Welcome to our guide to Glasgow – Scotland’s biggest city! If you’re planning a trip to Scotland and are curious about this vibrant and diverse city, you’ve come to the right place. Glasgow is a city full of character, with a rich history and a thriving contemporary culture.

Whether you’re interested in exploring museums, admiring stunning architecture, enjoying live music, or indulging in delicious food and drink, Glasgow has something for you. In this guide, we’ll take you on a tour of Glasgow’s top attractions, share some insider tips on where to shop and dine, and give you some ideas for day trips from the city. 

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Getting to Glasgow

Getting to Glasgow is easy from international destinations and within Scotland. International visitors can fly into Glasgow International Airport, about 8 miles west of the city centre. Other airports that serve Glasgow include Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport, which is about an hour’s drive or train ride from the city.

Glasgow is well connected by train and bus services for visitors travelling within Scotland. The main train station is Glasgow Central Station, located in the heart of the city centre. The Queen Street Station is another major train station located in the northern part of the city. Buses are also convenient and affordable for getting to Glasgow, with several bus companies operating routes to the city.

Once in Glasgow, getting around the city is easy with public transportation, walking, or cycling. The city has an extensive network of buses, trains, and subway systems that provide affordable and convenient transportation to all parts of the city. You can also rent a bike or take a walking tour to explore Glasgow’s beautiful streets and attractions. 

Taxis and car rental services are also available for those who prefer to travel by car. Whatever your transportation preferences, Glasgow has plenty of options to help you get around and explore the city with ease.

Top Attractions in Glasgow

Glasgow Cathedral 

This stunning mediaeval cathedral is a must-visit for history and architecture buffs. The building dates back to the 12th century and features beautiful stained glass windows, intricate stonework, and a peaceful atmosphere.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum 

One of Scotland’s most popular attractions, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a feast for the senses. Visitors can explore over 8,000 exhibits, including paintings, sculptures, and artefacts from all over the world. Unquestionably one of the best museums in the UK. 

The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel

This award-winning museum showcases Scotland’s transport heritage with interactive exhibits and displays on everything from locomotives to vintage cars.

The Glasgow Science Centre 

Perfect for families, this state-of-the-art science centre has over 300 interactive exhibits, an IMAX cinema, and a planetarium.

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The Glasgow Botanic Gardens

This beautiful park offers a tranquil escape from the bustle of the city. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, admire the exotic plants, and even visit the Kibble Palace, a stunning Victorian glasshouse.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

This museum tells the story of Glasgow and its people, with exhibits on everything from social history to art and culture. The adjacent Winter Gardens offer a tropical escape, with exotic plants and a stunning glasshouse.

The Glasgow Necropolis

For those interested in history and the macabre, the Glasgow Necropolis is a fascinating place to explore. This Victorian cemetery has over 50,000 graves and features stunning monuments and sculptures.

Shopping and Dining in Glasgow

Glasgow has a thriving shopping and dining scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. The city is known for its “Style Mile,” a stretch of high-end retailers and boutiques that includes Buchanan Street, Argyle Street, and Sauchiehall Street. Here you’ll find everything from luxury fashion brands to local Scottish designers.

If you’re looking for a more bohemian vibe, head to the West End, where you’ll find independent shops, vintage stores, and artisanal markets. The Barras Market, located in the East End of the city, is another popular destination for shoppers looking for unique treasures.

Glasgow is also a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that includes traditional Scottish fare and international cuisine. Local specialties to try include haggis (a savory pudding made from sheep’s organs and oatmeal), Cullen skink (a creamy smoked haddock soup), and black pudding (a type of blood sausage). And, of course, no trip to Glasgow would be complete without sampling some of the city’s famous whisky and craft beer. 

There are plenty of bars and pubs in the city where you can try local brews, or you can take a tour of one of the many distilleries in the surrounding countryside. The Glengoyne and Auchentoshan distilleries are both easily accessible from Glasgow. 

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Nightlife in Glasgow

Glasgow is known for its vibrant and diverse nightlife, with something to suit every taste. If you’re a music lover, you’ll find plenty of live music venues in the city, including the famous Barrowland Ballroom, which has hosted some of the biggest names in music over the years. Other popular venues include King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the Garage, and the O2 Academy.

Comedy clubs are also a big draw in Glasgow, with several venues offering regular shows from local and international comedians. The Stand Comedy Club is one of the most popular venues, with a packed schedule of shows every week.

For those interested in theatre and performing arts, Glasgow has a thriving scene with several venues showcasing local and touring productions. The Theatre Royal and the Citizens Theatre are two of the city’s most prestigious venues, while the Tron Theatre is known for its avant-garde productions.

Finally, if you’re in the mood for a movie, Glasgow has plenty of cinemas, including multiplexes and independent theatres. The Glasgow Film Theatre is a popular venue for art-house and foreign films, while the Cineworld complex in Renfrew Street is one of the largest in the UK.

Day Trips from Glasgow

While Glasgow itself has plenty to see and do, there are also many nearby destinations that make for great day trips. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park: Located just a short drive from Glasgow, Loch Lomond, and The Trossachs National Park is a stunning natural landscape of mountains, lochs, and forests. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, boating, and other outdoor activities, as well as take in the breathtaking scenery.
  • Stirling Castle: A visit to Stirling Castle is a must for history buffs. This well-preserved fortress played a key role in Scotland’s Wars of Independence and has been the site of many important events throughout Scottish history. The castle is also home to the Royal Palace and the Great Hall, both open to the public.
  • Culzean Castle and Country Park: Another popular day trip destination is Culzean Castle and Country Park, on the Ayrshire coast. The castle dates back to the 18th century and boasts impressive architecture and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The country park also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting.
  • Edinburgh: While it’s not technically a day trip, Edinburgh is only an hour’s train ride from Glasgow, making it an easy and worthwhile excursion. This historical and picturesque city has many famous attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the National Museum of Scotland. Visitors can also take in the stunning city views from Arthur’s Seat, a nearby hill that offers panoramic vistas of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside.
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Practical Information when Travelling to Glasgow

Practical Information for Travelling to Glasgow

  • Best Time to Visit Glasgow: The best time to visit Glasgow is from late spring to early autumn (May to September) when the weather is generally mild and sunny. However, remember that this is also the busiest tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.
  • Weather and Climate: Glasgow has a temperate maritime climate, with mild temperatures and plenty of rainfall throughout the year. The warmest months are July and August, with average temperatures around 18°C (64°F), while the coldest months are December to February, with average temperatures around 6°C (43°F).
  • Currency and Exchange Rates: The currency used in Glasgow (and throughout Scotland) is the British pound (£). Exchange rates can vary, so checking current rates before travelling is always a good idea. ATMs are widely available in the city, and most major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and shops.
  • Emergency Phone Numbers: In an emergency, dial 999 to reach the police, ambulance, or fire department. For non-emergency police assistance, dial 101.
  • Tourist Information Centers: There are several tourist information centres located throughout Glasgow, including at the Glasgow Airport, the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre, and the George Square Tourist Information Center. These centres offer maps, brochures, and advice on what to see and do in the city.

Glasgow is a vibrant and diverse city that offers something for everyone. From its rich history and cultural attractions to its thriving nightlife and natural beauty, Glasgow is a destination that will leave a lasting impression on visitors. 

Begin planning your trip to this wonderful destination today. Remember, if you plan to travel around Scotland, a motorhome or campervan hire will offer freedom and comfort. Book your motorhome with Zoom Motorhome Hire.

If you have any questions, please contact us.