Pubs & Clubs
glasgow city centre
The best pubs in Glasgow cater for a varied clientele. Some are dedicated to whisky connoisseurs who appreciate rare single malts in authentic surroundings. Others have a passion for real ale and craft beer, soaking up the latest creations from artisan brewers.
The pubs themselves are diverse. Grand or simple, cavernous or cosy, they suit different moods and different needs. The best pubs in Glasgow have been around for decades – centuries even – and attract locals who know they’re onto a good thing as well as savvy or serendipitous visitors.
Waxy O’Connor’s is Glasgow’s largest Irish bar, a rabbit warren of a place set over 3 floors of interconnected snugs and passageways. Ornate coffered ceilings and wood-panelled walls accented with stone create a bold backdrop. Within these spaces, clusters of leather armchairs and pub tables have been laid out with camaraderie in mind.
All the elements you’d expect of an Irish pub are here. Live music acts fill the space with the sounds of pipes, whistles and fiddles. Special events mark every occasion from St Patrick’s Day to the highlights of the Irish sporting calendar. Raise a glass of Guinness and celebrate.
Location: 44 W George St, Glasgow G2 1DH, UK
Open: Sunday–Thursday from noon to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight
Phone: +44 (0)14 1354 5154
The Pot Still
The Pot Still in Glasgow began its journey as a pub back in 1886 when Glaswegians knew it as McCall’s. After several changes of ownership, it took on its present persona in 1981 and those at the helm laid the foundations for its future as an award-winning whisky bar.
These days, there are more than 800 different whiskies behind the bar. They’re all here: single and blended malts, single and blended grains, whisky liqueurs, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Swedish, Dutch, American, Canadian, Indian, Kiwi and Japanese. Figure out where to start by booking a private whisky tasting.
Location: 154 Hope St, Glasgow G2 2TH, UK
Open: Daily from 11 am to midnight
Phone: +44 (0)14 1333 0980
The Horseshoe Bar
The Horseshoe Bar is a Glasgow institution that first opened in 1884. It’s popular, but even on the busiest of Saturday nights, you shouldn’t have a problem getting served at the bar. That’s because they claim it’s the longest in Europe, measuring 104 feet and 3 inches – over 31 metres – from end to end.
Alongside Scottish beers and ales are more unusual tipples like grapefruit radler. There’s also a good selection of spirits including Engine Gin with notes of rose, juniper, lemon, and sage. You can come here for karaoke but the biggest draw is the sport feeds, broadcast on 11 screens.
Location: 17-19 Drury St, Glasgow G2 5AE, UK
Open: Daily from 11 am to midnight
Phone: +44 (0)14 1248 6368
Sloans isn’t your usual, run-of-the-mill Glasgow pub. It’s been serving refreshments since 1797, initially as a coffeehouse catering for those who boarded the daily stagecoach to Edinburgh. When David Sloan took over in the early 20th century, he put his own stamp on the place by adding an aquarium and a grand ballroom, used today for a weekly ceilidh.
Other events that take place here include bingo, quizzes, comedy and more unusually, life drawing classes and drag shows. The Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club meets here once a month. If you’re content simply to come for a quiet drink, the fairy-lit beer garden is a must on a dry night.
Location: 108 Argyle St, Glasgow G2 8BG, UK
Open: Sunday–Thursday from noon to midnight, Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 am
Phone: +44 (0)14 1221 8886
Glasgow is known worldwide for being one of the UK’s best cities for nightlife. Experience everything from techno in warehouses, disco in dive bars and LGBTQ+ anthems in 150-year-old stunning buildings.
Sub Club is the longest-running underground dance club in the world and this year celebrates its 35th Anniversary. Despite its size, it is regularly voted amongst the best clubs in the world. With the likes of John Digweed, Erol Alkan and The Black Madonna among those who have played, it’s no wonder why. It’s also venue where Scotland’s most famous and influential club night started out – Optimo. The 2 DJs behind Optimo continue to tour and release music with this year marking their 25th anniversary year.
The Berkeley Suite
Nestled in Charing Cross, behind a pawn shop sign, you’ll find The Berkeley Suite. Stylish and intimate, the club hosts cutting-edge DJs from across the globe, with electronica, disco, punk, house and techno on offer every week. Follow The Berkeley Suite’s Instagram for what’s on.
Scotland’s biggest nightclub can be found on Sauchiehall Street. A favourite with students, The Garage runs 7 club nights a week, with genres ranging from chart-toppers to indie. Visit garageglasgow.co.uk for more info.
For warehouse vibes with sustainability at its core, visit SWG3 in the west end. You’ll find every genre imaginable, from the biggest names in dance to an ABBA disco. Following their BODYHEAT project at COP26, SWG3 has committed to becoming a net zero venue by 2025. Visit swg3.tv for full listings.
La Cheetah is situated in the basement of Max’s in Glasgow’s Merchant City. The venue is small and the punters are serious about music. For some of the biggest names in electronic music in an intimate environment with an inclusive atmosphere, head to La Cheetah. Visit lacheetahclub.co.uk for what’s on.
If vintage funk, soul and disco are your vibe, head to the Buff Club, hidden away in the back lanes of Glasgow city centre. Climb the stairs, lined with flocked wallpaper, and you’ll find a laid-back, cool and friendly crowd, dancing the night away under the spinning mirror ball. Visit thebuffclub.com for more info.
cathouse rock club
Just beside Central Station, you’ll find the Cathouse Rock Club, an institution in Glasgow for those seeking an alternative night out with a like-minded crowd. Known as ‘the Catty’ to locals, its club nights have been blasting everything from power age rock, metal and screamo since 1990. Visit cathouse.co.uk for full listings.