Navigating the online landscape to pinpoint the best gay bars in Milan can be quite the endeavour. That’s precisely why we’ve compiled this article for enthusiasts and visitors alike, keen on exploring the vibrant Milanese nightlife. Milan, with its bustling streets and architectural wonders, is also home to some of the best gay bars and clubs in Italy, offering an array unmatched by most other Italian cities.
Beyond its historic landmarks and fashion districts, Milan has steadily risen as one of the top LGBTQ+-friendly cities in Italy. This transformation owes much to the relentless dedication of local LGBTQ+ groups. These organisations have championed a harmonious blend of culture and activism, bringing to the fore events that celebrate diversity and inclusion.
But Milan’s contributions don’t end there. The city was among the frontrunners in Italy to champion LGBTQ+ rights, making significant strides against discrimination. A testament to this is the 2013 introduction of a civil union registry, a bold move that preceded national legislation. This initiative solidifies Milan’s reputation as a beacon of progress in Italy.
With such a rich backdrop, it’s no surprise that Milan’s LGBTQ+ scene is thriving. The city is peppered with venues that resonate with the community’s spirit. From the laid-back vibes of some of the best gay bars in Milan to the electrifying energy of gay clubs in Milan, there’s something for everyone. Notably, neighbourhoods like Porta Venezia and NoLo (North of Loreto) have emerged as go-to “gay districts”.
If you’re planning a visit or just curious about the scene, this guide dives deep into Milan’s offerings for 2023 and 2024. We’ve broken it down for ease: showcasing the best gay bars in Milan, lively nightclubs with LGBTQ+ themes, and the city’s renowned cruising clubs and saunas.
Top 10 gay bars in Milan for pre-night out drinks and socialising
RED CAFÈ. Situated at the intersection of Via Lecco and Panfilo Castaldi 29, Red Café has become an iconic spot for the Milanese queer community. Its inviting atmosphere and top-tier cocktails at attractive prices make it a favoured haunt for both group outings and solitary visits.
LECCOMILANO. Located at Via Lecco 5, LeccoMilano has earned its reputation primarily for its hearty aperitifs and vibrant weekend DJ sets. Since its inception, it has been a magnet for the queer community and visiting tourists alike.
MONO BAR. Positioned on Milan’s renowned “gay street” at Via Panfilo Castaldi, near Via Lecco, Mono Bar stands as a testament to the city’s rich LGBTQ+ history. Its 60s-inspired decor and abundant buffet offerings make it a must-visit locale.
ORO STREET BAR. At Via Lecco 7, this petite yet stylish LGBTQ+ friendly bar is known for its eclectic cocktail range, further complemented by the charm of its outdoor seating.
LOLA BAR. Tucked away on Via Tadino 6, Lola Bar offers a serene escape from the main “gay street” crowd. Its expertly crafted drinks and the congenial nature of its bartenders add to its allure.
POP. Situated at Via Alessandro Tadino 5, POP uniquely brands itself as a “feminist bar”, majorly attracting a female clientele. Managed by a duo passionate about art and design, it exudes a distinct charm.
MEMÀ. Nestled at the end of Via Lecco in Largo Fra Paolo Bellintani 2, Memà offers a sophisticated blend of gourmet bites and unique drinks. With a clientele that sometimes includes celebrities like Malgioglio and Barbara d’Urso, it’s a place where exclusivity meets warmth.
NOLO.SO. Venturing towards NoLo (North of Loreto) at Via Varanini 5, close to Milan’s Central Station, Nolo.So brings fresh energy to the gay bar scene. Its welcoming ambience and delightful aperitif choices make it a community favourite.
TIPOGRAFIA ALIMENTARE. Just steps away from Martesana in the No.Lo region at Via Dolomiti 1, this establishment, with its trendsetting vibe and queer-friendly environment, offers a picturesque canal-side experience. The establishment’s hipster charm is a standout feature.
PATCHOULI. Positioned on Corso Lodi 51, Patchouli bridges the gap between bar and disco pub. It promises ample food offerings with its aperitifs and quality drinks at reasonable prices. Ideal for those preferring an entire evening in one venue, it’s especially vibrant on Wednesdays with “Vergine Camilla”, showcasing drag performances, dynamic DJ sets, and lively gogo boys.
Milan’s gay nightclubs
VogueAmbitionMilano at QClub – Via Padova 21: A favorite amongst the Gen Z LGBTQIA+ crowd for its lively entertainment, DJs, and prominent queer guests (Instagram Page)
Company Club – Via Benedir 14: A long-standing gay venue similar to OneWay. Features a dark room and requires an Arcigay membership card. Special nights include Thursday karaoke and the “Sunday & Night” event (Instagram Page)
LAeX: A roaming party primarily attended by women. Stay updated on their locations via their social media platforms (Instagram Page)
Il Borgo delle Perse at TheGraceClub – Via Messina, 38: A Sunday night event reminiscent of the iconic “Borgo” parties. Offers a multi-level experience, outdoor space, and an aperitif-karaoke session, followed by dancing in a diverse atmosphere (Instagram Page)
Gay venues in Milan for cruising: clubs and saunas (membership card required, available on-site)
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