Belfast a city developing LGBTQ tourism as cities tourism booms.
Belfast has been transforms in recent years from being a city plagued by Troubles and sectarian violence that was absolutely avoided to travellers to a cosmopolitan metropolis slowly tempting tourism back.
The city now offers funky hotels, hedonist nightlife, and modern architecture.
The LGBTQ community is still marginalized due to the countries politics and religion that are still deeply intertwined, so some people still have old fashioned homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
Despite this, or perhaps as a result of it, Belfast, actually has a thriving LGBTQ community and a defined gay quarter where its queer community can come together, support each other and party the night away in peace.
The city of Belfast, however, is working hard to promote itself as an LGBTQ destination, and for the majority of queer tourists, your sexual orientation or identification will cause you absolutely no issue during your visit.
Walking is generally the best way to explore Belfast city centre as a tourist.
The metro buses are the general city buses that take you through various routes in the city while the glider service is relatively new and is a faster bus service that connects the different parts of Belfast.
Belfast International Airport (BFS) is approximately 20km from the city centre.
Belfast City Airport has a designated Airport Express 600 Service which runs every 30 minutes during peak times from the front of the terminal building to Europa bus station in the centre of town. The journey only takes around 40 minutes.
A taxi will cost around €50 and journey time will be about 30 minutes.
Places to stay
The best area to stay in Belfast is the Cathedral Quarter. In this central area, which covers the city centre, you will be able to access on foot many of the city's main highlights including Donegall Square, St. Anne's Cathedral and the Albert Clock.
Bars, Clubs & Parties
Belfast's LGBTQ nightlife is centred around the Smithfield & Union area in the north of the city centre, on the fringes of the Cathedral Quarter.
The lesbian, gay, trans and queer community mix in all these bars, which offers and diverse, interesting and all-inclusive atmosphere.
Kremlin is one of the best gay venues in Belfast as one of the oldest having been open since 1999. While it is perhaps no longer Belfast’s most popular gay club, it still is a popular place for a great night out on the town.
Open five nights a week, Kremlin boasts several different rooms and dance floors featuring excellent DJs, drag cabaret, drink deals, and so much more.
Libertine is a new gay bar, club, and garden that opened in 2022 and is co-owned by Game of Thrones actor and international DJ Kristian Nairn whom you find him in the DJ booth from time to time.
Titti Von Tramp, a legendary drag queen is the host of Libertine’s flagship night. Other music nights range from pop anthems to cheesy tunes, disco, house, and more,
Maverick is another of Belfast’s iconic gay bars located in the heart of Belfast’s Rainbow Quarter and offers a great atmosphere and vibe.
Maverick offers a range of fantastic live entertainment in the evenings with a lounge and bar are open from 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays to have a chilled-out drink on the weekends. Open late seven nights a week.
Boombox is one of the gay bars in Belfast offering themed nights throughout the week. The weekends at Boombox attract the biggest crowds, and the DJs and music playing guarantee a fantastic night out.
Union Street appears to be the most popular gay bar in Belfast. Union Street is situated in an old 19th-century shoe factory. It is probably the coolest gay bar in Belfast hence its popularity.
Karaoke nights at Union Street are one of the best nights due to the atmosphere and the fact the crowd have the nerve to get up and sing to entertain the crowd.
Cafes & Restaurants
The Cabaret Supper Club is a luxurious supper club to enjoy live burlesque, contortionists, magicians, comedians, bands, even famous local artists, while you enjoy a delicious meal served by your own Cabaret Butler in Belfast city centre.
Muriel’s Cafe Bar is a quirky bar on a quiet side street with fabulous service, a delicious menu and unique cocktails. The staff goes are friendly and welcoming.
Very popular so best to reserve in advance to get a table on busier nights. With unusual décor hanging from the ceiling but their marvellous G&Ts (crafted from any of the over 100 types of Gin in stock), food and friendly atmosphere is more important.
The Perch Rooftop Bar is a great rooftop destination with divine cocktails, posh vibes, and fabulous pizza in a converted Victorian warehouse popular with LGBTQ community. Open 7 days a week, this 5th-floor venue is eclectic, fun, intimate and unique in Belfast.
With an ever-changing cocktail menu, but the Perch Superfly cocktail made with Jose Cuervo Traditional, grapefruit, lime, honey and ginger beer is recommended.
Outside Sauna in Belfast’s growing gay quarter offers an atmosphere for gay and bisexual men to meet, relax and chill out.
Split into two separate zones, one for play and one for unwinding, there is lots of amenities to enjoy, including a garden, Turkish bath Jacuzzi, dark room, sauna, video room, coffee bar, and lockers, glory holes, sling rooms, and private booths, with occasionally fetish nights and a discreet entrance off Donegal street.
Open 24 hours during the weekend and with a crowd that as Northern Ireland is a less gay-friendly country it attracts a few closeted & curious young men or older guys late at night.
Fresh Garbage is an alternative fashion shop open since 1969 has become a mecca renowned for being at the cutting edge of alternative fashion and street fashion. This distinctive shop supports the local LGBTQ community with its elective product range that have something for everybody.
Main LGBT Events
The annual Belfast Pride Festival held annually in July attract around 50,000 attendees with around 100 events taking place in the run up to the Pride Parade, including music, exhibitions, talks, workshops, arts and family fun.
Outburst Queer Arts Festival which has been running from 2006 held annual in November is to showcase the best local and International queer art, film, music, theatre and visual art The festival brings together community activists, artists and writers.
Currency – Pound Sterling (GBP)
Language – English
Visas - Not needed for travelers from the US, Canada and Europe
Best Time To Visit – February - September
Timezone – Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Homosexual Activity – Legal
Sexy Men's Wear
Fetish Men's Wear
What's Your Fetish?
Safe Flying With A Smile
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