Where are the best bars in Glasgow city centre?

Glasgow's nightlife is well known, not just in Scotland but across the UK, but if you're in the city where do you go to find the best pubs?

Published 19th Jan 2018
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

Glasgow is a cosmopolitan city these days, with a focus on great food, shopping and entertainment, but it's in its pubs and bars where you'll find the true nature of the city.

From the more traditional 'old man pubs' to craft beer dens and dive bars, the city's drinks scene has never been more diverse or exciting.

Here's where to go to find the best of them.

The City Centre

The city centre's bar scene used to be comprised simply of Union Street and Sauchiehall Street but over the years better pubs and bars have begun to make a name for themselves in places like Hope Street and Bath Street, while outliers like the area around George Square and Queen Street continued to offer decent places to go for anything from a cheap pint to an excellent cocktail.

We recommend:

Head for Hope Street and enjoy a dram at one of the world's most popular whisky bars, the Potstill, which has over 700 whiskies or wander up to Bath Street and enjoy live music in bars like Slouch, Howling Wolf and Bloc+.

Merchant City

Heading east from George Square will bring you to one of the most popular nightlife areas in Glasgow, the Merchant City is filled with great bars, restaurants and shops and is the location that many Glaswegians head to on a night out.

Merchant Square is home to a number of great drinking venues, while Candleriggs and the Trongate each have their own attractions.

We recommend:

heading to Merchant Square where you'll find Bar Soba, O'neill's and the Beer Café or go across the street to Blackfriars for one of the best beer selections in the city before wandering down to Maggie Mays on the Trongate which is open until 3am to end the night.



Heading west will take you - either 15 minutes by foot or five minutes by cab - to the Finnieston Strip, the most popular area in Glasgow for food and a place with plenty of great drinks options too.

New bar with Scotland's largest collection of rum to open in Edinburgh 

We recommend:

Head to Lebowskis on Argyll Street for the biggest selection of White Russians you'll find this side of a bowling alley, or grab a cocktail in the excellent Kelvingrove Café.


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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