Cardiff has a vibrant gay scene, with all the main venues being within walking distance of each other. The scene continues to evolve with businesses offering new opportunities to entertain and serve the LGBT+ community.
Long established venues like The Golden Cross, Mary’s and Eagle are the backbone of the community. Many of the managers, like Gordon in Mary’s, are considered national treasures within the scene. Today, they are joined by the new kids on the block offering something different but complementary, like the Queer Emporium and Glory Stores.
Out and Proud is a very useful app which offers up to date information about the week’s gigs. This new free-to-use service keeps you up to date with what's happening, when and where, so it's worth downloading it before you arrive.
Places to eat, drink and be entertained
Where: 238 Hayes Bridge Road
What: Popular LGBT+ bar with live entertainment six nights a week
About: Drag entertainment and award-winning DJs are the corner stone of this historic pub. Like many other venues on the scene, the crowd here enjoy a night of karaoke.
Where: 39 Charles Street
What: Basement bar that becomes a private members bar after 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays
About: This independent bar, which is part of a global network, has a predominantly male crowd. It organises a variety of themed nights.
Where: 10 Churchill Way
What: Popular LGBT+ bar with a thing for karaoke
About: There's always a mixed crowed ready to party here. For many, it is the sister venue to PULSE, which is located across the road.
Where: 89 St Mary Street
What: Lively gay cabaret bar open seven nights a week.
About: Mary’s is famous for its friendly atmosphere. You can relax here, whether it’s by watching the world go by, sipping on cocktails or taking the mic for evening karaoke.
2 Royal Arcade
What: 18 different queer-run businesses sit within one marketplace, selling queer literature, clothes and art. It also has a small café where you can enjoy iced coffee and tea.
About: This recent addition to the scene has quickly become a lively destination, with a programme of events including alternative comedy nights and Iris Prize film nights.
Where: 1 Upper Kincraig St, Roath
What: This café and store is the permanent home for Gays Who Wine, who've been offering monthly wine tasting events for the Cardiff's LGBTQ+ community and allies since 2019.
About: If you venture out of the city centre, you will be rewarded with fabulous coffee while you decide what to enjoy from the ever-changing menu of delicious artisan food. You can also buy some food provisions and luxuries to take home.
Where to stay
Where: St Mary Street
This 4-star hotel is located within walking distance of Cardiff Central Station and the main venues of the scene. It's a sponsor of Pride Cymru and the Iris Prize, hosting the annual Santes Dwynwen supper for the Iris Prize in January.
There is plenty to do in Cardiff, and with the city being very supportive of its LGBT+ community, you'll feel safe and welcome while exploring the sights.
Whether you want to hit the shops, get a bite to eat at one of Cardiff's independent eateries, burn off some energy on an urban adventure or chill with a film or show at Chapter, a multi-use arts venue, we've got something for you.
If you're a TV buff or film fanatic, you might want to head to Cardiff Bay. As well as being home to the Wales Millennium Centre, it was used by Russell T Davies (the Welshman behind Queer As Folk, Years & Years and It’s A Sin) as the filming location for Doctor Who and Torchwood - two shows praised for their positive portrayal of LGBT+ characters and their relationships.
LGBT+ dates for your diary
Wales’ biggest LGBT+ event is Pride Cymru, a loud and proud celebration that includes a parade, music, a funfair, a market, a good deal of dressing up and lots of fun.
Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival
This is Cardiff’s queer alternative to Cannes. During the week-long festival of international film screenings, panel sessions and parties, 50 short films by or about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people compete to win the top accolade, valued at £30,000.