Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow once was known as the British Empire's “second city.” Today, it remains a competitive force in the worlds of business, finance, and gay frolic. Fast-talking, friendly Glaswegians are proud of their city and give a warm welcome to visitors.
Most LGBT clubs in Glasgow are to be found in the area of Merchant City at city centre -- the "Pink Triangle" it's sometimes called, just northeast of Argyle Street and Glasgow Central Railway Stations. Pride Glasgow takes place in July. A huge stage is set up in George Square, which sits next to Queen Street train station. Glasgay is an annual arts festival that runs from October to November, with venues throughout the city hosting shows, films, and exhibitions.
Glasgow Airport is the main gateway into Scotland for transatlantic flights. The closest rail station to the airport is Paisley Gilmour Street, just one mile from the terminal, so easily reached by taxi or bus. Connect from here to Glasgow Central on one of eight SPT trains each hour (5/hr on Sundays) - also to Ayr and Clyde Coast destinations. Number 500 buses depart every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, for a trip of 25 minutes to Glasgow's two main rail stations – Central and Queen Street – and the main bus terminus - Buchanan Bus Station. For more options see the airport website above.
Prestwick Airport, 30 miles southwest of Glasgow, has good connections as well.
Glasgow's streets are busy and vibrant, and walking along the charming River Clyde is one of the best ways to get to know the city. Bring along comfortable shoes, because you’ll want to stroll. For subway, bus, ferry and other public transportation see STP, the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.
Currency and Money
Scotland’s currency is the British pound. ATMs are available in the downtown area.
Media & Resources
Glasgay the website for Scotland's annual celebration of queer culture also has info on year-round events and places to go in Glasgow.
ScotsGay is a magazine with news and listings for all of Scotland, including Glasgow. Read them online or download a pdf edition.
BearScots is Scotland's group for bears, cubs, chubs and their admirers.
Charing Cross Guest House (310 Renfrew St; 44-141-332-2503), affordable accommodations, heart of Glasgow, walking distance from attractions, nightlife and shopping districts.
Marks Hotel (110 Bath St; 44-141-353-0800), gay-friendly boutique hotel, great location, elegant, modern design, room-service includes vegetarian meals, free wi-fi.
For another dozen hotel options see our maps & listings pages.
Arches (253 Argyle St), ground-breaking theater productions, edgy underground arts scene, young new music talent, name DJs, sometimes gay party venue, cafe/bar & restaurant.
AXM Glasgow (80 Glassford St), Wednesday through Sunday gay dance club, former Bennets site, mixed straight-friendly young crowd; performers and theme nights.
Broadcast (427 Sauchiehall St), cafe and bar; burgers, pizza, mains; live music performances, comedy nights, LGBT special events.
CCA (350 Sauchiehall St), Saramago Café & bar with outdoor terrace at Centre for Contemporary Arts; performances, film screenings, exhibit space. Also art shop, bookshop, and 2HB quarterly publication of creative and experimental writing.
Club X (68 Virginia St), Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat Merchant City S&M-themed gay/alternative club, Polo Club off-shoot; masked and raunchy leather-clad performances.
Court Bar (69 Hutcheson St), small pub, mostly straight daytimes, gayest in later evening hours; men/women mix, Sunday cabaret entertainment.
Delmonica's Bar (68 Virginia St), large neighborhood gay party bar, nightly entertainment, bingo, quiz shows, karaoke, free pool games, WiFi, men and women mix.
FHQ (10 John St), upstairs above Speakeasy, women's LGBT bar/club with entertainment, late-night bites, pool tables, karaoke; special event nights include jelly wrestling.
The Flying Duck (142 Renfield St), small alternative gay-friendly basement bar off Sauchiehall St. All The Young Nudes life drawing sessions, folk music, music, dancing, entertainment, cheap drinks and tasty vegan food.
Katie's Bar (17 John St), basement bar "...gay venue in Glasgow open to anyone who enjoys great laughs, fantastic acts and well priced food & drink," women/men, gay/straight party mix, sports, pool games, Glam-e-oke.
Merchant Pride (20 Candleriggs), laid-back, gay-friendly karaoke and cabaret bar, pub food and cocktails.
Polo Lounge (84 Wilson St), Merchant City gay camp party bar, elegant cocktail lounge, nightly entertainment, dancing, special parties, men/women gay/straight-friendly mix.
The Riding Room (58 Virginia St), aka Joint on the Corner, vibrant and unusual cocktail + cabaret bar; nightly on-stage mix of live sets, burlesque, side-show and magic; secluded booths, raunchy dancing.
Speakeasy (10 John St), nightly food and cocktails, Speakeasy Afterhours, DJs and jukebox music, movie nights, karaoke; home-style food, starters, sandwiches, pub classics and holiday roasts.
Tron Theatre Bar & Kitchen (Chisholm St), busy mixed establishment, classic Victorian setting, tasty fare, pre-and-post show drinks, free WiFi access.
Underground (6a John St), large video/party bar, comfortable chairs and tables, pool games, karaoke, free WiFi, comedy nights, drag cabaret; somewhat older crowd, former Revolver Bar.
Waterloo (306 Argyle St), Glasgow's -- probably Scotland's -- longest-running gay bar. Rainbow flag-bedecked traditional pub, friendly and lively, mostly men, special night cabaret and theme parties.
Hardcore ravers at one of Glasgow's best-loved clubs Chambre 69 (lost their lease), moved over to Hope Street for Make Do this past year. Now they're on the move again, for pop-ups at Daddy Cools (375 Sauchiehall St) and 69 Below (69 Nelson Mandela Pl) as 2014 slides into 2015. See their website for future dates/venues.
See more bars and a score of restaurants at our map & listings pages.
AJ's Sauna (41b York St), men's club, large steam room and sauna, open 7 days/week, bears' nights, Naked Tuesdays.
Pipeworks (5-10 Metropole Lane) modern, clean, open overnights on Saturdays, 35-man spa pool, 20-man sauna, sling room, TV and internet. lounges.
Shopping, and services
Aye-Aye Books (CCA foyer, 350 Sauchiehall St), limited edition artists’ books, cultural and critical theory, fiction and poetry, magazines and journals, radical books, sound art, music, and world cinema DVDs.
Luke & Jack (45 Virginia St), aromas, toys, lubes, magazines, books, underwear, T-shirts, calendars, rainbow items.
Silks & Secrets (308 Argyle St), gay, transvestite, men's and women's fetish clothing, toys.
Touch of Class Travel can arrange low-cost weekend and city breaks, theater tickets, or corporate travel, Ken Clifford, the man in charge, has over 25 years' experience in the business.
The Virginia Gallery (45 Virginia St), basement level arts and events space, edgy and erotic art and photographic exhibitions, 18+ only.