LGBTQ+ guide to Glasgow
LGBTQ+ guide to Glasgow
Glasgow is a welcoming and inclusive city. In fact, Rough Guides have just named us as one of the '5 best European LGBTQ+ destinations' (July 2023). Here is our LGBTQ+ guide including the top places to visit, eat, drink and stay.
Things to do
The Merchant City is known as Glasgow’s LGBTQ+ district and is where you’ll find the majority of LGBTQ+ bars and clubs. It’s also one of the city’s most stylish areas, with lots of cafes, shops and arty spaces. Not to mention the historic beauty of the buildings! Check out our Merchant City guide to find out more.
The Burrell Collection
The Burrell Collection can be found within Pollok Country Park on the southside of Glasgow. Inside, you can explore over 9,000 objects, from medieval treasures to some of the finest tapestries in the world. Take a tour to uncover some of the hidden histories of the museum’s collection. Head to burrellcollection.com to find out more about these fascinating tours.
Glasgow Women’s Library
The Glasgow Women’s Library celebrates the lives, histories, and achievements of women. It’s free to visit all year round and is one of Glasgow’s hidden gems. They also hold over 200 events per year, check out what’s on at womenslibrary.org.uk.
Glasgow Zine Library
Glasgow's Zine Library on the southside has a growing collection of over 1,000 zines. They also hold many inclusive events and host their annual Glasgow Zine Fest. Visit glasgowzinelibrary.com to find out more.
Another of Glasgow’s hidden gems is the Britannia Panopticon. Not only is it the oldest surviving music hall in the world, but it’s also where Stan Laurel made his debut. They host a variety of events, including cabaret and drag shows. Head to britanniapanopticon.org to find out more.
LGBT Health and Wellbeing events
LGBT Health and Wellbeing host a number of social events throughout Scotland for the LGBTQ+ community. From weekly ukulele-playing groups to language cafes, visit lgbthealth.org.uk to check out what’s on.
Category Is Books
Category Is Books is an independent, LGBTQ+ bookshop in Glasgow. The store is a treasure trove full of new and second hand queer books, magazines, graphic novels, comics, zines and badges – the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping. Check out Category Is Books on Instagram for the latest updates.
Based in the east end, Calton Books describe themselves as the "the best wee radical bookshop on the planet". This friendly bookshop hosts a huge collection specialising in left-wing and progressive books. They also design and produce badges, t-shirts, and flags to “promote local working class history of the type you don’t learn about in school.” Find out more at calton-books.co.uk.
The Barras Market
This Glasgow institution is jam-packed with local traders selling everything from local drag merch and clothing to records, books and furniture. Don't miss traders Pop up and Drag and Celebrate With Pride. Follow The Barras Market on Instagram for more info.
Places to eat and drink
Transylvania Shop and Cafe
A quirky Romanian supermarket, deli and coffee shop, Transylvania Shop and Cafe can be found near Queen’s Park on the southside of Glasgow. The owners love to decorate the front of the store each season and celebrate Pride each year. Follow Transylvania Shop on Instagram to find out more.
Married couple Graham and Graham run Fulton’s, which is a breakfast, brunch and lunch cafe on Glasgow's southside. They serve up all the classics, from comforting steak pie and lasagne to homemade strawberry tarts with coffee. Check out Fulton’s on Instagram.
Rose and Grants
Rose and Grants is a friendly cafe in the Merchant City. Whilst they cater to all diets, they are particularly well-known for making vegan versions of 2 Scottish delicacies – macaroni pies and square sausage rolls. Check out Rose and Grants on Instagram.
Serving up authentic Neapolitan pizza, Paesano is most definitely a crowd pleaser. And better still, there is one in the city centre and in the west end. Visit paesanopizza.co.uk
to check out the menu.
Also in the Merchant City is Cafe Gandolfi. Somewhat of an institution, they serve quality Scottish dishes in beautiful surrounds. Check out some of the dishes available on Cafe Gandolfi’s Instagram.
Ushi’s Coffee Corner
Ushi’s Coffee Corner in the city centre is a queer vegan diner and venue. They host a variety of events and have some great weekly food offers. Follow Ushi’s Coffee Corner on Instagram for the latest updates.
Glasgow is well-known for its nightlife, and that’s no different when it comes to LGBTQ+ venues. From clubbing at the Polo Lounge and AXM to drinks at Katie’s Bar and the Riding Rooms, read all about it in our clubs and late night bars guide to Glasgow.
Where to stay
Located a short walk from the city’s LGBTQ+ district is CitizenM Glasgow. Every room has an extra-large king size bed, mood lighting and a power shower. Sounds like the perfect place for some well-earned rest. Book direct at citizenm.com to save on your stay.
The Brunswick Hotel
The Brunswick is a modern hotel, also in the Merchant City. At ground level you’ll find The Amsterdam, which is a vibrant cafe bar serving loaded fries, burgers and an extensive drinks menu. Book at brunswickhotel.co.uk for the best rates.
Referring to itself as a ‘sleep boutique’, 15Glasgow is a 5-star bed and breakfast which is handily located between the city centre and west end. It was named a ‘gay friendly hotel’ by Vacationer Magazine in 2022. Find out more at 15glasgow.com.
Glasgow's pride march keeps growing, with over 50,000 people taking part in 2023. The march usually takes place in July and has a different theme each year. Find out more at mardigla.org.
Scotland’s largest LGBTQIA+ sports club, Glasgow Frontrunners are a community road running group who meet up several times per week. Suitable for all abilities, every run is lead by a qualified coach. Find out more at glasgowfrontrunners.org.
Queenz Sounds Festival takes place in October each year with the goal to promote minorities in the music industry and encourage diversity. The evening includes unique female and LGBTQIA acts with drag queens, dancing and more. Visit the festival website for details of acts performing.
Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF)
Taking place annually in September, SQIFF aims to build community through queer films, screening movies that people might not otherwise get a chance to see. Visit www.sqiff.org to find out more.
King And Caboodle Cabaret
King and Caboodle Cabaret is Glasgow’s brand new bimonthly show. Expect drag kings and different hosts and line-up every time. Get more info on their Instagram page.
Article last updated: February 2024