When you think about all the things to do in Glasgow, you probably think of the city’s illustrious industrial heritage, an overwhelming number of innovative museums, diverse architecture and vibrant nightlife.
What you may not expect, however, is finding colourful street murals adorning the otherwise neglected walls, narrow alleyways, and empty gable ends around the Glasgow city centre. They transform the city into an open-air art gallery.
Over the past few years, street art has become a prominent aspect of this city’s urban fabric. Many of these murals echo the city’s rich history and capture its unique spirit.
So, wandering around the city in search of some striking street art should be part of your Glasgow itinerary.
Street Art Culture and Mural Trail in Glasgow
In 2008, the very first public artwork appeared on the city walls. Fast forward a few years, a dedicated Mural Trail was launched to promote and encourage visitors to explore the thriving street arts of Glasgow.
Today, the Mural Trail contains over thirty stunning and thought-provoking works by talented local artists. Also, there are new initiatives happening, which means the street art scene is continuously evolving.
The Mural Trail takes around 2-4 hours to complete and spread across various locations around the city centre. The hunt for street art will take you to many secret corners, where you can discover some hidden gems of Glasgow.
This post brings together some of the city’s most prominent and popular pieces of street art and shows you where to find them.
16 Must-see Murals and where exactly to find them in Glasgow
1. St Mungo by Smug
Located at the gable end of the High Street, St Mungo Mural is one of the most recognisable street arts in this city.
Created in 2016 by Australian-born Glasgow-based graffiti artist Smug aka Sam Bates, this painting is an internet sensation. Also, it is one of our favourites in the city.
This vibrant photorealistic piece depicts the contemporary version of St Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow, who was born in the 6th century. He is seen holding a robin tenderly in his hands – a reference to the legend of the bird that never flew.
The story goes that – a wild robin was killed accidentally by some of St Mungo’s classmates while studying in Culross. Later, they put the blame on innocent Mungo. But to their surprise, he restored the dead bird back to life. It was one of the four miracles performed by St Mungo.
Fittingly, this mural is only a few minutes walk from the historic Glasgow Cathedral, which is dedicated to St Mungo. Also, his tomb lies inside the cathedral.
While you are in this area, don’t forget to visit the Necropolis, St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art, and Provand’s Lordship.
Location: 287 High Street
2. Honey…I Shrunk The Kids by Smug
You will find Honey I Shrunk the Kids Mural on Mitchell Street off the busy Argyle Street, one of the main shopping streets in Glasgow. This superb artwork was created by local artist Smug, who is famous for creating photorealistic murals.
The gigantic four-storey hyper-realistic street art shows a girl with a magnifying glass observing and trying to pick something up from the street.
If you can position yourself at a certain angle, you will get a nice photo of her picking someone up from the street.
On the same street, you will find two other murals – The World’s Most Economical Taxi and the Wind Power.
While you are in this area, pop inside the nearby Lighthouse, a Glasgow landmark designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. You will get a great view of the city skyline from there.
Location: Mitchell Street
3. Fellow Glasgow Residents by Smug
This massive and colourful piece is a must-visit stop on the Glasgow Mural Trail.
Located at the heart of the Merchant City, this street painting transforms the dull walls of a car park into a vibrant piece of art.
It shows a variety of wildlife found in parks and woodlands around the city.
Glasgow has no shortage of parks and green spaces. Even the city is nicknamed as ‘Dear Green Place’.
Upon careful inspection of this mural, you will spot animals, like badger, fox, hedgehog, squirrel and deer. The part where a hiker picks up a mushroom looks so realistic.
Location: Ingram Street Car Park
4. St Enoch and Child by Smug
Located on George Street, close to the Strathclyde University Mural, this photorealistic painting is another art piece that traces back to the ancient history of Glasgow.
It shows the modern-day version of St Enoch holding her son St Mungo, while a robin sits on her wrist.
Saint Enoch was a Scottish princess. She was sentenced to death by her father after becoming pregnant with Mungo. Later, she fled to Culross in Fife and joined the monastic community of Saint Serf. Both mother and son are regarded as the co-patrons of Glasgow.
Also, this painting sits close to the former maternity hospital. It is a celebration of motherhood.
Location: George Street
5. Bubbles by Rogue One
This one might be the most adorable street art in the city. There are two paintings facing each other on the Renfield Lane. It certainly adds colour and brings joy to the dingy street.
Created by Glasgow-based graffiti artist Rogue One in 2019, this mural shows two little girls and a French bulldog playing with bubbles.
If you are tired and fancy having a drink, pop inside the nearby Horseshoe Bar for a pint.
Location: Renfield Lane
6. Strathclyde Wonderwall by Art Pistol, Rogue One and Ejek
This sprawling mural covers more than a thousand square metres of the Graham Hills Building of the University of Strathclyde.
The paintings celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event when this university received the Royal Charter in 1964. At that time, Strathclyde was the first technological university in the United Kingdom. It also commemorates the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
This giant mural showcases the significant scientific achievements made by students of this university.
You can find the Dansken equatorial telescope used in nautical astronomy. Look out for the mural featuring Land-Ship, a mock navigation bridge used to teach the principles of compass adjustment.
Also, there are painted portraits of famous alumni, like John Logie Baird, who invented the world’s first live working television and many more. From here, you can see the St Enoch and Child mural.
Location: George Street
7. Dr Connolly I Presume? by Rogue-One
There are three murals dedicated to Billy Connolly, the beloved icon of Glasgow. They were mainly created in celebration of the comedian’s 75th birthday anniversary.
You will find the ‘Dr Connolly I Presume?’ mural on Dixon Street, close to St Enoch Square. It is a recreation of artist Jack Vettriano’s painting from Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Scotland series in 1994.
This street art shows the wind-swept comedian near John O’Groats in the far north of Scotland.
You can find other Billy Connolly murals at Osborne Street and Gallowaygate.
Also, this area is great for shopping. You can visit St Enoch Centre on the Style Mile, a popular shopping destination.
Location: Dixon Street
8. The World’s Most Economical Taxi by Rogue One
Tucked away in Mitchell Street, this striking artwork is one of the most photographed murals in Glasgow.
Created by local graffiti artist Rogue-One, it shows a taxi floating in the air with various colourful balloons attached to it.
The artist actually painted the brick wall effect in the background.
This artwork is adjacent to Glasgow’s main shopping street and within walking distance from the Lighthouse.
While you are here, be sure to look out for another mural on the same street – ‘Honey, I shrunk the kids’ by Smug.
Location: Mitchell Street
9. The Clutha by Rogue One, Art Pistol & Ejek
This mural features fun and colourful portraits on the side of a pub called The Clutha. It is a popular place for live music in Glasgow. The artwork pays tribute to the history of this area and many famous personalities who visited this iconic spot over the years.
The mural was a combined effort by street artists RogueOne, Ejek and Art Pistol. It was completed in 2015 when the pub reopened after being closed in 2013 when a helicopter crashed on its roof. Although initially, the paintings were in black and white, it was changed later.
This mural sits near the bank of the River Clyde. Popular with locals, the riverside is a great place for a peaceful stroll and a great way to admire Glasgow’s architecture and industrial heritage.
Location: 159 Bridgegate
10. Today We’re in Love aren’t we? By Cobolt Collective
Squeezed between two apartment buildings, this massive 20-metre-high mural was created by an all-female group of artists called the Cobolt Collective.
It was completed in 2019 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Doors Open Days Festival in Glasgow. The beautiful words were taken from the poem, The Bargain, by Scottish poet Liz Lochhead. The line says – “Yes today we are in love, with the whole splintering city”.
Also, there are images of various iconic Glasgow buildings, which hosted the Door Open Day festival in previous years.
Location: Brown Street
11. Crazy Cat Lady by Rogue One and Art Pistol
This funky mural is a must-visit for all feline fans. It shows three cats, two playing with yarn and another dozing beneath the feet of the owner.
This artwork is painted on a hoarding rather than a wall. It stands on the site of Victoria’s nightclub, which was burned down in a fire incident in 2018.
This mural lies on the bustling Sauchiehall Street, one of the main shopping streets in the city centre.
This area is brimming with many amazing restaurants and pubs. Music fans would like to visit The Howlin Wolf, a pub and one of Glasgow’s best live music venues.
Location: Sauchiehall Street
12. Study of a Woman in Black by James Klinge
Created by Glasgow-based artist James Klinge, Study of a Woman in Black is actually two murals located within walking distance from each other. It shows a portrait of a woman in a black outfit. For this artwork, the artist has used the stencil technique.
You can find them on St. Andrews Street and BridgeGate. Also, the street arts are only a few minutes away from Glasgow Green, the oldest park in the city. It is a great place to relax and unwind.
13. The Musician by Rogue One and Art Pistol
Hidden on the narrow Sauchiehall Lane, opposite the Malones Irish Bar, this huge mural depicts an image of a musician playing guitar.
It pays homage to the diverse and thriving music scene of this city. Also, it is recognised as the music capital of Scotland. Attending a live music performance is one of the best things to do in Glasgow.
You can find some of the city’s famous live music venues around this area.
Location: Sauchiehall Lane
14. The Swimmer by Smug
This piece is located underneath the Kingston Bridge and is an unmissable stop on the Mural Trail. It was created in celebration of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games held in 2014. Also, this large painting was one of the earliest street art of the very talented local artist, Smug.
It shows swimmers enjoying and diving into the water. Fittingly, this piece sits right next to the River Clyde. You can follow Clyde Walkway to visit some of the city’s most famous landmarks, like, the Science Centre, Glasgow Tower, BBC Scotland, SEC Armadillo and Finnieston Crane. Also, you will get a stunning view of the cityscape and its bridges from the riverside.
Location: Anderston Quay
15. Are Ye Dancin’ by Conzo Throb
You will find this quirky and hilarious street art at the entrance of Sloans, one of the oldest pubs in Glasgow. There are two murals facing each other.
These vibrant murals show the Duke of Wellington statue asking, “Are ye dancing” to a reveller carrying a big bottle of Irn Bru. She also replies by saying, “Are ye asking”.
It is a common catchphrase in Scotland to ask someone for a dance. Also, it refers to the weekly ceilidh that takes place at the Sloans’s ballroom.
This comic book-styled street art is created by local artist Conzo Throb, and it showcases the humourous side of Glaswegians.
Location: 108 Argyle Street
16. CR Mackintosh by Art Pistol and Rogue One
This mural is another successful collaboration between Art Pistol Projects and Glasgow street artist Rogue One.
You can find this giant art above Clutha Bar. It was created as a tribute to mark the 150th birthday anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an icon of the city. The Glasgow-born architect designed many famous buildings in the city, including the Lighthouse, the Scotland Street School Museum and the Glasgow School of Art.
Location: Clyde Street
Map of the Murals in Glasgow Mural Trail
Here is a map of the stunning street art around the city. Save the Google Maps on your phone. You can also use it offline.
We hope this guide on the Glasgow mural trail has been helpful and has inspired you to explore the street art scene of this vibrant Scottish city.
Love, Moumita & Sankha.