Thistle Street, Edinburgh
LGBTQ+ guide to Edinburgh
Boasting the largest gay scene in Scotland, Edinburgh’s vibrant ‘Pink Triangle’ is the place to visit for low-key pubs, lively clubs, and delicious British grub.
OUT AND ABOUT
Looking for a good time? Edinburgh’s liveliest gay bars are located near the city centre at the north end of Leith Street and Broughton Street, in an area known locally as the “Pink Triangle.” 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 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.
Edinburgh is filled with chic accommodations like The Glasshouse, The Scotsman Hotel, and The Balmoral Hotel, plus several gay-owned and run guest houses. If gay-friendly isn’t quite friendly enough, consider booking a room at Alva House—a B&B exclusively for gay men.
Splash out with a range of tasting menus at Timberyard, near Grassmarket. For excellent coffee and a relaxed environment try Artisan Roast on Broughton Street or Union Brew Lab on South College Street. The Elephant House on George IV Bridge is a popular and long-standing tea spot, as is Spoon on Nicholson Street where simple, delicious meals are served all day long in a convivial and relaxed environment. It's no wonder author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling, famously came to both to write during winter when she could not afford to heat her apartment.
DATES FOR THE DIARY
13 June - 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.
Edinburgh is in Scotland, four-and-a-half hours north of London by train. Flying? Scotland’s busiest airport, Edinburgh Airport, is also served by many international and low-cost airlines, and is located 12km from the city centre.