Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Queer Edinburgh Travel Guide

Contemplating a trip to Scotland? Plan your trip with this Edinburgh Travel Guide to the best queer-friendly places to go and things to do.

Scotland’s buzzing capital has a world-famous reputation as a giant in arts and culture, but it is also home to the largest gay scene in Scotland, Edinburgh’s vibrant ‘Pink Triangle’ is the place to visit for low-key pubs, lively clubs, and day-time hangouts. Explore our LGBTQ+ city guide for the lowdown on the best neighborhoods, hotels, and events in the city.

(Photo Credit: Visit Britain)
(Photo Credit: Visit Britain)

Daytime Diversions

The Street, an independent LGBTQ+ bar and bistro on the edge of the Pink Triangle, serves coffee and comforting street food by day and has a buzzing party atmosphere by night. With a selection of outdoor and indoor seating available to reserve, it provides a relaxing hangout spot in the Scottish capital. Don’t forget to snap a unique souvenir in their retro black-and-white photo booth, too!

Looking to soak up some culture in the capital? Catch some striking contemporary art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, home to world-class sculptures, enthralling landscape gardens, and a range of captivating exhibitions. Look out for the exhibition ‘A Taste for Impressionism’ which brings works from the likes of Van Gogh and Degas to the gallery (July 30 – November 2022).

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Photo Credit: TTstudio / Shutterstock)
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Photo Credit: TTstudio / Shutterstock)

Out and About

Edinburgh’s liveliest gay bars are located in the Pink Triangle, near the city center at the north end of Leith Street and Broughton Street. For creative cocktails, contemporary cuisine, and late-night dancing (the real party begins after 11 pm), swing by the city’s oldest gay venue, CC Blooms. If you’re looking for something a bit more low-key, head to Regent Bar for a pint and a traditional Scottish meal, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to boot! For budget-friendly beers (or Bellini’s!) with live entertainment and thrice-weekly karaoke nights, a trip to Planet Bar is a must.


Stylish Stays

Edinburgh is filled with chic accommodations close to the city’s LGBTQ+ hub, like The GlasshouseThe Scotsman HotelThe Balmoral Hotel, and Alva House (the city’s only guesthouse for gay men), plus several gay-owned and operated guest houses.


Queer-Friendly Events

Edinburgh International and Fringe Festival (August 5-29, 2022)
Past years have seen Edinburgh welcome hundreds of new guests in the summer, drawing visitors and world-class performers from across the globe for the festival season. The Scottish capital becomes an explosion of color and music, events, performances, comedy dance, and more for the annual Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival – which together make up the largest arts festival in the world.

Edinburgh Pride (June 2023)
Pride Edinburgh is Scotland’s national LGBTQ+ festival. Combining a colorful march through the city with a health and community fair and live music, the event brings together politicians, activists, and individuals to support diversity and personal identity.


Getting There

Edinburgh is in Scotland, four-and-a-half hours north of London by train. Planning to fly? Edinburgh Airport is served by many international and low-cost airlines and is located 7.5 miles (12 km) from the city center.

Check out VisitBritain.com for more information and inspiration to help you plan your trip to Edinburgh.

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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