Nightlife & the Arts in Glasgow

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Glasgow Nightlife

Glasgow’s music scene is vibrant and creative, and many successful pop artists began their careers in its pubs and clubs. Celtic Connections is probably one of the world’s most important festivals of its kind, and the city’s summer Jazz Festival has attracted some of the world's finest players.

When it comes to nightlife, the city center and the West End are alive with pubs and clubs offering an eclectic mix of everything from bagpipes to salsa to punk. The biweekly magazine the List, available at newsstands and many cafés and arts centers, is an indispensable guide to Glasgow’s bars and clubs.

Nightlife

Glasgow's busy nightlife scene is impressive and varied. Bars and pubs often close at midnight on weekends, but nightclubs often stay open until 3 or 4 am. Traditional ceilidh (a mix of country dancing, music, and song; pronounced kay-lee) is not as popular with locals as it used to be (except at weddings), but you can still find it at many more tourist-oriented establishments.

Glasgow's pubs were once hangouts for serious drinkers who demanded few comforts. Times have changed, and many of these gritty establishments have been transformed into trendy cocktail bars or cavernous spaces with multiple video monitors, though a few traditional bars do survive. Bars and pubs vary according to location; many of those in the city center cater to business types, although some still draw a more traditional clientele.

As elsewhere in Britain, electronic music—from house to techno to drum and bass—is par for the course in Glasgow's dance clubs. Much of the scene revolves around the city center, as a late-night walk down Sauchiehall Street on Friday or Saturday will reveal.

What to Order

First-timers to Glasgow should order a pint, meaning a pint of lager. Bottled beers are available, but draft beer is the most popular beverage for men; women tend to drink wine or cocktails (yes, this gender difference is extremely obvious).

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