Glasgow



For other places with the same name, see Glasgow (disambiguation).

Glasgow (Gaelic: Glaschu) is a city on Clydeside in the Central Belt of Scotland. In 2021 the city had a population of 612,040, with a total of 1,209,143 in the Greater Glasgow area, Scotland's largest conurbation. The name derives from ancient Brittonic glas cöü, a green hollow, which you will struggle to locate. What you do encounter is a lively year-round destination with lots to see and do.

Understand[edit]

Titan crane on Clyde riverbank

History[edit]

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, but has never been the country's capital. It was a small market town until the 18th century, focused on the cathedral, so its "High Street" is a modest thoroughfare a mile east of the present centre. It grew rapidly when the 1707 Act of Union allowed Scotland to trade with English overseas colonies, flourishing with the transatlantic trade in tobacco, sugar and slaves. Glasgow's mills and foundries also drew in labour from the west Highlands and Donegal, as those regions lost their traditional smallholding ways of life. But the River Clyde was shallow, so the ports and shipyards grew up 25 miles downstream at Greenock, while a ramshackle flotilla of Cluthas and "Clyde Puffers" plied the city river. In the 1880s a deep channel was blasted, so shipyards and other metal-bashing industry developed at Govan. Their wealth created an elegant Victorian West End of mansions and parks, while the inner city earned a reputation as a dirty, rough place of teeming tenements, sectarian tensions, drunken brawls and poor life expectancy. The 1960s saw the collapse of industry and employment, ill-designed new housing schemes, and drug misuse.

Glasgow reinvented itself from the 1990s, one of the most successful examples in Britain, with a range of developments in industry, culture, cuisine and architecture. It's now a lively must-see destination meriting several days to explore, and with excellent visitor amenities in all price brackets. Its deep-red sandstone buildings have been scrubbed free of grime and the city is glorious in the sunshine, but it's a year-round place with plenty to occupy the dreich days.

Orientation[edit]

Glasgow
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City Centre has the transport hubs, most visitor attractions, shopping and entertainment, and the commercial sector. It's an elegant grid of Victorian streets, several pedestrianised, bounded to the south by the Clyde and to north and west by M8. Principal thoroughfares are Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street running east-west, and Buchanan Street south to north. East side of the centre is marketed as Merchant City, focussed on Glasgow Cross.

East End: the medieval small town was around the cathedral, then it expanded west around Glasgow Cross. But property development means that the likes of Trongate, Saltmarket, High Street, Gallowgate and London Road now feel instead like the eastern expansion of Merchant City.

West End is the prosperous district with the University of Glasgow, Hunterian and Kelvingrove Museums, and Botanics, with the small River Kelvin running through. The main thoroughfare is A82 Great Western Road - the traditional road to Loch Lomond and the Highlands, though now you do better to follow M8 then Erskine Bridge. Byres Road is its main north-south route. It's a boho area of cafés, restaurants and quirky independent stores.

South of the Clyde has the football stadiums and Bellahouston Park. Clydebank west of the centre is the former ship-building area, now regenerated with event venues such as the Armadillo, and the Science Centre and Riverside Museum. North of the M8 has little to interest visitors.

Visit Scotland iCentre, 156 Buchanan Street G1 2LL (west side of Queen St Station), +44 141 566 4083. Daily 9:30AM-5PM. Friendly knowledgeable staff.

Talk[edit]

English is universal, but such a large city has multiple accents representing its waves of immigration and social strata. One major wave was from the Gaelic-speaking Highlands, and probably for this reason Glaswegian has a sing-song pattern. It can be low and rapid, but whether it's hard to follow depends on whether people have a financial interest in you understanding them. Those in the hospitality sector will make sure you do, no-hope Neds will take pride if you don't.

Most dialect words are common to Scotland, and a remarkable proportion are insults. For instance "teuchter" (say "chookter") means a Highlander - originally it was used by Highlanders to mock southerners trying to pronounce Gaelic, then it got inverted. Glasgow has the world's largest Gaelic-speaking population and that language is being promoted (you'll see it on signage), so perhaps a re-inversion is coming.

Get in[edit]

Glasgow in the 1880s

By plane[edit]

1 Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA), Paisley PA3 2ST, +44 344 481 5555. This is the city's principal airport, and a major portal of entry into Scotland. It has a wide range of European flights by traditional airlines, budget carriers and package/charters. Long-haul routes are from Toronto with Air Transat and Dubai with Emirates; other direct routes lapsed with covid. Flights from London by BA are frequent from Heathrow, less often from London City. Easyjet flies from Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Belfast and Bristol. Flights within Scotland, including the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland, are by Loganair. The single terminal has the usual facilities, including car hire, cafes, and prayer rooms.

Airport hotels: see Paisley, as the airport is a couple of miles north of that town. Several are within walking distance, others are reached by shuttle bus or taxi.

Parking: Pick-up and drop-off costs £5 for 15 min. Use Short Stay for up to 90 minutes. There's a range of long-stay parks off-site, with transfer minibuses.

Transport from GLA is usually by bus, there's no railway station.

  • Glasgow Airport Express takes 15 min from the terminal via Dundas St (for Queen Street Station) to Buchanan Bus Station. It's every 10-15 minutes from 8AM to 11PM and hourly through the night. Tickets cost £9 for a single adult, £14.80 for an open return (within 28 days), and can be paid in cash (change is given) or by card, a little cheaper if booked online. Single tickets (but not returns) include an onward transfer to any other First Glasgow bus in the city centre.
  • First Glasgow Bus 77 takes an hour via Renfrew, Braehead, Govan (for QE Hospitals), Partick and Kelvingrove to Buchanan Bus Station. It's every 30 min 5:20AM to 9PM and while it's slow, it may be more convenient for the West End, and cheaper at £5.40 for a Dayrider single. (The airport is in "Local" zone, so the "City" zone fare isn't enough.)
  • McGill's Bus 757 trundles every 30 min to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station, which has very frequent trains to Glasgow Central, and outbound to Gourock (for Dunoon ferry), Wemyss Bay (for Bute ferry), Ardrossan (for Arran ferry) and Ayr. The bus takes 15 min by a zigzag route and you could almost walk it in that time; northbound it continues from the airport to Inchinnan, Erskine and Clydebank bus station.
  • The west: Bus 926 calls once a day at the airport on the way to Dumbarton, Inverary, Tarbert and Campbeltown. Others on that route, and all buses to Oban, Fort William and Skye, go north of the Clyde, so join them either at Buchanan Station or at Dumbarton.
  • Taxis to the city centre take 20 min, and in 2023 are about £40.

2 Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK IATA) is on the Ayrshire coast 32 miles southwest of Glasgow. Its heyday was over 50 years ago when its long fog-free runway served transatlantic flights, but these now land elsewhere. Ryanair is nowadays the only operator, with routes to the Mediterranean and the Canaries, many seasonal. This means Prestwick takes Glaswegians on their holidays but is seldom a route to get into Scotland.

See Prestwick#Get in for details of the trains to Glasgow Central (with half-price fares for air passengers), Bus X77, and motorway routes.

Edinburgh Airport (EDI IATA) has several routes not available from Glasgow, such as Istanbul, and is easily accessible from Glasgow since it's west edge of Edinburgh, only 35 miles away. See Edinburgh#Get in for the direct bus to Glasgow Buchanan Station, and trams/buses to Edinburgh Haymarket for trains and buses onward.

Manchester Airport (MAN IATA) has global connections to rival the London airports. Hourly train services from the airport take five hours to Glasgow Central – nowadays with a change, as the direct train lapsed with COVID-19.

By train[edit]

Hielanman's Umbrella, rendezvous for exiles
Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain
  • Glasgow Central station. Has trains from London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly via Carlisle, from the south of Scotland, slower services from Edinburgh, and from the city's southern districts. It's mostly a terminus station, but some through services reverse out (eg Ayr-Edinburgh) while the low-level platforms have regional through-trains (eg Motherwell-Milngavie). Opened in 1879, it's a grand Victorian structure and you can take a guided tour, see below. A glass-sided bridge spans Argyle Street, once known as "The Hielanman's Umbrella" as it was a common place for the city's Highland exiles to meet up. The station has left-luggage lockers, eating places and an upscale hotel above it. The nearest Subway, 300 yards south, is St Enoch.
  • Glasgow Queen Street station. Is the terminus for fast trains from Edinburgh, and for all northern cities such as Aberdeen, Inverness and Oban. Its low-level platform has through-trains for nearby places such as Dumbarton. It has left luggage lockers. The nearest Subway, 100 yards west, is Buchanan Street, and the city's main bus station is a quarter mile north.

The stations are an easy 10-minute walk apart and the route is well signposted, don't take the Subway. Link Bus 389 plies from Central to Queen Street (6 min) and the bus station then back to Central. It's every 15 min M-Sa, 20 min on Sunday, and free if you are holding a through railway ticket.

Most trains within Scotland are run by ScotRail.

From Edinburgh[edit]

Trains from Edinburgh all start from Waverley and stop at Haymarket then fan out, with four routes to Glasgow.

  • Fastest: The ScotRail Shuttle takes 50 min via Falkirk High to Queen Street, every 15 min on weekdays until 18:30, then half-hourly.
  • Fast: LNER trains from London King's Cross and CrossCountry from the West Country take 1 hour to Central. But in 2021 / 22 they're all terminating at Edinburgh, change for the Shuttle.
  • Slow: 80 min via Bathgate and Airdrie into Queen Street (Low Level) en route to Milngavie or Helensburgh Central, every half hour.
  • Slower: 90 min via Shotts or Carstairs into Central, hourly.

The fare is the same by any route: in 2022 a return is £27.60 anytime and £14.20 off-peak.

From London and the south[edit]

The Caledonian Sleeper runs six nights a week

Train is quicker and cheaper than plane between Glasgow and London city centres, once you factor in transport to the airport and check-in times.

  • West coast: Avanti West Coast run hourly from London Euston, taking five hours via Crewe, Preston and Carlisle. In 2023 a standard return is £160, but with advance booking of specific off-peak trains it might be as low as £70 return. There are normally also direct trains from Birmingham and Manchester, but these remain suspended.
  • East coast: LNER has hourly trains from London King's Cross via York and Newcastle to Edinburgh, where you change for the shuttle, journey time 7 hours; they no longer continue direct to Glasgow. Fares and advance deals are similar to the west coast route.
  • Overnight: The Caledonian Lowland Sleeper runs Su-F from London Euston, departing around 11PM to arrive at Glasgow Central by 7:30AM and you can stay aboard to 8. (Another portion divides at Carstairs to run to Edinburgh.) The southbound train leaves around 11:30PM to reach Euston at 7AM, again you can stay aboard until 8. No trains on Saturday night, and the Highland Sleeper doesn't run via Glasgow. Sleeper compartments have two berths and are sold like hotel rooms: you pay extra for single occupancy, and you won't be sharing with a stranger. Tickets can be booked at any UK mainline railway station or online: a single sleeper fare is around £160 for one or £200 for two people. You can also just use the sitting saloon, single £45. If you have an existing ticket or rail pass for a daytime train you need to buy a sleeper supplement. Pricing is dynamic - weekends cost more and may sell out. Booking is open 12 months ahead, and you need to print out your e-ticket to present on boarding.

From elsewhere in Scotland[edit]

Apart from the Edinburgh routes, the inter-city trains to Glasgow are:

By road[edit]

Within City Chambers, George Square

From 1 June 2023, the city centre is a Low Emission Zone. There is a £60 penalty charge for driving into the city centre in a non-compliant car or van. Cars built after 2015 generally are compliant, but check online. The zone covers the area between the M8, River Clyde and High Street.

From England follow M6, which becomes A74 (M) / M74 from the border. This crosses Beattock Summit at 1029 ft / 314 m, but it's rarely closed by snow.

From Edinburgh follow M8 west, but for Glasgow Airport use M73 and M74 to bypass city centre. From Stirling follow M80 south.

From the western Highlands follow A82 to Dumbarton, then cross the Clyde on Erskine Bridge onto M8 east, instead of grinding through west end traffic.

Car hire is available from several companies at the airport and in city centre, but you only need it to get further afield. For a tour of Scotland, consider seeing Glasgow and Edinburgh by public transport before picking up the hire car to visit the Highlands, where you certainly do need it.

Don't take a car into city centre if you can avoid it - for a day trip, park up at one of the outlying railway stations, if you can find a space among all the commuter vehicles. Closest in is Shields Road, by the junction of M8 and M74, where you transfer to the Subway. It has 840 spaces and in 2023 you pay £5.70 for all-day parking plus the Subway fare, see below. It closes at the same time as the Subway so it's not for overnight stays. There is no Park & Ride with a dedicated connecting bus - one was established at Hampden but folded with covid.

Best option for central parking is one of the many multi-storeys. These are clearly signposted into "East", "West", "North" and "South" zones on the approach roads, with a display showing how many spaces are left. They don't, however, differentiate between the expensive NCP car parks and the cheaper ones inside shopping centres or run by the council. Check what your accommodation has to offer: in city centre they'll probably just direct you to the nearest multi-storey. West End hotels may have their own car parks but charge. On-street parking is too scarce, time-limited and expensive for sight-seeing.

By bus[edit]

Time hurries on at Buchanan Bus Station

3 Buchanan Bus Station is the hub for inter-city buses. It's in city centre, just north of Queen Street railway station off Killermont Street, and ranged around a square. West side has a small mall with toilets, ticket office, news shop and luggage store, but no cafe or retail, head out into the street. Long distance bus stands (48-57) are down this side, eg Scottish Citylink to Belfast, Oban, Skye, Inverness, Edinburgh city and airport, and Aberdeen. Here too are National Express and Megabus for London. The Glasgow Airport bus departs from stand 47 on the southwest corner. The north and south stands are for medium-distance destinations such as Kilmarnock and Fife, and the east stands are only for tour buses.

Ember Electric Buses glide ever so quietly from Dundee every two hours daytime, with two night runs, for a single fare in 2022 of £8.50. They take two hours via Perth Broxden P&R, Dunblane, Stirling Castleview P&R and Cumbernauld.

City buses and those to nearby towns don't come into the station, find them out on the street. Those are the daytime buses for Balloch, Bearsden, Dumbarton, East Kilbride, Milngavie, and one of the routes to Paisley; and all the night buses. The main taxi stand is north side of the station.

By boat[edit]

From Ireland you sail to Cairnryan near Stranraer, by either Stena from Belfast or P&O from Larne. The crossing takes 2 hr 30 min, with almost a dozen car ferries a day. Without a car, take the daily bus from Belfast via Cairnryan and Ayr to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

From Europe the nearest ferry port is Newcastle upon Tyne, with overnight ferries from IJmuiden near Amsterdam.

Glasgow itself has never been a liner or ferry port. Ferries from the Clyde islands and Argyll peninsula sail to ports "doon the water" at Gourock, Wemyss Bay and Ardrossan.

By canal: you can get here from Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Falkirk and Dumbarton by boat. Small craft must give notice so that locks and low bridges can be opened, kayaks and canoes can portage, and it's a pleasant hiking or cycle route, see "Further out" below.

Get around[edit]

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is the local agency which operates the Subway, a few specialist bus services and co-ordinates public transport in the Greater Glasgow area. Glasgow's public transport system is one of the most extensive in the UK outside of London.

On foot[edit]

This is the best way to see city centre and the East End. Many streets (eg Sauchiehall St) are pedestrianised, and all areas have proper pavements, with pedestrian crossings at major junctions. The River Clyde also has road and foot bridges. The main impediment as you head north or west is the M8, with dingy underpasses and bridges.

Kelvingrove is two miles west, and Glasgow University campus even further, so you might prefer Subway or bus.

By Subway[edit]

The Subway is a loop around city centre, West End and inner suburbs. It's the third oldest subway system in the world, after London and Budapest, and at times has smelled that way. It's now modern and pleasant enough to use, but has never expanded beyond its original loop. Always call it simply the Subway, rather than the "underground, "metro", or "tube" (a Scottish insult), and never "the clockwork orange", which is a myth created for tourists. The gauge is only 4 ft (1219 mm), so any chubby passengers will need to breathe in as they step aboard the rinky-dinky coaches.

It's described as an inner and outer circle but that just means the direction of travel, with the outer circle running clockwise. Going anti-clockwise on the inner circle, the Subway runs from the city centre to West End and Glasgow University, south under the Clyde to Ibrox Stadium then back into the city, with each orbit taking 24 min. Use St Enoch for Central and Argyle St stations, and Buchanan St for the bus station and Queen Street station. No bikes are carried, and wheeled access to platforms is limited.

The system runs M-Sa 6:30AM-11:30PM and Sunday 10AM-6PM, with trains every 4-8 minutes. There's a flat fare regardless of distance, which by cash at any station in 2023 is £1.75 single, £3.30 return, day ticket £4.20. Smartcards are cheaper if you're doing a lot of travel but are unlikely to benefit short-stay visitors. They're free if ordered in advance to a UK address, or £3 if bought at the station for immediate use, and can be topped up with any amount from £5. Your first journey of the day is £1.55, then with the second the total is capped at £3 for all-day travel. See below for the SPT ZoneCard & Roundabout ticket.

The Plusbus rail ticket add-on does not include the Subway.

By train[edit]

Subway map

Lines radiate from Central and Queen Street stations to the suburbs and surrounding towns. There isn't a separate entity called a suburban railway, these services are all part of the mainline Scottish network, so the National Rail website has full details of times, fares, real time running and station facilities. The only difference is that local trains stop at dozens of small places that the inter-city trains flash through. They're primarily commuter routes and visitors would only use them for the few outlying attractions that are beyond the Subway loop and inconvenient by bus. For instance to reach Holmwood House and Linn Park, take the train from Central to Cathcart: these run every 30 min and take 12 min on their way to Neilston, and an off-peak return is less than £3.

Bikes go free, but many trains have no bike spaces. See below for the SPT Zonecard & Roundabout day ticket.

By bus[edit]

Glasgow Subway

First Glasgow is the principal bus operator within the city. Buses on main routes are every 10 min or better during working hours and on Saturday, but become sparse in the evening and on Sunday.

Check from the sign on the bus stop that your intended route stops there, and signal clearly as the bus approaches - the driver won't stop for folk just milling about.

First buses do not give change: you put your money in a slot that checks the amount and deposits it in a storage box. Better still, use a bank card to tap in and out. In 2023 a single ticket within the city costs £1.95 and a day ticket is £5.40 - the bank card charges are capped at this amount. A one-week city ticket is £20.40. Higher charges apply beyond the city zone (such at the airport), and tickets are only valid on First buses.

Half a dozen other operators ply to the outlying towns: these include McGill's, JMB, Stuart's, McColl's, West Coast Motors and Stagecoach West Scotland. They each sell tickets valid only on their own services. Previously there was a SPT Day Tripper multi -operator ticket but this has now been withdrawn but see Roundabout ticket below.

Pre-covid, several private bus operators tried to skim off the more profitable routes. But it was only public subsidy that kept operators in business during the pandemic, the "grey" operators didn't qualify, and they vanished.

Combi-fares[edit]

SPT offers tickets valid over several travel modes and different bus operators, but they're mostly aimed at regular commuters.

The ZoneCard is for a minimum seven days, valid for all daytime buses plus Subway and Scotrail trains, and ferries if you buy zones far enough out. A seven day card valid for the two city zones (basically north and south of the Clyde) is £20.90 in 2023. Buy them from mainline railway stations, and you need to bring a passport-style photo of yourself.

The Roundabout day ticket (Adult £7.40) is valid on Subway & Train in the Greater Glasgow area after 9AM and all day at weekends and local public holidays.

By taxi[edit]

Yoker-Renfrew ferry

Traditional cabs can be hailed from the roadside - look for the yellow "Taxi" sign, illuminated when available. The fleet is operated by Glasgow Taxis, and can be ordered by phone (+44 141 429 7070). There are taxi ranks outside Buchanan Bus Station, Central and Queen Street railway stations, adjacent to George Square and along the southern end of Queen Street. The cabs seat five or six and are wheelchair accessible. From city centre to the West End you might pay £6 in 2023. They also offer guided tours.

Private cabs must be pre-booked by phone or app. There are multiple operators, somewhat cheaper than traditional cabs, and display a yellow Glasgow City Council licence number at the back. They include Uber, Glasgocabs (+44 332 5050), Executive Cabs (+44 7825 911179), Saltire (+44 141 319 5344) and Deuce Private Hire (+44 141 222 2222).

Unlicensed taxis lurk for trade especially around pub closing time. Don't use them, their fare may include a demand for sexual services.

By boat[edit]

A foot-passenger ferry plies every 30 min or so between Yoker on the north bank of the Clyde and Renfrew on the south. It's a cute rinky-dinky affair, bikes can be carried. The Renfrew pier is within walking distance of Braehead shopping centre and the Xscape leisure complex.

By bike[edit]

  • OVO Bikes offer app-based cycle hire in Glasgow. Bikes and e-bikes cost £1 for 20 minutes, or £10 for the day. Bikes are hired and returned to stations around the city.

See[edit]

Glasgow Cathedral

East End[edit]

This was the medieval centre of Glasgow until the 18th century, when the city grew rapidly along the Clyde.

  • 1 Glasgow Cathedral, Castle Street G4 0QZ, +44 141 552 6891. M-Sa 10AM-noon, 1-4PM; Su 1-4PM. This was built in 1197 but much modified in the 13th century and is a fine example of medieval Gothic. It's dedicated to St Mungo, the city's patron saint, who is buried in the crypt. The Church of Scotland doesn't have bishops so it actually only a parish church. Free. Glasgow Cathedral (Q1473348) on Wikidata Glasgow Cathedral on Wikipedia
    • St Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art, 2 Castle Street G4 0RH (next to Cathedral), +44 141 276 1625. M-Th, Sa 10AM-5PM, F, Su 11AM-5PM. This depicts Glasgow's patron saint and the growth of Christianity in the city, and of other faiths practised locally and worldwide. Free. St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art (Q7594905) on Wikidata St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art on Wikipedia
    • Provand's Lordship, 3 Castle Street G4 0RH (opposite Cathedral), +44 141 276 1625. Closed until late 2023. Glasgow's oldest remaining house, built in 1471, has been renovated to illustrate city life circa 1700. Free. Provand's Lordship (Q7252283) on Wikidata Provand's Lordship on Wikipedia
  • 2 Glasgow Necropolis (on the hill east of the cathedral, easiest reached by the footbridge). Dominated by the statue of John Knox, it's a pharaonic “City of the Dead”, with its grand monuments to merchants and baillies who would be as prestigious in the next world as they were in this. One fellow was so renowned that there was no need to inscribe his name: wonder who he was, and how we've coped without him? Glasgow Necropolis (Q1529512) on Wikidata Glasgow Necropolis on Wikipedia

City centre[edit]

Called Merchant City in tourist material, this is the confident Victorian heart of the city, bounded by M8 and the Clyde.

  • 3 George Square (just south of Queen St Station). It marks the centre of this sprawling city. It was laid out in 1781 and named for King George III, since he wasn't mad at the time, though he made up for that later. In that era Glasgow expanded south from its medieval East End nucleus, banishing the cattle to build elegant Georgian terraces. The square is paved so it's more like a piazza. George Square (Q5544754) on Wikidata George Square on Wikipedia
  • The Mural Trail is a series of street-artworks painted on any available bare wall. They come and go, see the website for the latest. In 2022 they included St Mungo as a rough sleeper, Honey I shrunk the kids, and da Vinci's "Mona Lassie".
The Necropolis is full of indispensable folk
  • 4 City Chambers, 82 George Square G2 1DU, +44 141 287 2000. The City Council headquarters were built in 1888 in Italian Renaissance style. Tours take in the marble staircases, lobbies, debating chamber and banqueting hall. Public tours are conducted M-F at 10:30AM and 2:30PM. Tickets for the tour can be obtained from the reception desk 30 minutes prior to each tour commencing. Free. Glasgow City Chambers (Q5566778) on Wikidata Glasgow City Chambers on Wikipedia
  • 5 Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Royal Exchange Square G1 3AH, +44 141 287 3050. M-W Sa 10AM-5PM, F Su 11AM-5PM. It houses rotating exhibitions of contemporary work; there isn't a permanent collection, but exhibitions generally reside for several months. In the basement is one of Glasgow's many public libraries. The building was erected in 1778 as the town house of a tobacco merchant and slave-trader, and the Corinthian pillar frontage was added around 1830. The equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington arrived in 1844 and almost ever since has had a traffic cone perched his head. Every so often the Council removes it, but next day it re-incarnates. Free. Gallery of Modern Art (Q3094799) on Wikidata Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow on Wikipedia
  • 6 Glasgow Cross. was the centre of the early modern city, as it expanded south from its medieval core towards the Clyde. Only the clocktower survives of the former city chambers, demolished in 1921.
  • 7 Glasgow Police Museum, First floor, 30 Bell St G1 1LG, +44 141 552 1818. Apr-Oct M-Sa 10:30AM-4:30PM, Su noon-4:30PM, Nov-Mar Tu Su 10AM-4:30PM. Early police forces had a variety of roles that were later separated as firefighting, event security, night-watch and sanitary regulation (which often meant extorting bribes from the sex trade). Glasgow had the world's first police force from 1779, but it lacked state backing and folded. The first regular force was from 1800, and since then has grappled with criminals' ingenuity, but fortunately more often their gob-smacking stupidity. This small but well-stocked museum takes you through the history. Free.
  • Sharmanka, 103 Trongate G1 5HD (next to Panopticon), +44 141 552 7080. 45-min show adult £14, conc £12, child £8.62. "Sharmanka" is Russian for "barrel-organ" and it's a kinetic gallery. It has dingbat machines created by Eduard Bersudsky, somewhere between Heath Robinson and Jean Tinguely in their usefulness to technological advance and human well-being. Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery (Q7489914) on Wikidata Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery on Wikipedia
Dingbat machines at Sharmanka
  • Street Level Photoworks, 103 Trongate G1 5HD, +44 141 552 2151. Tu-Su noon-5PM. An alternative art gallery and installation space. Free.
  • Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street G1 5QP (next to Sharmanka Trongate Gallery), +44 141 552 2540. Tu-Sa 11AM-5PM. A gallery set up in 1983 by former students of Glasgow School of Art as a hub for the local art community and to provide exhibition space. Free.
  • 8 St Enoch Subway Station. is a Victorian Saint Pancras-style anomaly in an otherwise grey square. It's the nearest Subway to Central, though you'd only use it for outlying parts. The interior is modern. St Enoch subway station (Q1917240) on Wikidata St Enoch subway station on Wikipedia
  • 9 St Andrews in the Square, 1 St Andrews Square G1 5PP, +44 141 559 5902. M-F 10AM-4PM. Church completed in 1756 in classical style. This closed in 1993 and became a centre for traditional Scottish music, song and dance. It still promotes those but the church itself is seldom used as a venue. St Andrew's in the Square on Wikipedia
  • 10 Glasgow Green. is the extensive green space north bank of the Clyde. It was created in 1450 as separate plots of soggy grazing land, which were combined and drained. It became an area for bleaching and drying, mass protests and inflammatory speeches, and recreation and events. It's always open, with multiple access points, but from city centre a good approach is from the foot of High St through the Maclennan Arch. Follow the main path southeast to reach Nelson's Memorial, an obelisk commemorating his victory at Trafalgar. Central is the People's Palace, see below. North side of that is the elaborate terracotta Doulton Fountain, with Queen Victoria teetering atop it. At the park's east boundary, the Templeton Carpet Factory is now a business centre. St Andrew's suspension bridge gives access to the south river bank. See Clyde section below for the Tidal Weir. Glasgow Green (Q5566834) on Wikidata Glasgow Green on Wikipedia
  • 11 People's Palace, Glasgow Green G40 1AT, +44 141 276 0788. M-Th Sa 10AM-5PM, F Su 11AM-5PM. This is a great folk museum, telling the history of Glasgow and its people from 1750 to 2000. One of Billy Connolly's banana boots is on display. The Winter Gardens are a large adjacent glasshouse, but this and the Palace top floor and cafe are closed ufn for re-building. Free. People's Palace (Q7165644) on Wikidata People's Palace, Glasgow on Wikipedia
  • 12 The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane G1 3NU (off Buchanan Street), +44 141 276 5365. Closed. This was built in 1895 by Rennie Mackintosh, and for many years was the offices of the Glasgow Herald. Since 1999 it's housed the Centre for Design & Architecture, with changing exhibitions and events. It closed in 2020 because of covid and the re-opening date is not yet known. Free. The Lighthouse, Glasgow (Q7747302) on Wikidata The Lighthouse, Glasgow on Wikipedia
The Tenement House on Buccleuch Street
  • 13 Willow Tea Rooms (Mackintosh at the Willow), 217 Sauchiehall St G2 3EX, +44 141 204 1903. Daily 11AM-5PM. The temperance activist Kate Cranston established a chain of artistic tea rooms, where citizens (especially women) could enjoy non-alcoholic refreshments in genteel surroundings. Her designer was Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and this Sauchiehall St branch, opened in 1903, was the most popular and has been lovingly restored. It's still a cafe-bistro, and that's the best way to enjoy it. But so many people have come just to look at the decor that it's morphed into an museum, so taking a tour or having a meal is now the only way to see the Room de Luxe on the second floor. Tour £7.50, conc £6.50. Willow Tearooms (Q1537781) on Wikidata Willow Tearooms on Wikipedia
  • 14 Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew St G3 6RQ (Subway: Cowcaddens), +44 141 353 4500. GSA is an independent art school offering university level programmes and research in architecture, fine art and design. It also has evening classes and a summer school. However the main draw for general visitors was its Mackintosh building, one of CRM's finest. This was severely damaged by fire in 2014, and restoration was coming along nicely when a worse fire struck in 2018. The only saving grace was that much of the art collection (with many Mackintosh pieces of furniture) was rescued from the first fire and hadn't returned, so along with the decanted teaching arrangements wasn't affected by the second fire. Another rebuilding is in progress, which has a £100M budget and is expected to complete in 2030. So for the next few years you can't visit the building, but see the GSA website for an online tour of the collection, and details of physical exhibitions in other buildings such as the graduating students' show. Glasgow School of Art (Q748106) on Wikidata Glasgow School of Art on Wikipedia
  • Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), 350 Sauchiehall Street G2 3JD (next to GSA), +44 141 352 4900. Tu-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-midnight. This gallery also shows films and is a concert venue. Centre for Contemporary Arts (Q1023021) on Wikidata Centre for Contemporary Arts on Wikipedia
  • 15 Tenement House, 145 Buccleuch Street G3 6QN, +44 844 493 2197. Jan Feb: F-Su; Mar-Dec: Th-Su 10AM-5PM. Miss Agnes Toward was a shorthand typist who lived here 1911-1965 and never changed or discarded a thing. So it's a wonderful gas-lit Edwardian time-warp, now in the keeping of the National Trust for Scotland. Adult £8.50, conc £6, child £1, NTS / NT free. Tenement House (Q7699695) on Wikidata Tenement House (Glasgow) on Wikipedia
  • 16 The Museum of Piping, National Piping Centre, 30-34 McPhater Street. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-1PM. The home of the bagpipes is in the former Cowcaddens Free Church. The museum shows 300 years of piping history, mainly showing Scottish bagpipes, but also showing Northumbrian pipes and some from Poland, Hungary, Italy and Spain. The piping centre also has a restaurant, an 8-room hotel and teaches piping. £4.50. National Piping Centre (Q6974920) on Wikidata National Piping Centre on Wikipedia

West End[edit]

This prosperous, elegant quarter lies along the River Kelvin, with Glasgow University, multiple attractions and quality accommodation.

  • 17 Mitchell Library, North St G3 7DN (train: Charing Cross), +44 141 287 2999. M-Th 9AM-8PM, F Sa 9AM-5PM. Grand Edwardian Baroque pile endowed by the Mitchell tobacco fortune and opened in 1911. It houses a huge municipal public reference library, with over a million volumes and many more primary source archives for tracing family and civic history. It was gutted by fire in 1962 but the facade survived, and in 1980 a less-than-elegant extension was added with an events venue. Free. Mitchell Library (Q1801309) on Wikidata Mitchell Library on Wikipedia
  • 18 Park Circus. built around 1860, is the centrepiece of the well-heeled Park District. If they were aiming to recreate Bath, what they got was Edinburgh Scotland Street, with legal brassplates set around a leafy oval - the Montessori School seems inevitable. Approaching from Kelvingrove Park, come up the imposing Granite Stairs from the south. The steps were once a pilgrimage site for fans of the rock band Deacon Blue, as the view from the top was the cover picture of their 1987 album Raintown. But tree growth and other development since means you can no longer recreate that cloud-wracked vista, nor the rear-cover view of the M8. 22 Park Circus, Glasgow (Q4631316) on Wikidata 22 Park Circus, Glasgow on Wikipedia
  • 19 Kelvingrove Park. stretches west, with the River Kelvin running through it. It was laid out in the 1850s when the city's earlier green space, Glasgow Green, became hemmed in by slums. The bandstand was refurbished in 2014, and worthy statues include physicist Lord Kelvin, writer Thomas Carlyle, Field Marshal Lord Roberts and chemist Lord Lister. It's always open and popular with students of the nearby university; see below for the museum and gallery in its west corner. The easiest access from city centre is by bus towards Argyle St; by Subway use Kelvinbridge north or Kelvinhall west.
Spitfire zooms low over Kelvingrove Museum
  • 20 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street G3 8AG (Subway: Kelvinhall), +44 141 276 9599. M-Th Sa 10AM-5PM, F Su 11AM-5PM. Magnificent public gallery and museum, opened in 1901 as a legacy of the 1888 International Exhibition. It's in red sandstone, in sort-of Spanish Baroque via St Pancras, and was refurbished in 2006. Extensive collections and displays, well-geared to children and families. The 22 galleries cover natural history, civilisation from ancient Egypt to the present, big-name artists such as Dalí, Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt, and furnishings by Rennie Mackintosh. A Supermarine Spitfire hangs in the main hall. The organ in the main hall has recitals M-Sa at 1PM and Sundays at 3PM. Free. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Q1061094) on Wikidata Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Wikipedia
  • Kelvin Hall. is across the street from Kelvingrove and mirrors its style. This was the city's main event and exhibition venue until SECC opened in 1985, see "Do". It's since been a bit of everything and nowadays is a study and research outpost of the Hunterian, a storage facility for Glasgow Museums, and has a climbing wall and soft play areas. The Moving Image Archive of the National Library of Scotland lets you watch archive films and videos - fill a wet afternoon by watching a 100 year old film. Kelvin Hall (Q6386674) on Wikidata Kelvin Hall on Wikipedia
  • 21 Glasgow University. main Gilmorehill campus is a district of half a square mile, bounded to the east by the River Kelvin, to the north by Great Western Road, south by Dumbarton Road, and west by Byres Rd - by Subway use Hillhead. It was founded in 1451, the fourth oldest in the UK, and has some 21,000 undergraduates, 11,500 postgrads, 4700 academic staff, and earns high ratings for teaching and research. You can stroll the neo-Gothic area anytime, but the main visitor attractions are the several branches of the Hunterian, founded around the vast collections of William Hunter (1718-83). Three are on campus, and there's a satellite museum in Dumfries. University of Glasgow (Q192775) on Wikidata University of Glasgow on Wikipedia
    • 22 Hunterian Art Gallery, 82 Hillhead St G12 8QQ, +44 141 330 4221. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. It holds a huge collection of work by Whistler, Rennie Mackintosh, the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys. The Mackintosh House is a reconstruction of the interior of CRM's nearby home, which was lost to university expansion in the 1960s. So he didn't design that house, but embellished the interior in his distinctive style. Gallery free, Mackintosh House £8 adult, £6 conc, child free. Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery (Q1465387) on Wikidata Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery on Wikipedia
    • Hunterian Museum, Gilbert Scott Building, University Ave (between Gallery and Zoology Museum). Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. The Hunterian artwork and dead animals are now in separate buildings, so this museum is on the theme of civilisation. It exhibits many Roman findings from the Antonine Wall, the development of medicine in Glasgow, and Kelvin's scientific instruments. "Curating Discomfort" confronts the many links between the collections and western colonialism, slavery, tobacco and partial versions of history. Free.
    • 23 Hunterian Zoology Museum, Graham Kerr Building, University Ave, +44 141 330 4772. M-F 9AM-5PM. "Zoology" over the door proclaims the intent, and it's a classical natural history museum where stuffed animals regard you with reproachful glass eyes. Free.
    • Country Surgeon Micro Museum is in the Wolfson Medical Building on University Ave, a block west of Gilbert Scott Building. It exhibits the life and times of James Douglas (1798-1882), who practised medicine and surgery for 60 years in Carluke. It's open M-F 9AM-5PM, free. For specialist visitors there's a separate Anatomy Museum, by appointment.
  • 24 Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Road G12 0UE, +44 141 276 1614. Gardens 7AM to dusk, glasshouses noon to 4PM. Extensive gardens established in 1842 besides the River Kelvin, with tropical and temperate plants. Its distinctive landmark is the Kibble Palace, a 19th-century wrought-iron temperate glasshouse, rebuilt 2004-06. Free. Glasgow Botanic Gardens (Q894634) on Wikidata Glasgow Botanic Gardens on Wikipedia
  • 25 Fossil Grove, Victoria Park Drive North G14 9QR, +44 141 287 5918. Sa Su noon-4PM. The remains of an ancient forest of Lepidodendron, extinct giant quillworts. About 330 million years ago this area flooded with mud, which killed the trees but made casts of their trunks. They were discovered during quarrying in 1887, and enclosed by a building for protection. This is open at weekends, while the rest of Victoria Park is always open. Free. Fossil Grove (Q14995567) on Wikidata Fossil Grove on Wikipedia

Clyde & South[edit]

Tradeston "Squiggly Bridge"
  • 26 St Andrew's Suspension Bridge. This elegant footbridge between Hutchisontown on the south river bank and Glasgow Green on the north opened in 1855. St Andrew's Suspension Bridge (Q17568929) on Wikidata
  • Clyde Tidal Weir spans between Glasgow Green and Adelphi Street. It was built in 1901 to maintain a constant water level upstream, with its three gates adjusting for tidal or river flow. The motive was to create a constant head of water for industry, but other benefits are in stabilising the river banks, and creating a pleasant freshwater channel through Glasgow Green submerging what had been tidal mud flats. There's no public access over the weir.
  • 27 Tradeston Bridge is a footbridge between Broomielaw near Central station on the north bank, and Tradeston and Kingston on the south bank. Opened in 2009, it's known as the "Squiggly Bridge" for its distinctive S-shape. The reason for this was to create clearance for small boats on the Clyde, by making the bridge longer not steeper.
  • Central Mosque is south end of Gorbals St Bridge. Built in 1983, it's a striking mix of Arabian, modern, and traditional city red sandstone. Its religious affiiation is Deobandi Sunni Islam. It's open M-F 10:30AM-4:30PM.
  • 28 Kingston Bridge, opened in 1970, carries the seething five-lane M8. There's no walkway, so pedestrians and cyclists should use Tradeston footbridge or Clyde Arc. Traffic volumes beyond its design capacity, and shoddy construction, necessitated a decade of repairs from 1990, with the entire bridge lifted on jacks while its piers were replaced. Completion of M74 southern city bypass in 2011 has reduced some of the traffic pressure. Southbound visitors should think ahead which motorway they're joining on the other side (choice of Carlisle, Prestwick or Glasgow Airport) as this is no place for hysterics over a crumpled map or misfiring Satnav. On foot, you can admire its arches and murals from Broomielaw below.
  • 29 Clyde Arc is known as the "Squinty Bridge" as it crosses the river at an angle and has a curved steel arch. Opened in 2006, it carries Finnieston Street (vehicles, cycles and pedestrians) between Anderson Quay north bank and Govan south. In 2008 one support cable snapped and a second was found to be cracking, so two years of repairs followed. Since then the dual-carriageway bridge has reserved one carriageway for public transport, reducing the weight of general traffic.
  • 30 Scotland Street School, 225 Scotland St G5 8QB (Subway: Shields Road), +44 141 287 0500. Closed ufn. This school, opened in 1906, was Charles Rennie Mackintosh's last major building. It was a wonderful Art Nouveau design (so naturally it was way over budget) and closed in 1979 when the Gorbals slums were demolished and school enrolment fell. In 1990 it was converted into a museum of school education, with Victorian / Edwardian classrooms, and an exhibition on the work of Mackintosh. It's now again closed for rebuilding, which will partially return it to educational use for early years. Scotland Street School Museum (Q7435656) on Wikidata Scotland Street School Museum on Wikipedia
  • The giant metal armadillo turns out on closer inspection to be Clyde Auditorium. See "Do" for this and the adjacent Exhibition Centre.
  • 31 Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay G51 1EA (train: Exhibition Centre or Subway: Cessnock), +44 141 420 5000. Apr-Oct: W-Su 10AM-5PM; Nov-Mar: Sa Su 10AM-5PM. Science museum with hundreds of interactive exhibits for children. You pay extra for the IMAX cinema, planetarium and the 125-metre Glasgow Tower (summer only), the only tower in the world which can rotate 360 degrees from its base. Adult £12.50, conc or child £10.50. Glasgow Science Centre (Q1807508) on Wikidata Glasgow Science Centre on Wikipedia
  • 32 Riverside Museum, 100 Pointhouse Place, Govan G3 8RS (Bus 100), +44 141 287 2720. M-Th, Sa 10AM-5PM, F Su 11AM-5PM. Offers an excellent collection of vehicles and models telling the story of transport by land and sea, with a unique Glasgow flavour. Besides the usual rail locomotives, buses, trams, cars and planes, the museum also includes a recreated Subway station and a street scene of old Glasgow. The museum was designed by Zaha Hadid and completed in 2011. Free. Riverside Museum (Q7338547) on Wikidata Riverside Museum on Wikipedia
  • Tall Ship (Glenlee), 150 Pointhouse Rd, Govan G3 8RS (by Riverside Museum - Subway: Kelvinhall), +44 141 357 3699. Apr-Oct 10AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-4PM. The Glenlee was built in 1896, a three-masted cargo barque. She plied to Australia then was sold for use as a Spanish training vessel. She was eventually laid up in Ferrol, and in 1990 on the verge of being scrapped, but was towed to Glasgow for restoration. Free. Glenlee (Q1531015) on Wikidata Glenlee (ship) on Wikipedia
House for an Art Lover
  • 33 Govan Stones (Govan Old Church), 866 Govan Rd G51 3DL. Apr-Oct: daily 1-4PM. The present church is from 1888, but there's been a church here since the 6th century, and from about 900 AD it looks to have been the ecclesiastic centre and royal burial ground of the Kingdom of Strathcylde. There's an impressive collection of 9th-11th century tombs and grave slabs, many of Norse "hogback" design, suggesting that the Vikings and ancient Britons coexisted here whenever they weren't hacking each other to bits. Many stones were lost when Govan shipyards were demolished and they were mistaken for masonry rubble, and the survivors have been moved within the church for safekeeping. Free. The Govan Stones on Wikipedia
  • 34 Fairfield Heritage Centre, 1048 Govan Rd G51 4XS (Subway: Govan; Bus 23 or 26), +44 141 445 5866. M-F 1PM-4PM. Govan became the city's main shipbuilding quarter once the Clyde channel was blasted open, and Fairfield was one of its leading companies. Built to impress in 1891, these were the august headquarters of a series of shipbuilders until the last vacated in 2001. It's now a heritage space and museum of Clyde shipbuilding. Free. Fairfield Offices on Wikipedia
  • 35 House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park G41 5BW (Subway: Ibrox), +44 141 483 1600. Varies, often 10AM–4PM. In 1901 a German design magazine ran a competition for a Haus eines Kunstfreundes, a house for an art lover. Charles Rennie Macintosh's entry was late and incomplete so it was disqualified, but awarded a special prize for its creative designs harmonising exterior and interior. From the 1980s there was a project to build to his original design, and this was completed in 1996. The building needed to pay its way, and wouldn't be viable just as a museum piece, so from the outset it was constructed as an event space not part of the original design for a residence. That means it's often closed, especially in wedding season. It is however a wonderful realisation of the Rennie Mackintosh style, which you will be so grateful you don't have to live in, with those bolt-upright chairs and where even the cutlery and bathroom fittings have to be exactly so. Adult £6.50, conc & child £5. House for an Art Lover (Q1631389) on Wikidata House for an Art Lover on Wikipedia
  • 36 Bellahouston Park (south of House for an Art Lover). The park has a sports centre and an artificial ski slope. The park is often used for open-air concerts and similar events. Its biggest audience to date, of 250,000, was for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982. (Benedict XVI drew about a third of that in 2010.) The park used to extend all the way to Pollok Country Park, which you can reach (for the Burrell Collection) by walking along Drumbreck Road to pass under M77. Bellahouston Park (Q815788) on Wikidata Bellahouston Park on Wikipedia

Architecture[edit]

A summary of some of the styles and gems described in other sections
  • Medieval and earlier: the East End has Provand's Lordship, but early years have few remnants here.
  • Victorian: the city sprang up in a profusion of Italianate, neo-Grecian and Gothic styles. Its housing was in tall sandstone tenements, traditionally grimy but now scrubbed up to their glowing red glory. The most florid are known as "Glasgow Baroque", top examples being Kelvingrove Gallery in the West End, and Athenaeum Theatre on Buchanan St.
  • Charles Rennie Macintosh (1868-1928) did for Glasgow what Gaudí did for Barcelona, with his unique exterior and interior unified style. The best example is the House for an Art Lover (south of Clyde); the Glasgow School of Art has twice been ravaged by fire and Scotland Street School is closed for rebuilding.
  • Modern: the "armadillo" of the Scottish Exhibition Centre graces the north bank of the Clyde.
Glasgow Science Centre

Further out[edit]

  • 37 Queen's Cross Church (Mackintosh Church), 870 Garscube Road G20 7EL (near Partick Thistle football ground). M W F 11AM-4PM. The only church built to a design by Rennie Mackintosh, opened in 1899 for what was then the Free Church. They'd split with the Church of Scotland in 1843 but were reconciled in 1929, so the building continued as C of S until it closed in 1976. The exterior looks squat and Gothic, you wouldn't recognise it as the work of CRM, but the interior is distinctively his. (He also designed for Liverpool Cathedral, but that was built to a different design.) The church is now the headquarters of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, with a small shop. Adult £5, child free. Queen's Cross Church (Q3927500) on Wikidata Queen's Cross Church, Glasgow on Wikipedia
  • 38 Forth and Clyde Canal, completed in 1790, runs from the Forth estuary below Falkirk (where the ingenious Wheel connects it to the Union Canal to Edinburgh) via Kirkintilloch into the north of Glasgow. The main canal continues west to join the Clyde near Dumbarton, while a spur branches south for two miles to Port Dundas near city centre. Reach it by walking north up Cowcaddens Rd onto Garscube Rd under the M8, and join the well-signed cycleway. The towpath is a good paved track on the west bank of the spur, lined with restored 18th- and 19th-century warehouses before becoming a woodland linear park. There are no gradients on the spur, but "stop-locks" were fitted in wartime in case bombing broke the banks and flooded the factories below. The canal is navigable all the way to Edinburgh, but they need notice to open the locks and low bridges - these are easily portaged by canoe or kayak.
  • 39 Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Pollok Country Park G43 1AT (train: Pollokshaws West; buses 57, 3, 34), +44 141 287 2550. M-Th Sa 10AM-5PM, F Su 11AM-5PM. Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) was a shipping magnate who amassed a huge art collection. He gifted it to the city with the condition that it should be displayed in a nearby yet rural setting, and this was difficult to satisfy until Pollok House was acquired in extensive parkland, and the purpose-built gallery was added. It was closed 2014-2022 for refurbishment and even now can only show a fraction of his 9000-strong collection. Other items appear in the various city museums such as Kelvingrove. Gallery free, parking £2.50. Burrell Collection (Q1016909) on Wikidata Burrell Collection on Wikipedia
  • 40 Queen's Park was laid out in the 19th century to serve the teeming city south side. It's named for Mary Queen of Scots, who lost the Battle of Langside nearby in 1568, and was fugitive or captive for much of her remaining twenty years. "Queens Park" also is the name of a football team, but they nowadays play at Firrhill, see Football below. The hill has good views north and is a popular sledging spot in winter. Earthworks round its summit were probably a Norman motte-and-bailey redoubt. Take the train from Central to Mount Florida or Queens Park, 10 min.
Persian carpets in the Burrell Collection
  • 41 Holmwood House, 61-63 Netherlee Rd, Cathcart G44 3YU, +44 141 571 0184. Mar-Oct: Th-Su 10AM–5PM. Wonderful stylish off-beat villa, built in 1858 by the influential Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. It was originally the home of a paper magnate, and a copy was built for another tycoon in Adelaide in 1885. Holmwood had several owners then the Sisters of Our Lady of The Missions, who piously obliterated all style and decor beneath the dullest paint they could find. They left in the 1990s and it was acquired by the National Trust for Scotland, who have been restoring it ever since. Adult £8.50, conc £6, NTS / NT free. Holmwood House (Q5883823) on Wikidata Holmwood House on Wikipedia
  • 42 Linn Park (lies south of Holmwood House across the White Cart Water, cross either upstream by the Ha'penny Bridge or downstream by the Snuff Mill Bridge). There are bosky dells and a golf course. At the north end on Court Knowe, only a few foundation scraps remain of Cathcart Castle.
  • 43 Crookston Castle, 170 Brockburn Rd G53 5RY. Apr-Sep: daily 9:30AM–5:30PM; Oct-Mar: Sa-W 10AM–4PM. Ruin of a turret built in 1400 within a 12th-century earthwork, and repaired after a siege of 1544. It's perched on a hill over the Levern Water and has an unusual "X" design: a sturdy central keep within four corner towers; only the northeast of these survives. Free. Crookston Castle on Wikipedia
  • 44 Titan Crane, Cart Street, Clydebank G81 1BF (train or bus to Clydebank), +44 141 952 3771. Closed until April 2023. This stonking great cantilever crane stands 49 m tall. It was built in 1907 to instal massive items such as boilers, engines and gun turrets during ship construction, enabling John Brown & Co to build bigger ships than their competitors. it survived the 1941 blitz of Clydebank but the UK ship-building industry failed in the 1970s and the crane fell derelict. It was restored from 2005 and opened as a visitor attraction, but has been closed since 2018. You ascend by lift to the breezy platform, which has been used as a bungy-jump platform. Titan Clydebank (Q7809742) on Wikidata Titan Clydebank on Wikipedia
  • 45 Greenbank Garden, Flenders Road, Clarkston G76 8RB (Train to Clarkston). Apr-Jun Sep-Oct: Th-M 10AM–5PM; Jul Aug: daily 10AM–5PM. Garden surrounding an 18th-century mansion, which in 1976 passed to the National Trust for Scotland. It has a large walled garden and parterre, and a brilliant display of daffodils and bluebells in spring. The mansion is an events venue and you can't tour it. Adult £8.50 adult, conc £6, NTS / NT free. Greenbank House (Q1282086) on Wikidata Greenbank Garden on Wikipedia
  • Antonine Wall was the Roman frontier defence built across the narrow waist of Scotland from 142 AD. Its western sections have mostly been lost, but in 2023 the buried remains of a fort were found at Carleith near the Auchentoshan distillery. Nothing to see there and the site is not being excavated: go further east for the Roman bathhouse at Bearsden and substantial earthworks around Kilsyth. The wall was only garrisoned for 20 years then they retreated to the more substantial Hadrian's Wall.

Do[edit]

Music[edit]

Glasgow has a big music scene in all genres.

  • 1 Nice'N'Sleazy, 421 Sauchiehall Street G2 4LG (nearest railway: Charing Cross), +44 141 333 0900. M-F 6PM-3AM, Sa Su 5PM-3AM. A student favourite, Sleazy's is a cross between a bar and a nightclub. Live bands most nights downstairs, and the bar upstairs also has small acts. Over 18s only.
  • 2 Barrowland Ballroom, 244 Gallowgate G4 0TS, +44 141 552 4601. Opened in 1934, but rebuilt in ever-so-Sixties style after a fire, this is a popular live venue with 1900 standing capacity. It's renowned for its sprung dance floor and excellent acoustics. Barrowland Ballroom (Q808992) on Wikidata Barrowland Ballroom on Wikipedia
  • 3 King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, 272a St Vincent Street G2 5RL, +44 141 846 4034. Venue for up-and-coming bands, where Oasis and Glasvegas were discovered. King Tut's Wah Wah Hut (Q6412123) on Wikidata King Tut's Wah Wah Hut on Wikipedia
  • The Cathouse, 15 Union St G1 3RB (east side of Central Station), +44 141 248 6606. W-Su 11PM-3AM. Rock club founded in 1990. Glasgow Cathouse (Q5566768) on Wikidata Glasgow Cathouse on Wikipedia
  • 4 O2 Academy, 121 Eglinton Street G5 9NT (Subway: Bridge Street), +44 141 418 3000. Opened in 2003, this venue in Gorbals hosts rock, indie and comedy, and has a capacity of 2500. O2 Academy Glasgow on Wikipedia
SEC Armadillo
  • Classic Grand, 18 Jamaica Street G1 4QD (east side of Central Station), +44 141 847 0820. Su-F 9AM-1AM, Sa 9AM-3AM. Alternative music venue in a former tacky "adult" cinema.
  • Sub Club is a basement nightclub and music venue within Classic Grand, open F Sa 11PM-4AM.
  • 5 SEC Centre, Exhibition Way G3 8YW (train: Exhibition Centre). Large events and exhibition venue, the main theatre (Hall 4) seats 10,000. Opened in 1985, it was that first of what's grown into an "Event Campus", with the Armadillo and the Hydro following.
  • 6 SEC Armadillo (formerly Clyde Auditorium), Exhibition Way G3 8YW (train: Exhibition Centre), +44 141 248 3000, +44 141 576 3230 (Box Office). Box office M–F 9AM-2PM. They've capitulated, and re-named this shiny metal venue what Glaswegians have called it since it opened in 1997. It has a 3000-seater auditorium and is part of the "Scottish Event Campus" alongside the SEC Centre and OVO Hydro. They're at pains to point out that it wasn't inspired by Sydney Opera House, it's supposed to represent ship's hulls. If so, they're bottom-up like The Poseidon Adventure. SEC Armadillo (Q2980424) on Wikidata SEC Armadillo on Wikipedia
  • OVO Hydro the third on the Event Campus was completed in 2013. It has an all-seater capacity of 12,300 and 14,500 with standing.

Arts and theatrical venues[edit]

  • 7 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street G2 3NY (Subway: Buchanan Street), +44 141 353 8000. Stonking great hall completed in 1990, with a main auditorium seating 2475 and four other spaces of 300+. It's home to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who perform throughout Scotland. The same management also runs City Halls and the Fruitmarket. Just below the basement run the Subway trains, with a thick rubber barrier to block the rumblings. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Q5566904) on Wikidata Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wikipedia
  • 8 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street G2 3DB, +44 141 332 4101. Primarily a teaching college but they also put on public performances of classical and contemporary music, ballet and dance, musical theatre, and contemporary drama. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Q3446028) on Wikidata Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Wikipedia
  • 9 Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street G2 3QA. What you see now outside is the modern frontage added in 2014, but the interior is the French Renaissance design adopted after the first major fire in 1879; it was rebuilt thus after the second fire in 1896. The venue opened in 1867 and opera was always a major offering, since in those days you could show it at a profit. From 1957 to 1974 Scottish Television was based here, then it became the home of Scottish Opera and later of Scottish Ballet. It stages mainly "serious" theatre, opera and ballet. Theatre Royal, Glasgow on Wikipedia
  • 10 Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate G1 5HB, +44 141 552 4267. This was built over the derelict Tron Kirk in 1980 - the steeple remains. It's a "producing theatre" like Citizens (below), putting on contemporary works. Tron Theatre (Q7845421) on Wikidata Tron Theatre on Wikipedia
Boys peed on performers at the Panopticon
  • Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street G5 9DS, +44 141 429 0022. Closed. Legendary theatre in working-class Gorbals: its predecessor opened in 1878 and the Citizens took over in 1945. This is a "producing theatre", creating its own shows from scratch, so it's contemporary and avant-garde work in a Victorian showcase. It's often been at odds with authority, but having the City Provost denounce "kinky claptrap appealing only to mentally ill weirdos" ensured sell-out productions. A glittering roll-call of big names has graced its boards. The historic building has been closed for re-construction since 2019, meanwhile the company works at other venues such as Tramway and Tron. Citizens Theatre (Q2974455) on Wikidata Citizens Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 11 Tramway, 25 Albert Drive G41 2PE (next to Pollokshields East railway station), +44 141 276 0950. Tu-F noon-5PM, Sa Su noon-6PM. Former tram depot turned into an art space, and one of the hosts for Citizens Theatre work until that building is renovated.
  • 12 King's Theatre, 297 Bath Street G2 4JN. Glasgow's main traditional theatre, a grand affair of 1904 seating 1785. It shows mostly musicals, comedy and panto. King's Theatre, Glasgow on Wikipedia
  • 13 Pavilion Theatre, 121 Renfield Street G2 3AX, +44 141 332 1846. This was founded in 1904 and has seen many of the greatest stars of music hall perform, such as a then-unknown Charlie Chaplin. Neither the building nor its offerings have changed much over the years. They're proud of being an unsubsidised independent venue, which means a diet of crowd-pleasing light theatre, musicals, comedy and panto. You're not destined to see Parsifal here unless some celebs do it in drag. Pavilion Theatre (Glasgow) on Wikipedia
  • 14 Britannia Panopticon, 113-117 Trongate G1 5HD (enter west side via New Wynd), +44 141 553 0840. Th-Sa noon-5PM. The oldest surviving music hall in the world, this was built in Italianate style in 1857, intended for shops but opening as a free-standing entertainment complex. Big names who boosted their early careers here include Stan Laurel in 1906 (his début, 20 years before he teamed up with Oliver Hardy), the debonair Jack Buchanan and the salt-of-the-earth Harry Lauder. Glasgow audiences were notorious for leaving no turn un-stoned (shipyard rivets and rancid turnips were traditional missiles) - toilets only arrived in 1893 and young boys used the balcony to pee on performers. The installation of a zoo in 1908 hardly made audience manners worse. The music hall folded in 1938 and the space was adapted for retail and industry. It's been re-opened and shows mostly light fare such as burlesque and comedy. There's no heating, so dress accordingly. No wheelchair / disabled access. Adut £2, child £1. Britannia Music Hall (Q11838924) on Wikidata Britannia Music Hall on Wikipedia
  • 15 Òran Mór, 731 Great Western Road G12 8QX (Subway: Hillhead), +44 141 357 6200. Su-W 11AM-1AM, Th-Sa 11AM-3AM. Entertainment centre in the former Kelvinside Parish Church, with restaurant, pub, nightclub, theatrical and music and events venues, a fixture of the West End social scene. There are regular lunchtime plays in the "A Play, A Pie and A Pint" series, where the ticket includes a pint of beer and a pie or quiche.
  • 16 The Stand, 333 Woodlands Rd G3 6NG (Subway: Kelvinbridge), +44 141 212 3389. Daily 7:30PM-10:30PM. Stand-up comedy club.

Cinema[edit]

The most interesting films in Glasgow are shown at:

  • 17 Glasgow Film Theatre, 12 Rose St G3 6RB (Subway: Cowcaddens), +44 141 332 6535. Independent cinema opened in 1939 showing classics, and art and foreign-language movies - the advent of "talkies" made these less accessible to British audiences. It hosts the annual Glasgow Film Festival. Glasgow Film Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 18 Grosvenor Picture Theatre, 24 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ (Subway: Hillhead), +44 141 339 8444. Opened in 1921 in what had been a cab office and funeral parlour, this shows mostly mainstream films.
  • Cineworld, 7 Renfrew Street G2 3AB (100 yards west of bus station). Multiplex with 18 screens. They also have edge-of-town sites at The Forge and Barrhead.

Football[edit]

As I was out a-walking, I chanced to see the Queen, playing at the fitba wi' the lads on Glasgow Green
The captain o' the ither side was scoring in great style, the Queen she called a polisman and had 'im clapped in jail
- Trad ballad "And wi' you my Johnny lad"

Glasgow has Scotland's national stadium and four pro men's soccer teams. The most famous rivalry is the "Old Firm": Celtic (in green and white hoops) is traditionally supported by Catholics, and Rangers (in blue) by Protestants. Since 2018 both stadiums sell out to their own fans, with very little ticket allowance to "away" supporters or neutral visitors. You should have no trouble getting tickets to other games.

Hampden Park is the national stadium
  • 19 Hampden Park, Glasgow G42 9BA (Train: Mount Florida or King's Park), +44 141 620 4000. Scotland's national stadium has a capacity of 51,866 for football matches and 44,000 for athletics. It hosts many other sporting events and concerts and houses the Scottish Football Museum. The Scottish men's soccer team plays its home games here, and those of the 2022/23 women's World Cup qualifying campaign will also be here. Stadium tours are available. Hamden used to be the home ground of Queen's Park, but they are in the throes of moving elsewhere. Hampden Park (Q193651) on Wikidata Hampden Park on Wikipedia
  • Lesser Hampden is a small stadium west side of Hamden Park which in 2023 is expected to become the home of Queens Park FC, see below. So the marketing people have until then to come up with a better name for it.
  • 20 Celtic, Celtic Park, Kerrydale Street, Parkhead G40 3RE (Buses 40 61 62 240 262), +44 871 226 1888. Celtic play soccer in the Premiership, Scotland's top tier, and are Scotland's second most successful football team behind their 'Old Firm' rivals, Rangers. The stadium (capacity 60,400) is two miles east of city centre, between A74 London Rd and A728 Clyde Gateway. See the club website for tickets, match day info such as travel disruptions, stadium tours, and no end of merchandising. Celtic were founded in 1888 for the purposes of alleviating Irish immigrant poverty, albeit Celtic's history is marred by numerous child abuse allegations and the investigations are ongoing to this day. The women's team play in the Scottish Women's Premier League, their top tier, with home games at Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie. Celtic F.C. on Wikipedia
  • 21 Rangers, Ibrox Stadium, 150 Edmiston Drive G51 2XD (Subway: Ibrox), +44 871 702 1972. Rangers also play in the Premiership and usually qualify for Europe. They are Scotland's most successful football club but in recent times have been often runners-up to Celtic, but broke that streak by winning their 55th league title (the most of any team in Scotland) in 2020/21, and denying Celtic claiming '10 titles won in a row', some of which achieved when Rangers weren't in the league and another was awarded to Celtic during the Covid-19 pandemic despite a partially completed season. Ibrox Stadium (capacity 50,800) is 3 miles southwest in Govan: in 1971 it was the scene of a crowd catastrophe, when 66 died in a crush on a stairway, including one Celtic fan who snuck in with his Rangers supporting friend. In 2012, the business entity controlling the affairs of the football club entered liquidation, and the rest of Scottish football controversially voted for Rangers FC to start from the Scottish Third Division (Fourth tier) at the beginning of season 2012/13. They earned their way back up to re-enter the top tier in 2016, whereupon the 'Old Firm Derby' versus Celtic could resume its rightful place in the sporting calendar. Since returning to the Scottish top flight, Rangers have punched above their weight representing Scotland in European competition, recently getting to the final of the UEFA Europa League in 2022. This has benefited all of Scottish football, including their 'Old Firm' rivals, Celtic. Rangers women's team play in the Women's Premier League, their top tier: home games are at Rangers training facility in Milngavie.

See the club website for tickets, stadium and museum tours, and merchandise. In summer 2023 Rangers opened a new museum and events space called 'New Edmiston House'. The official Glasgow City Sightseeing tour bus will take you to Ibrox Stadium on the city tour from summer 2023 where the stadium, museum and club shop can be visited. Rangers F.C. on Wikipedia

  • 22 Partick Thistle, Firhill Stadium, 80 Firhill Rd G20 7AL, +44 141 579 1971. "The Jags" play in the Scottish Championship, the second tier. They're named for the Partick district but since 1908 have been at Firhill, an all-seater stadium of capacity 10,100 in Maryhill. During 2021/22 Queens Park shared this stadium. Partick Thistle F.C. on Wikipedia
  • Queen's Park ("The Spiders") were promoted in 2022 and now play in the Championship, the second tier. Historically they played at Hampden Park and owned it, but their limited fortunes and attendance made that a nonsense; only in 2019 did they turn professional. Hampden Park was sold to the Scottish Football Association and Queen's Park are sharing other clubs' grounds - in 2022/23 they play at Ochilview in Stenhousemuir near Falkirk. Don't confuse them with Queen's Park Rangers, the team from London Shepherd's Bush.
  • Glasgow City FC are a women's team playing in the Scottish Women's Premier League, their top tier and are reigning champions. They're not affiliated to any men's club, and play at Petershill Park in Springburn two miles north of city centre. That makes them the leading women's team within Glasgow, as Celtic and Rangers women play out of town.

Rugby Union[edit]

Glasgow Clan play ice hockey in Renfrew
  • Glasgow Warriors are the city's professional club, playing in the United Rugby Championship (formerly Pro-14), the predominantly Celtic super-league. Their home ground is Scotstoun (capacity 7300), five miles northwest of city centre. This occasionally hosts internationals but those are usually at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
  • Glasgow Hawks play in the Premiership, the amateur top tier in Scotland. Their home ground is Balgray Stadium (capacity 3000) in Kelvinside two miles northwest of the centre.
  • Glasgow Hutchesons Aloysians or G-HA were relegated in 2023 so they play in National League One, the second tier. Their home ground is GHA Park in Giffnock, five miles south of city centre.
  • Cartha Queens Park also play in National League One. Their home ground is Dumbreck, north end of Pollok Country Park.
  • Glasgow Academicals were promoted in 2023 so they also now play in National League One, at New Anniesland to the northwest of the city.

Other[edit]

  • Distillery and brewery tours: see Drink below.
  • Ice Hockey: Glasgow Clan play Sept-April in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the UK's top tier. Their home rink is Braehead Arena in Renfrew.
  • Steam railway excursions run from Glasgow in summer: one operator is Tornado Railtours.
  • Glasgow Central Tours explore Central Station and its place in the life of the city.

Events[edit]

World Pipe Band Championships
  • Celtic Connections is a music festival in January, several venues. The next is 18 Jan - 4 Feb 2024.
  • Glasgow Film Festival is in Feb / March. The next is probably 28 Feb - 11 March 2024, tbc.
  • Glasgow International Comedy Festival is in March, with the next probably 13 - 31 March 2024, tbc.
  • Glasgow International is a festival for contemporary art held in alternate years, with the next on 7-23 June 2024.
  • Glasgow Jazz Festival is mid-June. The next is probably 12-16 June 2024.
  • WestFest is held throughout June, with the next probably 7 - 30 June 2024, tbc.
  • Orange Parades are held in the run-up to 12 July, anniversary (allowing for the change in calendar) of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. These are a piece of living history and used to be huge. Nowadays it's usually a series of small parades (with marchers outnumbered by police) rather than one big one.
  • Merchant City Festival is an arts and music festival in July. The next is probably 25-28 July 2024, tbc.
  • The World Pipe Band Championships are held on Glasgow Green in mid-August, with the next on 18-19 Aug 2023.

Learn[edit]

The University of Glasgow

And check the university / college union websites for events that may be open to non-students.

  • University of Glasgow, in the west end of the city, has served Glasgow since 1451. It is the fourth oldest in the United Kingdom, and is one of the country's most prestigious.
  • University of Strathclyde, in the north-east of the city centre, was founded in 1796 as Anderson's University, and later became the Royal College of Science and Technology (affectionately nicknamed "The Tech" by Glaswegians) before gaining full university status in 1964. In 1993 it absorbed Jordanhill College of Education, and gained that institution's campus in the West End.
  • Glasgow Caledonian University was formed in 1992 by the merger of Glasgow College of Technology and Queens' College. It's a block north of the bus station.
  • City of Glasgow College, is made up of two campuses one on the riverside and situated on Cathedral Street in Glasgow. It was established when Central College, Glasgow Metropolitan College, and the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies merged in 2010 to establish the largest college in Scotland.
  • National Piping Centre is in a former church at 30-34 McPhater Street, off Cowcadens Rd quarter of a mile west of the bus station. It promotes the study of bagpipes and their history. Its collection of bagpipes from Scotland and other nations is no longer routinely on display. The Centre also acts an event space, hosting the kind of wedding where everyone wears the correct tartan.

Work[edit]

Jobs in Glasgow can be found through the government-run JobCentres. Employment prospects rise and fall with the general economy, but usually the problem is not in finding a paying job, but finding accommodation affordable on that wage. To work legally you must have a National Insurance number and be a citizen of the UK or Ireland - other EU / EEA citizens are no longer eligible unless they have "settled" status in the UK. You may find bars and nightclubs offer work cash-in-hand and don't inquire about immigration status.

Buy[edit]

Grabbing a bargain at the Barras

Scotland's largest city of course has the largest choice of retail, in all sectors: standard chains, independent and specialty shops, and markets. The principal area is west of George Square and the bus station, along the pedestrianised malls of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. There are more independents a block or two back on Bath Street and Hope Street. Glasgow is not immune to the hollowing-out of the traditional "High Street", but its centre is less blighted than most by empty retail lots, charity shops and vape stores. Byres Road in the West End has quirky independents, such as De Courcy's Arcade (a block back on Cresswell Lane) with craft shops and cafes. There are large retail parks on the city outskirts at Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.

  • Barras Market, Gallowgate. Sa Su 10AM-4PM. "Oh ra Barras, oh ra Barras, ye can keep yer Rome or Paris . . . " goes the song. This market occupies the East End blocks between Gallowgate and London Road at the edge of Glasgow Green. It's an essential tourist experience, but think twice before buying, or any other action that betrays the position of your wallet / purse. However it's well-policed, as mingling in the crowd are officers on the lookout for the counterfeit, stolen, or downright dangerous. There are gems and bargains here, but the ratio of gems to trash is much the same as on the internet: "They've got tickets tae the moon, priced at only half-a-croon . . ." Nothing to see when it's closed, just a drab array of units with their metal rollers down. Glasgow Barrowland market (Q5566748) on Wikidata The Barras on Wikipedia
  • St Enoch Centre (200 yards southeast of Central station), +44 141 204 3900. M-F 9AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Large 3-story mall on St Enoch Square between Argyle Street and Buchanan Street. Enoch in scripture was a prophet before Noah's flood and lived 365 years on earth then was taken into heaven without dying. He never divulged his knack for doing this, and don't come looking for any answers in his eponymous shopping centre, square or Subway station.
  • Argyle Arcade (Between St Enoch Centre and Princes Square), +44 141 248 5257. M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-5PM. This is the city's jewellery quarter, with 30 stores along an L-shaped arcade between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.
  • Princes Square is a mall off Buchanan St 100 yards east of Central Station. The stores close at 6PM but the food court stays open daily to 10PM.
  • Buchanan Galleries, 220 Buchanan St G1 2FF (block north of Queen St Station), +44 141 333 9898. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-6PM. A large central mall with the usual high street stores, including John Lewis.

Eat[edit]

Mobile chippie on Glasgow Green
Tis beautiful to see the ships passing to and fro, Laden with goods for the high and the low;
So let the beautiful city of Glasgow flourish, And may the inhabitants always find food their bodies to nourish.
- William McGonagall, who else

Budget[edit]

Fish & chips: There are dozens and dozens of mostly takeaways with only a few sit-in cafes. Along with "fish suppers" they offer burgers, haggis, pakoras, pizzas and kebabs, and some daunting combinations that would be called "fusion" if they were ten times more expensive. A Munchy Box is a bit of everything and is woozy post-pub fare. The deep-fried Mars Bar is also available: see Stonehaven#Eat for its oily social history.

City centre[edit]

  • 1 The Merchant, 134-136 W George St G2 2HG, +44 141 353 3926. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Trad pub serving main dishes.
  • Romans Pizzeria, 44 Howard St G1 4EE (east side of Leonardo Hotel), +44 141 243 2640. M-Th noon-8:30PM, F-Su noon-9:30PM. Industrial looking, relaxed venue.
  • 2 BLOC+, 117 Bath St G2 2SZ, +44 141 574 6066. Innovative bar with unusual dishes. Separate Vegan/Veggie menu. Live music after 9PM.
  • 3 China Sea, 12 Renfield St G2 5AL, +44 141 221 2719. Su-F noon–10PM, Sa noon–11PM. Sound trad Chinese.
  • 4 Guido's Coronation Restaurant, 55 Gallowgate G1 5AP (beneath the railway bridge), +44 141 552 3994. Daily 9:30AM–8PM. A Glasgow institution by the gateway to Barrowlands, good reviews for healthy serving and competitive price.
  • Purrple Cat at 2 Trongate (foot of Gallowgate) rescues cat and the cafe is swarming with them. It's open daily 9:30AM-8PM.

Elsewhere[edit]

  • Palm Tree Kitchen is a Yemeni cafe at 22 Bridge St just south of the Clyde and Central Station, open Su-W 9:30AM-9:30PM, Th-Sa 9:30AM-10:30PM.
  • 5 Panda House, 665 Pollokshaws Rd G41 2AB, +44 141 424 3200. Daily 4:30PM-11PM. Good south-side choice for Cantonese.
  • 6 Lucky Cottage (formerly Oriental Yummy), 96 Queen Margaret Drive G20 8NZ, +44 141 945 3398. Su Tu-Th 4:30PM-11PM, F Sa 4:30PM-midnight. Good reviews for this Chinese takeaway, they also do home deliveries.
  • Grain and Grind is a good coffee shop at 45 Old Dumbarton Rd opposite Kelvingrove, open daily 8AM-5PM.
  • Gusto & Relish is a great cafe at 729 Pollockshaws Rd just north of Queen's Park, open daily 9AM-5PM.
  • Sunny Acre at No 745 likewise gets good reviews. There's also another branch of Grain and Grind here, but not as well-regarded.
  • McMonagles is a fish & chips restaurant on a boat moored in the canal next to Clyde Shopping Centre, open daily 11AM-9PM.

Mid-range[edit]

Winter Gardens at the People's Palace

Italian[edit]

  • Celino's, 620 Alexandra Parade / 235 Dumbarton Road. Serves sound Italian fare at two locations either end of the city.
  • Amarone, 2 Nelson Mandela Place G2 1BT (one block west of Queen St Station), +44 141 333 1122. Daily noon-10PM. Pleasant basement restaurant with good menu but limited veggie choice.
  • Di Maggio's has three outlets east flank of Central Station (at 87 St Vincent St, 21 Royal Exchange St and 55 St Enoch Square) with another near the bus station at 163 West Nile St.
  • 7 Eusebi Deli, 152 Park Road G4 9HB (by Kelvingrove Park), +62 141 648 9999, . W-M 8AM-10PM. Italian deli and restaurant. Deli has prepared panini, salads, patisserie. Convenient for picnics in the park on a sunny day.
  • 8 Il Pavone, 48 Buchanan Street G1 3JN (within Princes Square Shopping Centre), +44 141 221 0543. M-W noon-9PM, Th-Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-7:30PM. Reliable long-established central Italian.
  • 9 Little Italy, 205 Byres Rd G12 8TN, +44 141 339 6287. M-Sa 8AM-10PM, Su 10AM-10PM. Charming relaxing café with vegan options.
  • 10 Paesano Pizza, 94 Miller St, G1 1DT, +44 141 258 5565. Daily noon-9:30PM. This serves authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas at its two cavernous industrial chic restaurants. Enjoy in Merchant City, or at their second location in the West End (471 Great Western Road, G12 8HL).
  • Nonna Said, opened in 2021, is a pizzeria at 26 Candleriggs. It's open daily noon-10PM.

Vegetarian[edit]

Tchai Ovna teahouse
  • Koolba, 109 Candleriggs Merchant City, +44 141 553 1249, . M-F noon-2PM, 5PM-10:30PM, Sa Su 1PM-10:30PM. Authentic North Indian cuisine, great flavour and service.
  • Rose & Grants is a mostly vegan cafe at 27 Trongate next to the theatre, open M-Sa 8AM-5PM, Su 9AM-4:30PM.
  • 11 13th Note, 50-60 King Street G1 5QT, +44 141 553 1638. Daily noon-midnight. Music venue, art gallery and vegetarian/vegan cafe, dog-friendly.
  • 12 Mono, 12 Kings Court G1 5RB, +44 141 553 2400. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Vegan café and bar with live music.
  • 13 Sylvan, 20 Woodlands Rd G3 6UR, +44 141 332 9310. Tu-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su 11AM-6PM. Excellent range of vegetarian and vegan food.
  • 14 Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Lane G2 5AR, +44 141 222 2254. Su-Th noon-midnight, F Sa noon-1AM. Vegan pub and live music venue.
  • The 78, 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street G3 8NU (corner of Argyle St), +44 141 576 5018. W-F 2PM-midnight, Sa Su noon-midnight. This vegan restaurant gets great reviews.
  • Tchai Ovna, 42 Otago Lane G12 8RB (behind Stravaigin by Gibson St bridge), +44 141 357 4524. Tu-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su M noon-8PM. Tea house in a cute cabin with veggie food.
  • Suissi (Subway: Partick) is an excellent Asian vegan restaurant at 494 Dumbarton Rd, open Tu-F 5PM-10PM, Sa 1PM-10:30PM, Su 1PM-9PM.

Indian[edit]

Lots and lots and lots, mostly in the Charing Cross area at the west end of Sauchiehall Street.
  • Ashoka, 19 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ (Subway: Hillhead), +44 141 337 1115. M-Sa noon-10:30PM, Su 5PM-10:30PM. Long-standing favourite for value-for-money Indian. They have another branch at 1284 Argyle Street near Kelvingrove.
  • Mister Singh's India, 149 Elderslie St G3 7JR (corner with Sauchiehall St), +44 141 204 0186. Tu W 4PM-10:30PM, Th-Sa 1PM-10:30PM, Su 3PM-10:30PM. Lively reliable Indian place.

Chicken Tikka Masala: invented everywhere

2009 saw a campaign to recognise this popular dish as a Glasgow invention deserving EU Protected Designation of Origin. It was said that in the 1970s, Shish Mahal restaurant improvised by pouring a tin of tomato soup into a curry - total bunkum. Chicken Tikka Masala has about as many recipes and origins as there are gods in the Hindu pantheon. Chefs from multiple traditions adapted cuisines in Britain for multiple audiences, but this inchoate truth didn't satisfy journalists wanting a neat story. So former chefs from Shish Mahal for a joke told a yarn about the tin of soup; this was swallowed as eagerly as the CTM itself and the urban legend was born.

  • 15 Shish Mahal, 66-68 Park Road G4 9JF (Subway: Kelvinbridge), +44 141 334 7899. M-Th noon-2PM, 5PM-10PM, F Sa noon-11PM, Su 3PM-9PM. The Shish has been a steady choice here for over 50 years. With halal options.
  • 16 The Dhabba, 44 Candleriggs G1 1LD, +44 141 553 1249. M-F noon-2PM, 5PM-10:30PM, Sa Su 1PM-10:30PM. Authentic North Indian cuisine, great flavour and service.
  • The Dakhin, 89 Candleriggs G1 1NP (above City Merchant, 50 yards north of Dhabba), +44 141 553 2585. M-F noon-2PM, 5PM-10:30PM, Sa Su noon-10:30PM. Sister restaurant to The Dhabba but specialising in South Indian cuisine. The set lunch and pre-theatre dinner are excellent value.
  • 17 Cafe India, 29 Albion Street G1 1LH, +44 141 552 5115. Tu-Su 4PM-9PM. Reliable curry spot in Merchant City.
  • 18 Chillies West End, 176-182 Woodlands Rd G3 6LL, +44 141 331 0494. Daily 4PM-10PM. Slick Indian serving in tapas / thali / short-eats style.
  • And see Splurge for Mother India and Killermont Polo Club.

Other[edit]

Kelvingrove has several eating places
  • Sonny & Vito's. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-6PM. is a deli cafe at 52 Park Rd, a block east of Kelvinbridge subway station
  • Don Ya Sushi, 17 West Prince's St (just west of the M8 interchange). Th-Tu noon-10PM. is a delightful little Japanese
  • 19 Ottoman Coffee House, 73 Berkeley St (near the Mitchell Library). Tu-Sa 9AM-7PM, Su 10AM-7PM. looks nothing from the outside, but within is rich decor and fine food. 73 Berkeley Street (Q17804658) on Wikidata
  • Amber Regent, 50 West Regent St G2 2RA (Subway: Buchanan St), +44 141 331 1655. Tu-F noon-2PM, 5PM-10PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su 5PM-10PM. Friendly reliable Cantonese Chinese.
  • Ka Pao, 26 Vinnicombe St G12 8BE (nxt to Òran Mór off Byres Rd), +44 141 483 6990. Daily noon-10:30PM. Outstanding Thai food, go for the sharing plates.
  • 20 Opium, 191 Hope St G2 2UL, +44 141 332 6628. M-F noon-2PM, 5PM-9:30PM, Sa Su noon-10PM. Slick central restaurant with a variety of Chinese cuisines.
  • 21 Turkiye Efes, 97 Candleriggs G1 1NP, +44 141 553 1577. M-Sa noon-10:30PM, Su 9:30AM-10:30PM. Good selection of authentic Turkish dishes.
  • 22 Damasqino, 94 Saltmarket G1 9LD, +44 141 673 0242. Daily noon-11PM. Relaxed place serving Middle East specialties.
  • Brel, 37 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ (next to Ubiquitous Chip. Subway: Hillhead), +44 141 739 4830. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Belgian fare, especially moules in a variety of styles. The place ranges over 3 levels serving Belgian and Scottish beers. Beer garden, and sometimes has live entertainment.
  • 23 Stravaigin, 28 Gibson St G12 8NX (Subway: Kelvinbridge), +44 141 334 2665. Tu 4PM-midnight, W Th noon-midnight, F-Su 11AM-midnight. Great scores all round for this lively creative gastro-pub.
  • 24 Partick Duck Club, 27 Hyndland St G11 5QF (Subway: Kelvinhall), +44 141 334 9909. W-M 9AM-9PM. Excellent bistro, the duck gets rave reviews. You need to book if you hope for a table inside, walk-ups and dogs welcome outside.
  • Zique's is a lively European restaurant at 66 Hyndland St (100 yards north of Partick Duck Club) open Su-W 9AM-4PM, Th-Sa 9AM-10PM.
  • 25 Sloans, Argyll Arcade, 108 Argyle St G2 8BG, +44 141 221 8886. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Grand old pub and venue with indoor and outdoor seating. Bistro-type menu.
  • 26 Gamba, 225a West George Street G2 2ND, +44 141 572 0899. Tu-Sa noon-midnight. This award-winning seafood restaurant consistently delights.
  • Ichiban, 50 Queen St G1 3DS (200 yards south of George Square), +44 141 204 4200. Tu-Th noon-9PM, F-Su noon-10PM. Canteen-style slick friendly place for Japanese food.
  • 27 Thai Siam, 1191 Argyle St G3 8QT, +44 141 229 1191. Tu-Sa noon-2:30PM, 5-10:30PM, Su 5-10:30PM. Good Thai fare, but budget it's not.

Splurge[edit]

Giant fern stumps at Fossil Grove
  • 28 Mother India, 28 Westminster Terrace, Finnieston G3 7RU, +44 141 221 1663. F-Su noon-10PM. This is the original of the chain, established in 1990. It's pricier than most but top-class for quality of food.
  • 29 Killermont Polo Club, 2022 Maryhill Road G20 0AB, +44 141 946 5412. M-Sa noon-10PM, Su 1PM-10PM. Smart Indian restaurant in the northwestern suburbs, excellent dining.
  • 30 Ubiquitous Chip, 12 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ (Subway: Hillhead), +44 141 334 5007. Daily noon-1AM. Renowned brasserie, great food and setting, booking essential.
  • The Gannet, 1155 Argyle St, Finnieston G3 8TB (block south of Mother India), +44 141 204 2081. W Th 6PM-9:30PM, F-Su noon-2:30PM, 5:30-9:30PM. Bright modern European fare.
  • 31 Red Onion, 257 West Campbell Street G2 4TT, +44 141 221 6000. Daily noon-9PM. Classy place getting great reviews for modrn Scottish cuisine by John Quigley.
  • 32 Chardon d'Or, 176 West Regent Street G2 4RL, +44 141 248 3801. W 5PM-10PM, Th-Sa noon-3PM, 5PM-10PM. Fancy place headed by Brian Maule, the food lives up to the publicity and price bracket.
  • Cail Bruich, 725 Great Western Road G12 8QX (next to Òran Mór), +44 141 334 6265. Tu 6:30PM-midnight, W-Sa noon-5PM, 7PM-midnight. Modern Scots cuisine with a continental slant, earns consistent rave reviews.
  • 33 Cafe Gandolfi, 64 Albion Street G1 1NY, +44 141 552 6813. Tu-Sa 8AM-10:30PM, Su M 9AM-5PM. A real Glasgow institution, this bistro serves fine food in a relaxed atmosphere. Great food and service.
  • 34 Five March, 140 Elderslie St G3 7QF, +44 141 573 1400. Tu-F noon-10:30PM, Sa Su 10AM-10:30PM. Eclectic fare earning rave reviews. They also run Morning Glory Cafe on Great Western Road.
  • Two Fat Ladies have two outlets. The main restaurant is The Buttery at 652 Argyle St, west flank of Junction 19 of M8, Tu-Su noon-10PM. The smaller city branch is at 118 Blythswood St, open W-Sa. Both serve great contemporary Scots cuisine.

Drink[edit]

Pubs were the traditional meeting rooms of the city, where the world was put to rights over a pint and dram or three, be that fitba', weather, politics or the holidays. They were grand welcoming places so long as you were male, white, and of the pub-appropriate religion. They catered to a tribal, tightly-knit society that worked together, lived close together, went to the match together, and in "The Trades" went en masse to the same beach resorts. There was stupid violence, but also camaraderie and quixotic generosity - "It's ma round!" Their wives waited at home with their hair in a tight bun and their faces pinched even tighter, clutching rolling pins not for vengeance but to defend themselves and the weans.

A counter-charge was led from the prosperous West End by a troupe of formidable women all called Margot, who preferred wine and spirits. But the big changes in drinking culture from the 1990s were those at large in British society, allied to Glasgow's civic renaissance. Workplaces were smaller and folk lived out in the suburbs. Trad pub culture declined, and proprietors realised they'd make more money by offering decent meals, and even more from tapas. Pubs became female-friendly and family-friendly, and the growth of university education brought in a cosmopolitan student clientele. And the weather improved - let's hear it for climate change! Summer evenings with the wine-of-the-day on blackboards, strappy dresses and smell of garlic, Glasgow is nowadays on the Med.

Pubs are wary of anything that looks like a "lads' outing" even if not football-related - stag groups are notorious and often "pre-loaded" with supermarket spirits.

City centre[edit]

"Make mine a Black & White Whisky" - on the razzle down Sauchiehall Street

The trad drinking stretch is along Sauchiehall Street between Queen Street Station and Charing Cross. Merchant City, towards Strathclyde University campus, is more upmarket but with lots of student dives. The west part of Merchant City is also the "pink triangle". Lots of pubs claim to be LGBTQ+ friendly, they want the income, but the attitude of the clientele or on nearby streets may be something else.

  • The Counting House, 2 St Vincent Place G1 2DH (off George Square), +44 141 225 0160. Daily 7AM-midnight. Formerly a flagship branch of the Bank of Scotland, you drink in the splendour of its Victorian hall, or even snuggle in the vaults. Converted into an open plan bar by JD Wetherspoon chain, it’s popular with tourists and locals alike.
  • Crystal Palace, 36 Jamaica Street G1 4QD (east side of Central Station), +44 141 221 2624. Daily 8AM-midnight. A JD Wetherspoon, good for food, football and rendezvous.
  • Solid Rock Cafe, 19 Hope Street G2 6AB (west side of Central Station), +44 141 221 1105. M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-midnight. Rock and metal-themed pub.
  • Waxy O'Connors, 44 West George Street G2 1DH (within Carlton George Hotel, next to Queen Street station), +44 141 354 5154. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Eclectically-decorated Irish venue with six bars, nine rooms and three floors and a maze of stairs.
  • 1 The Ark, North Frederick Street G1 2BS (100 yards east of Queen St Station), +44 141 559 4331. Daily 11AM-midnight. Artfully refurbished in 2022, this is a friendly sports bar with a big beer garden, popular with the two nearby universities.
Not the Ark on Frederick St, this is the Ark in Garnethill Synagogue
  • Corinthian Club, 191 Ingram Street G1 1DA (block south of George Square), +44 141 552 1101. Th noon-1AM, F Sa noon-3AM, Su noon-6PM. Gorgeously restored bank and law courts, this is now mainly an events venue, but Teller's Bar & Brasserie serves individuals. Smart casual dress code.
  • The Pot Still, 154 Hope Street G2 2TH (block south of West Regent St), +44 141 333 0980. Daily 11AM-midnight. A temple to whisky, with over 300 single malts, and a huge range of whiskey and other spirits from around the word. Friendly knowledgeable staff can guide you.
  • 2 Rufus T. Firefly, 207 Hope Street G2 2UW, +44 141 332 1469. M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-midnight. Rock and metal music venue, with good affordable pub food.
  • The Absent Ear is a quirky basement bar on Brunswick St, within Amsterdam Hotel. They're aiming for Vincent-van-Speakeasy, and open Tu-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Su 3PM-1AM.
  • 3 Horseshoe Bar, 17-19 Drury Street G2 5AE, +44 141 246 6368. Daily 11AM-midnight. Good trad pub with food. Its horseshoe-shaped bar is one of the longest continuous bars in Europe. Rock band Travis used to rehearse upstairs before hitting the big time, and one of their Brit Awards is displayed behind the bar.
  • 4 Bier Halle, 9 Gordon Street G1 3PL, +44 141 204 0706. Daily noon-midnight. Basement beer hall, pricey, but good beer and pizza.
  • Beer Cafe, Candleriggs G1 1NP (within Merchant Square complex), +44 141 552 9815. Daily 11AM-midnight. Friendly place with a wide range of local and imported beers.
  • Blackfriars, 36 Bell Street G1 1LG (below Police Museum), +44 141 212 3320. Daily noon-midnight. Great range of local and other beers and ales in bottles and on tap, sometimes does live music.
  • 5 The Flying Duck, 142 Renfield Street G2 3AU, +44 141 564 1450. Th 5PM-midnight, F Sa 5PM-3AM. Bar with vegan menu and live events.
  • Hummingbird, 186 Bath Street G2 4HG (opposite Bunker), +44 141 332 8513. F 5PM-1AM, Sa noon-3AM. Stylish cocktail bar, club and restaurant over four floors.
  • 6 Bunker Bar, 193-199 Bath Street G2 4HU, +44 141 229 1429. Tu-Th 5PM-3AM, F Sa 1PM-3AM. Late spot with food and live music.
  • 7 The State, 148 Holland Street G2 4NG (off Sauchiehall Street), +44 141 332 2159. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-11PM. A good ale venue and a cosy proper trad pub.
  • 8 The Hall, 457 Sauchiehall Street G2 3LG (Subway: St George's Cross), +44 141 352 7971. Daily noon-midnight. Lively sports bar, popular with the Glasgow School of Art crowd, with student discounts.
The Counting House, a former bank
  • 9 Babbity Bowster, 16-18 Blackfriars Street G1 1PE, +44 141 552 5055. Daily noon-midnight. Slick inn in Merchant City with upstairs dining area and six hotel rooms. B&B double £110.
  • Clutha & Victoria Bar, 159 Bridgegate G1 5HZ (at Victoria Bridge). M Tu noon-11PM, W-Su noon-midnight. Clutha is the ancient name for the Clyde. The name has also been given to its 19th-century river ferries, a Scottish band, a dance, and this pub by the Gorbals Street bridge. In 2013 a police helicopter crashed into it, killing all three on board and seven people in the pub; 31 others were injured. The helicopter had run out of fuel as it returned to base, and dropped straight down. There was enough spare fuel aboard, but the spare feed system was switched off, and there were other errors and irregularities in the chain of causation. The tragedy is commemorated by a mural on the street corner. The Clutha is now a friendly ordinary place with live trad folk and blues music most nights.
  • Alpen Lodge, 25A Hope Street G2 6AB (by Central Station), +44 141 221 4648. Daily 11AM-midnight. Great little bar with rustic decor, speedy service and local banter.
  • Scotia Bar, 112 Stockwell Street G1 4LW (next to Holiday Inn Express), +44 141 552 8681. Daily noon-midnight. One of Glasgow's oldest bars, established 1792, nowadays Belhaven. Famous for its folk music and trad ambiance.
  • AXM, 80-90 Glassford St G1 1UR, +44 141 552 5761. Th-Su 10PM-4AM. Lively gay nightclub over two levels.
  • Kitty O'Shea's (formerly Pivo Pivo), 15 Waterloo Street G2 6AY (within Waterloo Chambers), +44 141 564 8100. Daily noon-midnight. Irish-themed pub with a good selection of beers and food, TV sport, often has live music.
  • Polo Lounge, 84 Wilson St G1 1UZ, +44 141 559 6593. Nightly 9PM-4AM. Gay bar and venue on two levels: upstairs bar in Victorian style and two dance areas downstairs. Stroppy security.
  • Katie's Bar, 17 John Street G1 1HP, +44 141 548 6983. M-Th 3PM-midnight, F-Su noon-midnight. Basement pub and entertainment venue within the Italian Centre. Regular quizes and drag acts.
  • Underground, 6a John Street G1 1JQ (Opposite Italian Centre), +44 141 553 2456. Daily noon-midnight. Mixed and relaxed crowd. Small and friendly gay bar with drag bingo on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Maggie May's, 60 Trongate G1 5EP (corner of Albion Street opposite Tron Theatre), +44 141 548 1350. W-Su noon-3AM. Pub and restaurant with a lively programme of up and coming bands.

West End[edit]

Govan Stones

Focused around Byres Road and Ashton Lane, this is more upmarket and you're more likely to encounter a dress code.

  • Oran Mor Whisky Bar: See Do / Arts & Theatre for this place on Byres Road.
  • 10 The Ben Nevis, 1147 Argyle St G3 8TB, +44 141 576 5204. Daily noon-midnight. Snug friendly place with huge selection of whisky and other spirits.
  • 11 Bon Accord, 153 North Street G3 7DA, +44 141 248 4427. M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 1PM-11PM. Has over 500 whiskies and a huge selection of real ales.
  • 12 Three Judges, 141 Dumbarton Rd, Partick G11 6PR (Subway: Kelvinhall), +44 141 337 3055. Daily 11AM-midnight. Great West End pub, good food and selection of Real Ale.

Elsewhere[edit]

  • 13 Saracen's Head, 209 Gallowgate G1 5DX (by The Barras). 24 hours. Nicknamed the “Sarry Heid” by locals, this old school pub (founded 1755, although in a different building) lies at the gateway to the Barrowlands area and the East End. Like many pubs in the area it becomes an exclusive haunt of Celtic fans on match days, and can get rowdy.
  • 14 Clockwork Bar, 1153 Cathcart Road G42 9HB (200 yards west of Hampden Park), +44 141 649 0184. M-W noon-10PM, Th, Su noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Spacious modern pub serving from its own microbrewery.

Distilleries & breweries[edit]

Auchentoshan Distillery

In 2023 many tours remain suspended, but you might still like to sample their product.

  • 15 West Brewery, 15 Binnie Place G40 1AW (within Templeton Business Centre, Glasgow Green), +44 141 550 0135. Bar Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. A restaurant and micro brewery serving German trad food (daily to 9PM) and lager and hefeweizen beers. The tour takes 45 min. Brewery tour £15. West Brewery (Q7949059) on Wikidata WEST (brewery) on Wikipedia
  • 16 Wellpark Brewery, 161 Duke St G31 1JD (Bus 41 90 189), +44 141 202 7145. Tours W-Su. Part of Tennent's - that family have been brewing hereabouts since 1556. This is the largest brewery in Scotland and produces Tennent's Lager, their best-seller. They offer a range of tours. Standard adult £12.50. Wellpark Brewery (Q4018906) on Wikidata Wellpark Brewery on Wikipedia
  • Drygate. Tours on Sunday, bistro and taproom is open daily 11AM-11PM.. This is a micro-brewery at the west end of the Wellpark site - access via John Knox St. It's a joint venture between C&C (owners of Tennents) and the craft brewer Williams Bros. Pub with views into the brewery and outdoor seating. Tour £20.
  • 17 Glasgow Distillery Co, 8 Deanside Rd G52 4XB, +44 141 404 7191. They make whisky and other spirits - best known is Makar's Cherry Brandy.
  • 18 Clockwork Beer, 1153 Cathcart Road G42 9HB (Train: Mount Florida), +44 141 649 0184. M-W noon-10PM, Th Su noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Pub bistro serving its own craft beers. No tours.
  • Crossbill is a gin micro-distillery south side of Barras marketplace. They offer a gin school, where you learn to blend your own. They're open M-F 10AM-5PM.
  • Illicit Spirits make gin and rum entirely legally at 12 Cook St G5 8JN, under the railway arches by O2 Academy.
  • Strathclyde Distillery is across the river from Glasgow Green. It's the whisky distillery for Chivas Brothers, part of Pernod Ricard, with most produce blended into well-known brands: Chivas Regal, Ballatine's, Scapa, 100 Piper, and dozens more. That means they're big, and the southside gets a good whiff of their industry depending on wind direction. No tours, but every bar and supermarket stocks their range.
  • Jacobite Spirits make spiced rum out east at Rutherglen. They go big on the Bonnie Prince Charlie connection, but like most 18th century gentlemen he drank copious amounts of French brandy. A series of wars with France cut the supply and fostered the Scottish whisky business.
  • 19 Clydeside Distillery, 100 Stobcross Rd G3 8QQ, +44 141 212 1401. Tours daily. This is in the former dock pumphouse; it's owned by Morrison Glasgow Distillers and produces a lowland-style malt. Production began in 2017 so their first whisky came on sale in 2021. Tours from £15.
  • 20 Auchentoshan Distillery, Great Western Road, Clydebank G81 4SJ (towards Dumbarton, take train to Dalmuir), +44 1389 878561. This is one of a handful of distilleries producing lowland single malt whisky. Auchentoshan is triple distilled and very smooth, unpeaty and somewhat sweet, so it's a good "novice" whisky to try. (Scoffers might say "breakfast whisky".) Capacity of 1.8 M litres pa means it's often available at supermarket discount prices. There's been distilling on this site since 1823; the brand is now owned by Beam Suntory. Tours remain suspended. Auchentoshan distillery (Q758604) on Wikidata Auchentoshan distillery on Wikipedia

Sleep[edit]

Sunset over the Clyde
See Paisley for the hotels around Glasgow Airport.

All short-term accommodation in Scotland must be registered, otherwise it's illegal and probably a flea-pit or fire-trap. The law (which does not apply to England) was introduced in 2022 but there is considerable wriggle room until July 2024, so for the time being proprietors can reasonably say that their registration is still being processed. Be increasingly sceptical as the deadline approaches. It's a bit of unwelcome extra bureaucracy for B&Bs, campsites and so on but in the long-term should better protect travellers and honest providers.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Red Deer Village Camping and Caravan Park, Clay House Road, Stepps G33 6AF (Train to Stepps), +44 141 779 4159. Open all year, this is away out east at Stepps, a 20 min train ride from Queen Street, but the closest camping and caravan site to the city. Tent £27, caravan £37.
  • 2 Holiday Inn Express, 122 Stockwell Street G1 4LW, +44 371 902 1613. Central on river bank, a budget modern chain hotel with 128 air-conditioned rooms, bar and WiFi. B&B double £60.
  • 3 Glasgow Youth Hostel (SYHA), 8 Park Terrace G3 6BY (Bus 4 / 4A bus to Woodlands Road), +44 141 332 3004. 150 beds in dorms and private en-suite rooms. A little way out, but lovely building and location. Dog-friendly. Rooms from £20.
  • 4 Euro Hostel, 318 Clyde St G1 4NR, +44 845 539 9956. Clean hostel right in the centre of town. Has dorms, private rooms, doubles and twins. Dorm £10 ppn, private room £35, breakfast £5.
  • 5 Clyde Hostel (formerly Bluesky), 65 Berkeley St G3 7DX, +44 141 248 5207. Hostel with dorm accommodation, guests must be 18-35. It's only as clean as the previous occupants. Dorm £30 ppn, private double £80.
  • Grasshoppers, 87 Union St G1 3TA (within Central station), +141 222 2666, . Excellent little hotel in great location, though with no a/c it can be stuffy in summer. And the icing on the cake is, yes, free cake. B&B double £100.

Mid-range[edit]

Orange Parades are nowadays small
  • 6 Victorian House Hotel, 212 Renfrew St G3 6TX, +44 141 332 0129. Basic but cheap 58 room hotel. B&B double £87.
  • 7 Hotel ibis Glasgow City Centre, 220 West Regent Street, G2 4DQ, +44 141 619 9000. 2-star city centre branch of this popular chain. Ibis also have "Styles" branches at 116 Waterloo St and Miller St, and a "Budget" at Springfield Quay off Paisley Road. Double (room only) £100.
  • Leonardo Hotel (formerly Jury's Inn), 80 Jamaica Street G1 4QG (south side of Central station), +44 141 314 4800. Popular chain hotel in great location. They have another branch on Great Western Road. B&B double £80.
  • 8 Devoncove Hotel, 931 Sauchiehall St G3 7TQ, +44 141 334 4000. Good mid-range choice at the Kelvingrove end of the street.
  • 9 GoGlasgow Urban Hotel, 517 Paisley Road West G51 1RW (By jcn 23 of M8 near Ibrox Stadium), +44 141 427 3146, . Good mid-range hotel, but gets crowded and noisy when Rangers are playing at Ibrox. B&B double £60.
  • 10 15Glasgow, 15 Woodside Place G3 7QL, +44 141 332 1263. Stylish B&B in leafy Kelvinside. B&B double £130.
  • 11 Hilton Garden Inn, Finnieston Quay G3 8HN, +44 141 240 1002. Riverside business hotel with restaurant, bar and meeting venue. B&B double £80.
  • House of Gods on Glassford St opens in March 2024.

Splurge[edit]

The Goose Girl (1898) by Bessie MacNicol
  • Crowne Plaza, Congress Road, Finnieston G3 8QT (Next to SECC), +44 141 306 9988. Modern business hotel on riverbank by Millennium Bridge. Double (room only) £90.
  • Grand Central Hotel, 99 Gordon Street G1 3SF (within Central Station), +44 141 221 3388, . Old-style Victorian railway hotel, great comfort and style. Double (room only) £100.
  • Marriott Glasgow, 500 Argyle Street G3 8RR (Jcn 19 of M8), +44 141 226 5577. Good mid-range hotel at west edge of centre with spa and pool. B&B double £110.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, 301 Argyle St G2 8DL (next to Glasgow Central station), +44 141 204 3333. Slick friendly hotel, great location. Double (room only) £80.
  • Carlton George Hotel, 44 West George Street G2 1DH (next to Queen Street station), +44 141 353 6373. Great little hotel right in the centre. B&B double £100.
  • Hilton Glasgow, 1 William Street G3 8HT (Jcn 19 of M8), +44 141 204 5555. Bright clean hotel in financial district west edge of centre. Double (room only) £90.
  • 12 Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel, 1-9 Grosvenor Terrace, Great Western Rd G12 0TA, +44 141 339 8811. B&B double £100.
  • 13 Hotel du Vin, 1 Devonshire Gardens, Great Western Road G12 0UX, +44 141 387 0385. Upscale hotel in a leafy west-end Victorian Terrace, scores well on comfort and service, and most reviewers enjoyed the dining. B&B double £120.
  • Malmaison Glasgow, 278 West George Street G2 4LL, +44 141 378 0384. Modern boutique hotel in a former Episcopal Church, central. B&B double £100.
  • 14 Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, 11 Blythswood Square G2 4AD, +44 141 208 2458, . Upscale boutique hotel and spa gets great reviews for comfort, service and food. B&B double £140.

Stay safe[edit]

Glasgow's rough reputation is a thing of the past and you are unlikely to encounter problems unless you're drunk, stupid or very unlucky. The city centre, drinking areas and transport hubs are well-policed especially around match days and pub closing times. Further out are tatty estates with drug-related violence; you have simply no reason to be there.

Wearing a football shirt, especially Celtic or Rangers, marks you as a member of a tribe. There's safety in numbers, but as an individual you risk being targeted — watch any TV nature documentary about wolves and deer for what might happen. Many bars ban all football colours, as if Grimsby Town ever did them any harm.

It is illegal to "kerb-crawl" looking for paid sex, or to solicit custom. The police keep a close watch on likely areas, such as the draughty fringes of the M8: payment for sex is not illegal, but the girls and boys are often funding a drug habit or other abuse that needs to be curbed. That leggy blonde in the alley may be a plain-clothes female PC, who will take you back to hers for a chat about your eventful trip to Glasgow, and whether your permission to visit the UK is at an end.

Call 999 in an emergency, but for lesser incidents call the police on 101. Police Scotland the national force has a "Safe Nights Out" guide.

999 is also the way to reach Scotland's Fire & Rescue Service - the "and Rescue" is a major part of their work, such as cutting people out of mangled cars, or inland water rescue. Until 2005 the Glasgow Humane Society, founded in 1790, was the doughty group that fished you out of the Clyde. But mustachio'd derring-do was no match for fast-flowing waters with hidden obstructions, and a solitary volunteer rescuer was a recipe for making a bad situation worse.

Stay healthy[edit]

In a medical emergency, dial 999 or 112, free.

For anything less than emergency, dial 111, free. This connects you to NHS24 who can advise, and direct you to assistance such as late-night pharmacies. Glasgow does not have an NHS walk-in centre.

The two closest hospitals with Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments are:

The rules on access by overseas visitors to NHS care apply nationwide, see Scotland#Stay healthy. In brief, the NHS always provides lifesaving immediate care free. Anything beyond is free to residents of the UK or Ireland, and residents of the EEA or Switzerland with an EHIC card to prove it. This includes maternity care and treatment for pre-existing conditions.

Connect[edit]

As of Jan 2022, city centre has 5G with all UK carriers. 5G coverage with Three and Vodafone extends out to the suburbs, airport, and along M8 towards Edinburgh. Wifi is widely available in public places.

  • Yeeha Internet, 2nd floor, 48 West George Street (one block west of Queen Street Station), +44 141 332 6543. M-F 11AM-4PM. Helpful friendly place with printing. No lift. 30 min £2.
  • iCafe Merchant City, 70 Ingram St G1 1EX, +44 141 548 6902. M-F 8AM-9PM, Sa Su 9AM-9PM. Primarily a cafe with internet, rather than an internet point with mocca beans. They also have branches in Kelvingrove, St George's Cross and Kilmarnock.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Always check your country's embassy website first - help for things like stolen passports and emergency travel documents might be organised from the London embassy or even your home country rather than a local consulate. There are also several consulates in Edinburgh.

Go next[edit]

  • Loch Lomond: the west shore is a busy main road, with trucks and buses pounding to and from the Highlands. Be on the east shore to reach Ben Lomond or the Trossachs.
  • Edinburgh: Scotland's elegant capital is reached within an hour by train or bus.
  • Stirling is a miniature Edinburgh, with its castle teetering on a crag.
  • Ayrshire coast: Largs, Saltcoats and Troon are typical old-fashioned holiday seaside resorts. The standout is Ayr, with Robert Burns' birthplace at Alloway.
  • Isle of Arran is reached by ferry from Ardrossan. See Brodick Castle, standing stones at Machrie, and climb Goat Fell.
  • Isle of Bute is a short ferry ride from Wemyss Bay. Mount Stuart is the big attraction, but gentlemen only can enjoy the world's finest loo at Rothesay.
  • Ride the West Highland Line, a wonderful scenic journey to Fort William and Mallaig, where ferries sail to Skye. Summer excursions are steam-hauled.
  • Hike the West Highland Way from Milngavie all the way to Fort William. The early stages are relatively low, but scenic along Loch Lomond. Then comes Rannoch Moor and the epic stuff through Glencoe.


Routes through Glasgow
GreenockPaisley  W  E  CoatbridgeEdinburgh
merges with M8  N  SE  Motherwell/HamiltonManchester
Ayr/Prestwick AirportKilmarnock  SW  NE  merges with M8
merges with M8  SW  NE  KirkintillochStirling
Campbeltown/CrianlarichDumbarton  NW  SE  ENDS AT ST GEORGE'S CROSS / J17
TrossachsBearsden  NW  SE  ENDS AT COWCADDENS


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