Glasgow

Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow was once 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. OutSpoken Arts is an annual LGBT arts festival that runs from January through April, at venues throughout the city hosting plays, films, talks and art exhibitions.

 

Getting here

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, with service by Ryanair, 30 miles southwest of Glasgow, has good connections with trains from the airport to Glasgow Central Station or to Edinburgh, among other destinations. There are also bus and coach services - see the airport website for details.

To arrive by train see the websites of National Rail and ScotRail. For coach service throughout Britain see National Express.

 

Getting around

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

OutSpoken Arts, the website for Scotland's annual celebration of queer culture formerly known as Glasgay, 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.

Design My Night has all the best bars, pubs and clubs in Glasgow for people of all types and inclinations, with details on Hogmanay and other special events throughout the year.

For map locations and website links to museums & galleries, plus theaters & performance venues, see our gay Glasgow listings pages.

 

Accommodations

Apex Hotel (110 Bath St; 444-131-441-0440), gay-friendly boutique hotel with a great location surrounded by coffee shops and bars, 104 rooms and suites, four star hotel with facilities and luxury touches. Formerly Mark's Hotel.

Charing Cross Guest House (310 Renfrew St; 44-141-332-2503), affordable accommodations, heart of Glasgow, walking distance from attractions, nightlife and shopping districts.

For another dozen hotel options see our maps & listings pages.

 

Going Out

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), video cafe and bar; burgers, pizza, mains; live music performances, open mic, comedy nights; LGBT special events jnclude the monthly Birdcage in the basement, showcasing local artists and DJs.

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.

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.

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, cabaret, drag shows, karaoke, DJ sets.

Merchant Pride (20 Candleriggs), laid-back, gay-friendly karaoke and cabaret bar, pub food and cocktails.

Poetry Club (100 Eastvale Pl), queer-friendly "hub for art, music, performance, spoken word and billows of smoke." Parties here include DILF, the monthly Saturday men's dance party featuring a mix of house music fused with 'techy uplifting tunes;' and NMFA, aka "no more fucking Abba" gay/lesbian/mixed dance party.

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 (18 John St), nightly food and cocktails, Speakeasy Afterhours, DJs and jukebox music, movie nights, karaoke; home-style starters, sandwiches, steak, curry, ribs, fish 'n chips, fried chicken, holiday roasts and deserts.

Tron Theatre Bar & Kitchen (Chisholm St), busy mixed establishment, classic Victorian setting, tasty fare, pre-and-post show drinks, free WiFi access; Saturday and Sunday brunch and weekend roasts.

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 - 50 years! 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 to Make Do (Hope St) and Daddy Cools (Sauchiehall St), which both closed and the brand called it quits. For some of what's happening in the current scene see the Make Do link, along with those of 69 Below (69 Nelson Mandela Pl), Infexious, Twisted, and the Classic Grand (18 Jamaica St).

Tunnel at  Re-Play (7 Renfield St), mixed/ mostly straight dance crowd, Thursday through Saturdays with happy hour warms ups and afterhours.

CLOSED: Court Bar (69 Hutcheson St); FHQ (10 John St), women's bar/club/ entertainment above Speakeasy.

See more bars and a score of restaurants at our map & listings pages.

 

Saunas

Pipeworks (5-10 Metropole Lane) modern, clean, open overnights on Saturdays, 35-man spa pool, 20-man sauna, sling room, TV and internet. lounges.

CLOSED: AJ's Sauna (41b York St).

 

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.

- staff - May 2016