From avant-garde museums and vibrant street arts to neighbourhoods brimming with trendy cafes, restaurants and nightlife – there are loads of things to do in Glasgow to keep your two-day itinerary jam-packed.
Once referred to as the second city of the British empire, this former industrial powerhouse is now a culturally influential hub of Scotland.
We have put this itinerary together for first-time visitors to this city. Having lived in Edinburgh, we have visited Glasgow countless times over the years. We have tried to balance out the must-visit tourist attractions and the hidden gems in this article.
Also, this city is an excellent base to explore Scotland. If you are staying longer, visit some of the best day trips from Glasgow.
Glasgow Itinerary Day 1
1. Visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Suggested Start Time: 10 am
Visit Time: 1 – 2 hours
Kick-start the first day of this itinerary with a visit to Kelvingrove, one of the best museums in Glasgow. It’s better to visit the museum in the morning when you are fresh and full of energy.
Before stepping inside Kelvingrove, take a few minutes to admire the beautiful exterior of this magnificent building.
Opened in 1901, this museum holds an extraordinary collection of eight thousand objects from Scottish history to European paintings.
Look out for Salvador Dali’s famous painting, Christ of Saint John of the Cross. Also, admire the works of Monet, Gauguin and Renoir, as well as, Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys.
Another notable display at Kelvingrove is ‘The Floating Heads’ installation by Sophie Cave. Sir Roger, the stuffed Asian elephant, is also a favourite of locals and visitors alike.
Grab a coffee from its in-house cafe before visiting the next attraction in this itinerary.
How to Reach: From the city centre, catch bus services 2, 3 or 77. Alternatively, you can ride Subway to Kelvinhall Subway Station.
Hours: Monday – Thursday and Saturday, 10 am-5 pm. Friday and Sunday, 11 am-5 pm
2. Explore the University of Glasgow
Visit Time: 30 min – 1 hour
A short walk from Kelvingrove Museum will bring you to the University of Glasgow. If you have time, you can also ramble around the Kelvingrove Park nearby.
Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the second oldest university in Scotland.
Marvel at the stunning Gothic architecture of this historic landmark. It certainly gives a strong Hogwarts vibe.
Before taking a self-guided tour of the campus, admire the gorgeous view over the city rooftops from the flagpole. The university houses several museums and attractions. Take a look inside the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, the oldest public museum in Scotland.
We would also recommend visiting the stunning Cloisters, one of the most photogenic places in the city. It was featured in the popular TV series Outlander.
3. Explore the Buzzing Ashton Lane
Located at the heart of this city’s West End, Ashton Lane is a hidden gem of Glasgow. The cobbled street is lined with many cafes, restaurants and pubs.
Frequented by the city’s young crowd, Ashton Lane is also a brilliant spot for a night out. The street looks cute with all the fairy lights. Also, look out for some quirky street art.
Lunch – For a leisurely lunch, pop inside the Ubiquitous Chip in Ashton Lane. They serve authentic Scottish dishes for a price. If you are not up for an elaborate meal, order some delicious souffle pancakes, crepes or bubble tea at nearby Koko House. If you fancy eating a burger, head to Bread Meats Bread on Great Western Road.
4. Stroll around Kibble Palace and Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Visit Time: 30 – 45 min
The next stop in your Glasgow itinerary is the Botanics. Opened in 1817, this park is a perfect place to relax and unwind. On warm summer days, you can have a picnic or sunbathe here. Also, there is a play area for young visitors.
The Botanics is also the home of the famous Kibble Palace, a beautiful 19th-century glasshouse. Designed by John Kibble, here you will find a wide variety of plants from all around the world. Also, there are several beautiful sculptures inside this glasshouse.
To reach your next destination, you have to catch local bus services.
Hours: 7 am – 6 pm
5. Learn the Past of Glasgow Cathedral
Visit Time: 15 min
Glasgow Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Dedicated to Saint Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow, this stunning medieval building has played a significant role in the city’s history. It is an ideal place to take a break and enjoy some quiet time to reflect.
The structure, we see today, was built between the 13th and 15th centuries.
Once inside, admire the stone carving of the ceiling and the beautiful stained glass windows. Also, visit the tomb of Saint Mungo in the Lower Church.
Hours: 9.30 am – 5 pm
6. Climb the Top of the Necropolis
Glasgow Necropolis lies only a stone’s throw away from the cathedral. It is a Victorian garden cemetery created after the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
The Necropolis is the final resting place of fifty thousand people. Many eminent Glaswegians are buried here.
Climb the small hill to see the ornate headstones, monuments and mausoleums. A cemetery might be the last place you would hope to find beautiful architecture. But in Necropolis, you will see tombstones designed by the likes of eminent Scottish architects Alexander “Greek” Thomson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Also, take in the sweeping panoramic view of the city from the top.
7. Look Out for Street Art
Did you know Glasgow has a thriving street art scene? There are several stunning murals around the city to brighten up the dull corners with colour and creativity.
The artworks are scattered all around the city centre. So, peel your eyes for them. There is even a dedicated mural trail.
We have written a guide to the best murals of Glasgow and will recommend adding some of them to your itinerary.
The famous St Mungo Mural lies only a 5-minute walk from the cathedral. The massive photo-realistic mural depicts a contemporary take on Saint Mungo and the legend of the bird that never flew.
You will spot the St. Enoch and Child mural and the Strathclyde University mural as you walk towards George Square.
8. George Square
Laid out in 1781, George Square is the city’s main public square. Named after King George III, it is surrounded by beautiful Victorian buildings.
On the east side of the square, you will find the imposing City Chambers, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It served as the headquarters of Glasgow City Council since 1996.
There are many beautiful statues and monuments around this square. You will find statues of prominent Scottish personalities such as Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel and Sir Walter Scott.
A few minutes walk from George Square is the Gallery of Modern Art.
9. Gallery of Modern Art and Duke of Wellington Statue
Another must-visit attraction in Glasgow is GoMA.
Located in Royal Exchange Square, GoMA is housed in a gorgeous neo-classical building, which was built in 1778 by a wealthy tobacco merchant.
Opened in 1996, GoMA hosts various permanent and temporary exhibitions and events. You can check out the artworks in its four galleries.
Right in front of GoMA, you will find the famous statue of the Duke of Wellington, donning a traffic cone in his head. Well, it started as a joke many years ago. But today, the statue is a symbol of this city.
Hours: Monday – Thursday, Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm. Friday and Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm.
Designed by renowned Glasgow-born architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Lighthouse is a hub for design and architecture. This historic building was once the office of The Herald newspaper.
Today, it hosts various exhibitions. Visit The Mackintosh Interpretation Centre on level three, which showcases the life and work of Mackintosh.
Climb the helical staircase to the external viewing platform. From there, you will get an uninterrupted view over the city’s rooftops.
11. Option 1 – Afternoon Tea at Willow Tea Rooms
Indulge in a traditional afternoon tea experience in Glasgow’s Willow Tea Rooms. Commissioned by local entrepreneur Miss Kate Cranston, it is one of the last surviving tearooms designed by world-famous architect Sir Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
You can enjoy some yummy finger sandwiches, scones and a pot of hot tea in a beautiful setting. If you want it extra special, add some prosecco or champagne.
Option 2 – Enjoy Nightlife
This city has a legendary nightlife. There is something for everyone.
Blues fans would love a visit to The Howlin’ Wolf on Bath Street for some live music. Catch this city’s upcoming music talents at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut.
If you are after old-world charm, pop in The Scotia, one of the oldest pubs in Glasgow.
Some of the most famous nightclubs in the city are The Garage, Revolution, Nice N Sleazy, Sloans, Swing, and The Corinthian Club.
If you love stand-up comedy shows, visit The Stand Comedy Club for an evening of laughter.
Glasgow Itinerary Day 2
Breakfast – Begin day two with breakfast at Singl-end Merchant City. Their extensive breakfast menu also includes options for vegans and vegetarians. Also, Cafe Gandolfi on Albion Street is one of our favourites.
1. Explore Pollok Country Park
Start: 10 am
Start the second day of your two-day Glasgow itinerary by exploring the Pollok Country Park.
While this city has no shortage of open green spaces, this one happens to be the largest.
Located on the outskirts of the city, this park is the home of Pollok House and the Burrell Collection.
Also, there are various woodland trails and well-maintained gardens. Watch out for the cute highland coos.
Take a tour of the historic Pollok House, a Georgian country house. Here you will find paintings by El Greco and Francisco Goya, as well as Rubens and William Blake.
How to Reach: Catch a train from Glasgow Central Station to Pollokshaws West, which takes around 10 minutes. Also, many local buses run frequently from the city centre to Pollokshaws Road.
Price: The park is free. Pollok House, adult £8.50.
2. Visit Burrell Collection
Visit Time: 1-2 hours
After exploring the country park, make your way to the Burrell Collection.
All the displayed items here have been collected over a span of 75 years by shipping magnate and avid collector, Sir William Burrell and his wife.
The diverse collection traverses through different genres and eras, making this a haven for history aficionados and art lovers. Opened in 1983, Burrell is one of the most exciting museums in Glasgow.
Here, you will find artefacts from ancient civilisations to paintings by many renowned artists.
Hours: Monday-Thursday and Saturday, 10 am-5 pm. Friday and Sunday, 11 am-5 pm.
3. Visit Riverside Museum
Visit Time: 1-2 hours
Located on the bank of River Clyde, the Riverside Museum is one of the best family-friendly attractions and a must-visit in any two-day itinerary for Glasgow.
It showcases an enormous collection of three thousand objects, reflecting this city’s excellence in engineering.
Opened in 2011, this futuristic building was designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid.
From vintage cars to model ships – you will find a wide variety of vehicles in this museum. Also, stroll along the reconstructed cobbled street and catch a glimpse of what it was like living in Glasgow in past centuries.
If you feel hungry after all the walking, pop into the cafe inside this museum.
How to Reach: Hop on a bus, train or subway to Partick. Riverside Museum is about 9 minutes walk from there.
Hours: Monday- Thursday and Saturday, 10 am- 5 pm. Friday and Sunday, 11 am- 5 pm.
4. Discover the Tall Ship
Visit Time: 30 minutes
Berthed just outside the Riverside Museum, the Tall Ship, Glenlee, is the only floating Clyde-built ship in the UK.
It was built in 1896 at Bay Shipyard in Port Glasgow for a shipping company.
Hop on board the vessel to learn about its fascinating adventures around the globe. Follow its journey from a British cargo vessel to becoming a sail training ship for the Spanish Navy.
Walk around the cabins and engine room, once used by the crew members.
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm.
5. Glasgow Green and People’s Palace (Optional)
The next stop on your itinerary is Glasgow Green, the oldest open space in the city. It is a popular place for tourists and locals to hang out and relax.
The park also houses several historical monuments. Watch out for the beautiful Doulton Fountain in front of the People’s Palace.
People’s Palace is a social history museum showcasing the life of Glaswegians from 1750 to the present day. You can browse through objects, photographs, prints and film to get an insight into the city.
6. Drygate Brewery
Located beside the Tennent’s brewery in the East End, Drygate Brewery is a firm favourite with locals. This microbrewery serves about 26 rotating beers on tap and curated bottled varieties. Beer lovers can take a tour of this brewery.
Not just drinks, they also serve some delicious food at their restaurant.
They also have a beer garden and gallery space.
Dinner – If you are staying the night in Glasgow, we would highly recommend going to Gamba on West George Street. They have a great variety of seafood dishes served in a cosy basement. Their famous fish soup is a must-try.
You can also head to Paesano Pizza, the most popular pizza place in the city. They don’t take reservations and you might have to wait in a queue. But it’s totally worth it.
More Time? Day Trips from Glasgow
If you want to add more places to your itinerary, check out our extensive article on the best things to do in Glasgow.
If you are staying more than two days in this city, we would highly recommend seeing the incredibly beautiful Loch Lomond. Also, there are many interesting places you can visit on a day trip from Glasgow, like Edinburgh, Stirling and Inveraray.
Glasgow 2-Day Itinerary Map
Here is the map of all the amazing places you will visit on this two-day Glasgow itinerary. We have also marked all the nearby pubs and restaurants you might want to check out. Click on the link to save this Google Map on your phone. It works offline, too.
Best Time to Visit Glasgow
We find Glasgow to be an all-year-round destination. The city is always buzzing with various events and activities.
Many of the attractions mentioned in this itinerary are indoors. So, even if it rains, you can still have a great time.
The weather in Scotland is notoriously unpredictable. So, if you are looking for dry weather, spring and summer months will be your best bet to avoid rain. Still, pack an umbrella or a rain jacket to be prepared.
Also, the city looks beautiful in spring and summer. You would see daffodils, rhododendrons, and bluebells in the city gardens.
How to Reach Glasgow
Glasgow International Airport is the main airport in the city. You will have direct international flights to reach here from most of the major European cities and the Middle East. There are direct domestic flights as well.
Alternatively, you can also fly to Prestwick Airport or Edinburgh Airport – they are not too far from this city.
Glasgow Central Station and Queen Street are the two main railway stations in the city. There are direct train services from London, Manchester and all the major cities of the UK. Visitors can also board the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train from London Euston to reach here.
How to Get Around Glasgow
Glasgow City Centre is compact and walkable. If you want to go further afield, take local buses, trains and subways. This city has a very well-connected and budget-friendly public transport system.
First Bus operates over eighty routes across the city. If you are planning to take a few trips on the bus, then it’s cheaper to buy a day ticket.
There are also options to hire e-bikes to navigate the streets of Glasgow.
Another great way to move around the city is the subway. Often referred to as the Clockwork Orange, it connects the north and south parts of the city.
Trains run frequently, and there are fifteen stations. At peak times, they run every four minutes. It is easy to navigate as it only goes clockwise or anti-clockwise.
We hope this guide on how to plan your two-day Glasgow itinerary was helpful in planning your next trip to this Scottish city.