Glasgow is known for its modern and sophisticated charm and locals with a down-to-earth attitude. Rough Guides voted it ‘the friendliest city in the world.’ Its LGBTQ+ scene is equally as welcoming and vibrant, with pubs, clubs, and cafes around the revitalized Merchant City district. Check out this guide to explore the city’s LGBTQ+ scene including all the details on the best neighborhoods, hotels, and events.
Visit the ‘fiercely independent and Queer’ Category is Books for a page-turning look into LGBTQ+ culture. Pick up new and second-hand books, magazines, comics, and art celebrating queer stories, communities, and history. You can also visit Glasgow Women’s Library, a vast collection dedicated to women’s contributions throughout history, alongside a fascinating set of LGBTQ+ documents.
Travel Gay hailed The Underground in Merchant City as “one of Glasgow’s friendliest gay bars.’ During the day, this queer hotspot is ideal for a relaxed afternoon drink or a game of pool. And at night, the laid-back gay bar transforms into a buzzing club.
Out and About
The majority of gay venues are on and around Virginia Street in the Merchant City district. With an alternative ambiance and crowd, Speakeasy hosts quirky events including trash pop night ‘The Trophy Room,’ while there are also romantic private boots to book. The Riding Room entertains gay trendsetters with burlesque, magic, and live sets, while Scotland’s oldest gay bar The Waterloo Bar is traditional and unpretentious. Attracting a mixed, lesbian, and gay crowd, Katie’s Bar is a popular venue with DJs, drag queens, and trivia.
Providing affordable luxury to a tech-savvy generation is the aim of citizenM Glasgow, located a short walk from the city’s LGBTQ+ district. With hotels in cities such as New York, London, and Amsterdam, this hip hotel scores style points with iconic Vitra furniture in the lobby and Frette linen on the king-size beds. Guests need not worry about this hotel breaking the bank. Why? The citizenM keeps costs low with online reservations, automated check-in kiosks, and a self-service 24-hour canteen that serves a hot breakfast, barista coffee, delicious pastries, and cocktails.
Just a short walk from the gay scene, the four-star Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow is cool and contemporary. It is home to the modern restaurant Grahamston Kitchen & Bar, which offers delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Other facilities include a stylish bar, a 50-foot-long swimming pool, sauna, gym, and 247 rooms and suites with a variety of design styles.
15Glasgow is a five-star gay-friendly ‘sleep boutique’ bed and breakfast in a quiet residential neighborhood. This Victorian townhouse has five large guest suites with an abundance of architectural features, including intricate cornicing and original shutters, complemented by elegant modern furniture. With no dedicated dining area, breakfast is served in your room – the full Scottish option includes the finest Ayrshire bacon and Stornoway black pudding.
Pride Glasgow (Last Saturday in June)
A celebration of all things LGBTQ+, Pride Glasgow is a two-day spectacle held every summer. A colorful rainbow parade runs through the city while Glasgow Green plays host to a music stage, bars, and more. Expect a carnival atmosphere and lots of sexy kilt-clad Scotsmen.
Scottish Queer International Film Festival (October)
Each October, the city hosts the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF). Celebrating LGBTQ+ film in Scotland, this festival is a non-profit event showing lesser-known and publicized material from the community.
Located in Scotland, Glasgow is four-and-a-half hours north of London by train. Glasgow Airport is Scotland’s principal long-haul gateway with direct flights from the United States, Canada, and the Middle East. Glasgow Prestwick Airport is also another option. So, vacationers can fly to other major European cities from both airports.