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Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Two drag queens pose by bar holding cocktails
Photograph: Anna Kucera | Miss 3D and Etcetera Etcetera at the Imperial Hotel, Erskineville

The best queer pubs and clubs in Sydney

Head to one of these popular LGBTQIA+ spaces for a good time

By Alannah Maher and Time Out editors

From the historical drag palace to subterranean digs – we've got you covered for where to go for a gay old time. These pubs and clubs serve Sydney's LGBTQIA+ communities with open arms, providing safe spaces, thrilling parties and quiet beers with a side of queer most nights of the week. 

At the time of the latest update to this list, physical distancing and health precautions remain in place in Sydney. Remember to go out responsibly and check, check, check. Dancefloors are still on hiatus, but these places will have you boogying in your chair. 

Honourable mentions go to Oxford Street stalwarts Arq and Palms, which remain dormant for now. 

If you're after some outdoor fun, have a look through our list of gay-friendly beaches.

Where to find a good gay time in Sydney

Show at the Imperial Hotel Erksinville
Photograph: Supplied

The Imperial Hotel

Bars Erskineville

The launching site from the famous bus journey in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this pub has been a historical safe space for Inner West LGBTQIA+ communities since the early '80s. Head here for regular drag shows, fabulous food, and a killer subterranean dancefloor. Bring your nan to drag n' dine, or find subversive events like Honcho Disko in the basement.

Daniel Boud

The Beresford Hotel

Bars Surry Hills

The prettiest boys in Sydney pack out the courtyard here, and after a few $6 pints, they start to head upstairs...

Image of venue with people sitting at tables, coloured lighting.
Photograph: Supplied/Universal/Bruno Lozich


Gay and lesbian Darlinghurst

This Oxford Street venue has nicely cultivated itself into an inclusive hub where you can drink cocktails with rubber ducks in them and see drag most nights of the week, from lively amateur performers to the matriach queens. The upstairs night club, formerly known as the stalwart Midnight Shift, has been rebirthed as a fabulous dinner theatre venue post-lockdown. 

A shot of two bartenders behind the bar at The Bearded Tit
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The Bearded Tit

Bars Redfern

The weird and wonderful are welcomed at Redfern’s neighbourhood art bar; there is a mix of punters that properly reflects the Sydney rainbow, and nobody gives it a second thought.


Stonewall Hotel

Bars Darlinghurst

Drag bonanzas, diva-heavy video clips, playful punters, drinks in beach buckets... what more do you want?

Start early these alfresco spots

A shot of the uncovered rooftop at The Rook. The space is filled
A shot of the uncovered rooftop at The Rook. The space is filled
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best rooftop bars in Sydney

Bars Cocktail bars

Sometimes there's nothing better than bending the elbow with the sun on your back and a cool drink to keep things chill. Sydney's rooftop bars account for some of the most popular, and hard won, seats in the city, so get in quick for the glory spots with the best views.


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