EnchantingIreland.com

Gay/Lesbian IrelandTravel adviced for gays and lesbians visiting Ireland

Enchanting Ireland's Gay & Lesbian Travel Advice

This subject has been brought up occassionally from a few clients who have had confided in me that they are gay or lesbian and had reservations about traveling to Ireland due to the conservative nature of their culture. Despite same-sex marriage in the US and marriage equality in Ireland, the subject is still a concern from prospective clients.

Kudos for coming out to us -- it makes our job much easier and also ensures that you get the information you need to enjoy your holiday in Ireland! Regardless of where you travel, it's good to have a gay travel agency available to make sure your travels are safe.

From the owner: I gay and have traveled to Ireland many times with my partner, even getting engaged on the Cliffs of Moher in 2002 (I did the proposing... and if the answer was no, over he went!) So, this information comes to you from someone who doesn't seek out the "gay scene" everywhere I go but have taken in the nightlife in Dublin and Galway on occassion. We now travel with our daughter, born 2010, and have friends we must visit on each trip. You'll get first-hand experiences on how to handle traveling in Ireland with your partner.

Sinead's Hand - Ireland Marriage Equality

Galway City for Gays and Lesbians

I've gone to Zulu's (near Jury's Inn) in Galway with some friends in 2002 and had a good time. It's a small little pub (with lots of smoke! {smoking ban now in effect!}) real close to the center of town and I met quite a few fellow travelers there before one of the locals decided to take us to a gay dance club in Salt Hill.

Visit Gay Ireland's Galway for more information on things to see and do in Galway and please email me your links and places you've been when there.

Dublin City for Gays and Lesbians

I've also visited The George, the foremost in gay pub in Dublin. The George is located on South Great George's St. Popular is its unusual take on bingo every Sunday night. The George is host to many events and parties and the George's disco bar is alive with dancing.

If it's a quieter drink you're after, then the front bar is the ideal venue in which to enjoy a cool pint of Guinness or a colourful Pina Colada.

Cork City for Gays and Lesbians

I haven't really stayed in downtown Cork so I had to do a little research on this after hearing that it's very gay-friendly.

Check out Scotts, a very trendy bar on Oliver Plunkett Streat for food and friendly staff and then head to Flux, Cork's newest gay bar... before heading to Ruby's for some clubbing.

Irish B&Bs for Gays & Lesbians

Rather than the added expense of hotels, I always used the Ireland Bed and Breakfast Vouchers throughout, saving a nice bundle. In 2000 I began traveling with my partner and we still took advantage of these low-cost, comfortable accommodations.

"We're a gay couple. What about requesting one bed in and Irish B&B?"

I was nervous about this on my first trip with Bob however everything worked out just fine and we didn't have a problem, including those B&Bs where I've stayed numerous times, making friends with the owner. As with everything we deal with, it comes down to making a few adjustments to make everyone happy...

When calling your B&B and asking for your room, you really have three choices:

  • Ask for a twin - Twins are two beds for two people. More than likely, the room will contain two double beds ... and you only need one! Convenient!
  • Ask for a double - You'll have no problem if they have a double available but when you arrive you may be greeted with surprise and offered a twin if they have it available. It's happened to me and I've taken the twin, which had two double beds anyway.
  • Ask for a twin or double - Accept whatever you get, knowing that most twins contain two double beds.

I've never been treated differently by the B&B owners with two men traveling together -- nothing but a pleasant experience and I continue to do the B&B tour each year we go.

2012 Update: Gay Travelers Are Very Welcome

Over the years we have seen not just a change in Irish attitudes toward gay and lesbian travelers but we've also experienced it first-hand, from our engagement/committment ceremony to the adoption of our beautiful daughter Clare (after County Clare and her grandmother!)

We had been staying at a B&B in Galway for a few years in a row and after one of our visits the owner, Mary, pulled me into the kitchen to show me something... but what she really wanted to say was, "I see you both have rings - did you get married?" Before I could finish my "Yes.", she was down the hall yelling to my partner, "Congratulations!" It took him off guard quite a bit because we had never formally come out to Mary, fearing we'd lose the friendship we were developing. Again, our own fear and Mary dispelled all of that. In fact, when we adopted our daughter, Mary sent a silver Claddagh bracelet as soon as she found out -- an amazing gift that we cherish... and we made sure we popped in when we took Clare on her first trip to Ireland.

This story is repeated over-and-over again with our friend Becky in Doolin, Raymond and Florence in Ballylickey as well as Maya and Gene in Glengarrif... and of course Catherine in Dublin. We've found that our sexual orientation just doesn't matter -- it's who we are that matters.

This past year we have sent many gay couples to Ireland and the response has been amazing -- not one complaint or awkward feeling from anyone.

"I was honestly really surprised - there was not even one of those uncomfortable moments. I wish it weren't so, but I'm pretty sensitive to them while traveling. Even with a pit stop in the tiniest place, there wasn't even one. It was really amazing that way." - Jeff S. 2012

We make it a point to reach out to our clients after their return to ensure that their trip was a success and we dig a little deeper with our gay and lesbian clients with regard to their comfort and safety. The above quote was from a September 2012 trip and shows how great Ireland is for gay and lesbian travelers.