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Sydney Gay Bars

Sydney is known for its landmarks, from the Opera House to Bondi Beach, but if you head further into the city, you’ll find a thriving gay scene as well. In the heart of it all is Oxford Street, the home of lively nightlife and the place where locals and visitors gather. Most of the LGBTQ+ people in the city live here as well, in a suburban area known as The Rainbow Ribbon. You’re sure to feel right at home here. Take advantage of the nightlife as well as a modern arts scene, beaches, and famous Mardi Gras celebrations.


ARQ Sydney


This large and lively venue is one of the biggest gay dance clubs in the country. Upstairs is the Arena, known for its incredible modern sound system. This space features a huge dance floor and state-of-the-art light shows alongside the best quality sound. Immerse yourself in the crowd or watch from the mezzanine above. Downstairs is the Vortex, a smaller space built for performances. When there isn't an act on stage, DJs transform the space into a dance floor.



This gay and bisexual cruise club welcomes everyone regardless of gender or sexuality. The club spreads over three levels, each one full of modern facilities to keep you entertained. Downstairs is mixed while upstairs is men-only, so you're sure to find whoever you're interested in! There are all your cruising favourites, such as sauna, steam room, and private booths. If you want to take a break, there is also a dance floor, laid-back lounge area, and pool tables.

Burdekin Hotel

Bear, Drag, Cocktails, Outdoor Seating

Burdekin Hotel has five floors, each offering a totally different experience. Hidden away in the basement is Dug Out, also known as Bear Bar, a hangout for bears and their admirers. Heading upstairs you'll find the popular Main Bar, and more intimate gigs hosted in Mini Bar. Viper Room has an industrial feel, while Lava Lounge is the stylish place to be. A new rooftop bar serves cocktails with regular drag shows. Find your favourite space and enjoy yourself.


Drag, Cocktails

Ginger's is located in the iconic gay Oxford Hotel in the heart of Sydney's gay scene. The hotel boasts a number of spaces but Ginger's in the place to visit for cocktails and entertainment. There's regular cabaret shows here, which you can enjoy with delicious drinks in a modern space. It features state-of-the-art light and sound technologies, a comfortable lounge area, and a mezzanine level for a unique view of the show.

Newtown Hotel

Gay Friendly, Drag, Cocktails

Newtown Hotel is a hipster bar that's popular with the queer community thanks to weekly drag shows. The bar has an indie vibe complete with pool tables, cheap but delicious cocktails, and fun trivia nights. This hotel itself is one of the most iconic venues in the city, and it has been welcoming a diverse clientele for years.

Oxford Underground

Drag, Dancing

One of the numerous venues within the iconic Oxford Hotel, Oxford Underground is a favourite party spot for the queer community. Loud and modern sound and lighting systems complete with party vibe, and the basement space plays host to all sorts of events. DJs and drag queens keep you entertained, and there are weekly happy hours and other specials to draw you back for more fun.

Palms On Oxford


This laid-back gay nightclub is a place for everyone to come and hang out. There's no attitude here, just good drinks and classic hits in a fun tropical themed space. DJs play tracks from the 80s and 90s for a bit of nostalgia that brings the place to life. With generally free entry and a central location on Oxford Street in the heart of the gay scene, Palms is a popular place to start your night.

Stonewall Hotel

Drag, Dancing

Stonewall Hotel is a lively gay bar in Darlinghurst, a favourite gathering place for the whole community. This large venue spreads over three floors, all packed full of music and entertainment. There's something going on every night of the week, including drag shows, dancers, and music by the best DJs in the city. There are themed nights as well plus great value happy hours. All this brings to community together with an amazingly friendly atmosphere.

The Bearded Tit


The Bearded Tit is both a bar and a creative space. It's a happy and safe place for everyone, somewhere to relax with a drink and a conversation. Meet new friends and share creative ideas, and most importantly feel at home here. A unique energy and artsy decor (think knitting, circus items, taxidermy!) solidify The Bearded Tit's status on the gay scene, a quirky hangout spot with personality.

The Beresford

Gay Friendly, Outdoor Seating

Every Sunday, The Beresford Hotel transforms into a loud and camp nightlife hub. Throughout the week, The Beresford offers a casual community atmosphere complete with delicious food, and on Sundays you can experience all this plus a packed upstairs dance floor and amazing music from local DJs. The party continues into the courtyard, fuelled by great drinks. There's free entry all night as well so it gets busy with a super mixed crowd.

The Colombian Hotel

Cocktails, Dancing

The Columbian Hotel hosts a bustling late-night gay bar, full of energy and a lively mixed crowd. There are regular themed dance parties complete with mirror balls in this bright and modern space. The bar serves up delicious cocktails and house DJs keep the party going till late. The dance floor is upstairs with amazing views of Oxford Street, while downstairs you'll find a video bar and a great place to meet people.

The Imperial

Drag, Cocktails, Food

The Imperial is an iconic queer bar in Erskineville, hosting cabaret shows and acting as a meeting place for the whole community. In the cocktail lounge and on the terrace, you'll find a lively and friendly crowd. Sit back and enjoy drinks, stay for a meal, and watch lively drag shows at the same time. Drag queens are joined by pole dancers and other acts in a camp and community focussed atmosphere.

The Polo Lounge

Gay Friendly, Cocktails

Polo Lounge is a modern and stylish space in the super gay Oxford Hotel. Nestled right at the top of the building, this two-level bar serves delicious cocktails in a unique setting. Intimate and elegant, Polo Lounge has beautiful views over the city from its private balcony, plus a cosy fireplace and high-end decor. It's the perfect place for private functions, taking advantage of the inclusive service of this hotel, an institution on the gay scene.

Trade Club

Dancing, Cruising

Previously known as HeadQuarters, Trade Club is one of the largest gay cruise clubs in the city. It also doubles as a dance bar, offering facilities such as private cabins and playrooms alongside a bar with tasty refreshments. With cruising spaces spread over four floors, you can stay here for hours exploring what the place has to offer. There are also regular events and themed nights.

Universal Sydney

Drag, Dancing, Food

Universal is a wonderfully inclusive space, welcoming in a truly mixed crowd. This a favourite queer hangout where you can enjoy quirky cocktails and drag shows, plus other lively performances. You can enjoy all these together with a newly launched dinner theatre experience. Thanks to its performers, Universal is full of personality. It also has multiple dance floors, brought to life by DJs and state-of-the-art sound and light systems.

Recommended gay friendly hotels in Sydney

There are so many places to stay in Sydney, and at GayMapper, we want to make sure you get great value and a good experience, so check our recommendations below for Gay Friendly hotels. As an LGBTQ+ traveller, it's important to stay somewhere welcoming, with great value and maybe near to gay venues. Treat yourself to a luxury hotel or stay budget and spend what you save on partying! Please support GayMapper by checking out our hotel deals in Sydney as this helps us to keep the site updated with all this useful information!

Tours & Experiences in Sydney

Make the most of your travels by pre-booking our popular tours and experiences.  There's a whole range of options, from cultural and historical to food, drink and nightlife.  Get under the skin of your destination, and book a tour or experience now.  

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