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GitLab allow to maintain public repositories visible for anyone without active user account. Access to public repositories doesn't require user authorization.
All public repositories are listed on Each public repository is also accessible directly through it's URL (for example

Access to public project (e.g. issues) can be however restricted in project configuration.

For more details please refer to

To create a project you need an access to

For more info how to get access to GitLab, please refer to How to access GitLab

How to setup project public

In order to setting up the project or some it's elements public you weed to configure project visibility and permissions.
All settings are located in Project Settings → General → Visibility, project features, permissions

Access to public project

Project with public visibility can be accessed by direct project link. 

In order to obtain direct link go to your project settings