LGBT guide to Glasgow
Modern and sophisticated with a down-to-earth attitude, Glasgow’s unique charm has seen it voted ‘the friendliest city in the world’ by Rough Guides. Its gay scene is equally as welcoming and vibrant, with pubs, clubs and cafes dotted around the revitalised Merchant City district.
OUT & ABOUT
The majority of gay venues are on and around Virginia Street in the pretty Merchant City district. With an alternative ambience and crowd, Speakeasy hosts quirky events including games and sing-a-longs with Bella and The Bear every Friday, and trash pop night Scruffy Saturdays. The Riding Room Liquor & Cabaret entertains gay trendsetters with burlesque, magic and live sets, while Scotland’s oldest gay bar The Waterloo is traditional and unpretentious. Attracting a mixed, lesbian and gay crowd, Katie’s Bar is a popular venue with DJs, drag and open mic nights.
Providing affordable luxury to a tech-savvy generation is the aim of citizenM Glasgow. With siblings in cities including New York, London and Amsterdam, this hip hotel scores style points with iconic Vitra furniture in the lobby, and Frette linen on the kingsize beds – but keeps costs low with online reservations, automated check-in kiosks and a self-service 24-hour canteen serving hot breakfasts, barista coffee, sashimi and cocktails.
Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow
Just a short walk from the gay scene, 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow is cool and contemporary. It is home to modern eatery Collage, with works by famous British pop artist Sir Peter Blake on the walls, and staff uniforms by Glasgow-based fashion designer Rebecca Torres. Other facilities include 2 stylish bars, a 15-metre swimming pool, sauna and gym, and 250 rooms and suites in a choice of design styles: City Club, Gallery and Modern – the latter inspired by Glasgow’s club scene.
15Glasgow is a gay-friendly B&B in a restful residential neighbourhood. This Victorian townhouse has 5 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 to your room – the full Scottish option includes the finest Ayrshire bacon and Stornoway black pudding.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
A celebration of all things LGBTQI, Pride Glasgow is a two day spectacle held every August. A colourful 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.
Glasgow flies the rainbow flag every November for Glasgay! - the largest multi-art festival of its kind in the UK. An LGBT cousin of the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival, this arts festival spans comedy, music, film, theatre, visual art, literature, clubbing and community arts projects.
Glasgow is in Scotland, 4hr 30min north of London by train. It’s also served by flights into Glasgow Airport, Scotland’s principal long-haul gateway with direct flights from the United States, Canada and the Middle East; and Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Flights from major European cities operate to both airports.