Going out!

Going out!

The island’s capital cities, Dublin and Belfast, turn things up after dark with a selection of club nights, cool bars and a super-friendly LGBT scene for those looking to live it up into the small hours…

The Olympia Theatre

Dublin city

There isn’t really a specific “gay” neighbourhood in Dublin, but you’ll find clusters of LGBT-friendly venues on Capel Street, Parliament Street and South Great George’s Street.

The social scene on Capel Street revolves around Panti Bar. Owned by Dublin’s superhero drag queen, Panti Bliss, this venue is now an institution (even Ireland’s Taoiseach – Prime Minister – has visited). It’s also a fab place to base yourself to enjoy some of what this part of Dublin has to offer, including the hip café Brother Hubbard for coffee, brunch and lunch, and Musashi for sushi and noodles.

Across the Liffey, and South Great George’s Street boasts both The Dragon and The George, while The Front Lounge on Parliament Street offers an elegant space with art-lined walls and great food.

With an ever-evolving restaurant scene, stylish hotels, great museums and galleries and big club nights, Dublin mixes endless energy with an off-kilter sense of fun.

Bring it on.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast city

“Belfast’s gay scene is thriving,” says the feisty In Your Pocket city guide. Among the hottest spots? Club-wise there’s the dance-tastic Kremlin, Ireland’s biggest gay club – a high-rolling, fast-paced Soviet-kitsch venue with resident DJs and theme nights right in the heart of Belfast’s unofficial gay district, the uber-cool Cathedral Quarter.

Maverick Bar keeps things going right through the week, while the Boombox club mixes gay and lesbian-specific nights with parties from Tuesdays on... And don’t miss Union Street, set beneath high ceilings in a former 19th-century shoe factory. It’s the kind of place that does good gastro pub grub, with a classy cocktails in the lounge upstairs.

You’ll also find saunas (the Pipeworks), tons of gay-friendly bars and pubs (especially around the Cathedral Quarter), and a massive Pride festival, all against the backdrop of a city that boasts the Titanic Museum, great boutique shopping and critically acclaimed restaurants.

Belfast’s where it’s at.

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