Thistle Street, Edinburgh

LGBTQI+ guide to Edinburgh

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 LGBTQI+ city guide for the lowdown on the best neighbourhoods, hotels and events in the city.

Although restrictions are in place for now, here’s what you can look forward to once we’re all able to travel again…

DAYTIME DIVERSIONS

The Street, an independent LGBTQI+ 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. Among the gallery’s new arrivals are works from surrealist Salvador Dali and Jenny Saville, the painter whose art is filled with female empowerment, which are on display from March 2021 to March 2022.

 

OUT AND ABOUT

Four male friends sitting at a table, having a drink at Canny Man's, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Edinburgh’s liveliest gay bars are located in the Pink Triangle, near the city centre 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 bellinis!) 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 LGBTQI+ hub, like The GlasshouseThe Scotsman Hotel, The Balmoral Hotel and Alva House, plus several gay-owned and run guest houses.

 

 

DATES FOR THE DIARY

TBC | Pride Edinburgh

Pride Edinburgh is Scotland’s national LGBTQ+ festival. Combining a colourful 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.

6 - 20 August 2021 | Edinburgh International and Fringe Festival

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 colour 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.

 

GETTING HERE

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 from the city centre.

 

Explore our other LGBTQ+ city guides

Birmingham
Brighton
Cardiff
Glasgow
Manchester
London
Bristol
Newcastle