Glasgow is a bustling city in Scotland with a fascinating history alongside its famous museums, Victorian and art nouveau architectures, colourful street arts, legendary music scenes and numerous festivals. Located on the River Clyde, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is known as the cultural capital of Scotland. There are plenty of fun and cultural things to do in Glasgow that will make you fall in love with this beautiful city.
Glasgow’s Scottish Gaelic name means ‘Dear Green Place’, – this city has over 90 fantastic parks and gardens to enjoy. Glaswegians are some of the funniest and friendliest people you would meet in Scotland. It was the first city in Britain to be named a UNESCO City of Music. Also, in 1990, Glasgow was declared the European Capital of Culture. This city is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Scotland. From history aficionados to culinary experts – Glasgow has something for everyone.
In this detailed travel guide, we have listed all the main tourist attractions, hidden gems, and day trip choices from Glasgow. Also, you will find how to reach those places, entrance fees and opening hours to help you plan your itinerary.
🤔Is Glasgow worth visiting?
Definitely! Glasgow has always been a cultural leader. It was crowned the cultural capital of Europe in 1990 – one of the first European cities to have received this award. From fascinating museums to music, classical paintings to quirky street arts, Jazz to Bagpipes – this city offers plenty of cultural things to see and do.
In the 19th century, Glasgow was the most important industrial city in the whole of Britain after London. Explore the history of Tobacco Merchants, witness the victorian architecture and relatively new Art Noveau Architecture, designed by local architect and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
This city is also home to many beautiful parks to sit and relax. In fact, Glasgow means ‘Dear Green Place’ in Gaelic. This vibrant city has a great nightlife and food scene as well. It has something for everyone. Compared to Edinburgh, the attractions in this city are much less crowded – most of them are free to visit. With a couple of international airports and major train hubs, this city is a great starting point for your trip to the Highlands and other parts of Scotland.
🌻Best time to visit Glasgow
April – July is the best time to visit this city. The weather remains relatively dry and warm with longer daylights. While July is the hottest month, the temperature rarely exceeds 19 degrees Celsius – quite pleasant to enjoy the city. But bear in mind, the Scottish weather is atrociously unpredictable. You may experience all four seasons in one day. So, carry an umbrella or a rain jacket when you go out. Even if it rains, there are plenty of indoor things you can see and do in Glasgow on a wet day.
From April, flowers begin to bloom – you would see daffodils, rhododendrons, bluebells in the city gardens. Having plenty of open green spaces, this city gets beautifully adorned with full bloom in summer. Also, most of the famous festivals happen during this time.
To be honest, Glasgow is an all-year-round destination having plenty of museums, music venues and a vibrant food scene. Most of the attractions are open daily throughout the year. This city is great for a wee winter city break as well. Every year, Glasgow glams up from mid-November till the end of the year with beautiful Christmas markets.
🌷How many days to spend in Glasgow
We would suggest allowing at least 2 days to explore the city centre and see the main attractions. Although, if you are short on time, It is also possible to see some of the highlights in a day.
You know, this article is our extensive guide to Glasgow, and we have listed down 60 wonderful things to see and do in this bustling city. There are so many things going on here all year round. So, the more time you give, the merrier. You can easily spend a week or two visiting all the museums, galleries, parks, attending music performances and festivals – believe us, you won’t get bored. Also, there are some great day trip options from here.
🏴 Best Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland 🏴
1. See famous works in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Housed in a Spanish-Baroque style red sandstone building on the West End, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Glasgow. It is close to Kelvingrove Park and is within walking distance from Glasgow University.
Established in 1901, the museum has a vast astounding collection of 8000 objects, displayed around its 22 world-class themed galleries. You can easily spend an hour or two discovering all the impressive collections the museum has to offer. From ancient Egyptian artefacts to Renaissance art, arms and armour to animals- you can find everything under one roof here.
It features an excellent collection of priceless artworks, including works by European masters – Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. You can also find the paintings by the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys here. Also, visit the exhibits that showcase the fascinating history and culture of this city.
One of the most notable paintings at Kelvingrove is Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’. Also, Sir Roger, the Asian elephant in the stuffed animal section of the West Court, is a firm favourite with locals and visitors. Above the animals, you will find an original Spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling. Built in 1946, the Spitfire LA198 served with the 602 (City of Glasgow) Auxiliary Squadron.
Another popular display at Kelvingrove is ‘The Floating Heads’ installation by Sophie Cave in the East Court of the museum. It shows over 50 faces hanging from the roof, showing different facial expressions.
The Kelvingrove Museum has been at the centre of an urban myth in Glasgow. According to legends, the Museum building was accidentally built from back to front, and when the architect realised his mistake, he took his own life by jumping from one of the towers of Kelvingrove. In reality, the rumour is false. The grand façade at the back of the museum was always meant to be facing the Kelvingrove Park, not the main street.
🔥Insider Tip: There are free organ recitals in Kelvingrove from Monday to Saturday at 1 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. If you are here around these hours, definitely attend the event.
🚗 How to reach- It is easy to reach Kelvingrove Museum on public transport from the Glasgow city centre. First Bus services 2, 3, 19A and 747 stop just outside the museum.
Alternatively, if you are travelling by Subway, this museum is about five minutes’ walk from Kelvinhall Subway Station and ten minutes’ walk from Kelvinbridge Subway Station.
⏰Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday and Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Friday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm.
2. Discover 800 years of history at Glasgow Cathedral
Steeped in more than 800 years of history, Glasgow Cathedral is one of the best places to visit in the city. It is the oldest and only surviving medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland. It’s also the oldest structure in the city. This cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mungo – the patron saint of Glasgow. It played a very pivotal role in local history.
In the 6th century, St Kentigern, also known as Saint Mungo, built a small church near the present-day cathedral. He was buried in the church in AD 614. Today you can visit his tomb, which lies at the centre of the Lower Church. Throughout history, the cathedral went through many alterations. The cathedral that we see today was built during the 13th – 15th centuries. Located near Castle Street, Glasgow Cathedral is an oasis of peace and tranquillity, away from the hustle-bustle of the busy streets.
After admiring the magnificent gothic architecture from the outside, step inside to explore the interior of the cathedral. The oldest part of the cathedral, the nave, was built in the early 1200s. Here you will find one of the finest Post-World War II collections of stained glass in Britain. Admire the stone carving of the ceiling at the Blackadder Aisle. Also, watch out for the beautiful blue stained glass window called the Millennium Window, by John K. Clark. The Cathedral was featured in the popular TV series, Outlander as an 18th-century Parisian hospital.
Glasgow Cathedral is an ideal place to take a break and enjoy some quiet time to reflect. Today the site is maintained by Historic Environment Scotland. The Necropolis, St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art and Provand’s Lordship are located near the cathedral.
⏰Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm.
3. Visit Glasgow's Riverside Museum
Located at the intersection of River Clyde and Kelvin, the Riverside Museum is an award-winning transport museum by Glasgow Life, displaying an impressive collection of 3000 objects, reflecting this city’s rich industrial legacy. Designed by renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid, it opened in the summer of 2011 and took almost four years to build. Today, visiting this museum is one the best family-friendly and free things to do in Glasgow.
You can easily spend a few hours, even half a day, browsing through the museum’s impressive transport collections. There are interactive explanatory screens full of images and videos that tell the story behind the objects. You will find a wide variety of collections from automobiles and locomotives to skateboards, prams and even transport-themed paintings.
We particularly loved the moving display of various model ships. Take a walk through the reconstructed old cobbled street of 19th century to 20th century Glasgow. There is also a car wall and a mock subway station.
If you are feeling hungry from all the exploring, there’s a cafe inside the museum serving fresh soup, sandwiches and cakes. Also, there are pop up food trucks just outside the museum serving snacks, drinks and ice cream in summer. Next to the Riverside Museum is another notable Glasgow attraction, The Tall ship, Glenlee. Admission is free for both attractions.
⏰Opening hours: Monday- Thursday and Saturday 10 am- 5 pm. Friday and Sunday 11 am- 5 pm.
🚗 How to reach: Catch a bus, low-level train or subway to Partick station. The Riverside Museum is a 10 min walk from there. Also, there’s a direct bus 100 from Glasgow city centre.
4. Soak up the sun on Pollok Country Park
Stretched around a 361-acre area, Pollok Country Park is the largest and the only Country Park in Glasgow. In previous years, it was voted the best park in Britain and Europe. This park is an excellent place to escape the hustle and bustle of Glasgow city centre.
Walkers and cyclists can enjoy exploring the extensive woodland trails and well-maintained gardens. In summer you can enjoy a picnic or a gentle stroll, near the stream of White Cart Water. Watch out for the extremely adorable highland cattle in the park. The two main attractions in the park are the Pollok House and the famous Burrell Collection.
Pollok House is an elegant Georgian country house located in the middle of the park. It was built in 1752 and was the ancestral home of the Maxwell family. In 1931 John Stirling Maxwell conducted a meeting in this house. That meeting leads to the formation of the National Trust for Scotland – a Scottish conservation organisation that maintains historical properties across Scotland. While there are no entry fees for the park, you need to buy a ticket for the house. It costs £8.50/ adult and £20.50/family.
Step inside the house to admire its impressive interiors and an excellent collection of Spanish paintings. You will find paintings by El Greco, Francisco Goya, as well as Rubens and William Blake. The upstairs rooms are filled with beautiful period furniture and artefacts. Explore the library, dining room and music room. Visit the vast servants quarters downstairs. It is interesting to see the labyrinth of passageways used by the staff to run the house. In its heyday, the house had 48 staff to look after only three residents.
There is a cafe in this house serving delicious home baked meals. At the house garden, you will find over 1000 varieties of rhododendron trees.
⏰Opening hours: Main house 10.00–16.00. Garden & Country Park Open all year, daily.
🚗 How to reach: Catch a train from Glasgow Central station to Pollokshaws West. The train takes around 10 minutes. The park is a few minutes walk from the station.
Many local buses run frequently from the city centre to Pollokshaws Road.
5. Explore University of Glasgow
Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the UK and the second oldest in Scotland. Located at Gilmorehill in the West End, the university is one of the most iconic buildings and one of the top tourist attractions in Glasgow.
The university’s main building is often considered the real-life inspiration behind the famous school for wizards, Hogwarts. Although Harry Potter movies were never filmed here, the stunning gothic architecture is something out of the storybooks. It has been featured in many films and TV shows – including Cloud Atlas, T2 Trainspotting and Outlander.
The university has more listed buildings inside the campus than any other university in Britain. It houses Hunterian Museum, the first public museum in Scotland. Also, adjacent to the university library is the Hunterian Art Gallery and the Mackintosh House. There is a Zoology Museum and Anatomy Museum inside the university complex.
Take a stroll around the university and marvel at its magnificent gothic revival architecture. If you need any help, the visitor information centre is in the McIntyre Building near the main university gate. Visit The University Chapel, Lord Kelvin’s House – home of distinguished physicist Sir William Thomson, Lord kelvin. Surprisingly it was one of the first houses in the world to be lit by electricity.
Don’t forget to visit the famous Glasgow University Cloisters. They connect the east and west Quandrangles, the two most beautiful parts of the university.
Next, visit the main building of the university, The Gilbert Scott Building. Admire the 278 ft high majestic bell tower. It is one of the most famous landmarks of the city.
Take a seat over the benches near the university flagpole. From here, you will get an elevated view over Glasgow, with Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum dominating the skyline. An excellent spot for watching the sunset.
🔥Top Tip:To learn more about the 550 years of history of the university, join a guided walking tour. Led by a trained student guide, it lasts for about an hour and costs £10 per adult.
6. Visit Gallery of Modern Art
Close to George Square and Buchanan Street lies the Gallery of Modern Art – a centre for contemporary and modern art in Glasgow. It is the most visited modern art gallery in Scotland and one of the best things to see in Glasgow city centre.
Opened in 1996, GoMA hosts various temporary exhibitions and events featuring local and international artists. The permanent display shows the history of the gallery building. The neoclassical building was built in 1778 for William Cunninghame, a wealthy Tobacco Lord of Glasgow. Here you will find works by David Hockney, Sebastião Salgado, and Andy Warhol. There is a cafe, shop and library inside the building.
In front of the gallery, in Royal Exchange Square, you will find the proudly standing equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, with a traffic cone on his head. Created by French sculptor Carlo Marochetti in 1844, it has become one of Glasgow’s most iconic landmarks. The authorities unsuccessfully tried removing the cone many times, and every time it got replaced. What started as a cheeky prank years ago, has become a tradition today in the city. It shows the humorous side of the Glaswegians. The statue even got a place in the Lonely Planet’s list of “top 10 most bizarre monuments on Earth”.
⏰Opening hours: Monday-Thursday, Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Friday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm.
7. Discover the magnificent Kibble Palace and Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Although this city is the largest one in Scotland, it’s also one of the greenest cities in Europe. There are over 90 parks and gardens dotted all around the city. The 200 years old Glasgow Botanic Gardens is one of the best tourist attractions in Glasgow.
Situated at the West End of the city, the garden houses a wide variety of plant collections from all over the world. Also, the famous Kibble Palace is located inside the Botanic Gardens. An ideal place to get sun-soaked on lazy summer days while enjoying the blossoms around.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens was founded in 1817 by botanist Thomas Hopkirk at Sandyford and was run by the Royal Botanic Institution. Later in 1842, the garden relocated to its current location.
Inside the premises of Botanic Gardens, you will find two glasshouses. One of them is the magnificent Kibble Palace, designed by John Kibble. Kibble Palace is a stunning architectural gem in Glasgow. It contains an impressively large variety of temperate plants and several beautiful statues. Admission to the garden and the Kibble Palace is free. Botanics also hosts musical events and is often used as a concert venue.
Pop into the Botanic Gardens Tearoom for some delicious scones, tea and sandwiches. The tearoom can be found near Kibble Palace, at the former curator’s house.
⏰Opening hours: The Gardens are open daily, from 7 am to dusk all year. Glasshouses: April to September 10 am – 6 pm (4.15 pm in winter).
8. Uncover The Hunterian Museum
The University of Glasgow’s Hunterian is the oldest museum in Scotland, and it holds one of the best university collections in the world. It has the largest collection outside the National Museums in Scotland. Though not as popular as some of the other museums of Glasgow, The Hunterian Museum is an underrated gem and definitely worth a visit.
Founded in 1807, The Hunterian Museum was originally built in the High Street of Glasgow. Later in 1870, it moved to its current location, the George Gilbert Scott’s university building. The museum was largely built on the collections donated by Dr William Hunter, a Scottish anatomist, physician and collector.
The Hunterian Museum, Hunterian Art Gallery, the Mackintosh House, the Zoology Museum and the Anatomy Museum- all are part of The Hunterian. They are located in different buildings on the University of Glasgow campus in the West End of Glasgow.
The Museum displays an array of collections in the field of archaeology, palaeontology, and zoology. You will see an impressive archaeological collection of Roman artefacts from the Antonine Wall, frontiers of the Roman Empire in Scotland. This museum contains the scientific instruments used by James Watt, Joseph Lister and Lord Kelvin.
The Zoology collections are displayed in a separate museum. It is open to the public and holds extensive insect collections.
A few minutes walk from The Hunterian Museum is The Hunterian Art Gallery, showcasing the university’s art collection. The Mackintosh House, the reconstructed home of pioneering designer and architect Sir Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, is also located here.
⏰Opening hours: Tuesday- Sunday 10 am-5 pm. Closed on Monday.
9. Follow Mural Art Trails around Glasgow
The Mural Trail explores over twenty-five stunning street murals across the Glasgow city centre. It takes about 2-3 hours to complete. Walking this trail is one of the most unique and fun activities in Glasgow.
They brighten up the otherwise dull vacant spaces, with amazing colourful pieces of art by local artists. Walking the trail is a great way to explore the city. Even if you are short on time, you can add a few of the murals to your Glasgow itinerary. There is a dedicated website showing all the murals in the area. You can easily do the trail self-guided.
St Mungo mural at High Street is the most popular mural. In recent years it has gotten very famous on social media. Created by Glasgow based artist Smug, this stunning mural displays a modern-day St Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow, holding a robin in his hand. The bird refers to the legend of The Bird That Never Flew. The nearby Glasgow Cathedral is the final resting place of St Mungo.
Don’t miss St Enoch and Child mural showing a younger St Mungo cradled by his mother St Thenue. Both the murals are close to each other.
Another one of our favourite murals is Honey…I Shrunk the Kids on Mitchell Street off the busy Argyle Street. The huge four storeys hyper-realistic mural 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, as if she is picking you up. On the same street, you will find two other murals. The World’s Most Economical Taxi, a flying taxi mural and the Wind Power mural.
There are three beautiful murals of Glasgow-born comedian Billy Connolly presented at his 75th birthday-Billy Connolly by John Byrne, Big Yin by Rachel Maclean and Dr Connolly, I Presume? by Jack Vettriano.
In the Ingram Street car park, you will find a large colourful mural called Fellow Glasgow Resident. It shows different animals found in the city parks and gardens in all four seasons.
10. Admire the picturesque views from Necropolis
Perched on a small hill adjacent to the Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery, the final resting place for over fifty thousand Glasgow residents. Modelled after the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, the vast 37-acre cemetery is full of stunning architecture and sculptures. Today, it is one of the most popular Glasgow attractions and the second-largest green open space in the city.
In the early 19th century, this site was used as a park. Several trees, like scots firs, elms, willows were planted here, and it was known as Fir Park. The Necropolis was founded in 1831 by the Merchants’ House of Glasgow and it was the first planned cemetery in the city. After the Cemeteries Act was passed in 1832, the site was officially opened in 1833. Surprisingly, the first person to be buried here was actually a Jewish 18th-century jeweller.
Many prominent figures of Glasgow were buried here – former Lord Provosts, poets, shipbuilders, lawyers and merchants. Out of 50000 burials, only 3500 tombstones were erected and the detailed record of every death can be found at the Mitchell Library’s archives.
At the main entrance, you will find an ornate gate erected in 1938 carrying the Merchants’ House motif. Take your time wandering around the various paths around the cemetery. You would find beautiful monuments and mausoleums, decorated tombstones with intricate details. Many of these are made by famous architects and designers of that time, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh, John Thomas Rochead and Alexander “Greek” Thomson.
Today, the cemetery is visited by locals, as well as tourists. The memorial monument of John Knox is located at the highest point of the graveyard. Admire the view over the iconic Glasgow Cathedral from here. On a clear day, you can even see the hills of Cowal, Kyle and Cunninghame.
The Necropolis has been featured in several TV shows and movies, most recently in the new The Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson.
To know more about the fascinating history of the Glasgow Necropolis, join a guided walking tour. Tour lasts for approx two hours and is run by The Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis.
11. Experience life at sea aboard Tall Ship
Berthed on the Northern bank of River Clyde next to the Riverside Museum, The Tall Ship Glenlee is a historic maritime landmark of Glasgow. Now over 125 years old, she is only one of the last remaining five Clyde-built three-masted ships still afloat. Glenlee is one of her kind in the UK and one of the cool things to see in Glasgow.
The ship was built in 1896 at Bay shipyard in Port Glasgow by Anderson Rodger & Co. as a cargo ship and was owned by shipping company Archibald Sterling & Co. She has the capacity to carry 2,600 tons of cargo with a crew of just 25 men. Under later owners, she was renamed Islamount and Clarastella. From 1922 she was used as a sail training ship for the Spanish Navy and was renamed Galatea. Later she became a part of the Spanish Republican Navy.
In the early 1990s, she was found deserted in a Spanish port destined to be scrapped. The Clyde Maritime Trust bought her in an auction in 1992, and after lots of restoration, she was opened to the public in 1999.
Hop on board to explore this victorian ship turned museum. You will learn a lot about the fascinating maritime history of the area and what life was like onboard the vessel. Visit the engine room and the cargo hold below the deck. There’s a mini cinema and a small play area for the kids in the cargo hold. Take a look inside their cafe if you are feeling hungry.
⏰Opening hours: Main house 10.00–16.00. Garden & Country Park Open all year, daily.
🚗 How to reach: Catch a train from Glasgow Central station to Pollokshaws West. The train takes around 10 minutes. The park is a few minutes walk from the station.
Many local buses run frequently from Glasgow city centre to Pollokshaws Road.
12. Attend a Live Music Performance in Glasgow
Glasgow was the first city in the UK to be named UNESCO City of Music in 2008. Considered the music capital of Scotland, Glasgow is one of the best cities in Britain for music lovers. Attend a live music event to experience the vibrant music scene. From gigs at a small bar to a huge arena with thousands of people, around 130 music events take place every week on an average across various venues in Glasgow. Music is in the heart of this city. Hampden Park and OVO Hydro have previously hosted some of the famous names in music, like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, U2 and Adele. In 1993 Oasis was signed on immediately after their performance in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. The iconic Barrowland Ballroom has hosted Oasis, David Bowie and Metallica.
Many city bars hosts live gigs regularly ranging from Scottish ceilidh band to jazz, blues and rock – there is something for everyone. Visit 13th Note, BLOC+, The Howlin’ Wolf bar for a memorable musical evening.
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, City Halls and Old Fruitmarket host concerts in classical settings. The city is also the home of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
You can attend many music festivals throughout the year. Celtic Connections, Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Glasgow Music Festival, TRNSMT, Country to Country, World Pipe Band Championships attracts thousands of music lovers from all around the world.
13. Uncover the Burrell Collection
The Burrell Collection is a museum and art gallery inside the Pollok Country Park in Glasgow. The museum houses over 9000 objects collected by Sir William Burrell over 75 years. Burrells hold the greatest art collections ever accumulated by one single person.
An affluent shipping magnet and an avid Collector, Sir William Burrell, with his wife, Lady Burrell, gave their enormous personal collection to the city of Glasgow in 1944.
The purpose-built museum was opened in 1983. It sits adjacent to the woodlands of the country park. The Burrell contains an impressive collection of objects from Chinese art and Islamic art to medieval stained glasses and paintings from the 12th to the 18th centuries. The collection holds around 6000 years of history. You will see some of the finest Chinese ceramics collections in Europe. Admire the Wagner Garden carpet, one of the three surviving Persian garden carpets in the world. You will see the paintings and sculptures by renowned artists Manet, Rodin, Degas and Cézanne.
There is a cafe and shop inside the museum. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Pollok House, if you are in this area.
⏰Opening hours: Monday – Thursday and Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Friday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm.
14. Take a Tour of Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery
Sitting proudly at the East End of Glasgow, Wellpark Brewery is the home of Scotland’s most celebrated brewer, Tennent’s. The brewery tour is one of the epic things to do in Glasgow – particularly for every beer lover visiting this city.
It was founded in 1740 by Hugh and Robert Tennent at Drygate Bridge, near Glasgow Cathedral. Their iconic lager was first brewed in 1885 by Hugh Tennent. Today, it’s known as one of the best-selling pale lager brands in Scotland. You can find the company’s trademark large red “T” signboard at almost all the pubs and restaurants in Scotland.
They offer several guided brewery tours and a few masterclasses. The Tennent’s Story Heritage Centre is the UK’s largest beer attraction. Even if you are not going on a brewery tour, you can still visit the heritage centre which has free entry. You will see exhibits and installations showing the intriguing story of their origin and its role in Scottish culture. You can buy gifts and souvenirs from the shop down there.
Tours run seven days a week. The Tennent’s Brewery Tour takes visitors backstage, where all the magic happens. You will learn the fascinating history of the brewery and the nearby area of Glasgow and of course, get to know their famous brewing process.
At the end of the tour, you will be served a fresh pint of their famous beer poured straight from their copper tanks. The tour takes around 1 hour 15 minutes and costs £12.50 per person. It is not suitable for people under the age of 12 years. Tickets for children aged 12-17 are £9. It is advised to wear closed-toe shoes due to safety and health reasons for this tour.
Look out for the artworks on the brewing towers and around the walls of the brewery.
15. Explore the Glasgow City Chambers
Glasgow City Chambers is one of the most iconic and impressive buildings in the city. The historic building serves as the headquarters of Glasgow City Council since 1996. It was inaugurated in 1888 by Queen Victoria. Located in George Square, the Beaux-arts style building shows the wealth and industrial prosperity of the city at that time. While the building looks absolutely stunning from the outside, you will have to join a tour to access the interiors of the building.
There are guided public tours running twice per day at 10.30 am and 2.30 pm from Monday to Friday. No prior booking is necessary. Just walk to the Chambers reception desk 30-minutes before the tour. Tickets are given on a first come first served basis and can accommodate up to 25 people. Tour lasts for about 45 minutes, and the admission is free.
Two main highlights of the tour are the grand marble staircase and the banqueting hall. Built using marble imported from Italy, the staircase is Europe’s largest marble staircase. It is said that the City Chambers have more marbles than the Vatican’s. It is even featured in movies as the Vatican. The ornate banqueting hall has beautifully painted murals by the Glasgow Boys. The room has hosted kings, queens and presidents over the years. Don’t miss the Upper Gallery on the third floor.
16. Visit the Mackintosh house
The Mackintosh House is the reconstructed home of world-renowned Glaswegian architect, artist and designer – Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, artist Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, who lived here from 1906 to 1914.
It is a must-visit Glasgow attraction for anyone interested in Mackintoshes’ design and architecture. An excellent place to take a peek at the domestic life of the artist duo.
When the couple moved to the 78 Southpark Avenue house in 1906, they redesigned and refurbished the old Victorian end-of-terrace house in their distinctive style. The house was demolished in the early 1960s due to the expansion of Glasgow University but the furniture and fixtures were preserved. Later the university decided to rebuild the house. Much of the principal interiors of the original house was carefully reconstructed, including the dining room, studio-drawing room and bedroom.
Original furniture and decorations were reassembled, and even the room sequences were exactly the same as the original house. The rooms are furnished with the Mackintoshes’ own designed furniture.
The entrance to the house is through the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow. Before entering the house, explore the exhibits at the new Mackintosh House Introduction Gallery. It tells a fascinating story about the house and the collection and how the reconstruction worked. You will see the drawings, original furniture designs and cutleries designed by Mackintosh.
⏰Opening Hours: 10 am–5 pm Tue–Sun. Monday closed.
💰Entry Fees: Adult £8.
17. Tour the Clydeside Distillery
You can’t do Scotland without visiting any distilleries. Located at Queen’s dock, on the bank of River Clyde, Clydeside Distillery is Glasgow’s first dedicated Single Malt Whisky distillery in more than 100 years. Taking a tour of this distillery is one of the best things to do in Glasgow.
Founded in 1877, this distillery is housed in the historic old Pump House. Today it is owned by Morrison Glasgow Distillers, who are related to John Morrison, who originally built The Queen’s Dock in the 1870s. The distillery was opened to the public in November 2017. After much anticipation, the Clydeside Distillery released its first official single malt Scotch whisky, Stobcross in 2021.
The Distillery offers three different types of guided tours and tasting sessions. The Clydeside Tour lasts for an hour and costs £15 per adult and £5 per child. First, you will visit an exhibit to learn about Glasgow’s history of the whisky industry. Next, an expert tour guide will show you around the production area and will demonstrate the methods and skills of whisky-making. The tour concludes at their Tasting Room, where you will get to enjoy three drams of 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskies from Highland, Lowland and Islay.
Another slightly longer tour is called Chocolate and Whisky Tour. It lasts for about 1 hour 30 minutes and costs £30 per adult. The tour ends at their exclusive Blender’s room, where you will get to taste five carefully selected drams of Single Malt Whiskies, each paired with the artisan handcrafted chocolate.
Distillery Manager Tour is an exclusive tour that lasts for about two hours and it’s hosted by the Distillery Manager. It costs £120 per person.
There is a cafe and whisky shop inside the distillery.
⏰Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 am-5 pm.
Tours: The Clydeside Tour- 10 am-4 pm, Hourly.
Chocolate and Whisky Tour- Daily at 3.30 pm. Extra tours are available on particular days.
Distillery Manager Tour- Thursdays at 2 pm.
🚗 How to reach: Catch a train to Exhibition Train Station. It’s a 10-minute walk from there. Take a bus, train or subway to Partick station. It’s a 20-minute to the distillery.
18. Marvel at Glasgow's Architectural Heritage
Glasgow is one of the best places in Britain for architecture lovers. It was named the UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999. Wander around the city to appreciate its rich architectural heritage. You will see lots of victorian buildings around the city centre. Admire the Art Nouveau buildings designed by the pioneering Glaswegian architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the creator of the distinctive ‘Glasgow Style’. You will find Mackintosh’s design in Glasgow School of Art, Willow Tearooms, House for an Art Lover, Queen’s Cross Church, The Lighthouse and Scotland Street School. Visit Mackintosh House, the reconstructed home of the architect and his wife.
You can see some modern design and architecture at Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow Tower, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and Riverside Museum. Go on a self-guided tour or a guided tour to discover some of the cities unique buildings.
19. Picnic in Glasgow Green
Glasgow has no shortage of parks and gardens. In fact, the city has over 90 of them. Bounded by River Clyde, Glasgow Green is the oldest park in the city and one of the must-visit Glasgow attractions. It takes only twenty minutes to walk from George Square to reach here.
Established in the 15th century, the historic parkland was granted by King James II to Bishop William Turnbull and the people of Glasgow. Back then, the land looked very different. It was swampy and uneven. Until the 19th century, it was used as a place for cattle grazing and washing. Over the centuries, the park went through many transformations.
The pioneering Scottish inventor James Watt had the idea to separate condensers for the steam engine while taking a stroll around the park. This invention of his played a significant role in the Industrial Revolution. Today you will find a statue of James Watt at the centre of the park.
There are many historical monuments and houses around the park, including Nelson’s monument, Templeton Carpet Factory, St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge, McLennan Arch, People’s Palace and the winter gardens and the Doulton Fountain.
The Green has hosted many live concerts and sporting events over the years. Michael Jackson performed here in 1992, his only live show in Scotland. Since 2017, Glasgow Green has been the venue for TRNSMT – a popular annual music festival in Glasgow.
20. Shop till you drop in Glasgow
Glasgow is a shopper’s paradise. It’s one of the best cities for shopping in Britain outside London. Buchanan Street is the main pedestrianised shopping area. Bustling with amazing street performers and shoppers, it runs through Sauchiehall Street, Argyle Street and Ingram Street- known as Glasgow’s ‘Style Mile’.
Argyll Arcade, Buchanan Galleries, St Enoch Centre and Princes Square are popular shopping malls with independent boutiques and famous designer brands.
Head towards Mr Ben, The City, Starry Starry Night for a unique vintage shopping experience. Strike a bargain at The Barras Market at the East End. It takes place every weekend with vendors selling everything, from antiques to vintage clothing and home accessories.
21. View Glasgow from above from the Lighthouse
Located at Mitchell Lane, a narrow side street just off the busy Buchanan Street in Glasgow, The Lighthouse is Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. It serves as an exhibition centre, gallery and events venue and promotes design and architecture. There is also a viewing platform at the top of the Lighthouse.
The building used to be the office of the Glasgow Herald newspaper. It was designed by the renowned Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It was the first public commission completed by him. For all Mackintosh enthusiasts, The Lighthouse is a must-visit place and a great place to begin a Mackintosh tour of Glasgow.
The Lighthouse holds many international and local exhibitions all year round. Visit The Mackintosh Interpretation Centre on level three. Watch the exhibition showcasing the life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. From level three, climb up 136 steps of the helical staircase to reach the viewing platform at the north of the building. From there, you will get an uninterrupted aerial view of Glasgow’s cityscape.
To avoid the climb, take a lift to the indoor viewing platform at level six and admire the stunning view of the Mackintosh Tower and the city skyline.
You can also join a guided tour run by the Lighthouse each Saturday. Led by a knowledgeable guide, the tour lasts for around 40 minutes and costs £5 per adult.
There is a cafe on level five, serving snacks and light lunch. The ground floor shop sells various design-led gift items, including books, jewellery and homeware.
⏰Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.30 am – 5 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm.
22. Enjoy strolls at Kelvingrove park
Kelvingrove Park is a Victorian park located at the Went End of Glasgow. The 85-acre public park is behind the renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – one of the most popular museums in Scotland. Also, Glasgow University is within walking distance from here.
Kelvingrove Park is a peaceful urban oasis away from the crowd of the city. It has served as the venue of important events, such as the 1888 and 1901 International Exhibition and the 1911 Scottish Exhibition.
Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, Kelvingrove Park is one of Glasgow’s most beloved parks. It is a popular place for local dog-walkers, joggers and cyclists. Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the River Kelvin.
There are many monuments and statues inside this historic park. The largest monument is the Stewart Memorial Fountain, built in 1872 to Commemorate Lord Provost Robert Stewart. Inside the park, you will find a bandstand, tennis court, cafe and a skateboard park. The Kelvingrove Bandstand hosts popular festivals, including Glasgow Mela and Summer Nights.
The park is one of the shooting locations for the popular television series Outlander. The Kelvingrove park was shown as Boston Park.
23. Visit Hunterian Art Gallery
When The Hunterian Museum first opened its door in 1807, it was the first museum in the whole of Britain to have a gallery of paintings. Founded by Dr William Hunter, Hunterian is the oldest public museum in Scotland. Over the years, the museum’s collections grew significantly. To showcase its priceless art collection, a separate gallery was needed. So, a modern purpose-built The Hunterian Art Gallery was opened in 1981, adjacent to the University of Glasgow Library. The building was designed by architect William Whitfield. It features a wide range of outstanding masterpieces by several renowned artists.
The gallery is home to the world’s largest single holding of the work of renowned Glaswegian architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Admire the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler. There are also paintings of Rembrandt, Rubens, Chardin and Stubbs. The gallery also has paintings of the Glasgow Boys, the Scottish Colourist. Watch out for the beautiful bas-relief door of the gallery. It was designed by the famous Scottish artist, Eduardo Paolozzi. Don’t miss the outdoor sculpture garden.
The gallery houses another important visitor attraction, The Mackintosh House. It was the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his artist wife Margaret Macdonald from 1906 to 1914. Meticulously reconstructed, the house is furnished with Mackintosh’s original furniture. Though entry to the gallery is free of charge, you have to pay £8 per adult for entry to The Mackintosh House.
⏰Opening hours: Tuesday- Sunday 10 am-5 pm. Closed on Monday.
24. Step back in time in Provand’s Lordship
Situated at the top of High Street, close to the Glasgow Cathedral, Provand’s Lordship is a medieval historic house turned museum. It is the oldest domestic building in Glasgow and one of four buildings that have survived from that medieval period, the Cathedral being the oldest. The house is beautifully preserved as it was during the medieval periods.
This historic landmark was constructed in 1471 by Andrew Muirhead, the Bishop of Glasgow. It was originally built for the Master of the nearby St Nicholas’s Hospital. Later it was used by the members of the Cathedral Chapter. In 1978, the City of Glasgow acquired the building. They restored and reopened the building for the public in 1983.
This three-floored building has three main rooms connected by a spiral staircase. Low ceilings, doorways and narrow passageways create an authentic feeling of medieval dwellings. Many of the 17th-century furniture are donated by Sir William Burrell. There’s an interpretative display about Provand’s Lordship and the medieval Glasgow on the ground floor. On the first floor, you will find the recreated Prebend’s chamber. There’s a gallery on the upper floor containing a collection of historic royal portraits.
Visit St Nicholas Garden, a recreated 15th-century medicinal herb garden behind the house. The museum sits right across from the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. Admission to both of the museums is free of charge.
⏰Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday – 10 am-5 pm. Friday to Sunday – 11 am-5 pm. Monday Closed.
25. Discover People’s Palace and Winter Garden
Set inside the Glasgow Green park, People’s Palace and Winter Garden is a social history museum and a victorian glasshouse. Opened in 1898 by the Earl of Rosebery, it is one of the best places to visit in Glasgow. It was built as a cultural centre for the people living nearby. This French Renaissance-style building was designed by the City Engineer Alexander B. McDonald.
Today the museum contains an impressive collection showcasing the fascinating colourful history of Glasgow and its people from 1750 to the end of the 20th century. There are artefacts, memorabilia, photographs, video and interactive displays depicting every aspect of Glaswegians life. You will see from recreated one-room tenement house to the famous communal laundry of Glasgow.
Adjacent to the People’s Palace is the large glass-domed Winter garden glasshouse. You will find a variety of tropical plants here. Currently, the Winter Garden is closed for renovations. Outside in front of the palace is Doulton Fountain, the largest three-storey terracotta fountain in the world. It was relocated to Glasgow Green in 1890 from Kelvingrove Park.
⏰Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Friday and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
26. People Watch in George Square
If you are coming to Glasgow by train to Queen Street Station, George Square is the first site you will see. Laid out in 1781, George Square is the main public square at the heart of Scotland’s largest city. Named after King George III, it is surrounded by beautiful victorian buildings. At the east side of the square, you will find the city’s most iconic and imposing building, City Chambers – the home to the headquarters of Glasgow City Council.
There are many statues and monuments around this square. You will find statues of famous Scottish personalities such as Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel and Sir Walter Scott. In front of the City Chambers is the Scott Monument, dedicated to Scotland’s most renowned writer Sir Walter Scott and the Cenotaph, a monument of the soldiers who died in the First World War.
George Square is the venue of many political events, musical events and sporting celebrations. If you are visiting Glasgow in December, you would see a beautifully decorated Christmas market at the square. It is also one of the venues for Piping Live – the largest bagpipe festival in the world.
A few minutes walk from George Square is the Gallery of Modern Art. Next to the gallery, you will find the famous Duke of Wellington’s statue wearing a traffic cone. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants and pubs in the area.
27. Admire the House of Art Lovers
A bit outside of the Glasgow city centre, in Bellahouston Park, you will find the House for an Art Lover, a building based on the designs of the prominent architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The design was made in 1901, and the house opened to the public in 1996. There is a shop and cafe inside the house.
In 1901 Mackintosh participated in a competition held by a German design magazine Zeitschrift für Innendekoration. The topic of the competition was to create an original creative design for a modern, tasteful house, “Haus eines Kunstfreundes”, which translates to “Art Lover’s House”.
While Mackintosh got disqualified from the competition due to his late entry and unfinished works, the judges were very impressed with the unique design.
After almost 80 years later, Graham Roxburgh, a civil engineer in Glasgow, has an idea to actually build the house Mackintosh has designed. The Construction began in 1989. The house is not an original Mackintosh building, rather an interpretation of the Mackintoshes’ original designs.
Anyway, it is an interesting house to visit in Glasgow. The entire layout of rooms follows the original design of Mackintosh. You can admire his design at the Entrance Hall, Dining Room, Oval Room and Music Room. Each room has the original portfolio designs on display for comparison.
While you are here, take a stroll around the Victorian walled garden next to the House for an Art Lover’s Studio Pavilion and heritage centre. Look out for the sculptures outside the house.
⏰Opening hours: Daily, 10 am- 5 pm.
💰Entrance Fees: Adult £6.50, child £5, Family £18.
28. Enjoy Glasgow’s Nightlife
Glasgow has a buzzing, vibrant nightlife. This city is one of the best places in Scotland for a night out. There are many diverse venues across the city to enjoy theatres, comedy, cabaret and live music. So, dance till sunrise or enjoy a Ceilidh at a traditional Glasgow pub. Some of the most famous nightclubs are The Garage, Revolution, Nice N Sleazy, Sloans, Swing, The Corinthian Club. For LGBTQ+ inclusive bar and music venues, pop into Polo Lounge, Katie’s Bar, Delmonicas.
You can’t leave Glasgow without visiting one of its many traditional pubs. For a wee drink or to party with friends, visit Slouch, Waxy O’Connor’s Glasgow, Scotia Bar and The Ben Nevis Bar. Vegans can enjoy themselves at Mono, a vegan café bar.
29. Enjoy a show at Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre displays a performance by hundreds of exquisitely hand-carved metal figures coming alive with atmospheric music and lighting. Catching a show here is one of the fun things to do in Glasgow.
Originally founded in Russia in 1989, it later moved to Glasgow in 1995. They offer a different variety of shows. The shortest show is named Journey, and it runs for about 30 minutes. It’s a great introductory show featuring some of their most popular kinetic pieces and costs £7 per adult and £5 per child.
Promenade and Wheels of Life are Sharmanka’s two main shows, and they run for around an hour. Promenade displays Eduard Bersudsky’s kinetic sculptures made in Scotland and is suitable for all ages. The show tickets are priced at £10/adult and £7/child.
Wheels of Life shows the early kinetic sculptures made in the Soviet Union and portrays a much darker theme, which is recommended for adults only. Tickets are £10 per adult.
30. Visit Tenement house
Located at Buccleuch Street in the Garnethill area of Glasgow, The Tenement is a preserved house turned museum showing the middle-class Glaswegian life in the early 20th century. From the outside, it looks like any other building in the neighbourhood. But inside, you will find carefully restored rooms, which will take you back in time. The house belonged to shorthand typist Miss Agnes Toward, who moved here in 1911 with her mother, Mrs Agnes Reid Toward and continued living here until 1965. The house is filled with her furniture and a remarkable collection of everyday objects, including black horsehair reclining chairs, a longcase clock made in 1790, many ordinary household objects even a jar of plum jam made in 1929. The house displays what it was like living life as an independent career woman at that time. Today the house is owned and cared by the National Trust for Scotland.
⏰Opening hours: 1 Mar–23 Dec, Thu–Mon, 10am–5pm. 2 Jul–19 Dec, Fri–Sun, 10am–5pm.
💰Entrance Fees: Adult £8.50, child £1 and family £20.50
31. Delve into Delicious Food in Ox and Finch
Just a short walk from Kelvingrove Park, restaurant Ox and Finch has been attracting rave reviews from locals and visitors for its creative food. Featured many times in the coveted Michelin Guide over the years, the food here is reasonably priced and served in tapas-style. So, you need to order five to six dishes for two people. We ordered butter bean hummus and flatbread, crab and crayfish cocktail, confit duck leg, slow-roast pork belly and roasted Jerusalem artichokes. The food was absolutely delicious and very well presented. Different ingredients and flavours are beautifully put together to create something unique. We will definitely recommend a visit here while in Glasgow.
32. Visit St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art
St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is located just a few yards from Glasgow Cathedral. Named after the founder and the patron saint of Glasgow, the museum housed a vast collection of religious art and artefacts.
The museum was opened in 1993. It was constructed on the site of the medieval Bishops’ Castle, the residence of the bishops of Glasgow and is designed in the Scottish baronial style. Away from the busy streets, the museum is a place of serenity and peacefulness. Salvador Dali’s masterpiece Christ of Saint John of the Cross was on display here. In 2006, the painting was moved to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Some of the religious collections of the museum include an Egyptian mummy, an Islamic prayer rug from Turkey, sculptures of several world divinities and Christian stained glass windows.
Have a relaxing lunch at the museum cafe overlooking the first Zen garden in Britain.
Right across the road from the museum is Provand’s Lordship, the oldest house in Glasgow. Also, Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis is just a few minutes walk from here.
33. Experience a Festival in Glasgow
Glasgow hosts many different festivals throughout the year. While a few of them require tickets, many of the festivals are free to visit. In January, Glasgow hosts Celtic Connections – the annual folk, roots and world music festival. Listen to famous local and international musicians at TRNSMT – the biggest music festival in Scotland.
Glasgow’s largest cultural festival, West End Festival, hosts hundreds of events in various venues across the city. There are family events, performances, markets, food, dance and much more.
Piping Live, an annual bagpiping festival; Pride Glasgow, Scotland’s largest LGBT festival, is attended by locals and visitors.
Also, there are Glasgow Film Festival, Merchant City Festival, Southside Festival, Glasgow Mela. If you are visiting in winter, enjoy the Christmas markets.
34. Stroll around Fossil Grove and Victoria Park
Glasgow is full of parks and gardens. They provide peaceful heaven away from the bustling crowds of the city. Named for Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1887, Victoria Park is one of the prettiest parks in Glasgow.
There is a large pond inside the park with two small islands connected by iron bridges. It is an ideal place for a gentle stroll. Popular with local dog-walkers and runners. In spring, you will find beautiful cherry blossom trees here.
Victoria Park houses The Fossil Grove – one of Glasgow’s most unique attractions and a hidden gem. Who knew that you could find 330 million years old trees in Glasgow! In the late 19th century, during the construction of Victoria Park, builders discovered these beautifully preserved fossil tree trunks in a quarry. Opened in 1890, The Fossil Grove museum contains the fossilised stumps and roots of eleven trees from the Carboniferous Period.
⏰Opening hours: The Fossil Grove is open only on Saturdays and Sundays 12 pm-4 pm from April to September.
35. Tour Celtic Park Stadium
The Celtic Park Stadium is the largest football stadium in Scotland and a must-visit attraction for football lovers visiting the city. Located in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, it is loving called Paradise by the locals. You can buy a ticket to watch live football matches here. They also offer guided tours of the stadium. On this tour, you will learn about the colourful history of the club and its heritage. Tour lasts for about an hour and it will take you behind the scenes. You will visit the boardroom, tunnel and dressing room. Tour costs adult £13.50, child £8.
The opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games was hosted here. The stadium has also served as a concert venue for a number of famous musicians.
36. Taste the decadent afternoon tea at Mackintosh at the Willow
Opened in 1903, The Willow Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow is the last surviving tearooms designed by world-famous architect Sir Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Created for local entrepreneur Miss Kate Cranston, the tearooms gained massive popularity as a place for the people of Glasgow to meet and relax. Later it was sold and changed owners several times. Currently, it is owned by The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, a registered charity. The tearoom went through extensive restoration before opening to the public in 2018.
Today you can enjoy luxurious afternoon teas and high teas, as well as delicious lunch here. They also have a vegan specific afternoon tea menu.
They offer a guided tour of the tearoom. To know more about Mackintosh’s work and see the impressive interiors, join the tour from Monday to Sunday, 11 am and 12 noon. Among others, the tour will take you to the Salon de Luxe room, the most extravagant room Mackintosh created. It costs £7.50 per adult.
37. Watch a Live Theatre and Movie
Fancy watching a show, play, musical, theatre or maybe a movie? There are plenty of events happening around the year across various places in the city. Visit Theatre Royal – the oldest theatre in Glasgow and enjoy an opera, play or ballet. Other famous theatre venues are the King’s Theatre, Pavilion Theatre, Citizens Theatre, the Tron, Cottiers and Websters Theatre. You can also enjoy the ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ lunchtime theatre at Oran Mor.
Movie buffs can enjoy everything from cult classics to contemporary movies at the Glasgow Film Theatre – the main venue of the Glasgow Film Festival. If you are a fan of live stand-up comedy shows, visit The Stand Comedy Club for an evening of laughter.
10 Best Day Trips from Glasgow, Scotland
38. Tour the Glengoyne Distillery
Located just 14 miles north of Glasgow city centre, Glengoyne Distillery is a single malt whisky distillery founded in 1833. They offer a few different tours and tasting options. The Glengoyne Tour and Tasting last for one hour fifteen minutes and costs £18 per person.
The tour tells you about the history of this distillery, its origin and how it has grown and changed over the years. You will see how their famous whiskey is produced. At the end of the tour, you will get to taste two whiskies from their collection. There are other longer tours available if you are interested.
⏰Opening hours: Daily 10 am- 5 pm.
🚌How to Reach: Bus– Catch the X10 bus from Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station.
🚗Car– Just 40 minutes drive.
39. Explore the nooks and crannies of Edinburgh
Start your city tour with a visit to the iconic Edinburgh Castle – a 900-year-old castle sitting on top of an extinct volcanic rock and houses the oldest crown Jewel in Britain. It is one of the best castles in Scotland. The medieval city has plenty of art galleries and museums to keep you busy. Visit Scottish National Gallery, National Museum of Scotland and Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Marvel at the Scott Monument, a monument dedicated to renowned Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott.
For all Harry Potter fans, a visit to the colourful Victoria Street and the Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is a must. End your day with a beautiful sunset over the city from Calton Hill. Glasgow is extremely well-connected with Edinburgh with frequent bus and train services.
🚌How to reach: Bus – Catch a Scottish Citylink or Megabus service from Buchanan Bus Station. At peak, hours buses leave every 15 minutes.
🚂Train – There are regular train services from Glasgow Queen Street and Central stations.
🚗Car- Approx 1 hour 14 minutes/ 53 miles.
40. Loch Lomond - a Popular Day Trip from Glasgow
A trip to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is one of best things to do while you are in Glasgow. It is the largest freshwater lake by surface in the whole of Britain and has some of the most picturesque sceneries in Scotland. There are an array of activities that you can do here. Take a boat cruise and explore the beautiful villages dotted on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
If you are a fan of water adventures, you can go kayaking, canoeing or swimming. This area is also great for hiking. It is a perfect place for a holiday in nature.
41. Discover the Beautiful Isle of Arran
One of the most epic days trips from Glasgow is to the Isle of Arran – an island on the Firth of Clyde. Popularly known as the “Scotland in Miniature”, the island offers plenty of different activities and attractions. Brodick is the main village of Arran. You will find many shops and restaurants there.
Hike up to Goat Fell – the highest mountain on the island. There are hiking routes and trails all around the island for all levels. Arran has an abundance of wildlife as well.
One of our favourite places on the island is Lochranza. Located at the northern part of Arran, Lochranza has a ruined castle, a distillery, a field Centre for the Geology enthusiasts, red deer and above all, a stunning view over to the Firth of Clyde.
🚂How to reach: Train – Board a train from Glasgow Central Station to Ardrossan Harbour. It takes about 45 minutes. From Ardrossan, take a CalMac ferry to Arran. The crossing takes around 25 minutes.
🚗Car – Ardrossan Harbour is over 30 miles from Glasgow, and it takes about 50 minutes to drive here. Hop on the CalMac ferry to Arran.
42. Explore Falkirk and Linlithgow
Falkirk and Linlithgow are the best family day trip destination from Glasgow.
Falkirk is the home of the world-famous Kelpies – the giant horse-head sculptures celebrating the horse-powered heritage of Scotland. Take a boat trip from Falkirk Wheel, the first and only rotating boat lift in the world. Walk to the nearby ruins of Antonine Wall – the Roman frontier in Scotland constructed around 142 AD.
Visit the impressive Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Stroll around the peaceful Linlithgow Loch. Both the town centres are full of amazing restaurants, pubs and cafes.
🚌How to reach: There are frequent bus and train services from Glasgow. Journey time by train is around 30 minutes to Linlithgow and 20 minutes to Falkirk.
🚗Car- Falkirk approx 35 minutes/ 24 miles.
Linlithgow approx 45 minutes/ 33.5 miles.
43. Build Sandcastles at Ayr
Renowned for its sandy beaches and the birthplace of Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns – Ayr offers an array of attractions and is a popular day trip choice from Glasgow. Visit the cottage where Robert Burns was born. The museum nearby displays thousands of artefacts, including his original handwritten manuscripts.
Visit Culzean Castle – one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Firth of Clyde, the castle offers some of the best views of the west coast of Scotland. Ayr is also famous for its many golf courses.
🚌How to Reach: There are regular bus and train services from Glasgow. Journey time around an hour by Stagecoach West Scotland bus.
🚗Car- Approx 45 minutes/ 37 miles.
44. Stirling - Top Day Trip from Glasgow for History Lovers
Steeped in fascinating history, Stirling is a wonderful day trip option from Glasgow. Stirling Castle is one of the most historic and largest castles in Scotland. Explore the grand interior of the castle. It is one of the most besieged castles in Scotland. The castle esplanade offers a stunning view of the surrounding city and the Ochil Hills. Another must-see landmark in Stirling is the National Wallace Monument dedicated to William Wallace, a national hero of Scotland.
🚂How to Reach: Train- Ride Scotrail service from Glasgow Queens Street Station. Journey time is around 30 minutes.
🚌Bus- Catch Scottish CityLink, Megabus, First Bus from Buchanan Bus Station.
🚗Car- Approx 35 minutes/ 26 miles.
45. Uncover history and heritage at New Lanark
New Lanark is one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. In 1786 David Dale built cotton mills and housing by the River Clyde. Later under the pioneering Robert Owen, the mills flourished. He implemented many revolutionary ideas that were way ahead of his time. Today visitors can explore and learn about the history of these over 200-year-old restored mills and houses. While here, take a short woodland hike to see the nearby Falls of Clyde waterfalls.
🚌How to Reach: Catch bus and train services from Glasgow. Journey time around 55 minutes by train.
🚗Car– Lanark approx 47 minutes/ 31 miles.
46. Lose yourself in Inveraray
Inveraray is a charming small town in Argyll on the western shore of Loch Fyne. Inveraray has plenty of things to offer, and it’s one of the most amazing day trip choices from Glasgow.
One of the main attractions here is the fairytale-like Inveraray Castle – the ancestral home of the chief of Clan Campbell. Learn the fascinating history of this 18th-century green castle.
Then, hike to Dun Na Cuaiche Viewpoint for a panoramic view of Loch Fyne, Arrochar Alps and the entire town. After that, take a look inside the Inveraray Jail, a 19th-century prison and courtroom.
Take a scenic stroll along the shore of Loch Fyne and admire the view. Don’t miss the view from the nearby Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint – almost 20 minutes’ drive from the Inveraray town centre.
🚌How to reach: Scottish Citylink bus services 926 and 976 from Buchanan Bus Station. It takes about 1 hour 50 minutes to reach Inveraray.
🚗Car– From Glasgow, it takes 1 hour 30 minutes to drive here.
47. Ride the iconic West Highland Train Line from Glasgow
The West Highland Line is renowned for being one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. The train line starts from Glasgow Queen Street station. In Crianlarich, the line divides, part of it goes to Oban, and the other part runs to Mallaig via Fort William. Enjoy the rugged mountains, enchanting lochs and wee remote villages.
Oban is famous for being the gateway to the Isles and the seafood capital of Scotland. You can catch a ferry to visit the Isle of Mull, Iona and Staffa.
Fort William is the largest town in the West Highlands line and the home of the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis. The train passes through the Harry Potter famed Glenfinnan Viaduct. From Mallaig, you can catch a ferry to visit the Small Isles and the beautiful Isle of Skye.
🚂Approximate journey time from Glasgow by train: Oban – approx 3 hours 20 minutes
Fort William – approx 3 hours 50 minutes
Mallaig – approx 5 hours 30 minutes
More Time? Here are 13 More Things to Do in Glasgow
48. Explore the buzzing Ashton Lane
Located at the West End of Glasgow, Ashton Lane is a charming cobbled street with plenty of pubs, restaurants and a movie theatre. This bohemian hideaway is a hidden gem in the city. Decorated with beautiful fairy lights, Ashton Lane is a great spot for a night out.
Watch a movie at Grosvenor Cinema, located in this area. They show a mix of blockbusters and cult classics. Dine in the famous Ubiquitous Chip restaurant – a firm favourite with locals and visitors. For a drink, head towards Jinty McGuinty’s Irish Bar or the Innis & Gunn Brewery Taproom. For some tasty Japanese food, pop into Ramen Dayo.
49. Visit Scotland Street School Museum
Housed in a former school, Scotland Street School Museum displays the history of education in Scotland for over one hundred years. The museum building was designed by Glasgow’s most famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh between 1903 and 1906. Today it is one of Glasgow’s most important architectural attractions and a must-visit for all Mackintosh fans.
The school opened in 1906. For over 70-years, generations of Glasgow children from the nearby area were educated here. It closed its door in 1979. Today the museum tells a fascinating story of the past. It also hosts temporary exhibitions and has recreated classrooms from different periods. You can see classrooms from victorian times, the second world war and the 1950s-1060s. Young visitors can dress up as students and join in the Victorian classroom, with actors playing the role of teachers. Several rooms have been restored to Mackintosh’s original designs. The museum is currently closed for a major refurbishment.
50. The National Piping Centre
The bagpipe is the national instrument of Scotland and an important part of Scottish culture and heritage. Just a few minutes walk from Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station is The Museum of Piping – a small museum dedicated to piping at the National Piping Centre. It displays three hundred years of the musical history of the great Highland bagpipe. Among the displays at this museum, you will find the oldest piece of a bagpipe in the world and a piping relic of Robert Burns.
Bagpipe lovers can attend Piping Live, an annual bagpiping event in Glasgow. It’s the largest bagpipe festival in the world. You can also take part in the World Pipe Band Championships.
⏰Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm. Closed on Saturday & Sunday.
💰Entrance fees: £4.50 adult.
51. Glasgow Science Centre
Situated on the south bank of River Clyde, visiting Glasgow Science Centre is one of the best kid-friendly things to do in Glasgow.
Opened in 2001, the science centre has three floors filled with hundreds of interactive exhibits and experiences, which are fun and educational. Lots of different activities will keep visitors of all ages engaged and entertained.
Visit the planetarium on the first floor and learn about the distant galaxies and stars in the night sky. The Science Centre Theatre showcases different live shows. There are an IMAX Cinema and Glasgow Tower adjacent to the science centre. The cafe on the ground floor serves delicious hot and cold food.
⏰Opening hours: Daily 10 am-5 pm in summer. Winter Saturday and Sunday 10 am- 5 pm.
💰Entrance fees: Adult £12, child £10.
52. Visit Scottish Football Museum
Located in Hampden Park, the Scottish Football Museum is the first national football museum in Europe, and it is a must-see Glasgow attractions for all football lovers.
This museum houses an impressive collection of over 2000 objects related to the history and heritage of football in Scotland from the 19th century to the present time. You can visit the museum and the stadium individually or can have a combined tour of both. The combined tour costs £13 per adult.
The huge football-related collection includes the world’s oldest national trophy, the Scottish Cup and the oldest cap in the world, among many others. The tour will take you to the underground roadway, team changing rooms and managers dugouts of the stadium. You would also see the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
53. Enjoy the View from Glasgow Tower
Glasgow Tower is an innovative engineering structure and part of the Glasgow Science Centre complex. This 127 metres high tower is the Guinness World Record holder for being the only freestanding structure in the world that can rotate 360 degrees. It is also the tallest tower in Scotland. Shaped like an aerofoil, it has a viewing platform at the top. From there, you can see a cracking panoramic view of Glasgow.
During high winds, the tower gets occasionally closed for safety. So, check their website for the latest information about the opening before your visit.
⏰Opening hours: Only in the summer months. Opens at 11 am, and the last entry is at 4.30 pm.
💰Entrance fees: Adult and child £6.50.
54. Walk along the River Clyde
The River Clyde runs through the heart of Glasgow and plays a significant role in shaping the history of this city. Follow the river walkway from Riverside Museum to Glasgow Green. Popular with locals, the riverside is a great place for a peaceful stroll and a great way to admire the city architecture and its industrial heritage.
You will pass through some of the city’s most famous landmarks – Science Centre, Glasgow Tower, BBC Scotland, Armadillo and Finnieston Crane. Also, you will come across several bridges over the River Clyde.
You can continue the walk further following the 40 miles long Clyde Walkway, which ends at the World Heritage Site of New Lanark.
55. Ride the Glasgow Subway
Opened in 1896, Glasgow Subway is the third oldest underground transport system in the world. It connects the north and south part of the city. Often referred to as the Clockwork Orange, the subway is the easiest way to get around. Trains are very frequent, and there is a total of fifteen stations. At peak times, the train runs every four minutes. It is easy to navigate as the train only goes clockwise or anti-clockwise.
56. Glasgow Police Museum
Opened in 2002 on Bell Street in the Merchant City, Glasgow Police Museum is a small museum dedicated to the history of the police forces in the city. Founded in 1779, Glasgow had the first police force in Britain.
The museum housed thousand of artefacts and two main exhibitions. The first is the Glasgow Police Historical Exhibition. It showcases artefacts explaining the long history of policing in the city from 1779 to 1975. The International Police Exhibition shows a huge collection of insignia, headgear and uniforms from different countries across the globe. You will learn the stories of bravery and courage of the police forces.
57. Forth and Clyde Canal
The 35 miles long Forth and Clyde Canal flows through the heart of this industrial city. Opened in the late 18th century to connect Firth of Forth and Firth of Clyde for navigating commercial vessels, this canal starts from Bowling at the west of Glasgow and ends in Edinburgh. With the advent of Railways, the canal lost its commercial usage. Today, this canal is quite popular with canoe and kayak enthusiasts. The towpaths are used by walkers and cyclists. There are almost 39 locks over its course of 35 miles.
It is home to various wildlife, like Beaver, Heron, Kingfisher, Otter etc. You can also attend the Glasgow Canal Festival.
58. Britannia Panopticon
Founded in 1857 in the Trongate area of Glasgow, Britannia Panopticon is one of the world’s oldest remaining music halls. This building was also used for early cinema, a freak show, carnival amusements. It even had a zoo in the basement. One of the first moving pictures in Scotland was shown at Britannia in 1896.
Many comedians, musicians and dancers have performed on the stage. At the age of sixteen, Stan Laurel, of comic duo Laurel and Hardy, made his debut performance on the stage of Britannia. Today this historic hall is taken care of by a trust and hosts silent movies, comedy clubs, drag, festivals and other events. It is also open for visitors.
⏰Opening hours: Open Friday and Saturday, noon-5 pm.
💰Entrance fees: Adult £2, children £1.
59. The Clyde Arc and Finnieston Crane
The Finnieston Crane is the largest of the four cantilever cranes along the River Clyde. It is a symbol of Glasgow’s flourishing engineering and shipping heritage. Though no longer operational today, it was once used to lift heavy machinery and cargo. While you are in this area, check out the OVO Hydro, the Glasgow Science Centre and the BBC Scotland buildings.
Close to the Finnieston Crane, you will find an innovatively designed road bridge over the River Clyde. Officially named – The Clyde Arc, it is affectionately called Squinty Bridge by the locals. It’s a popular place for photographers to capture some of the famous landmarks in the city.
60. Glasgow Women’s Library
Established in 1991, Glasgow Women’s Library is the only accredited museum dedicated to women’s history in the entire UK. It works as a library and hosts various events and workshops. There is an impressive collection of objects in here about women’s lives and their histories. You will see Suffragette memorabilia, 1930s dressmaking patterns, Scottish Women’s Liberation newsletters. They also host a guided walking tour to learn about the history of women in Glasgow.
🗺️Map of the attractions in Glasgow, Scotland
Here is a map of all the best attractions to visit and the best things to do in Glasgow. We have also marked popular places to eat and the stunning viewpoints around the city. Save it your phone. So, you can use it offline. Click here to save the Google Map on your phone.
✈️How to Reach Glasgow by Air
Glasgow International Airport is the closest airport to this city. You will have direct international flights to reach here from most of the major European cities and Middles East. There are direct domestic flights as well from London, Bristol, Belfast. You can also fly to Glasgow Prestwick Airport or Edinburgh Airport – they are not too far from Glasgow.
🚂How to Reach Glasgow by Train
Glasgow Central Station and Queen Street are the two main railway stations of this city. There are direct train services from London, Manchester and all the main cities of Scotland. Visitors can also board the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train from London Euston to reach here. Here’s an estimation of approximate journey time from different locations-
- From Edinburgh- 45 minutes
- From Inverness- 3 hours 15 minutes
- From Fort William- 3 hours 45 minutes
- From Aberdeen- 2 hours 40 minutes
- From Oban- 3 hours 5 minutes
- From Manchester- 3 hours 18 minutes
- From London Euston- 4 hours 45 minutes
🚌How to Reach Glasgow by Bus
The main bus station in Glasgow is Buchanan Bus station. Scottish CityLink buses connect Glasgow with all the main cities and towns of Scotland. National Express and Megabus run buses to major cities of England, like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Durham and London. The bus takes longer to reach, but are cheaper than trains. Here’s an approximate journey time-
- From London Victoria- 8-9 hours
- From Manchester- 5 hours
- From Inverness- 3 hours 40 minutes
- From Aberdeen- 3 hours 25 minutes
- From Edinburgh – 1 hour 15 minutes
🚗How to Reach Glasgow by Car
For drivers, Glasgow is connected to Edinburgh with the M8 and England on the M74. Here’s an approx journey time and distance from various places of Scotland and England-
- From London- 6 hours 40 min/ 414 miles
- From Manchester- 3 hours 30 min/ 216 miles
- From Edinburgh- 1 hour 10 min/ 48 miles
- From Aberdeen- 2 hours 40 min/ 145 miles
- From Inverness- 3 hours/ 168 miles
🚶🏿♂️How to Get Around Glasgow
Glasgow has an excellent network of public transport system. First Bus Glasgow runs frequent bus services around the city and beyond. You can buy a day ticket for unlimited travel. Also, jump onto the Glasgow Subway, which links the south and north of the city. Underground trains run on a circular route and are very frequent.
Many of the attractions in the Glasgow city centre are within walking distance from one another. So you can easily get around on foot. You can also hire an OVO e-bike to explore this city in an environment friendly way.
🍔Where to Eat in Glasgow
From famous deep-fried mars bar to avant-garde Scottish fine dining, Glasgow has an excellent food scene to cater for every budget and taste. You will find restaurants serving various local and global cuisines.
For the finest dining experience, visit Cail Bruich, the first restaurant in Glasgow to earn a Michelin star in 2021.
We would recommend the Ox and Finch near Kelvingrove Park, a very modern creative tapas-style restaurant.
For some delicious fresh seafood, reserve a table in Gamba – one of the best seafood restaurants in Glasgow.
Ubiquitous Chip in Ashton Lane is a firm favourite with the locals and visitors. Enjoy some authentic Neapolitan pizza at Paesano Pizza.
Hope you have enjoyed reading our travel guide to 60 Best Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland.
Love, Moumita & Sankha