The gay scene in Dublin has expanded by leaps and bounds in the last decade, from absolutely nothing, to small but sturdy. Due to the country's traditional conservatism, it's unlikely this will ever be an Ibiza-level gay zone, but there are high-quality gay bars and regular gay nights at local dance clubs. Hotels accept same-sex couples without raising an eyebrow. However, the aforementioned conservatism means that it's not a great idea for same-sex couples to hold hands or cuddle on the street, and keeping a low profile when wandering with your gay friends from restaurant to bar isn't a bad idea. Think small-town America, and you'll get the idea.
Cover charges range from €5 to around €20, depending on the club or venue, with discounts for students and seniors.
Check the Gay Community News (www.gcn.ie) or Gay Ireland Online (www.gay-ireland.com) to find out what's going on during your stay. Folks on the helpline Gay Switchboard Dublin (tel. 01/872-1055; www.gayswitchboard.ie) can direct you to activities of particular interest.
Since 1994, LGBTQ people have been stopping by the Outhouse (105 Capel St.; tel. 01/873-4999; www.outhouse.ie) for information, advice, and a cup of tea or coffee. There's a cafe, meeting rooms (groups from AA to Gay Trekkies meet here), a library, and free Internet access, as well as endless information and a referral service. It's open 7 days a week, and is a vital resource in gay Dublin.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.