Glasgow Nightlife • A Complete Guide

glasgow nightlife

Welcome to Glasgow’s premier nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Glasgow. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.

Enjoy!

An Intro to Glasgow

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as “Glaswegians” or “Weegies”. It is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

Glasgow at Night
Glasgow at Night

Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland and tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world’s pre-eminent centers of chemicals, textiles, and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was the “Second City of the British Empire” for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow’s population grew rapidly, reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s, resulting in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns; such as Cumbernauld, Livingston, East Kilbride and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes, reduced the population of the City of Glasgow council area to an estimated 615,070, with 1,209,143 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. The wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland’s population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2.

The city has many amenities for a wide range of cultural activities, from curling to opera and ballet and from football to art appreciation; it also has a large selection of museums that include those devoted to transport, religion, and modern art. Many of the city’s cultural sites were celebrated in 1990 when Glasgow was designated European City of Culture. The city’s principal municipal library, the Mitchell Library, has grown into one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe, currently housing some 1.3 million books, an extensive collection of newspapers and thousands of photographs and maps of academic libraries, Glasgow University Library started in the 15th century and is one of the oldest and largest libraries in Europe, with unique and distinctive collections of international status.

Most of Scotland’s national arts organizations are based in Glasgow, including Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Scottish Youth Theatre.

The Nightlife of Glasgow

The Nightlife of Glasgow
The Nightlife of Glasgow

Glasgow’s nightlife and the city, in general, may have a wild and loud reputation, which is fueled by a heady mix of cold air, fried food, and tonic wine, but it’s also one of the most creative, friendly and witty scenes in the country. The sprawling industrial town, which has been tirelessly regenerating itself over the past three decades, seems to produce an endless stream of forward-thinking musicians, artists and designers that spiral out of its live music venues, pubs and clubs – often via a stint in the effortlessly cool Glasgow School of Art, to make your nightlife in Glasgow lit, with their extraordinary talent. You may prefer a lovely dive bar or a location for great casual eats. There are many of those as well. And whether fancy or dressed-down, live music and dancing at venues both in and out of doors keeps the party up late into the night. Whether you’re after a wee dram in a cozy or exotic pub, a microbrewery beer in a swanky bar or a night filled with loud live music and dancing, Glasgow’s nightlife won’t disappoint you in any sense.
We’ve compiled a list of Glasgow’s best Bars, restaurants, nightclubs that you can enjoy if you’re planning to visit the city. Because traveling to somewhere without any prior knowledge could turn out to be your worst nightmare, therefore, do give it a read. Moreover, we’ve also compiled a list of events that are organized throughout the year in the city which could help understand the culture of the city.

Best Bars in Glasgow

Glasgow city loves to eat and drink. When you go out and about enjoying the nightlife of the city, chances are pretty high that you would also want to enjoy the finest brews of the bars. Well, you are lucky enough, because, the city has been loaded with such bars when it comes to bars that serve carefully made drinks. No doubt the city is jam-packed with some of the coolest, most quirky places to go for a drink. Glasgow’s nightlife scene always delivers the goods when you fancy trying something a little different. Whether you’re looking for upbeat club nights, whimsical watering holes, craft beer lounges or something in between, our comprehensive list of cool, swanky and quirky bars in Glasgow should set you right.
So it’s really tough to agree on an option about where to spend your time/money. To make your life easier we have compiled a list of the strongest joints in the city, ranging from dives and icehouses to cocktail lounges and breweries, so you could enjoy the wholesome experience of boozing without the hassle of actually going through all the options. Enjoy them with caution, because it’s hard to have just one drink at any of these spots, because of the great taste offered by them:

Kelvingrove Café

Kelvingrove Café
Kelvingrove Café

We talk about the bars in Glasgow, your first blind choice must be Kelvingrove Cafe. An extraordinarily gorgeous atmospheric bar, it’s a dream to sit in and even more like a dream to drink in. Despite being more than a little tipsy there on NYE, you will still fall in love with the cocktails because they are some of the best that you can have in the UK. Don’t forget to other their “Death on the Nile” (gin, Violette and orange liqueurs, topped with prosecco), because it’s their specialty.

The Finnieston

The Finnieston
The Finnieston

The Finnieston is the frequent choice of people because it’s a trendy drinking spot. It’s the absolutely perfect blend of old and new; gorgeous exposed brick interiors and a gin-based cocktail menu that’s up with the best of them, but with cozy lighting and comfy booths. Because this trend for putting your customers on the kind of benches and stools we had to sit on in school is bullshit and needs to be stopped. Make sure to order yourself some of their signature Scottish seafood, then start on G&Ts and don’t stop until you’re all the way down to a Corpse Reviver. Overall it’s an excellent bar that also offers good starters and food.

Blythswood Square

Blythswood Square
Blythswood Square

If you are looking for the fanciest in fancy drinking in Glasgow city, then you should look no further because of its right there in Blythswood Square Hotel. Their bar is lush, and their cocktails served in the kind of glassware that will make you question if you aren’t, in fact, a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

Ubiquitous Chip

Ubiquitous Chip
Ubiquitous Chip

Ubiquitous Chip is another institution from Glasgow. You just can’t simply come to the city and not visit this place, it’s this much famous. They offer a fantastic brunch, and the food, in general, is an absolute killer. They also have their heads screwed on right, as they know that, “intrinsic to good eating is good drinking”. Additionally, talking about the specialty, here you’ll also find a solid list of wine, a comprehensive menu of cocktails, and a “wee pub” – which is the smallest in Scotland to be exact.

Stravaigin

Stravaigin
Stravaigin

Though it is primarily a restaurant, we couldn’t resist putting it in the bars’ list because of the great and exotic taste of drinks offered by them. Furthermore, Glasgow’s joint is a triple threat: because of their excellence in food, Drink, and ambiance. Heads up non-drinkers – the bar has one of the most enticing non-alcoholic selections that you’ll ever see. Turkish delight lemonade and white grape and Madagascan vanilla soda, for less than the price of coke in a London bar, what else do you want?

Cafe Gandolfi

Cafe Gandolfi
Cafe Gandolfi

Glasgow has been killing it in bar scenes because it has most of the very good bars come attached to very good restaurants. At Gandolfi, forget bog standard bar snacks; their not-so-secret gem of a bar is up above their cafe, and serves all the food you’ll find downstairs, which spoiler alert, is delicious. You should Order a round of martinis with a plate of smoked haddock and tiger prawn pasta on the side, and prepare to live your best life by hanging out with friends or your partner.

Best Bar Restaurants in Glasgow

Following along the comprehensive bar list laid out in the above section, when you will be out and about trying out drinks, chances are that at some point you’re going to crave for deliciously-exotic food as well. With Glasgow’s bar scenes continuing to grow and innovate, it’s no wonder that a restaurant bar would be a great idea to choose. Glasgow has some of the finest restaurants that serve delicious food along with great cocktails and drinks that blend with the food to provide a perfect combination. For a city like Glasgow that likes to drink a lot, it’s no surprise that they’re quickly becoming drinking spots in their own sense.
Find your way around the best cocktail bars in Glasgow with our comprehensive list. Whether you’re up for a Woo-Woo in the West End or a mojito in Merchant City, this city encourages some of the most talented mixologists and stylish cocktail bars in the country. With so many top places to drink in Glasgow, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up this list for your next night out. Just have a glance at some of the restaurant bars in Glasgow, and you’ll find that so much more than the city’s food scene has to offer. Whether it’s fine fare you’re after, seafood, great pub grub, or just a burger and a beer, whether it’s a date night, boozy brunch or a big family meal, there are plate loads of great eateries around the city, just waiting to be tested. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered and have chosen some of Glasgow’s best restaurant bars. The best thing to do is to choose a bar that also serves delicious food. That way your need for booze and craving for the food will be catered under one roof. Therefore, to fulfill your extreme craving for delightful food and awesome booze, we’ve come up with a list of Glasgow’s best bar restaurants, good enough to stimulate your taste buds to take you to the cloud noun just be sure to keep an eye on the bill you may want to order all of the stuff here in these restaurants because of their exotic taste:

A’Challtainn Fish Restaurant & Bar

A'Challtainn Fish Restaurant & Bar
A’Challtainn Fish Restaurant & Bar

Based on Carlton Entry in Glasgow, A’Challtainn is a restaurant-bar in Glasgow that’s been catching people’s attention lately with its delicious menu and stunning flavors. With all the fish and meat sourced from the famous Fishmarket in Saltmarket, the menu features only dishes made with freshest ingredients, while the bar serves a range of signature and contemporary cocktails.

Cubatas

Cubatas
Cubatas

You can find this delicious Spanish tapas restaurant in Finnieston. Using authentic Spanish produce and whipped up by a Spanish Chef, Cubatas serves up a delicious fare that has been recognized by the Herald Scotland among others. The small plates are reasonably priced and perfect for sharing; order a jug of refreshing sangria and tuck in. All in all, a great choice for some good food and booze.

Bar Gumbo

Bar Gumbo
Bar Gumbo

This place has cast a Southern spell on the West End. Great Lousiana style cooking, except ribs, wings, cornbread and of course, gumbo. With bluesy bayou vibes and great tipples to wash it all down, Bar Gumbo is a great dining option if you’re looking for something a little different. Overall it’s a great option for some delicious dishes and booze.

Lebowskis

Lebowskis
Lebowskis

Located on the Finnieston end of Argyle Street, Lebowski’s is a great boozy burger bar. With a stock of sky-high burgers and more White Russians than you can shake a straw at, this is the place to come in Glasgow if you’re looking for a fun bar with food. Just make sure you come on an empty stomach though, yeah? ‘Cos these plates are seriously massive and drinks offered are extremely exotic.

Curler’s Rest

Curler's Rest
Curler’s Rest

If it’s pub grub you’re after, then the Curler’s Rest is sure to have something that takes your fancy. With various menus for evenings, lunchtimes and weekends there’s always something tasty on the go. And with comfortable, cozy surroundings, a stack of papers and a pint, this is the perfect spot to fill your belly and have a lazy afternoon.
Horn Please
For food and drink in Glasgow, you should visit Horn Please. The name is derived from the phrase printed on the back of Indian food trucks, and their philosophy to the entire bar also takes inspiration from the country. The menu is packed with ‘new concept Indian cuisine’, while the cocktail list is the perfect accompaniment to every dish.

Best Nightclubs in Glasgow

Dance clubs in Glasgow have been evolved from the days of pounding music, flashing lights and dubious attire. While some clubs still revel in their thumping beats and laser light shows, others take pride in offering refuge from the noisy street and offering great drinks and small plates. Whether you enjoy sophisticated classic or the modern rock, you’ll find a place that will allow you to relax, let loose and enjoy a night of fun out with friends, coworkers, a special if you’re out with your other half. You’ll never short of options for nightlife in Glasgow, from renowned dance music venues to after-hours jazz hangouts, let this be the guide to your next big night out.
The city has got some great nightclubs that will deliver great drinks and a convenient, attractive, upscale location when it comes to high profile guests, top-notch music. No matter where you end up sitting in this city, you’ll surely find great drinks, music, and the chance to show your lit moves, which is really what it’s all about. Hop into the following clubs to enjoy the above experience:

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary

Located at 59 Dumbarton Rd, Glasgow, Scotland, The Sanctuary is synonymous with sublime times all around. Between the galaxy of futuristic LED lighting adding that modern feel and the massive outdoor terrace complete with toasty log fire, the whole scenario is enviable. Found in the West End, this dynamite club prides itself on epic day parties and a top-notch selection of disco, house and hip hop tunes led by a team of trailblazing DJs. You should definitely hope in there to enjoy great drinks, dance, and especially its ambiance.

The Garage

The Garage
The Garage

Located at 490 Sauchiehall Street since 1996, The Garage can be regarded as Scotland’s biggest nightclub, with a personality as loud as its size. Suited to those who shake their fist at the mundane and the type who love to rave all night long — and then do it all over again the next day — this party playground caters to all music styles from indie and pop, to house, electro and everything else in between. You should definitely give The Garage a try if the party is your motto.

Sub Club

Sub Club
Sub Club

Located at 22 Jamaica Street, Sub Club is a subterranean pleasure palace embroidered with badass DJs destined to stimulate the senses and inject all who enter with a glorious dose of the sickest beats out there. The dynamite dancing den famously attracts party seekers and music lovers from far and near, with its pioneering UK’s largest bodysonic dancefloor, never-ending list of hot happening DJs and raved about nights. A clubbing staple lighting up Jamaica Street since 1987, Sub Club is worthy of unwavering praise and is voted up there with the top five nightclubs in the world.

La Cheetah Club

La Cheetah Club
La Cheetah Club

Well as you may have heard that the best things come in small packages. Tucked away from prying eyes in the underground haven of Max’s Bar, this little basement nightclub takes its name from the esteemed salsa club in New York. The wonderfully intimate La Cheetah Club displays an inimitable ambiance maintained to provide customers a spiritual appreciation for the droves of electronic tunes from the tribes of first-class DJs. Between the sound system, cozy bar, and glistening crowds, this place will surely bring out the wild cat from your inside!

The Berkeley Suite

The Berkeley Suite
The Berkeley Suite

As far as nightclubs are concerned, The Berkeley Suite is a sexy seductress with its smooth, low-key lighting, velvet finishes and cooler than cool Art Deco vibes. This home away from home boasts downright banging tunes and is the ideal setting for letting inhibitions run free. The epic dance space is made for moving. At the end of the day, The Berkeley Suite has that edge, rendering it a prime party retreat. All in all, this place offers a nice place to hang out with your friends and family.

SWG3

SWG3
SWG3

How could we have a list of best nightclubs in Glasgow, without this uber-cool warehouse? This raver den is home to all manner of cool and quirky club nights; from roller discos to indoor weekenders. With its underground vibes and West End location, you just need to experience SWG3.

Events in Glasgow City

From music to film, comedy to books, family to the arts there’s a wide range of cultural festivals being held throughout the year in Glasgow! Inhabitants of the city feel pride themselves on keeping you up to date on events in Glasgow taking place throughout the year, from the latest theatre events and live music performances to local activities and fantastic attractions.

Glasgow’s reputation as ‘The Friendly City’ is reflected in a wide range of arts festivals covering all of the art forms, and in an extensive program of cultural and sporting events. The arts festival program runs throughout the year starting with Celtic Connections’ in January which is attended by over 100,000 people. Other music festivals include Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Big World Music Festival, and Triptych. Some other major international festivals include Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art and the New Territories Dance Festival. Summer events include the West End Festival, Shakespeare in the Botanic Gardens, the World Pipe Band Championships and the Great Scottish Run.

Glasgow Feminist Arts Festival

Glasgow Feminist Arts Festival
Glasgow Feminist Arts Festival

Glasgow Feminist Arts Festival is an intersectional feminist event showcasing women’s work in the creative arts. Putting women front and center, the festival program promises to challenge you, make you laugh, make you cry, and maybe ask you to look in new ways at women’s lives and experiences.

The Festival recognize and champion a wide variety of experiences and identities, including those of race; disability; sexuality; trans, non-binary and queer identities; and class (and many others besides). Aiming to bring together Scottish and international artists to celebrate women’s creativity and start exciting new conversations about how to move beyond #MeToo.

GFAF will feature films curated by Africa in Motion, Scottish Queer International Film Festival, Perspectives, and GFAF founder Rebecca Harrison, as well as music, spoken word, and performance. There will also be talks by an exciting line up of critics and academics involved in feminist activism, plus workshops and networking events to support artists and inspire audiences. A new, feminist festival for Scotland, GFAF will offer opportunities to see old favorites and discover brilliant new local talent. For program announcements and details about how you can get involved, visit our website at www.glasgowfeministartsfestival.com.

Shawlands Street Party

Shawlands Street Party
Shawlands Street Party

The fabulous Shawlands Street Party returns again featuring live bands, children’s entertainment, a market place, event bar, street food and much more! Join them for another day filled with great live music, face painters, henna artist, ‘Bricks4Kidz’, hula hoop performance and workshop, fantastic live dancers, a market place, beer tent, street food and so much more!

The Glasgow Mela by Scottish Academy of Asian Arts

The Glasgow Mela by Scottish Academy of Asian Arts
The Glasgow Mela by Scottish Academy of Asian Arts

The Scottish Academy of Asian Arts was originally set up in 1976 as the Asian Artistes Association. The Asian Artistes Association worked tirelessly to promote Asian arts in Scotland and provide traditional concerts for the Asian community; programming lauded musicians such as Ravi Shankar and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

SAAA’s aim is to develop and sustain a centre of excellence for the promotion of South Asian and Multi-ethnic performing and visual arts via an ongoing annual programme of activities within Scotland which includes education classes, community outreach projects, events programme, music-touring network and delivery of The Glasgow Mela, the largest annual multi-cultural event in the West coast of Scotland. The program aims to promote the organization’s ability to play a strategic role in nurturing and supporting new aesthetic ideas, concepts, and styles within the context of cultural diversity.

Great Scottish Run

Great Scottish Run
Great Scottish Run

Each year Glasgow plays host to one of the largest road races in the UK – participants can choose between the half marathons to 10k. The race will take runners past some of the city’s most famous attractions and will again feature the hugely popular run over the Kingston Bridge, before finishing in Glasgow Green. Run Glasgow Web site has information about where the race takes place and how to enter.

Merchant City Festival

Merchant City Festival
Merchant City Festival

The Merchant City Festival is a wonderful celebration of creativity which brings the carnival to the streets and venues in the heart of Glasgow. The next performance is always just around the corner as artists, musicians, dancers and all kinds of live entertainers join one of a kind program. With artisan goods stalls and brilliant food and drink on offer, a visit to the Merchant City Festival suits all ages and promises an unforgettable celebration of Glasgow in the height of the summer.

Conclusion

To sum up the discussion, we went through a brief introduction of the Glasgow along with a brief introduction of its prominent norms, and culture. We also went through a brief introduction of the nightlife of Glasgow and covered the diversity that it offers in terms of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
We also understood the norms and behavior of the people regarding the nightlife of Glasgow. With that being said we went through different options available in bars in Glasgow. The Bars such as Café Gandolfi, Ubiquitous Chip, and The Finniestonmade it to the top.
To cater your food craving we also went through a comprehensive list of bar-restaurants who provide delicious food along with a touch of booze. This delightful combination of food and booze really pushes the limits of Nightlife entertainment and adds a great value tour.
To really introduce you with the Glasgow nightclubs, we also went through a comprehensive list of such clubs that further refine your experience of your tour to Glasgow.
And finally, that leads us to the different types of festivals and event organized in the city. We believe that such events provide a great understanding of the overall cultural norms of a city and also prove to be a great source of entertainment for all.
All of the experiences above work together to make your trip memorable. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can really boost your experience and make your trip unbelievably memorable for you so be sure to check out all the recommendations.

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