Glasgow is a vibrant and welcoming city bursting with character, personality and great experiences. There are unique neighbourhoods, stunning architecture, an ever-evolving food and drink scene and great live music venues throughout the city. Whether you have 24 hours, 1 week or 1 month to spend exploring, there will definitely be something of interest to see or do. Get on your comfy walking sandals or shoes and get going!
There are two railway stations in Glasgow,Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street, situated within about a 10 minute walk of each other. If you travel from London, then the station you arrive at will be Glasgow Central.
If you don't have time to walk everywhere, the Subway is the easiest way to get around the city centre and West End. Don't expect London Ungerground, it's quite small with a circuit of 15 stations, costing around £1.50 for an adult single ticket to travel anywhere on the system.
There are also four bus stations around the city, providing a regular bus service to get you around. See here for more information.
Things To Do
Good news - all museums in Glasgow have free entry, although some charge for specific exhibitions.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum , Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG
This is one of Scotland's most popular free attractions. There are 22 galleries, displaying 8.000 amazing objects. The most famous painting on display at Kelvingrove is the Salvador Dali masterpiece ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’. You will also find a Spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling of the west court. Above the main entrance lobby is a full organ and free organ recitals are given by local and visiting organists, at 1pm every day, with a free tour of the organ loft given afterwards.
Hunterian Museum, G ilbert Scott Building, Glasgow University, Glasgow G12 8QQ
This museum is part of the University of Glasgow, so you'll get a good tour of the campus as a bonus. It is Scotland's oldest public museum, housing Roman artifacts, objects from Captain Cook’s Pacific voyages, as well as a major art collection and much more. Certain exhibitions have an entrance fee. You can read more about it here.
The street art of Glasgow is outstanding, quirky and fun to search out. Most are within easy reach of each other in the city centre Glasgow Council have made a helpful guide to finding them. We didn't know we where fans of street art until we saw these!
Lighthouse Building, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU
The Lightouse in the heart of the city centre, is Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, designed by the architect Charles Rennie MacKintosh. You can climb the helical staircase in the Mackintosh tower to the outdoor viewing platform that has great views across the city. More information here.
Glasgow has some amazing architecture, so make sure you look up, or you might miss it!
Cathedrals and Necroplis
There are two cathedrals. St Mungo's( Roman Catholic) and St Mary's (Anglican). St Mungo happens to be the patron saint of Glasgow. The mural of modern day St Mungo can be seen close by. The mural was orignally untitled, it acquired the name of the image was shared on social media 1.5 million times in the first week.
A visit to the Necropolis isn't as strange as it sounds, there are some interesting sights to see. This is a Victorian cemetery, with at least 3,500 monuments, set on a low hill, with some views of the city. You can either do an organised tour, or wander at your leisure.
St George's Square
This is the main civic square in Glasgow. It is named after King George III. Laid out in 1781, George Square is today home to the headquarters of Glasgow City Council, and boasts an important collection of statues and monuments, including those dedicated to Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel and Sir Walter Scott. If you walk to Glasgow Museum of Modern Art in Royal Exchange Square, you will see the statue of the Duke of Wellington, he can be seen sporting a traffic cone on his head. We were there during the FIFA Women's World Cup, he was also wearing a Scottish team football shirt!
Meaning “Dear Green Place” in Gaelic, Glasgow really lives up to it's name, there are numerous places to walk that make you forget you are in the UK's 5th largest city!
The River Clyde
Walking through the centre of Glasgow you will see some of Scotland’s most treasured architectural gems as well as key landmarks from Glasgow’s shipbuilding past. Starting at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, walk down Argyle Street and make your way towards the footbridge at Clydeside Expressway. Key landmarks along this route towards Glasgow Green include the many bridges over the Clyde, the Museum of Transport, the Clyde Auditorium and industrial icon the Finnieston Crane.
Kelvingrove Walk and Park
Kelvingrove park leads to the Kelvingrove walkway, taking you along the river. You can walk to the Botanic Gardens along this route. During the Summer it's really hard to know you are walking through a city, it's so green and tranquil. See here to find out more about the walkway.
Located in the East of the city, Glasgow Green is the city’s oldest park, where you'll find the spectacular Doulton Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world, and the beautiful McLennan Arch. Set within Glasgow Green you will find the People's Palace, dedicated to social history of Glasgow and its people and the Winter Gardens an elegant glasshouse filled with exotic tropical palms and plants.
Places To Eat & Drink
There are so many places to eat and drink throughout the City and West End, you'll be spoilt for choice. We would like to share a few of our favourites:
The Ben Nevis Whisky Bar, 1147 Argyll Street, Glasgow G3 8TB
This is a great venue for hearing live tradition music, even if you don't like whisky! Every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evening from 9pm, some of the most talented muscians in Glasgow gather to sit and play the most amazing music. It gets busy with locals and tourists alike, but its definitely worth a visit – it's dog friendly too.
St Luke's and The Winged Ox, 17 Bain Street, Calton, Glasgow G40 2JZ
This was a great find. Situated in a converted church, this is a music venue and a trendy bar and restaurant, winning awards in 2017 for Dog Friendly Pub of the Year, Best Scottish Pub of the Year and Best Live Music Venue of the Year. The food is good, with generous portions and reasonably priced and friendly staff. There is also a superb selection of beers to choose from too.
Lebowskis, 1008 Argyll Street, Glasgow G3 8LX
Another dog friendly bar and restaurant, serving burgers, ribs and a variety of other tasty fare. Good sized portions and resonably prices.
Brew Dog, 1397 Argyll Street, Glasgow G3 8AN
This place has a big menu of lager and beer, also serves food! Dog friendly too.
Banana Leaf, 76 Old Dumbarton Road Glasgow G3 8RE
This is primarily and take away, and online order rather than a restaurant, although there a few tables to sit and eat at. Don't expect fancy surroundings, do expect amazing Southern Indian food, reasonably priced.
Dumpling Monkey, 121 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G11 6PR
Another sit in, order takeway or order online for delivery. Tasty, authentic food. We tried pot stickers – an order of 11 pieces for £5 was plenty to share between two. The fried rice and soup are also two more excellent value for money dishes.
Loch Lomand is easily reachable from Glasgow Queen Street railway station. The station at Loch Lomond is called Balloch. In the small town centre you'll find a tourist information place, public toilets, and a couple of places to eat.
When you come off the train, turn right and walk over the bridge. You will see signs to follow a path which takes you to the loch. The only public toilets are at Balloch Castle. The castle is not open to the public, although the grounds are. You'll get good views of the loch and beyond. It's a good place to take a picnic.
We loved our time in Glasgow and will be returning early next year. We'd be inerested to hear of your visit to Glasgow and if you haven't made it yet, we hope we've inspired you!
We stayed in an Air BnB, use our link to get a discount on your first booking.