The Gardens with the beautiful Kibble Palace are located in Glasgow’s West End and, after spending a day walking around the lively city, it is bliss to give rest to your senses here. Concerts, exhibitions, talks, guided tours and children’s activities run throughout the seasons.
Visit one of Scotland's most popular free attractions. There is plenty to see at the state-of-the-art galleries displaying some 8,000 amazing objects. Kelvingrove is also a great place for children: in fact, the museum provides lots of interactive shows that will appeal the younger viewers.
The majestic building of the City Chambers, inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1888, is located in George Square, in the heart of the city. It has housed the Glasgow City Council since 1996 and is considered one of the city's most important and prestigious buildings. The place opens for public viewing and the amazing marble decor elements definitely worth a visit, so you would probably like to take a tour: they take place twice per day at 10:30 and 14:30 (Monday to Friday). You can purchase tickets at the City Chambers reception 30 minutes before the beginning of the tour.
The Celtic Football Club was founded in Glasgow in the late 1880’s by two Irish priests, with the purpose of raising money in the poor East End of the city. Since then, the club has rapidly become one of the most successful in Scotland and its trophy room can boast 48 Scottish League Championships, 37 National Cups and even a European Cup. Celtic fans create a great atmosphere at every home game, which you will love to come and feel in person.
The beautiful Glasgow Cathedral is one of the few Scottish medieval churches to have survived the 1560 Reformation without suffering any significant damage. The cathedral's origins date back to as early as 550 AD, when the tiny - at the time - wood church was central to a forming religious community.
Take a guided tour by bike and enjoy some of Glasgow’s main cultural sites along the way. Itineraries vary, and may run as far as Edinburgh for those confident enough in their cycling stamina. Guided tours can be arranged for small groups and individuals. Glasgow Bike Tours The Parlour, 28 Vinicombe Street, Glasgow +44 141 374 2342 / +44 788 426 8086
The campus is open to the public and visitors are encouraged to stroll through and marvel at the imposing, medieval-looking University building as well as explore the premises. Wedding celebrations are frequently held at the local chapel and guided tours are offered to those interested. You will find a Welcome Point, for visitors information, in the McIntyre Building, right beside the University's main gate. Visit the University of Glasgow: [email protected] (open days) [email protected] (campus tours)
With an eerie cinematographic quality to it, the Glasgow Necropolis is where many prominent figures of the time found eternal rest during the 19th century industrial boom. Today, the Necropolis is the place to go for contemplative walks and capturing some of the best views over the city.
This is the largest and only country park in Glasgow and is a lovely place to have a picnic, take a walk and unwind. Nature trails are in abundance here, many of which fit for cycling, and it is also here that you will find the impressive Pollok House as well as the renowned Burrell Collection. Pollok House +44 141 616 6410 The Burrell Collection +44 141 287 2550
Glasgow Science Centre is a popular visitor attraction located on the south bank of the River Clyde. The centre introduces science and technology to both children and adults in a unique and inspiring way. There is also an IMAX cinema here with Scotland's biggest screen that shows 2D and 3D films.
This rather peculiar museum consists almost exclusively of items donated by collector - and Glasgow University student - William Hunter. These range from rather normal geological artefacts to deformed animal skeletons, scientific curiosities, human organs preserved in jars, and even a mummy.
The museum tackles a rather complex task of exploring the global religious faiths and taking a closer look at what it is that makes them different from one another: their perceptions of life and death, as well as brief histories, are presented in an artistic way.
One of Scotland's favourite breweries now offers tours conducted by knowledgeable guides, who provide visitors with an insight of the over 450-year old brewing tradition of Wellpark Brewery. Beer tasting is included in the tour price and bookings should be made in advance. Tennents Wellpark Tours www.tennents.com/tour +44 141 202 7145 [email protected]
Mackintosh's first creation, the Lighthouse building today contains Scotland’s Centre for Architecture & Design, as well as the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre (with an overview of the life and work of the celebrated architect). Go up to the very top for drinks with a view.
Visit the Tenement House and learn all about what everyday life was like in the early years of the 20th century. The house belonged to Miss Agnes Toward, whose personal belongings are still contained in the building, where gas lighting was installed to portray the original atmosphere of the home.
For motor sport fans, the Glasgow Tigers Speedway is a must with weekly competitions, excellent viewing points (including from the in-house bar) and even a children's "Growlers Club" where the young ones get to meet the Tiger's mascot. The Peugeot Ashfield Stadium 404 Hawthorn Street, Glasgow Administration Office 230 Balmore Road, Glasgow
The West End area contains some of the best cafes, bars and stores in town (check Woodlands Road for eateries). It is home to the stunning Botanic Gardens, the University campus and Kelvingrove Museum & Park. Make sure to include Byers Road, Great Western Road and Ashton Lane into your itinerary.
One of Glasgow's most exhilarating guided tours is one that takes you on an adventure through the hidden, underground part of the iconic central train station building. Explore the tunnels, winding stairwells, abandoned stations and railway lines all hidden beneath the busy transport hub.
There is no better way to familiarise oneself with local ways than explore the area's culinary delights guided by a knowledgeable city dweller. Let yourself be taken to the best, out-of-the-way spots for haggis, deep-fried pizza, "cullen skink" (a Scottish haddock, onions and potatoes soup) and other edible delights on the popular Wee Food Tour.
Yet another successful project of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the building used to serve as an actual school until very recently, but has now been turned into an interactive museum with classrooms recreating a school environment of various periods: Victorian era, WWII and the 1950s-60s.
Glasgow's oldest surviving building, Provand's Lordship, dates back to the 15th century and is located right next to Glasgow Cathedral, where it preserves a very authentic feel down to the furnishing. Entry is free of charge and explanation boards are there to guide visitors through the house.
Formerly an operating cargo ship, SV Glenlee has now been turned into one of Glasgow's major attractions. Guests are welcome to explore every corner of the vessel, from captain's cabin to the engine room. Also, there is a special play area for the young visitors and audio guide are available.
One of Glasgow's main arteries is a lively, pedestrian-friendly street with an abundance of shopping locales, eateries, street performers, and some prime examples of fine Scottish architecture. A shopping hot-spot by day, it's also home to some very popular bars and remains busy until late.
If you are a football fan, then head over to this museum and learn more about the history of Scottish football. The museum is located at Hampden Park and includes a great football collection, 2,500 objects on display to be exact. This is a great pastime pick for the whole family.
Tiffney's is a steakhouse on the pricey side, but the prime cuts of grass-fed beef cooked to perfection are certainly worth the investment. Fish is an alternative choice of main. The restaurant even boasts its own brew lager and a choice of wines and other spirits, if beer isn't exactly your thing.
The Ubiquitous Chip holds somewhat of a legendary status in Glasgow. It's been around for several decades now, and houses more than just one restaurant, serving excellent modern Scottish cuisine: there are several bars each with its own individual character located on its premises.
One of the most well-known restaurants in Scotland with a relaxed, old-style feeling offering European and British cuisine as well as Scottish seafood. Here you can indulge in top-quality cooking and tasty desserts like warm chocolate pot and buttery "crème brûlée".
Cail Bruich is yet another contender for the title of Glasgow's best: the Scottish restaurant excels at providing a flawless dining experience from the moment you step through the door until the last bite. Go for the Tasting Menu with a chef-picked selection of dishes to share for the table.
An Indian restaurant with a near-legendary status, Mother India serves Indian cuisine with a Scottish twist and places emphasis on healthy cooking. The establishment has spawned several daughter eateries, but itself remains a major draw for local connoisseurs and even visiting celebrities.
Enjoy excellent and beautifully presented food at this cosy Scottish restaurant in a warm atmosphere. If the weather permits, have your lunch or dinner on the outside terrace and watch the world go by. The restaurant is normally rather busy, so book in advance for guaranteed seating.
Charcoals is an award-winning, authentic Indian restaurant. The food here is value for money and is known by many to be some of the best Indian in the central town area. The menu features dishes like tandoori salmon, lamb cooked with green herbs and fresh root ginger and tandoori mix grill.
This tiny seafood restaurant has been on the radar of diners in the know for a long while. The seafood served here - from oysters to fish - is some of the freshest and of superb quality. It tends to get rather busy but there are always seats at the bar reserved for walk-ins only.
Lychee Oriental offers a sophisticated dining experience in the heart of Glasgow. This is a place where you can enjoy oriental fine dining, dishes like roast duck with ginger and onion, Szechuan beef and wok fried crispy scallop. The great food and staff create an unforgettable dining experience.
The Wild Olive Tree offers high quality coffee, made by highly trained baristas. The cafe has a peaceful atmosphere, in contrast to the busy city centre, and is located in Nelson Mandela Place. The friendly staff serve breakfast, cakes and lighter meals. Try the scones, which are simply delicious.
This out-of-the-way cafe stays busy despite being far away from the frenzied tourist crowd, and well-deservedly so. To see why, take a look at the glorious desserts or pick from the extensive menu, where also a good balance of meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes is kept.
Enjoy a great cappuccino and superb breakfast food at this popular cafe located in Gordon Street. People love the Riverhill for its friendly service, delicious sandwiches and home made pastries, so you will very likely enjoy spending some time inside to take a break from the city bustle.
This one-of-a-kind tea house boasts an impressive selection of teas: there are over a hundred varieties to choose from. Enjoy a fresh brew in the quirky, atmospheric insides of the establishment, popular with students thanks to its convenient location in the bohemian West End close to the University.
Cafezique is an establishment that does breakfast, lunch and dinner, keeping all three up to a very high standard (breakfasts are even rumored to be some of the best in Glasgow). There is a rather extensive wine and beer list on offer and, for non-drinkers, there are good cakes and coffee.
This one is a classic Victorian pub with a lot of character, popular with business people who congregate around the longest continuous bar in the UK: the establishment has been in business since as early as 1884. The menu was recently re-designed and now offers an even wider array of dishes.
Whisky connoisseurs will certainly appreciate the wide selection of the noble drink present at this classy establishment, while those new to the scene are free to enquire with the knowledgeable staff and ask for readily available recommendations as to the best pairing choices. Bar food is served.
Bar Soba has been around for more than a decade, which has given it time to perfect and polish its cocktail menu and Asian specialities. They offer Cocktail workshops if you’re interested in learning more about mixing drinks and learning to make your own (apple & ginger mojito is a must).
Having pints at the church is business as usual at Oran Mor, a former place of worship transformed into a multi-purpose entertainment venue. Live shows are held here on the regular, with the likes of Amy Winehouse having made an appearance in the past. The lunch theatre show is one not to miss.
Chinaski's is a bar and restaurant named after the up-to-no-good character of Charles Bukowski's novels. The venue is one much classier than those watering holes where both the author and his literary were spotted. It does, however, carry a legacy in the form of an extremely extensive whisky list.
Located in the basement of Max’s Bar and Grill, this tiny, insiders-only nightclub tends to get quite cramped, but the discomfort should by no means deter music-lovers as local stars and even international names often make appearances in this - both literally and figuratively - underground venue.
A gastropub-cum-nightclub (the party lives on in the basement till 3 am), Blackfriars is a two-time winner of the Pub of the Year award. The atmosphere is laid-back and very unpretentious. One of its standout features is the incredible selection of beers, and the pub food served is very decent.
Don’t miss the Barras, a vintage flea market in the East End. The atmosphere, people watching and hearing the city’s own working-class slang - the Patter - make a visit worthwhile. On the way to the market, pop into G1 Interiors, a contemporary Scottish interior design store in desolate Trongate.
A line is always forming at the door of My Home Bakery, a West End establishment whose beautiful displays draw many a customer inside, only to uncover an even wider array of freshly baked cakes and pastries. There is a small seating area, but one would have to be in much luck to find free spots.
One of the venues that helps Glasgow keep its great reputation when it comes to shopping opportunities, Buchanan Galleries is a large mall with around 100 stores selling fashion, beauty items, electronics, and more. It houses coffee shops and cafes, and also the innovative "Scotland's Street-Food hub".
Braehead is a shopping and entertainment complex just outside of Glasgow. Along with an abundance of stores and boutiques, visitors are invited to check out the Laser Station Gaming Arena, the cinema, a tenpin bowling alley, a curling rink, a freestanding climbing wall and more.
Slaters is an iconic, longstanding establishment that specialises in high-quality menswear, women's clothing and even traditional Highlander costumes. What makes it stand out from the competition is the impeccable service: staff are very well-trained and alterations are made free of charge.
This family-run sweet shop has been around for at least a century. The flavours are guaranteed to evoke childhood memories in those who grew up in Scotland, and will certainly not leave a curious visitor from elsewhere indifferent. Try the old classics and new creations from the industrious owners.
One of the best souvenir to bring back home with you surely is a locally produced whisky. The choice of this noble drink might be overwhelming at first, but do not despair, as the helpful staff are there to help with your queries. The shop has been in operation since 1874.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the stretch between Buchanan and Argyle Streets gets flooded with independent local vendors, turning the lane into a colourful display of fresh produce, artisan gifts, jewellery, clothing and more. The central location makes it an easy stop for a city tour.
It doesn't get much more central when it comes to shopping centres in Glasgow: St. Enoch, at the crossing of Buchanan and Argyle, is as good as it gets. The store selection is rather impressive, with multiple mid-market brands represented and a decent food court inside.
Glasgow’s main airport, located a mere 15 km from the city, is very well-connected to the city by bus and train. Glasgow Airport Express is the official airport's bus service, with multiple buses departing every 10 minutes from the airport (Stance 1), most passing through Buchanan Street Bus Station along the way. Tickets can be purchased directly on board, pre-bought online or using the "First Bus mTickets" app. The closest train station to the airport is Paisley Gilmour Street, a mile away from the terminal building. McGill’s 757 bus service operates that stretch (www.mcgillsbuses.co.uk/mcgills-bus-timetables/757-paisley-to-glasgow-airport.aspx) and tickets can be purchased at any Scottish train station or online, via the ScotRail website. There is also a taxi stand at the airport: booking with the airport's official service in advance at +44 141 889 1813 (or [email protected]) secures you a 20% discount.
Glasgow's second busiest airport is located in the town of Prestwick, approximately a 40-minute drive away from the city centre (depending on traffic). The Stagecoach Western X77 Express Service runs to and from Glasgow Buchanan Street Station directly (the bus stops on A79 just outside the airport). There is also a late night and early morning service (the X99 Service), for which it is highly recommended to pre-book tickets in advance (www.doddsoftroon.com/x99-airport-service), as it guarantees you 45 minutes of waiting time upon landing of your flight), but purchasing the ticket on board is possible as well. Prestwick Airport is the only one in Scotland served by its own railway station, accessible by a covered walkway to and from the airport. For further information: www.thetrainline.com. Also a taxi service, provided by Streamline Taxis (www.streamlinetaxis.com), is available just outside the terminal building and can be pre-booked. In the arrivals area of the terminal, you will find the office of Avis, a car rental company (www.avis.co.uk).
Citizens of the European Union member-states, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) only require a valid passport to enter the UK. Residents of a further 10 countries do not require entry visas for stays under 6 months: the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Nationals of some further countries do not require a visa, but need to hold an entry certificate. Use the UK Government website to check for specific requirements: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
The warmer spring and summer months - from March to August - are definitely the best time to visit the city, with nice temperatures and long days that will let you enjoy long walks around the centre. The first reason why you should visit the city in summertime, particularly in August, is the iconic "Piping Live!" festival, an annual unmissable appointment in which bagpipes parades and other events are held during an entire week. Piping Live! www.pipinglive.co.uk www.facebook.com/PipingLiveFestival/ +44 141 353 0220 [email protected]
SPT (www.spt.co.uk) provides transport services in Glasgow, which consist of a circular underground line with 15 stations and a range of train and bus routes. There are several ticket options including day passes for both the city and the surrounding areas. Tickets for underground can be purchased at any underground station: a single ticket is a fixed price and will take you in every station of the system. The bus plan, with its 4 stations around the city, is designed in a way to take you everywhere as quickly as possible: tickets can be bought on board (prepare exact change). Maps of the entire transportation system are available at the Tourist Office (Gallery of Modern Art in Royal Exchange Square). Travelcards are the best way to save time and money and are designed for both regular commuters and tourists.
Stamps are available from post offices and newsagents. The post offices are generally open 9:00-17:30 (Monday to Friday), but some are open until 22:00 or 23:00. There is a number of post offices around Glasgow and the closest to the city centre are: 1. Glasgow (136 West Nile Street, Glasgow) 2. Dundas (87 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow) 3. Sauchiehall Street (177 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow) 4. Merchant City (59 Glassford Street, Glasgow) 5. Hope Street (47 Hope Street, Glasgow)
1. Boots Pharmacies: Glasgow St.Enoch Square 55 St.Enoch Square, Glasgow +44 141 248 7387 Glasgow Buchanan Galleries 220 Buchanan Street, Glasgow +44 141 333 9306 Glasgow Central Station Central Station, Glasgow +44 141 221 7107 2. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde: High Street Pharmacy 128 High Street, Glasgow +44 141 552 5929