significance of the cathedral – or you can do a self-guided tour. A choir can regularly be heard singing here – a tradition that dates back to the 1400s when people would meet here to sing together.


Kilmainham Gaol Museum

A visit to Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin is a grim but interesting activity

What was once one of the most famous prisons in the country has now become one of the most popular tourist attractions of Dublin. So much history occurred in the walls of Kilmainham Gaol, including the execution of 14 men who led the Easter Rising rebellion. You can only visit the gaol as part of a tour, where your guide will tell you all about the history of the building, the type of prisoners who were sent there, and the conditions they had to live in. Even though it's grim, we definitely recommend experiencing it.


The National Gallery of Ireland

If you like art then you need to visit the National Gallery of Ireland while you're in Dublin

Home to hundreds of paintings from Irish and international artists, a trip to the National Gallery is a fantastic way to fill an afternoon. Especially for art lovers as it has a wide array of both natural, Victorian, and contemporary paintings. This can be done alone, though you can join tour guides that will take you through the displays, or do a combined tour of the National Gallery, National Library AND National Museum to learn all about Ireland's colorful history.


Plan your trip

We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own gay trip to Dublin. Read on to find out everything the gay traveler should know before they go.

How to get there: You can fly directly into Dublin's International Airport from many cities in Europe, but you'll probably need to transit somewhere if traveling from outside of Europe. The airport is about 10km (6 miles) from Dublin's city center. It takes about half an hour to get into the city, if there's no traffic. There are bus services you can use to travel from the airport to city, as well as taxis, although we personally prefer to pre-book a private transfer so we don't have to try and juggle our luggage or worry about public transport if it's a late-night arrival.


Visa requirements: Citizens of many countries don't need a visa to visit Ireland as a tourist for up to 3 months, including those from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and most European countries. We still recommend you check your personal visa requirements before making any travel plans for Dublin though, just to be sure!


Getting around: You can easily explore the main touristic part of Dublin around Temple Bar by walking, and the Luas (tram/light-rail system) is also easy to use for getting around the city center. You can order the Dublin pass online which includes a free ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, as well as discounts at many major attractions.


Power Plugs: Ireland uses the same power plugs as the rest of the United Kingdom, but if you're traveling from anywhere else you will need to bring a travel adaptor with you to Dublin. At least, if you want to be able to charge your electronic devices!


Travel insurance: We always recommend travel insurance so that you will be protected in the case of injury, illness, theft or cancellations beyond your control. We've been using World Nomads Travel Insurance for years and cannot recommend them highly enough for your trip to Dublin. Their coverage is very comprehensive and it's easy to make a claim online when you need to.


Vaccinations: All travelers to Ireland should be up to date with routine vaccinations for things like measles, mumps, chickenpox and Covid-19. The CDC also recommends most travelers be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but make sure you speak to your doctor or travel nurse before heading to Dublin.


Currency: The currency used in the Republic of Ireland (where Dublin is located) is the euro, which uses the symbol €. Currently €1 is worth around $1.20 or 86 pence in pounds sterling. Just don't get confused if you travel into Northern Ireland, where you will need to use pounds sterling as it's part of the United Kingdom!


Tipping culture: Generally, you don't need to tip while in Ireland, but you can if you want to. If you're staying at a hotel you can tip housekeeping or porters a couple of euros. At restaurants there will often be a ‘service fee' included, so there's no need to tip if this is already there. Otherwise, a tip of 10-15% is acceptable if you thought the service was good.


Accommodation: We love to use Booking.com when deciding where to stay in Dublin because they have an extensive selection and the best prices. They also provide excellent 24/7 customer support if needed and free cancellation for most listings.


Sightseeing and adventure: We've mentioned a few fun things to do in Dublin already, but if you're looking for more, we love to use GetYourGuide. The booking process is easy, there are countless of cool activities to choose from and their 24 hour customer support is excellent.


When to visit: Dublin has four distinct seasons, so if you want the warmest weather (with lots of festivals) then you should visit during the summer months of June – August. However, it can be just as lovely (and much more affordable) to visit during the winter off-season, cuddling up in front of wood fires at the pub, seeing Christmas lights or playing in the snow. Autumn and spring are also lovely, and if you want to experience an epic St. Patrick's day then you'll need to visit in March.


Gay map of Dublin

Here's a map of Dublin with all the gay hangouts we've mentioned in this post marked on it. We hope it helps you plan your own gay fabulous trip to Dublin!

Use our gay map of Dublin to plan your own fabulous trip to the city

For more inspiration:

Here's our gay travel guide to Dublin with all our favorite spots and things to do
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Here's our complete gay guide to the Greek/Cypriot side of Cyprus with all the best places to stay, eat, drink, party and more!
Gay Cyprus: the complete travel guide for LGBTQ travelers
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Stefan Arestis

Stefan is the co-founder, editor, and author of the gay travel blog nomadicboys.com. As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents. What he loves the most about traveling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends, and learning new cultures. His advice about LGBTQ travel has been featured in Gaycation Magazine, Gaycities, Gay Times, Pink News, and Attitude Magazine. He has also written about gay travel for other non-gay-specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post. Stefan is also a qualified lawyer, having practiced as a commercial property litigator in London for over 10 years. He left his lawyer days behind to work full time on Nomadic Boys with his husband Sebastien. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

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