I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that lesbian bars are shutting down at an increasing rate across most of the Western world and, I assume, the planet in general. This cuts off a lot of access to our community and helps to render queer women invisible. To make matters worse, the majority of gay-friendly spaces cater to gay men and, while most are welcoming to LGBTQ+ women and nonbinary people, it can still be alienating to not have a place of one’s own in our city centers. That’s why I’ve prepared a list of all the lesbian bars that I could find all around the globe so that whether you’re a local or you’re planning a holiday, you can check them out and meet your queer siblings in a safe place.
How I found the lesbian barsFinding these bars was frustrating at times. I could stumble upon an article about a fabulous lesbian bar and think that I’d really like to go there if ever I was in Athens or Istanbul, only to click through to the Facebook page and find it had been closed permanently. Still, I found some incredible lesbian bars for every type of lesbian. I haven’t included:
- LGBTQ+ bars that are open to all genders, but are designed with gay men in mind, even if they do host a ladies’ night once a month
- Weekly or monthly parties for queer women. These parties tend to be at rotating venues that change month to month. They’re not at venues for queer women year round.
- Bars that aren’t open to transwomen, because I wouldn’t want to support TERFs or patronize anywhere that wasn’t trans-inclusive
All of the lesbian bars in the world
Espeto BambuPhoto Credit: Espeto Bambu This bar, Espeto Bambu, whose names translates to Bamboo Skewer, is an intimate and casual location in Cerquira César, but you can still get your groove on here during their live musical performances. It caters to LGBTQ+ women with a heavy focus on female performers. Check out more lesbian travel tips for Brazil?
- Lesbian Vacation Guide: Sao Paulo for LGBT Travelers
- 8 Fun (But Social Justice-Oriented) Things to do in Salvador Brazil
- You Have to Visit This Remote Part of Jalapao Brazil- Before Everyone Else Discovers It
- This Brazillian Lesbian Surf Camp is the Stuff of Dreams
EssencePhoto Credit: Essence Located in Sofia, Essence, was created for women by women in 2004. It aims to provide a pleasant, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere to all of its patrons.
Sabor A MiPhoto Credit: Sabor A Mi Santiago’s lesbian bar, Sabor A Mi features live music, good food, decent drinks, and, according to one very persuasive comment on Trip Advisor, very attractive women. While the party gets going around midnight, ladies who get there earlier can enjoy a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.
RoxiePhoto Credit: Roxie Roxie is a Shanghai bar that is open every day and hosts a range of activities, including a queer pop quiz on Wednesdays and DJ nights on the weekend. It’s operated by Dutch-born Ting Ting, who wanted the bar to also act as a community for its patrons and encourage them to get involved.
Buenas VibracionesThe name of this San Jose lesbian bar, Buenas Vibraciones, literally translates to Good Vibrations and I definitely think there’s a double entendre in there somewhere. While men are welcome here, it is most definitely a lesbian bar, with good food and drinks, as well as a mixture of entertainment, including karaoke and live music.
JampaDampaPhoto Credit: JampaDampa on Halloween JampaDampa is a Prague lesbian bar that is fairly low-key, which means it’s the perfect place for a quiet drink with your friends. The energy picks up on the weekends, but it’s never a full-blown rave.
VelaPhoto Credit: Vela Vela is a Copenhagen lesbian bar and nightclub that is always a party after dark, with ladies dancing, kissing, and doing shots. However, they also host a range of queer cultural events, including live music, poetry, and literature readings.
La MutineriePhoto Credit: La Mutinerie La Mutinerie is Paris-based lesbian venue and is not just a bar, but is also a cultural and political space, allowing patrons to participate in collaborative actions, like workshops and meetings, to advance the queer feminist cause in France.
Le So WhatPhoto Credit: Le So What Le So What is a Paris bar is mainly populated by older queer women with a heavily feminine vibe.
Chez MounePhoto Credit: Chez Moune Chez Moune is a lesbian cabaret bar in Paris, where you and your fave girl can spend an evening immersed in 1920s style and entertainment.
Club La GataPhoto Credit: Club La Gata This Frankfurt lesbian bar, Club La Gata claims to be the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the world, having opened in 1971, which makes it the perfect place to enjoy a drink and learn about queer history in Germany. Check out more lesbian travel tips for Germany?
Amazona BarPhoto Credit: Amazona Bar Amazona Bar is Tel Aviv’s only lesbian bar, but with an inviting atmosphere, causal energy, and diverse music, it’s a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss.
Adezakura (艶櫻)Photo Credit: Adezakura (艶櫻) Adezakura (艶櫻) is a lesbian bar in Shinjuku is a great place to meet girls from all over the world. Drinks are reasonably priced and the cover charge is free.
Bar GoldfingerPhoto Credit: Bar Goldfinger Bar Goldfinger is a Tokyo lesbian bar that opened in 1991 and is probably the most famous place for LGBTQ+ women in Japan. On Fridays, they have mixers to invite the rest of the queer community in because, as the owners say, sexual boundaries are shifting more than ever before.
Diamond HolicPhoto Credit: Diamond Holic Diamond Holic is a shot bar and is one of the largest women-only bars in Japan, with regular events, reasonably priced food and drinks, and some of the cutest girls in the country. The staff try to help people mix, so don’t be scared of going there on your own.
NetherlandsCafe ‘t Mandje Photo Credit: Cafe ‘t Mandje This lesbian bar was originally opened in 1927 by Bet van Beeren, making it one of the oldest gay bars in Amsterdam. It closed in 1982, but Bet’s niece Diana opened it again in 2008. They have regular events featuring jazz music, singalongs, and even a snuggle club.
Bar BukaPhoto Credit: Bar Buka Bar Buka is located in the Pijp area of Amsterdam, this is one of the newest lesbian bars in the country. It has a relaxed vibe with no fancy dress codes, meaning it’s a place to truly be yourself.
Pink HolePhoto Credit: Pink Hole This Seoul-based club, originally known as the Pink Button, attracts a young crowd with its loud dance music and strobe lighting. It does allow men to enter provided they are accompanied by a woman. Check out more lesbian travel tips for South Korea:
- Lesbian Travel Guide: Seoul South Korea
- Obsessed Street Art: Hongdae South Korea
- Work Hard, Play Harder, Korean Nightlife in Seoul
Aire ChicasPhoto Credit: Aire Chicas Aire Chicas is a Barcelona lesbian bar and a great place to party if you’re low on funds with cheap drinks, regular themed events, and free admission on most days. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a classy place to let your hair down.
EscapePhoto Credit: Escape Escape, this woman-only club in Madrid was launched in 2004 and features a variety of dancers and live performances. Be prepared to dance until dawn because they’re open until 6 am. Check out more lesbian travel tips for Spain:
TabooPhoto Credit: Taboo Taboo, this lesbian bar has been open since the late 1970s and is a place for newly-out or closeted women to interact with their community. Check out more lesbian travel tips for Taiwan:
Shela Tomboy’s ClubPhoto Credit: Shela Tomboy’s Club This Pattaya lesbian bar, Shela Tomboy’s Club is a casual place, with plenty of butch and femme customers, which routinely stays open until past 5 am. But be warned, it is a frequent target of police raids. Check out more lesbian travel tips for Thailand:
Gia ClubPhoto Credit: Gia Club Gia Club, this Istanbul-based lesbian bar is located on the second floor above a coffee shop. While primarily a place for women-only, it does let women bring male guests on some weeknights.
Bigudi ClubPhoto Credit: Bigudi Club Bigudi Club, this was the first ever exclusively lesbian venue in Turkey, aiming to provide a free space for women who love women to fight male hegemony. They also host a number of workshops and exhibitions for women. It has been closed, moved, and re-opened several times, but as of November 2018, it has returned to its original location on Mis Sokak. Check out more lesbian travel tips for Turkey:
VanillaPhoto Credit: Mikey Vanilla, this Manchester-based lesbian pub looks fairly quiet from the outside, but looks can be very deceiving. Behind the white brick walls, you can find hundreds of gay women dancing to house music and drinking cocktails in a place often called “the Lesbian Mecca of the north”. It’s a fierce champion of lesbian culture, has chilled-out evenings for those not into raving, and was awarded the coveted “Best Bar in the UK” title several times by lesbian magazine Diva.
She SohoPhoto Credit: R. Burgess She Soho, this basement bar is the only female-priority venue in London, acting as a nightclub and a community hotspot for LGBTQ+ women. They also host regular events including comedy open mics, drag king cabaret shows, and burlesque nights.
The FoxPhoto Credit: The Fox The Fox is the only lesbian bar in Birmingham and is a great spot to hang out with friends or find a date. While the bar is small, it has a beautiful monochrome décor and an outdoor beer garden, which is a lovely place to have a pint in the summer. Men are allowed in provided they have a woman with them. Check out more lesbian travel tips for the United Kingdom:
- The Ultimate Lesbian Travel Guide to Manchester
- Travel Journal: 48 Hours in London
- Ultimate Guide to Lesbian Travel in Brighton
- 8 Things to do in Glasgow Scotland