Where to Go in 2022: Dublin, an LGBTQ Destination of Delights

by Kelsy Chauvin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday December 26, 2021
Originally published on December 20, 2021

Where to Go in 2022: Dublin, an LGBTQ Destination of Delights
  (Source:Visit Dublin)

This story is part of EDGE's "7 Queer Wonders of the World" series, in which we share our top LGBTQ+ travel picks for 2022.

Bloomed like a four-leaf clover over Europe is the wondrous LGBTQ+ destination of Dublin. The Irish capital is famous for its warmth and good cheer, and queer travelers know that the city is one of the continent's most out-and-proud places.

Ireland stands out as the first country to legalize marriage equality by public vote in 2015. Decades prior, Dublin solidified its rainbow flair with the inaugural LGBTQ+ Pride march back in 1974. What was once a single-day event is now a dynamic, 10-day-long June festival and parade. This year also featured a winter-themed Wilde About Pride, inspired by the life of perhaps the city's most notable queer resident, Oscar Wilde.

More meaningful than any event, however, is Dubliners' genuine friendliness. It's a progressive city in an increasingly forward-thinking nation, where, as the locals say, "We keep our sunshine on the inside." And it's the perfect pick for a 2022 trip.

Fancy a Pint

While it's not required to drink in Dublin, you'd be right to "give it a lash" (a try), if only to sample both an Irish tipple and a bit o' time in a rousing Irish pub.

Most visitors find at least a few good spots in the neighborhood known as Temple Bar (yes, there's also an actual Temple Bar pub). LGBTQ+ folks will enjoy longtime gay fave The George around the corner, home to zesty drag shows, bingo, DJs, and other nightly fun. PantiBar is a playful gay haunt just across the River Liffey, owned by local queen of drag Panti Bliss. Fun mixed crowds await at Street 66, specializing in gin cocktails and world music with a reggae bent.

Finding the Féile

Dubliners love a reason to gather for a community event, so all year long you can discover a gay-centric "féile" (the Irish word for "festival") or outing ripe with culture. May is a good time to explore the annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, amplifying queer voices over two weeks of stage productions.

In late September, shift to cinema arts with the renowned annual GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. Dublin Pride (culminating with a parade and march on June 22, 2022) brings seasonal LGBTQ+ walking tours and special events, all listed on an easy-to-access digital calendar. Catch even more local news and things to do with Dublin's free GCN magazine.

Where to Stay

While you can't lodge inside the historic home of native Dubliner Oscar Wilde, you can tour his home, and visit his famously colorful statue in Merrion Square. Pack his posh attitude for a luxurious overnight stay nearby at the historic Merrion Hotel.

For especially LGBTQ+-friendly accommodations, Jurys Inn Christchurch is centrally located and offers reasonable rates. And despite its name, the Temple Bar Inn is a quiet choice since it's a bit east of the bustling tavern district, offering good rates for modern rooms, a solid restaurant with a full Irish breakfast, and plenty of rainbow solidarity.

The Takeaway

In Dublin, it takes no time at all to make new friends who'll be fast to get to know you, and even faster to share their tips for what to see and do in their lovely city. All the more so with new LGBTQ+ friends you'll make, ones undoubtedly keen to have a "craic" (a bit of fun). It's hard to find a more sociable place, one where everybody is part of the joy.

Just remember to live up to Wilde's essential advice: "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

Kelsy Chauvin is a writer, photographer and marketing consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in travel, feature journalism, art, theater, architecture, construction and LGBTQ interests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @kelsycc.