Melbourne draws much more influence from Europe in its architecture, fashion and food and for the gay traveller, it may feel like a more chilled out and refined experience after the glitz of Sydney. Visit Hares & Hyenas queer bookstore in Fitzroy, and while you’re there grab a coffee at Mario’s cafe around the corner in hip Brunswick Street.
The North Side and South Side
The gay scene in Melbourne is basically divided between the north side and south side of the city. In the north side, the best options are Sircuit Bar or The Laird for guys of the bear variety, while The Greyhound in St Kilda is a good pick for a mixed weekend party featuring ‘Boylesque’ performances.
The best Melbourne queer parties are irregular underground events such as Trough and the much more female-friendly mixed 80’s disco beats of Grouse and Closet Party. The gay scene in Melbourne is diffuse and difficult to pin down, very much alive and vibrant but interwoven with the food, arts and nightlife scene.
South Yarra and Collingwood
The city-fringe neighbourhoods of South Yarra and Collingwood are a hotspot for gays, hipster and all things trendy; where it is common to see queer folk out in full force, snogging in bars or walking hand in hand down the street.
While Fitzroy might be home to gay Melbourne after dark, during the day it is the past to experience everything cool and alternative with ultra-fashionable shops, boutiques, street art and the unique Hares & Hyenas, a cool LGBT bookstore.
Gay & Lesbian Bars in Melbourne
Probably the most famous gay bar in Melbourne, the Laird is a gay institution famed for its men-only policy, bar/hotel hybrid concept and themed parties on the weekend. All manner of guys come here but the leather, bear and fetish crowd have a particular soft spot for the Laird.
Prince Public Bar
Attracting friends of Dorothy for over 80 years, this is one of Melbourne’s oldest gay-friendly pubs found in St Kilda. Offers cheap eats and drinks, live music, plenty of fun events and no cover charge this is the place to go for a colourful and diverse crowd while supporting local musicians & artists.
A no-frill gay orientated bar offering great beer and a friendly crowd. Offering drag shows, themed events, pub quizzes and more this unpretentious hot spot and beer garden is welcoming to anyone, no matter who you are.
LGBTQ-friendly but with a mixed crowd, this Melbourne nightclub is uber-stylish and has 3 floors, multiple bars, VIP areas and talented DJ’s. Especially popular as one of the best Sunday clubs nights, Gossip Sundays, in Australia.