Skip to Content

Raising The Bar: The 15 Best Gay Bars Around the Globe To Add To Your Queer Bucketlist!

Raising The Bar: The 15 Best Gay Bars Around the Globe To Add To Your Queer Bucketlist!

Gay bars are a cornerstone of the LGBTQ+ community. Bars provide a space for people to socialize, dance, and be themselves, and gay people love doing all three of these things. They are also a place to possibly score free drinks, and who can say no to freebies?

 There are countless gay bars around the world, each with its own unique atmosphere and clientele. Some of them have a café-like vibe, serving coffee and food along with drinks and opening a bit earlier in the day. Some others are much more mature, with strippers and dark rooms for sex.

Others are the quintessential fun bar, with drag queens bringing the chaotic energy that makes a bar exciting. And still, others are more chill and relaxed, a bit more public. The prices and exclusivity also vary. Some of them have no cover charge and are free if you buy a few drinks. Others charge an eye-watering entrance fee, and their drinks cost an arm and a leg.

Which bar you decide to go to depends on where you find yourself, naturally, but it also depends on what your tastes are. That’s why we’ve tried to describe each one as much as possible, so you’ll know what it’s like before you visit, and you won’t feel duped into going. 

Here are just a few examples of some of the best gay bars from around the globe:

Best Gay Bars

The Stonewall Inn (New York City, USA)

The Stonewall Inn in New York City is considered the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. It has been the subject of dozens of books, movies, and documentaries. This gay bar and tavern can be found in the famous Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York City. The famous Stonewall riots, which triggered the modern queer rights movement in the United States, began here.

These riots set off a chain reaction that’s still going, even today. It has gone through good and bad times and has even closed down a few times, but with the resilience that characterizes the queer community, it always opens back up. Today, the bar is a must-visit destination for LGBTQ+ tourists and locals alike. And it’s no wonder.

They offer a varied spread of entertainment, with drag shows, karaoke, trivia nights, artist performances and even private parties being held. After New York State’s Marriage Equality Act was passed, they began to offer wedding receptions as well. Kelly, Morgan, and Lentz, the owners and primary investors, have also been dedicated to incorporating various fundraising events for a host of LGBT non-profit organizations.

Best Gay Bars - The Stonewall Inn

Kremlin (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

It’s spacious, so you’ll find that even when it was crowded, there were places to hang out. People are friendly and would actually talk to you, even when you’re not on the dance floor, so you’ll be able to hear them.

Plus, the name comes from its Soviet theme, which is pretty interesting. Soviet-era Russia is hardly known as a beacon of gay rights. As a matter of fact, gay rights in Russia today are still under threat, so it’s cool to see gay people reclaiming that period and turning it into something for themselves.

Best Gay Bar - Kremlin, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Der Boiler (Berlin, Germany)

Der Boiler in Berlin, Germany, is a sauna and bar combo that’s popular with both locals and tourists. It is one of the most popular saunas in Berlin, located in Kreuzberg, and for good reasons. Imagine having a relaxing spa and sauna experience, then being able to kick back with a drink afterward.

The bar has a laid-back atmosphere and is known for its friendly staff and strong drinks. They have great snacks on site as well, and the facilities are very clean. They combine traditional spa facilities with a more modern darkroom experience. The clientele is diverse, with a wide range of ages represented.

It’s worth the 25€ entrance fee and is open every day of the year so that you can visit during a public holiday or on your day off. Be sure to rehydrate between using the sauna and getting a drink at the bar if you don’t want a nasty headache or something worse.

Best Gay Bars - Der Boiler

Boy’s Bar BCN (Barcelona, Spain)

This club belongs to that group of queer bars in Barcelona that just keep re-inventing themselves, assuming different forms according to the tastes of whoever owns it at present or the current trends. For some, this leads to the eventual closure of the bar.

In this case, the club had gone from a lesbian bar called Museum Girls to the ’80s- and ’90s-themed club called Museum Retro. In 2013, it became Boys Bar and has remained to do since then. In it, you find the same crowd that you find in places like Matinée and Bitch, so you know you’ll never be alone on the dance floor.

It is a popular gay bar that’s known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff. The bar is a great spot to enjoy a drink with friends and maybe catch a show or two.

BOYS BAR BCN - world's best gay bar

The Stranger Bar (Bangkok, Thailand)

Bangkok flies the flag for gay rights in Thailand, and they’ve got the stats to back it up. The Stranger Bar is a popular gay bar that’s known for its lively atmosphere and friendly staff. The bar has a large dance floor and hosts regular drag shows and other events. The Stranger Bar’s slogan is “House of Drag Queens”, and it describes this place perfectly.

Even on weekday nights, when things are not so busy, you’re likely to run into a queen or two if you find yourself in Silom Soi 4. But the real fun begins on the weekends when the fierce and fabulous queen’s come out to play. They work for the crowd expertly, inviting people to join in their lip-sync shows. Their personality and vibes are as varied as the incredible outfits they wear.

The one you meet may be funny, sexy, chill, or fierce. You can be sure of one thing, though: they’re all fun as hell. A lot of them have also been on Drag Race Thailand, so you know where to go if you’re a fan.

Entrance into the Stranger Bar is free on the weekends, but you have to order a minimum of two drinks. Show up early, and you can get special deals during the happy hours (5 – 9 pm) where you can order house spirits with soft drink mixers or local beers at only about three US dollars.

Best Gay Bars - The Stranger Bar
Shop LGBTQ+ Pride Designs @

SX, the Club (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

SX, The Club is one of the best-named gay clubs we’ve come across. The name just screams ‘cool’. It is also San Juan’s most popular gay stripper bar with super friendly hot guys and private patio areas.

It is located in Puerto Rico’s gay capital and tourist area, Condado & Santurce, and you can visit a number of other gay bars in the neighborhood at the same time, so clear some time in your schedule, and you can do a crawl of the gay bars there.

Just make sure you reserve enough time to spend at SX because it’s so worth it. It has go-go boys, gay strippers, and a dark room.  Make sure you protect your wallet and cell phone in the dark room.

SX The Club

Trúnó (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Trúnó Café and Bar in Reykjavik is truly one of the best gay bars in the world. Really. Trúnó is one of the newer additions to the small and friendly Icelandic gay scene. Labeling itself as a queer spot, Trúnó serves coffee, drinks, and light meals (lunch and dinner).

International magazines are also available, as well as wireless internet for those who need to set up a quick date or browse the internet. Trúnó opens seven days a week from 11 am to 1 am on weekdays and 11 am to 2 am on weekends.

Trúnó´s excellent location is on the ground floor of the gay club Barbara on Laugavegur 22 (city center), so it’s easy to take a romantic conversation on Trúnó to long hours of dancing on the upper floor at Barbara.

Not only is the staff super friendly, but their cocktails are also delicious, their glitter coffee tastes fabulous, and you can snuggle up in a corner to read queer literature. Plus, their hangover Sunday parties are legendary!

Poof Doof (Melbourne, Australia)

The oddly (but appropriately) named Poof Doof is a popular gay bar with a lively atmosphere and weekly events. Its motto is ‘A gay club for homos,’ and it lives up to the characterization. It is located at Chasers Nightclub in South Yarra.

The bar has regular theme nights, and the best DJs from Melbourne and Australia show up regularly to play there. If you’re planning to go, we highly recommend that you visit the official Proof Doof website, as they often host special events on other nights of the week as well – particularly around public holidays.

That way, you can pick the event you want to attend and make plans for it in advance. The bar also has a large outdoor area, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy a drink in the warmer months.

Best Gay Bars - Poof Doof
Shop Gay Underwear Sale Now At Queer In The World Shop

Hotpot (Zagreb, Croatia)

The Hotpot is a gay bar and nightclub in the Gay Zagreb City center. It has a basement area of about hundred and twenty meters, with a modern interior, TV screens, and a DJ. The crowd is mostly gay, as is to be expected, but straight people are allowed in if they’re good.

It is fairly small and doesn’t really pick up until about 1:30 a.m. in the early hours of the morning. The hotness of the male patrons is legendary, and they even buy you free drinks if you flirt with them. The cab drivers in that area are respectful and professional.

The only thing most people would change is the smoking policy inside, the space is very small for so much smoke, and the music is a bit monotonous, but the atmosphere is very pleasant, and prices are very good. 

Hotpot (Zagreb, Croatia) Gay Bar

Looking Star (Seoul, South Korea)

Once in a while, bars may hold surveys among their clients to find out their strong spots and which areas need improvement. This is fairly common. Less common is going to the internet or social media to ask questions before you’ve even found your bar. But that’s exactly what the brains behind Looking Star did.

They reached out to Seoul’s gay community and asked them what their dream club would look like. The reward for answers was a free lifetime entrance pass to the club.  One of the answers they received asked for a place where gay people of all places could meet and hang out. Another requested varied genres of music and a large space for patrons to dance and mix.

They listened to these suggestions, and Looking Star was born. The club is laid back, with good music and even better food and drinks. It has become one of the hottest gay bars in Seoul.

Best Gay Bars - Looking Star

Gay Club (Boksburg, South Africa)

We are in love with the vibe of this place, and we think it’s a great place to chill with your friends and enjoy yourself, especially at one of their dress-up parties and other fun events they often have. We would also like to mention how safe this club is. There are practically no reports of violence.  We would most definitely recommend this place to anyone.

It’s an amazing place, the patrons and staff are pleasant, and the foam bath is a lot of fun. They have some nice specials, and the music is always fantastic. First-time visitors always gush about how amazing their experiences were and often cannot wait to go back. 

Cox (Paris, France)

We really don’t think there’s a better LGBT bar in Paris. Cox is very old school. Enjoy sets & happy hour cocktails at a buzzing, cozy gay bar with a dance floor & a terrace. It is a standard pub with a very mixed crowd and quirky staff. It’s very easy to have great chats with people, and most of the patrons are fun and nice, with no chips on their shoulders.

You can go with gay and straight friends or colleagues, and you’ll still have a great time. There are a lot of laughs to be had, and you’ll find that the crowd is extremely multicultural, with people from all over the world. They are all nice, though.

Despite the run-down feel, the place is full of young professionals dressing down. There are no rip-offs involved. You buy beer and drink. For middle-aged queer folks nostalgic about the old days, it’s a trip back to London’s Soho in the 1990s – long may it survive!

Best Gay Bars - Cox

Le Baroque (Brussels, Belgium)

This gay bar located in the heart of Brussels’ gay street is popular with bears and those who have a thing for them. There’s a great selection of beers at good prices, friendly staff, brilliant music, and a great atmosphere making it easy to talk to new people. It’s small inside, and most guests will end up drinking outside, but it’s very popular because of its atmosphere. 

Colorful ceilings and walls add to the sense of fun and lightness. The bartender is something of a legend among patrons. He is fun and friendly to talk to, and people have the best conversations with him. He also works super fast so that you never feel like he’s stalling for time.

On weekends, the DJ plays both pop music and club classics. If you’re friends with him, he’ll play any tune you request.

Le Baroque (Brussels, Belgium)

QCafé (Prague, Czech Republic)

It is a small, neat, reasonably priced rainbow-colored spot in a quiet place in the center of Prague. The coffee is great. It’s a Super chill bar with an inside area and the ability to hang out if you want to. The atmosphere is amazing; it is warm and feels very inclusive, as people of all ages and nationalities are welcome.

The food is surprisingly pleasant, and the crowd is great. It operates as a café in the afternoon and then turns up the music at night to become a bar. The staff is very friendly and welcoming to their gay crowd. The location is great as well, and patrons have even praised the bathroom.

The bar is very involved in activism in the area and is held up as a beacon of gay pride in a part of the world where being gay is often shrouded in secrecy and cloaked with shame. It’s as close to perfect as a gay bar can be.

These are just a few examples of the many amazing gay bars that can be found around the world. Each one offers a unique atmosphere and experience, making them must-visit destinations for LGBTQ+ travelers and locals.

QCafé (Prague, Czech Republic)

Remington’s (Toronto, Canada)

Canada is one of those havens of gay rights, and so their gay bars are allowed to be as grand as they like. Remington’s is not known for its drinks but for the two floors of more than 80 hot male exotic dancers. It boasts two fully renovated floors with a state-of-the-art liquor dispensing system.

Remington’s has a variety of exciting dancers representing a diverse mix of ethnicity, shapes, and sizes that grace their stages, so the spectators will find at least one person that hooks their attention. This club has been Toronto’s only all-male strip club got more than twenty years, and on two floors, male strippers, also called Men of Steel, can v seen twisting and grinding sensually to music.

If one tickles your fancy, you can negotiate with them for a personal lap dance. Make sure you set the price first, though, to avoid any awkward situations.

Best Gay Bars - Remington's