- For other places with the same name, see Glasgow (disambiguation).
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Glasgow (Gaelic: Glaschu, Scots: Glesga) is the largest city in Scotland and the fourth-largest in the UK. Glasgow has become one of the most visited cities in the British Isles, and perhaps a more down to earth counterpart to the capital Edinburgh. Glasgow has a revitalised city centre, the best shopping outside London without a doubt, excellent parks and museums (the majority of which are free), and easy access to the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Glasgow has a population of about 625,000 (2018) in the city and 1,700,000 in the urban agglomeration (2018). Located at the west end of Scotland's Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow's historical importance as Scotland's main industrial centre has been challenged by decades of socio-economic and political change alongside various regeneration efforts. Despite this, Glasgow remains one of the nation's key economic centres outside of London.
Glasgow was awarded the European titles of City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sport (2003). In 2008, Glasgow became the second Scottish city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was named as a UNESCO City of Music. In preparing its bid, Glasgow counted an average of 130 music events a week; ranging from pop and rock to Celtic music and opera. The city has transformed itself from being the once mighty industrial powerhouse of Britain to a centre for commerce, tourism, and culture. It was the host city for the successful Commonwealth Games in 2014.
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, probably the most successful example 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 blonde and 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.
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For the visitor, central Glasgow can be divided into two main areas, the City Centre, which contains the majority of tourist sights, much of the city's shopping and entertainment, its commercial heart, and the West End, the bohemian area of cafés, restaurants and bars surrounding the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Museum. The best way to get good vistas of the city is to climb the many "drumlins" (hills) upon which the central area is built.
Outside of central Glasgow, the East End lies east of the City Centre along Gallowgate and London Road. The South Side contains the neighbourhoods that lie to the south of the River Clyde, while the North Side is the area north of central Glasgow. Along the banks of the River Clyde west of the City Centre is an old industrial area which is in the process of regeneration and has many new and impressive structures, such as the Clyde Auditorium, the Science Centre and the Riverside Museum.
- 1 Visit Scotland Tourist Information, 156a/158 Buchanan Street G1 2LL, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM–6PM, Su 10AM–5PM.
The City Centre (known as "town" or "the toon" to locals) is bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, High Street to the east, and the River Clyde to the south. This is the area where most visitors will start, and the most notable elements are the grid plan of streets and the lavish Victorian and Edwardian buildings and civic squares which give the area much of its character. The main arteries of the City Centre are Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street which run on an east-west axis. They are linked by Buchanan Street which runs north-south. Together, these three streets form the main shopping thoroughfares.
The eastern side of the City Centre is a sub-district known as Merchant City, which contains Glasgow's original medieval core, centred on the Glasgow Cross (the junction of Trongate, Saltmarket, High Street, Gallowgate and London Road). Merchant City extends up to George Square, with many ornate buildings that date back to Glasgow's emergence as an industrial city. High Street north of the Glasgow Cross is the main artery of Old Glasgow and leads uphill to the Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis cemetery.
The western area of the City Centre contains the city's core commercial and business district and is dominated by Blythswood Hill, which is centred on Blythswood Square. Running parallel to Sauchiehall Street, Bath Street is the main route into the neighbourhood and has a rich mix of independent shops and bars, as well as distinctive Georgian town house style architecture. South of Blythswood Hill is the city's financial district, with many modern glass and steel office buildings which stand alongside their classical counterparts. Further south, on the north bank of the River Clyde is the district of Anderston, a former dockland area, badly scarred by the city's industrial decline and the urban regeneration schemes of the 1960s but now being redeveloped as a residential and commercial area.
To the west of the City Centre, the West End boundary is not defined, but it can roughly be defined as being bounded by the M8 motorway to the east, Great Western Road to the north, the River Clyde to the South and Crow Road to the west. The nucleus of the area is undoubtedly the neo-Gothic University of Glasgow, which acts as the anchor for this bohemian district, with its lovely architecture, tree lined streets and quaint shopping areas.
The primary east-west artery is Argyle Street/Dumbarton Road, while Byres Road is the main north-south artery and contains a number of independent shops, bars and restaurants. Ashton Lane connects Byres Road to the University campus and is a cobbled backstreet with distinctive whitewashed buildings, holding an eclectic mix of bars and eateries that make it a tourist hotspot (be careful as the Lane can be a bit of a tourist trap during the summer months when the students of the university are not there to keep the bar prices reasonable). To the east of the university campus and just downhill is Kelvingrove Park, with the tree-lined Kelvin Way as the main avenue through the park, which connects with Argyle Street near the Kelvingrove Museum.
Common phrases heard in Glasgow
The speed of the conversation tends to be quite quick in Glasgow. If necessary, ask people to repeat (even slowly!) what they are saying, Glaswegians are generally very friendly and able to communicate in far more formal English than that which is commonly used if it is required. Standing on a city centre street corner with a map in the daytime is usually a cue for passing Glaswegians to offer help in finding your way.
As with all areas of Scotland, regional dialects are present in Glasgow. The Glaswegian dialect of Scots or "the patter" as it is known, has evolved over the history of the city. As each wave of migration takes place, new words and phrases are added. There is a slight Celtic language connection due to the influences of Highland Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.
Glasgow slang is also peppered with various more or less meaningless phrases such as 'by the way', 'man' or 'dead' (very, as an adverb) that can give the answers to simple questions an almost baroque complexity. So "Did you enjoy the concert last night?" might be answered "Aye it was pure dead brilliant man" which means, essentially, "Yes, it was good".
One common misunderstanding between Scots and foreigners is that when the question "How are you?" is asked, you should not answer by telling them if you are not fine, and then go on to elaborate by describing what has happened to make you unhappy. This will annoy the average Scot, whose tolerance level for this will be quite low. The usual and accepted response is "Fine, you?"
Glasgow is served by two main airports close to the city: Glasgow (International) Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Edinburgh Airport is approximately 35 mi (56 km) east of Glasgow.
Glasgow (International) Airport
1 Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA). 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 flights arrive from Toronto with Air Transat and Air Canada, Newark, NJ by United Airlines, New York by Delta and Dubai by Emirates. Domestic flights from London by BA are frequent from Heathrow and Gatwick, less often from London City. Easyjet flies from Luton and Stansted. Routes across Scotland, including the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland, are by Loganair. There is effectively only one terminal at Glasgow Airport, thought the two check-in areas are referred to as T1 and T2. Everything uses T1 except Aer Lingus, Canadian Affair and Virgin in T2. There are prayer rooms in both arrivals and departures.
The Glasgow Shuttle service 500 departs frequent from outside the terminal building at stance 1 to the city centre, dropping off near both main railway stations Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central) and the bus terminal Buchanan St Bus Station. The service runs 24 hours a day and up to every ten minutes. Tickets cost £9 single, £14.40 open return (within 28 days), and can be paid in cash (change is given), by card or booked online in advance. Single tickets include an onward transfer to any other First Glasgow bus at the city centre - return tickets don't, however. Group discounts (2 or more) are possible. Wi-Fi is available.
The First Glasgow service 77 links the airport with the city centre via the West End every 30 minutes during the day, dropping to hourly after 6PM. Although it takes roughly an hour to Buchanan St Bus Station, it can be convenient for passengers to the West End, avoiding the need for a bus transfer. Tickets are also cheaper than the 500, at £5 single, exact fare only.
The local McGill's bus 66 or 757 are the slowest, but the cheapest option, going as regularly as every 10 min to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station, where regular trains run to Glasgow Central in as little as 10 minutes. It leaves from stance 7. Travelling to the airport you can buy an inclusive train and bus ticket from any train station: ask for Glasgow Airport and show the bus driver your train ticket. Travelling from the airport buy a coupon for £1.50 from the SPT Travel Information counter beside domestic arrivals, show it to the driver, and then and use it for £1.50 of credit towards onward train travel from Paisley Gilmour Street station. A single from Glasgow Central to/from the airport costs £3.50.
Airport hotels: see Paisley for these, 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.
- Airparks Glasgow, Burnbrae Drive, Linwood, Paisley. Safety measures: high-fencing, floodlights, 24-hour CCTV and security patrols. Trailers are permitted within this car park at Glasgow but an extra space will be charged.
- Glasgow Long Stay, Arran Avenue, Glasgow Airport, Paisley. 10 min from the airport. There are parking bays for Blue Badge holders near the bus stops. The courtesy coaches are wheelchair accessible and DDA compliant. Safety measures: 24 hours a day, has 24-hour CCTV, and is fully fenced and floodlit.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
2 Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK IATA) (is south-west of Glasgow (about 32 mi (51 km)) on the Ayrshire coast). It is famous for being fog-free and having a long runway. Ryanair operates 16 scheduled routes, flying into Prestwick predominantly from: Ireland, Italy and Spain with some useful routes from various destinations in Eastern Europe. Ryanair also run various seasonal services to Mediterranean resorts. Some holiday charter flights fly into Prestwick rather than Glasgow's main airport.
The airport has its own railway station (PRA), with three (M-Sa) or two (Su) trains per hour to Glasgow Central (show your flight paperwork to get a £3.55 half-price ticket; the journey takes around 50 min). All trains to Ayr and Stranraer call at the airport. There are also a few direct trains to Edinburgh (via Glasgow Central) which take about 2 hr 15 min. If you show your flight confirmation and ID when purchasing a train ticket to/from the airport within Scotland, you only pay 50% of the standard fare.
The Stagecoach West bus X77 also runs from Buchanan St Bus Station to the airport throughout the day, and covers the crucial times (early morning and late evening) when the trains are not running. Travellers wishing to use the X77 bus must book their ticket online via the Prestwick Airport website at least 12 hours prior to departure, in order to guarantee a place on the bus. The bus journey takes about 50 min.
The A77/M77 roads run directly from Prestwick into the centre of Glasgow if you intend to drive.
Edinburgh Airport (EDI IATA) is easily accessible from Glasgow since it is on the western edge of Edinburgh, approximately 35 mi (56 km) away and about an hour's drive via the M8 motorway or by train.
- , ☏ (premium rate from mobiles & many landlines). Daily 04:00-22:15 at roughly 30-min intervals. Non-stop express coach service from Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station to Edinburgh Airport with journey times of about 60 min. £11 single, £18 return, Family of up to 2 adults and 3 children £25 single, £39 return.
Useful as Ryanair and EasyJet have a number of European routes that are not available from either Glasgow International or the rapidly declining Prestwick.
This airport can also easily be reached from Edinburgh Haymarket railway station (all trains from Glasgow call there) via tram or dedicated bus - see the Edinburgh article for more details.
- Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain
3 Central Station has trains from London Euston and Manchester 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.
4 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.
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 Kings 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
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 2022 a standard return is £155, 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 are suspended in 2021 / 22.
- 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. Normally one LNER train per day extends to Glasgow Central, but it's curtailed in 2021 / 22. Fares and advance deals are similar to the west coast route.
- Overnight: The Caledonian Lowland Sleeper runs Su-F from London Euston, departing around 23:00 to arrive at Glasgow Central by 07:30 and you can stay aboard to 08:00. (Another portion divides at Carstairs to run to Edinburgh.) The southbound train leaves around 23:30 to reach Euston at 07:00, again you can stay aboard until 08:00. 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
Apart from the Edinburgh routes, the inter-city trains to Glasgow are:
- Aberdeen via Dundee and Perth: hourly to Queen Street.
- Inverness via Aviemore and Perth: every two hours to Queen Street.
- Stirling: every 30 min to Queen Street.
- Fort William, Oban and Mallaig (for the Hebrides): three trains per day to Queen Street.
- Stranraer (for Northern Ireland): four trains per day to Central.
- Ayr via Prestwick Airport and Troon: every 30 min to Central.
- Dumfries via Kilmarnock: every two hours to Central.
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.
Glasgow has no credible park-and-ride system, but some of the railway stations do have small car parks. There is also the Shields Road Park and Ride site, which serves the city centre. A bus park-and-ride is due to open shortly near Hampden Park which allows easy access from junction 1A of the M74.
On-street parking in the City Centre and West End is limited and expensive, metered bays are available at the side of the road and you pay at an adjacent machine and display a ticket in your windscreen or dashboard. The prices are typically 30-40p (depending on location) for every 12 minutes. In general, parking charges are levied Monday to Saturday (this includes public holidays) and free after 18:30 and all-day on Sundays. But always check what the controlled hours are - these are shown on the ticket machines themselves and on adjacent signs. If attempting to park on the free periods - get there as early as possible before the locals do. Some parking areas are for residents only: don't be tempted to use them as you run the risk of having your car towed away!
There are many multi-storey car parks in the city centre; they are clearly signposted into "East", "West", "North" and "South" zones on all the approaches into the central area with an electronic display showing how many spaces are left in each. They don't, however, differentiate between the expensive NCP ones and the cheaper ones inside shopping centres or run by the council.
There is cheaper parking at railway and Subway stations on the outskirts of the city (Shields Road Subway station has the largest car park - 800 spaces). £5 buys you all-day parking and a return journey into the city centre.
In general, driving in the centre of Glasgow should be avoided if you are not a confident driver, as there are one-way systems, bus lanes and pedestrian precincts. Glaswegians are not the most patient drivers in the world, and they particularly dislike hesitancy (taxi drivers being the worst culprits). Parking restrictions are strictly enforced, and vehicles parked illegally or in an obstructive manner may be towed away and the owner of the vehicle would be liable for a £150 release charge to recover it.
The city has licence plate recognition cameras and extra manned patrols on the bus lanes within the city centre, getting caught will incur a £30 fixed penalty!
If, however, you are confident enough to hire a car or require it to save money on your travel, all the major rental companies and some lesser ones are at the airport. You should book your car rental in advance to avoid disappointment and can do so from price comparison companies such as Glasgow Airport Car Hire. Car rental companies will allocate you a manual transmission car by default, unless you specifically ask for an automatic one.
5 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The West End (eg Kelvingrove) is two miles out, so you might prefer Subway or bus.
The Subway is a loop around city centre, West End and some 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 06:30-23:15 and Sunday 10:00-18:00, with trains every 4-8 minutes. There's a flat fare regardless of distance, which by cash at any station in 2022 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.
The Plusbus rail ticket add-on does not include the Subway.
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. The SPT Day Tripper ticket (see below) gives you complete freedom of the network, and the Roundabout ticket (also explained below) gives off-peak freedom of the suburban train network within the city boundary only as well as the Subway.
Unlike the situation in Edinburgh, Glasgow buses delight in racing past bus stops unless you clearly signal them to stop.
Buses go everywhere. First Glasgow is the main operator within the city boundary. There is a bus at least every 10 min on main routes during the day, making it easy to get into the centre of town, though getting out to a specific destination less easy. However, services on many routes are much less frequent in the evening. In the city centre, buses do not always stop at every stop on their route, so check the sign at the stop. Stops are clearly marked with the services that stop there.
First buses do not give change as the driver has no access to cash: you put your money in a slot that checks the amount and deposits it in a storage box. A single ticket costs £1.70, an all-day ticket that can be used on any First bus costs £4.60, a weekly ticket £15.50 (£13 for students). Some other bus operators, however, give change.
Glasgow SimpliCity, operated by First Group, offers frequent bus service in the city centre and to some cities in the metropolitan area.
Other bus operators within the city are McGill and Stagecoach West Scotland which operate services out to the outlying towns in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire respectively: the day/weekly passes bought on First buses will not be valid on these, with the exception of SPT Day Tripper and ZoneCards (explained below).
One of the current scourges of Glasgow, however (in the opinion of locals, at least), is the myriad of private bus operators that complement the core services operated by First and McGill's. In reality, many merely duplicate the routes that already exist: the net result has been the city centre being clogged up with empty (and often badly maintained) buses, and for the visitor the key thing to remember is that some of these operators do not accept any of the SPT day passes. On the flip side, they keep the somewhat extortionate prices of First Glasgow in check. The situation is a political hot potato among locals.
SPT offers a number of different daily combined bus/rail travel tickets aimed at the visitor.
- The Mackintosh Trail Ticket gives you, for £16, unlimited travel on the SPT Subway and First's bus services in Greater Glasgow after 09:30 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday. It also includes entry to all participating Mackintosh attractions in and around Glasgow.
- The Discovery ticket allows unlimited travel on the Subway only at off-peak times during the week or all day on weekends, and costs £3.50 (adult). If you have a car, a park-and-ride version (around £7) is available which also includes a whole day's parking at any of the Subway car parks.
- The Roundabout ticket gives complete freedom of the Subway and the suburban rail network within the Greater Glasgow area, which includes the city boundary and most of the surrounding towns, for £5.60 after 09:30 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday.
- Alternatively. the Day Tripper ticket covers the entire Strathclyde rail network, which extends as far south as Girvan in Ayrshire, some 55 mi south of Glasgow, and Ardlui at the northern tip of Loch Lomond some 40 mi north. It has the added advantage of being accepted by most bus operators in the Strathclyde region and on the Kilcreggan and Renfrew ferries. Two versions are available for 1 adult and up to 2 children (£10.20) or 2 adults and up to 4 children (£18.20). You can buy it only from a staffed rail station or an SPT Travel Centre.
- If you are in town for a week or more, SPT's ZoneCard might be useful. It can be used on suburban trains, buses, and the underground and is valid all day, even in the morning. Prices vary depending on how long you want it for (1 week to 1 year) and how many zones that you want it to cover.
Like most major British cities, you have two options. Your first option is the traditional London-style black cabs which can be hailed from the side of the road (look out for the yellow "Taxi" sign being illuminated). The fleet is operated by Glasgow Taxis, and can also be ordered by telephone (☏ ). There are taxi ranks outside Central and Queen Street railway stations, adjacent to George Square and along the southern end of Queen Street. There is also a taxi rank at Buchanan Bus Station. For a journey from say the centre of town to the West End expect to pay around £5-6, from the city centre out to the suburbs around £10-£2. Some drivers will refuse to take you outside the city boundary, but some will if you offer a good price to them.
Your second option is by private hire or minicab. Unlike the black cabs, these cannot be hailed, and you must book by telephone. There is a myriad of private hire operators which are cheaper than black cabs: their phone numbers are clearly displayed on the back of the vehicles. Never use unlicenced private taxis, which can sometimes be seen touting for business outside nightclubs near closing time and near legitimate taxi ranks. Always look for the yellow Glasgow City Council licencing plate attached to the rear bumper of the vehicle if unsure.
- Glasgow Private Hire, ☏ . one of the biggest taxi fleets in Europe and has thousands of cars, which service all areas of the city.
- Hampden Cabs, ☏ . Services most of the city and surrounding area
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.
- Nextbike offer app-based bike hire in Glasgow. Bikes cost £1 for 30 minutes, or £10 for the day. E-bikes are £2 for 20 minutes. Bikes are hired and returned to stations around Glasgow.
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, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM–noon, 1PM–4PM, Su 1PM–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 is actually only a parish church. Free.
- 2 St Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art, 2 Castle Street G4 0RH (next to Cathedral), ☏ . temporarily closed. This depicts Glasgow's patron saint and the growth of Christianity in the city, and of other faiths practised locally and worldwide. Free.
- 3 Provand's Lordship, 3 Castle Street (opposite Cathedral), ☏ . temporarily closed, expected to re-open summer 2023. Glasgow's oldest remaining house, built in 1471, has been renovated to illustrate city life circa 1700. Free.
- 4 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?
Called Merchant City in tourist material, this is the confident Victorian heart of the city, bounded by M8 and the Clyde.
- George Square just south of Queen St Station 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.
- 5 City Chambers, 82 George Square G2 1DU, ☏ . Tours cancelled ufn. The City Council headquarters were built in 1888 in Italian Renaissance style. Tours take in the marble staircases, lobbies, debating chamber and banqueting hall. Free.
- 6 Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Royal Exchange Square G1 3AH, ☏ . M-W Sa 10AM-5PM, F Su 11AM-5PM. This 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 itself 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.
- 7 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.
- 8 Glasgow Police Museum, First floor, 30 Bell St G1 1LG, ☏ . 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.
- 9 Sharmanka, 103 Trongate G1 5HD, ☏ . Full show adult £13, conc £11, 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.
- Street Level Photoworks, 103 Trongate G1 5HD, ☏ . Tu-Su noon - 5PM. An alternative art gallery and installation space. Free.
- Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street G1 5QP (next to Sharmanka Trongate Gallery), ☏ . 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.
- 10 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.
- 11 Glasgow Green is the extensive green space north bank of the Clyde. It was created in 1450 and initially was 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.
- 12 People's Palace, Glasgow Green G40 1AT, ☏ . 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.
- 13 The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane (A small side street off Buchanan Street (pedestrian zone)), ☏ . M-Sa 10:30AM–5PM, Su noon–5PM 2022 temporarily closed ufn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the former Glasgow Herald building completed by Mackintosh. It houses the Centre for Design & Architecture, which show changing exhibitions and host events. From there you also have access to the Mackintosh Tower, which offers great views over Glasgow. Free.
- 14 Willow Tea Rooms (Mackintosh at the Willow), 217 Sauchiehall St G2 3EX, ☏ . 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.
- 15 Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew St G3 6RQ (Subway: Cowcaddens), ☏ . 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 planning but in 2022 work has not yet commenced. 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 such as the graduating students' show.
- Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), 350 Sauchiehall Street G2 3JD (next to GSA), ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-midnight. This gallery also shows films and is a concert venue.
- 16 Tenement House, 145 Buccleuch Street G3 6QN, ☏ . Jan Feb F-Su, Mar-Dec Th-Su, 10AM-5PM. Miss Agnes Toward was a shorthand typist who lived here 1911-1965 and basically never changed or discarded a thing. So it's a wonderful gas-lit Edwardian timewarp, now in the keeping of the National Trust for Scotland. Adult £8.50, conc £6, child £1, NTS / NT free.
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), ☏ . 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 20 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street G3 8AG (Subway: Kelvinhall), ☏ . 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.
- 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 is yet to find a definitive use but nowadays is a study and research outpost of the Hunterian.
- 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.
- 21 Hunterian Art Gallery, 82 Hillhead St G12 8QQ, ☏ . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. This hold 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, 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.
- 22 Hunterian Zoology Museum, Graham Kerr Building, University Ave, ☏ . 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.
- 23 Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Road G12 0UE, ☏ . 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.
- 24 Fossil Grove, Victoria Park Drive North G14 9QR, ☏ . 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. The rest of Victoria Park is always open. Free.
Clyde & South
- St Andrew's Suspension Bridge, opened in 1855, is the elegant footbridge between Hutchisontown on the south river bank and Glasgow Green on the north.
- 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.
- 25 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.
- 26 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.
- 27 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.
In Search of Raintown
Fans of the Glasgow band Deacon Blue have often made the pilgrimage to the top of the Granite Staircase to recreate the cover photograph of their famous 1987 album Raintown. Sadly, neither of the two cover photos from the album is now possible to reconstruct. Two decades have seen Kelvingrove Park's trees grow to obscure the view of the Clyde and the Finnieston Crane from the top of the Granite Staircase. Equally, the rear cover shot of the M8 motorway approach onto the Kingston Bridge (adjacent to the Mitchell Library) was taken from a disused bridge upon which an office building has been constructed.
- 28 Scotland Street School, 225 Scotland St G5 8QB (Subway: Shields Road), ☏ . 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.
- The giant metal armadillo turns out on closer inspection to be Clyde Auditorium. See "Do" for this and the adjacent Exhibition Centre.
- 29 Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay G51 1EA (train: Exhibition Centre or Subway: Cessnock), ☏ . 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-meter 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.
- 30 Riverside Museum, 100 Pointhouse Place (West End, Subway: Kelvinhall or Train: Partick. Unfortunately neither are especially close, and since the COVID-19 pandemic there is no bus service to the museum except for expensive sightseeing tours.), ☏ . M-Th 10AM–5PM, F Su 11AM–5PM. Offers an excellent collection of vehicles and models to tell 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.
- 31 Tall Ship (Glenlee), 150 Pointhouse Rd, Govan G3 8RS (by Riverside Museum - Subway: Kelvinhall), ☏ . Feb-Oct 10AM–5PM; Nov-Jan 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.
- 32 Govan Stones (Govan Old Church), 866 Govan Rd G51 3DL. April-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.
- 33 Fairfield Heritage Centre, 1048 Govan Rd G51 4XS (Subway: Govan; Bus 23 or 26), ☏ . 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.
- 34 House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park G41 5BW (Subway: Ibrox), ☏ . 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.
- Bellahouston Park stretches south of the house, with a sports centre and artificial ski slope. The park is often used for open-air concerts and similar events; 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.
- 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. Kelvingrove Gallery in the West End is a wonderful florid example of public architecture.
- 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 St School is closed for rebuilding.
- Modern: the "armadillo" of the Scottish Exhibition Centre graces the north bank of the Clyde.
If you fall in
Glasgow Green is the home of the Glasgow Humane Society. The society was founded in 1790 and is the world's oldest practical life-saving body. Until 2005 the society volunteers were responsible for rescuing those who fell into the River Clyde. Modern health and safety regulations require two lifeboat men on duty and a lack of volunteers has forced the sole lifeboat man, George Parsonage, to stand down the service after 215 years. The rescue service is now performed by the Strathclyde Fire Brigade.
- 35 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.
- 36 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.
- 37 Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Pollok Country Park G43 1AT (train: Pollokshaws West; buses 57, 3, 34), ☏ . 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.
- 38 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.
- 39 Holmwood House, 61-63 Netherlee Rd, Cathcart G44 3YU, ☏ . 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.
- 40 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.
- 41 Crookston Castle, 170 Brockburn Rd G53 5RY. Apr-Sept 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.
- 42 Titan Crane, Cart Street, Clydebank G81 1BF (Train or bus to Clydebank), ☏ . 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.
- 43 Greenbank Garden, Flenders Road, Clarkston G76 8RB (Train to Clarkston). Apr-Jun, Sept-Oct Th-M, July-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.
Glasgow's been famous for its music scenes for at least 20 years, with some top acts literally queuing to play at venues such as the Barrowlands or King Tut's. There's plenty of venues where you're likely to see a good band (and lots of bad bands too); on any day of the week there should be at least several shows to choose from throughout the city, with the number increasing to an even greater variety on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. In no particular order, here follows some pop, indie, and rock-orientated venues:
- 1 Nice'N'Sleazy, 421 Sauchiehall Street (nearest railway: Charing Cross). A great student institution known locally as "Sleazy's" it's a favourite among Glasgow School of Art students, it’s a cross between a bar and a nightclub, and even a coffee shop by day - one of Glasgow’s best established student venues. Live music in the evenings, and just across the road from the seminal Garage nightclub. Open until 03:00 every night of the week, with bands on practically every night also. Gigs are downstairs and bar upstairs plays a variety of alternative/rock/punk. Over 18s only (both bar and gigs).
- 2 The Barrowland Ballroom, 244 Gallowgate, G4 OTS (0.5km from Glasgow Cross). The Barrowlands, as it is commonly known, is arguably the city's most famous and most respected live venue - famous for its sprung floor and excellent acoustics.
- 3 King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, 272a St Vincent Street, G2 5RL. Where both Oasis and local favourites Glasvegas were discovered.
- 4 13th Note, 50-60 King Street, G1 5QT (just off Argyle Street/Trongate).
- 5 Maggie May's, 60 The Trongate, G1 5EP (Merchant City, on the corner of Trongate and Albion Street), ☏ . Pub and restaurant with a lively programme of up and coming bands.
- 6 The Cathouse, 15 Union St (close to the junction with Argyle Street).
- The Riverside Club, 33 Fox Street (behind St Enoch Square). Glasgow's top ceilidh (Scottish country dancing) venue on Friday and Saturday nights.
- 7 Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Ln, G2 6PH. City Centre venue with regular indie gigs downstairs, bar and cafe upstairs.
- 8 Glasgow O2 Academy, 121 Eglinton Street (Subway: Bridge Street).
- 9 Sub Club, 22 Jamaica Street (nearest rail: Central Station). Rated one of the best clubs in the world from house to techno to whatever takes your fancy. Founded in 1987.
- 10 QMU, at University Gardens (West End; Subway: Hillhead).
- 11 The Classic Grand, 18 Jamaica Street (adjacent to Central Station). A former adult cinema now re-purposed as an alternative music venue. Serves the rock/metal/punk/alternative scene 4 nights a week with drinks as low as £1.
- 12 Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC), G3 8YW (rail: Exhibition Centre), ☏ (tickets). The city's premier music venue for major headline acts, even if the acoustics of the halls have always been questionable. More intimate gigs are held in the neighbouring Clyde Auditorium (the armadillo-shaped building). SECC Tickets sells tickets for these.
- 13 Clyde Auditorium, Exhibition Way (train: Exhibition Centre), ☏ (General), (Tickets). Box office: M–Sa 9AM–6PM. Affectionately known by Glaswegians as the Armadillo, this building is a concert hall which forms part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre complex. Designed by Lord Norman Foster, and contrary to popular belief, not inspired by the Sydney Opera House, it is in fact supposed to represent ship's hulls. The auditorium has now garnered some world fame for being the place where the Susan Boyle audition - one of the most downloaded YouTube video clips in history - was filmed.
Arts and theatrical venues
- 14 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street (Subway: Buchanan Street), ☏ . This is the home of The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, one of Europe's leading symphony orchestras. It also produces the world famous Celtic Connections Festival every January.
- 15 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), 100 Renfrew Street. Primarily a teaching college but is also Glasgow's busiest performing arts venue, hosting over 500 events a year. Primarily classical and contemporary music, ballet and dance, musical theatre, and contemporary drama.
- 16 Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street. First opened in 1867, it puts on mainly 'serious' theatre, opera and ballet.
- 17 Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, ☏ . Specialises in contemporary works.
- 18 Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, ☏ . One of the most famous theatres in the world, and has launched the careers of many international movie and theatre stars. It specialises in contemporary and avant-garde work.
- 19 King's Theatre, 297 Bath Street. Glasgow's major 'traditional' theatre. The theatre was designed by Frank Matcham and opened in 1904. The theatre shows many musical and comedy works and has a pantomime on for the whole of December.
- 20 The Pavilion Theatre, 121 Renfield Street. The only privately run theatre in Scotland. It was founded in 1904 and has seen many of the greatest stars of music hall perform there: most famously Charlie Chaplin. Nowadays it features mainly 'popular' theatre, musicals and comedy.
- 21 Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, 113-117 Trongate, G1 5HD (entrance to most shows is via the New Wynd, the small lane between T.J.Hughes and Mitchell's Amusement Arcade off Argyle Street), ☏ . until 02 Nov: Th-Sa 12:00-16:00. The oldest surviving music hall in the world, having opened in 1857, in response to the entertainment needs of a growing working class population with pennies in their pockets. It most famously held the début performance of Stan Laurel (of silent movies, slapstick comedy duo Laurel and Hardy fame in 1906), but also hosted Jack Buchnanan and Sir Harry Lauder and a zoo! Acts needed some intestinal fortitude before they trod its boards, since Glasgow audiences were notorious for leaving no turn un-stoned - toilets only arrived in 1893 and young boys used to favour the front of the balcony because from there they could urinate on the heads of the performers on the apron! Electricity and moving pictures arrived in 1896 but by 1938, the Panopticon could no longer compete with more modern Cinemas and less vulgar Variety Theatres and was re-cycled into a tailors shop and factory. It now shows mainly music hall orientated shows: e.g. magic, burlesque and comedy, but also occasionally puts on classical and world music. There's no heating, so dress accordingly. No wheelchair/disabled access. Free admission but donations to support refurbishment are most welcome.
- 22 Òran Mór, 731 Great Western Road. Restaurant, pub, nightclub, theatrical and music venue. Due to its late opening hours, this venue now lies at the heart of the West End social scene. There are regular lunchtime plays (M-Sa) performed in the "A Play, A Pie and A Pint" series, where the ticket price (around £15) includes a pint of beer and a meat pie or vegetable quiche.
Although other pubs and clubs frequently hold comedy events: see the listings magazine The List for details.
The most interesting films in Glasgow are shown at:
- 24 Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), 12 Rose St, ☏ . Excellent choice of classics, and art and foreign-language movies.
- 25 The Grosvenor Cinema, 24 Ashton Lane, Hillhead (Just off Byres Road in the West End).
- 26 Cineworld, 7 Renfrew Street. The tallest cinema building (62 metres) in the world offers 18 screens to see mainstream films.
- 27 BFI Mediatheque (British Film Institute), Bridgeton Library, 14 Orr St (across the road from Bridgeton station - trains from Central lower level). Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat: 10:00-17:00 Tue and Thu: 10:00-20:00. Watch historic films on demand in this old cinema, built as the Olympia Theatre in 1910. free.
Glasgow has four pro men's soccer teams plus Scotland's national stadium. The famous rivalry is Celtic versus Rangers - these games sell out and are fiercely partisan with sectarian undertones. Celtic (in green and white hoops) are traditionally supported by Catholics, and Rangers (in blue, away strip black and orange) by Protestants. Don't be seen in the wrong football colours unless you've come in a mean-looking mob. You should have no trouble getting tickets to other games, though these too may suffer hooliganism.
- 28 Hampden Park, Glasgow G42 9BA (Train: Mount Florida or King's Park), ☏ . 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 to a small adjacent stadium.
- Lesser Hamden is a small stadium west side of Hamden Park which from Sept 2022 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.
- 29 Celtic, Celtic Park, Kerrydale Street, Parkhead G40 3RE (Buses 40 61 62 240 262), ☏ . Celtic play soccer in the Premiership, Scotland's top tier, and usually win it and qualify for European tournaments. 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 and for beating Rangers, and the second of these campaigns is doing nicely. The women's team play in the Scottish Women's Premier League, their top tier, with home games at Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie.
- 30 Rangers, Ibrox Stadium, 150 Edmiston Drive G51 2XD (Subway: Ibrox), ☏ . Rangers also play in the Premiership and usually qualify for Europe. They're often runners-up to Celtic, but broke that streak by winning in 2020/21. 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. See the club website for tickets, stadium tours, and yet more merchandising. Rangers are Britain's best example of a "phoenix" team: they went bust in 2012, and the successor club had to start over in the Third Division. They scrapped 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. Rangers women's team play in the Women's Premier League, their top tier: home games are at Rangers training facility in Milngavie.
- 31 Partick Thistle, Firrhill Stadium, 80 Firrhill Rd G20 7AL, ☏ . "The Jags" play in the Championship, the second tier. They're named for the Partick district but since 1908 have been at Firrhill, an all-seater stadium of capacity 10,100 in Maryhill. During 2021/22 Queens Park shared this stadium.
- 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 shared other clubs' grounds, most recently at Firrhill, until their new stadium is ready. 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. 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.
- 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 also play in the Premiership. Their home ground is GHA Park in Giffnock, five miles south of city centre.
- Cartha Queens Park play in National League One, the second tier. Their home ground is Dumbreck, north end of Pollok Country Park.
- Distillery and brewery tours: see Drink below.
- Ice Hockey: Glasgow Clan play 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.
- Glasgow Film Festival is in Feb / March. The next is 1-12 March 2023.
- Glasgow International Comedy Festival is in March, with the next 15 March - 2 April 2023.
- Glasgow International is a festival for contemporary art held in alternate years. The last was in June 2021 but rescheduled from May 2020, so the next will be 7-23 June 2024.
- Glasgow Jazz Festival is mid-June. The next is probably 15-18 June 2023, tbc.
- West End Festival is held throughout June, with the next probably 26 May - 25 June 2023, tbc.
- Merchant City Festival is an arts and music festival in July. The next is probably 27-30 July 2023, tbc.
- UCI World Cycling Championships are next hosted by Glasgow on 3-13 Aug 2023, with multiple formats and venues.
- The World Pipe Band Championships are held on Glasgow Green in mid-August, with the next on 18-19 Aug 2023.
Glasgow has three universities:
- 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 the Jordanhill College of Education, and gained that institution's campus in the West End.
- Glasgow Caledonian University, to the north of the city centre, is Glasgow's newest university. It was formed by the merger of Glasgow College of Technology and Queens' College in 1992. It is a couple of minutes away from Buchanan Bus Station.
As well as:
- 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.
Jobs in Glasgow can be found through the government-run JobCentres. You must have a National Insurance number and, if you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, the correct type of work visa to work legally in the UK. Your employer should require this to ensure you pay the correct rates of income tax. However if you ask around you'll find a lot of bars and nightclubs offer work cash-in-hand. Some of the many temp agencies in the city centre aren't too fussy about immigration niceties either. With the city's growing financial services industry, there are quite a lot of opportunities for office temps, though this has changed with the global economic downturn of the last few years.
Glasgow can be a surprisingly upmarket retail destination. The shopping is the some of the best in Scotland, and generally accepted as the number two shopping experience in Britain after London. Buchanan Street is the seventh most expensive place for retail space in the world, which means that there's an increasing number of designer clothes shops in areas like the Merchant City. Alongside this, the City Council is putting pressure on more traditional shopping centres like the Barras Market where you can get remarkably similar-looking clothes for a more sensible price.
The nucleus of Glasgow shopping is the so-called "Golden Z", made up of the continuous pedestrianised thoroughfares of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Here, virtually all of the major British big name retailers are represented. Buchanan Street is the most upmarket of the three, with prestigious names such as House of Fraser, Apple Store and Zara and other specialised designer stores. Ingram Street in the Merchant City attracts exclusive, premium brands like Bose, Bang and Olufsen, Ralph Lauren amongst others.
Bath Street and Hope Street run parallel to the main pedestrianised streets, and if you want to get away from "chain store hell", they have a fine selection of more quirky, local independent retailers selling everything from fine art, Scottish clothing, antiques and specialist hi-fi.
There are larger shopping malls on the city outskirts at Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.
- Barras (in the East End). Open 10AM–5PM every weekend; weekday opening in the weeks immediately before Christmas. Barras is the essential Glasgow shopping experience. Hundreds of market stalls selling everything you could possibly want and a load of other stuff too. Free entertainment available from time to time when the Police raid the place for counterfeit goods. The market is notorious for counterfeit goods: especially DVDs and clothing. Pirated DVDs should be avoided at all costs, as the quality is often very poor.
- 1 Buchanan Galleries (at the Northern end of Buchanan Street). A large shopping mall in the heart of the city centre which has all the usual British high street stores, its anchor tenant is the John Lewis partnership, regularly voted best store in Britain and with unusually knowledgeable and conscientious sales staff.
- 2 St Enoch Centre. Europe's largest glass roofed building - this huge mall is on St Enoch Square between Argyle Street and Buchanan Street, and a major extension and refurbishment programme was completed in 2010.
- Princes Square (off Buchanan Street in the city centre). An upmarket mall specialising in designer clothes shops, jewellery and audio equipment. Grande Dame of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood has a store and a separate jewellery concession in Princes Square.
- 3 Argyle Arcade. The city's jewellery quarter housing Scotland's largest collection of jewellery shops. The L-shaped arcade connects Argyle Street and Buchanan Street. Shops here vary considerably - there are a selection of cheaper jewellery shops and a selection of luxury prestigious jewellers. Very commonly used as a short cut for shoppers between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.
- 4 De Courcy's Arcade, Cresswell Lane. An unusual little shopping arcade by yer maws with lots of second hand music and book shops and independent gift shops.
Byres Road Check out the chichi shops and vintage stores in the West End
- 5 Time & Tide, 398 Byres Road, G12 8AR, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM–5:30PM, Su 11:30AM–5PM. Relaxed homeware and interior accessories.
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 of cuisine 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.
- 1 The Merchant, 134-136 W George St. A traditional pub serving main dishes
- 2 Romans Pizzeria, 44 Howard St. Industrial looking, relaxed venue
- 3 BLOC+, 117 Bath St. Innovative bar with unusual dishes.
- 4 L'aquila, 44 Dundas St. Very good fish&chips
- 5 China Sea, 12 Renfield St G2 5AL, ☏ . Su-F noon–10PM, Sa noon–11PM. Sound trad Chinese.
Near the city centre
- 6 Guido's Coronation Restaurant, 55 Gallowgate G1 5AP (beneath the railway bridge), ☏ . Daily 9:30AM–8PM. A Glasgow institution by the gateway to Barrowlands, good reviews for healthy serving and competitive price.
- 7 Panda House, 665 Pollokshaws Rd G41 2AB, ☏ . Daily 4:30PM–11PM. Good south-side choice for Cantonese.
- 8 Lucky Cottage (formerly Oriental Yummy), 96 Queen Margaret Drive G20 8NZ, ☏ . Su Tu-Th 4:30-11PM, F Sa 4:30PM-midnight. Good reviews for this Chinese takeaway, they also do home deliveries.
- 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), ☏ . Daily 12:00-22:00. 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.
- Esca, 27 Chisholm Street G1 5HA (near Tron Theatre), ☏ . Good and inexpensive but often busy. It wasn't open in 2021.
- 9 Eusebi Deli, 152 Park Road G4 9HB (by Kelvingrove Park), ☏ , email@example.com. W-M 8AM-10PM. Italian deli and restaurant. Deli has prepared panini, salads, patisserie. Convenient for picnics in the park on a sunny day.
- 10 Il Pavone, 48 Buchanan Street G1 3JN (within Princes Square Shopping Centre), ☏ . M-W 12:00-21:00, Th-Sa 12:00-22:00, Su 12:00-19:30. Reliable long-established central Italian.
- 11 Little Italy, 205 Byres Rd G12 8TN, ☏ . M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 10:00-22:00. Charming relaxing café with vegan options.
- 12 Paesano Pizza, 94 Miller St, G1 1DT, ☏ . Daily noon-9:30PM. The first place in Glasgow to serve 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). £5-£9 per pizza.
- Nonna Said, opened in 2021, is a pizzeria at 26 Candleriggs. It's open daily noon-10PM.
- 13 13th Note, 50-60 King Street G1 5QT, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Music venue, art gallery and vegetarian/vegan cafe, dog-friendly.
- 14 Mono, 12 Kings Court G1 5RB, ☏ . Su-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-00:00. Vegan café and bar with live music.
- 15 Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Lane G2 5AR, ☏ . Su-Th 12:00-00:00, F Sa 12:00-01:00. Vegan pub and live music venue.
- 16 The 78, 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street G3 8NU, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. This vegan restaurant gets great reviews.
- 17 Tchai Ovna, 42 Otago Lane G12 8RB (Riverbank above Gibson St bridge), ☏ . Tu-Su 11:00-22:00. Tea house in a cute cabin with veggie food.
- 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), ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-22:30, Su 17:00-22:30. 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), ☏ . Tu W 16:00-22:30, Th-Sa 13:00-22:30, Su 15:00-22:30. Lively reliable Indian place.
Chicken Tikka Masala - A Glaswegian Invention?
The Shish Mahal is widely believed to have invented Chicken Tikka Masala, which has been voted the UK's favourite Indian dish. According to one Glasgow MP, the Shish responded in the 1960s to complaints from Glaswegians that traditional Indian curries were too dry by soaking the chicken and spices in tomato soup, resulting in the first incarnation of the 'wet' style of curry commonly enjoyed today. This MP is now known to be seeking formal EU recognition that Chicken Tikka Masala is a unique Glaswegian creation, and that the Shish Mahal is the origin.
- 18 Shish Mahal, 66-68 Park Road G4 9JF (Subway: Kelvinbridge), ☏ . M-Th 12:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 15:00-21:00. The Shish has been a steady choice here for over 50 years. With halal options.
- 19 The Dhabba, 44 Candleriggs G1 1LD, ☏ . M-F 12:00-14:00, 17:00-22:30, Sa Su 13:00-22:30. Authentic North Indian cuisine, great flavour and service.
- The Dakhin, 89 Candleriggs G1 1NP (above City Merchant, 50 yards north of Dhabba), ☏ . M-F 12:00-14:00, 17:00-22:30, Sa Su 12:00-22:30. Sister restaurant to The Dhabba but specialising in South Indian cuisine. The set lunch and pre-theatre dinner are excellent value.
- 20 Cafe India, 29 Albion Street G1 1LH, ☏ . Tu-Su 16:00-21:00. Reliable curry spot in Merchant City.
- 21 Chillies West End, 176-182 Woodlands Rd G3 6LL, ☏ . Daily 16:00-22:00. Slick Indian serving in tapas / thali / short-eats style.
- And see Splurge for Mother India and Killermont Polo Club.
- Amber Regent, 50 West Regent St G2 2RA, ☏ . Tu-F noon–2PM, 5PM–10PM, Sa noon–10PM, Su 5PM–10PM. Friendly reliable Cantonese Chinese.
- Ka Pao, 26 Vinnicombe St G12 8BE (off Byres Rd), ☏ . Daily noon–10:30PM. Outstanding Thai cuisine, go for the sharing plates.
- Turkiye Efes, 97 Candleriggs G1 1NP, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-22:30, Su 09:30-22:30. Good selection of authentic Turkish dishes.
- Damasqino, 94 Saltmarket G1 9LD, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Relaxed place serving Middle East specialties.
- Brel, 37 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ (next to Ubiquitous Chip. Subway: Hillhead), ☏ . Su-Th 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-00:00. 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.
- 22 Stravaigin, 28 Gibson St G12 8NX (Subway: Kelvinbridge), ☏ . Tu 16:00-00:00, W Th 12:00-00:00, F-Su 11:00-00:00. Great scores all round for this lively creative gastro-pub.
- 23 Sloans, Argyll Arcade, 108 Argyle St G2 8BG, ☏ . Su-Th 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-00:00. Grand old pub and venue with indoor and outdoor seating. Bistro-type menu.
- The Gannet, 1155 Argyle St, Finnieston G3 8TB, ☏ . Bright modern European fare.
- 24 Gamba, 225a West George Street G2 2ND, ☏ . Tu-Sa 12:00-00:00. This award-winning seafood restaurant consistently delights.
- 25 Mussel Inn, 157 Hope Street. Good quality fish restaurant. Has a sister restaurant in Edinburgh.
- 26 Café Cossachok, 10 King St G1 5QP, ☏ . W-Su 12:00-23:00. 65-seat restaurant serving dishes from all over the former Soviet Union. Richly decorated with artwork.
- Ichiban, 50 Queen St G1 3DS, ☏ . Tu-Th 12:00-21:00, F-Su 12:00-22:00. Canteen-style slick friendly place for Japanese food.
- Thai Siam, 1191 Argyle St G3 8QT, ☏ . Tu-Sa 12:00-14:30, 17:00-22:30, Su 17:00-22:30. Good Thai fare, but budget it's not.
- 27 Mother India, 28 Westminster Terrace, Finnieston G3 7RU, ☏ . F-Su 12:00-22:00. This is the original of the chain, established in 1990. It's pricier than most but top-class for quality of food.
- 28 Killermont Polo Club, 2022 Maryhill Road G20 0AB, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-22:00. Su 13:00-22:00. Smart Indian restaurant in the northwestern suburbs, excellent dining.
- 29 Ubiquitous Chip, 12 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ (Subway: Hillhead), ☏ . Daily 12:00-01:00. Renowned brasserie, great food and setting, booking essential.
- 30 Red Onion, 257 West Campbell Street G2 4TT, ☏ . Daily 12:00-21:00. Classy place getting great reviews for modrn Scottish cuisine by John Quigley.
- 31 Rogano, 11 Exchange Place (nearest railway: Queen Street). Legendary seafood restaurant just off Buchanan Street, and Glasgow oldest eatery - surviving since the 1930s with most of its original Art Deco interior still intact. Rogano is a Glasgow institution, but beware, especially if you get tempted by their vintage wine list, this place can be extremely expensive.
- 32 Chardon d'Or, 176 West Regent Street G2 4RL, ☏ . W 17:00-22:00, Th-Sa 12:00-15:00, 17:00-22:00. Fancy place headed by Brian Maule, the food lives up to the publicity and price bracket.
- 33 Cail Bruich, 725 Great Western Road G12 8QX, ☏ . Tu 18:30-22:00, W-Sa 12:00-16:30, 18:30-22:00. Modern Scots cuisine with a continental slant, earns consistent rave reviews.
- 34 Cafe Gandolfi, 64 Albion Street G1 1NY, ☏ . Tu-Sa 08:00-22:30, Su M 09:00-17:00. A real Glasgow institution, this bistro serves fine food in a relaxed atmosphere. Great food and service.
- 35 Five March, 140 Elderslie St G3 7QF, ☏ . Tu-F 12:00-22:30, Sa Su 10:00-22:30. 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 12:00-22:00. The smaller city branch is at 118 Blythswood St, open W-Sa. Both serve great contemporary Scots cuisine.
Pubs are the meeting rooms of Scotland’s largest city, and many a lively discussion can be heard in a Glasgow bar. There is nothing Glaswegians love more than "putting the world right" over a pint (or three), whether it’s the Old Firm, religion, weather, politics or how this year’s holidays went. You are guaranteed a warm welcome from the locals, who will soon strike up a conversation.
There are three (or arguably, four) basic drinking areas: these are also good for restaurants. First, there is the West End (the area around Byres Road and Ashton Lane), second there is the stretch of Sauchiehall Street between the end of the pedestrianised area (near Queen Street Station) and Charing Cross (and the various streets off this area). Thirdly there is the Merchant City, which is near Strathclyde University's campus. This is the most 'upmarket' area to drink and eat in, although it still has numerous student dives: start at the University of Strathclyde and wander down towards the Trongate (the West part of this part of town is the gay area). Finally, and up and coming, is the South Side (i.e. South of the Clyde). This used to be very much 'behind the times' socially speaking, but the relocation of the BBC to the South Side and the whole area generally moving 'upmarket' has improved things greatly. Try the area round Shawlands Cross for restaurants, bars, and The Shed nightclub. There are also several hidden gems in and around the Blythswood Square area and the streets between Hope Street and Charing Cross: this being the city's business district however it can feel quite deserted on evenings and weekends.
Dress codes, particularly in some of the more upmarket establishments in the city centre and West End: sportswear and trainers (sneakers) are often banned, and some door staff are notoriously "selective" about who is allowed. If confronted with this, go elsewhere. The general "boozer" type pubs have no dress codes, but football shirts are almost universally banned in all: particularly on weekends. One rule to be aware of is that some clubs and upmarket pubs enforce an unwritten policy of not allowing all-male groups of more than about four people. For this reason, it may be advisable to split into groups of two or three. Some pubs in Glasgow are also exclusively the haunt of Old Firm football fans: again, these will be very crowded on football days, can get very rowdy, and should be avoided. Fortunately they are easy to spot; for example, a large cluster of Celtic-oriented pubs exist in the Barrowlands area, while one or two bars on or near Paisley Road West are favourite haunts of Rangers fans.
The following is merely a selection of the many bars, pubs, wine bars and clubs throughout the city.
An increasingly popular pastime in the city is the 'Subcrawl', a pub crawl round Glasgow's underground system, getting off at each of the 15 stops to go to the nearest pub for a drink. It is advisable to go with a local especially since in some parts on the south side the nearest pub to the underground station is not immediately obvious, but it is a good way to see the different neighbourhoods and pub cultures of the city.
Chain and theme pubs
Like any major British city, the central area of Glasgow has its fair share of chain and theme pubs, with establishments from the likes of Whitbread, Yates and of course the ubiquitous JD Wetherspoon:
- The Counting House, George Square (near Queen Street station). Formerly a flagship branch of the Bank of Scotland, you can drink here in the splendour of this old Victorian banking hall. Converted into an open plan bar by the Wetherspoon chain, it’s popular with tourists and locals alike, with quirky features such as the bank vault now being used as a wine cellar.
- The Crystal Palace, Jamaica Street (near Central Station and the Jamaica Bridge). Another Wetherspoons establishment, good for evening football; and good place to meet up if you are heading across to the O2 Academy or the Citizen’s Theatre on the other side of the river.
- Waxy O'Connors, West George Street (within the Carlton George Hotel, next to George Square/Queen Street station). Vaguely Irish themed bar with its curious 'Lord of the Rings'-like setting. Spread over six bars, nine rooms and three floors. The premises is a fun place, with steps and stairs running up and down through the maze of rooms and bars, and a rather eclectic mix of "tree trunk" and church gothic interior décor.
Glasgow has many options for whisky, though many may not be immediately obvious for the passing tourist.
In addition to the distilleries mentioned in the 'Do' section, Glasgow Distillery in Hillingdon produce whisky and a range of other spirits including Makar's Cherry Gin.
Here are some good starting points for drinking:
- 1 The Pot Still, 154 Hope Street G2 2TH (corner of W Regent Ln), ☏ . Daily 11:00-00:00. 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.
- Oran Mor Whisky Bar: See Do / Arts & Theatre for this place on Byres Road.
- 2 The Ben Nevis, 1147 Argyle St G3 8TB, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Snug friendly place with huge selection of whisky and other spirits.
- 3 Bon Accord, 153 North Street G3 7DA, ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 13:00-23:00. Has over 500 whiskies and a huge selection of real ales.
Beers & real ale
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 a riverside pub at the corner of Clyde St and Bridgegate. In 2013 a police helicopter crashed into the pub, 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 from a cross-country task, 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 pub re-opened as the Clutha & Victoria Bar and the tragedy is commemorated by a mural on the street corner. By all means go inside and raise a glass to those who were lost, but it's not a place for tourist gawping. The loss is still raw - the fatal accident inquiry was only published on 30 Oct 2019, and litigation is likely to continue.
- 4 Bier Halle, 9 Gordon Street G1 3PL, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Basement beer hall, pricey, but good beer and pizza.
- 5 Beer Cafe, Candleriggs G1 1NP (within Merchant Square complex), ☏ . Daily 11:00-00:00. Friendly place with a wide range of local and imported beers.
- 6 Blackfriars, 36 Bell Street (Merchant City, on the corner of Bell Street/Albion Street), ☏ . Great range of local and other beers and ales in bottles and on tap, sometimes does live music.
- 7 Three Judges, 141 Dumbarton Rd, Partick G11 6PR (Subway: Kelvinhall), ☏ . Daily 11:00-00:00. Great West End pub, good food and selection of Real Ale.
- Kitty O'Shea's (formerly Pivo Pivo), 15 Waterloo Street G2 6AY (within Waterloo Chambers), ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Irish-themed pub with a good selection of beers and food, TV sport, often has live music.
- 8 Clockwork Bar, 1153 Cathcart Road G42 9HB (200 yards west of Hampden Park), ☏ . M-W 12:00-22:00, Th, Su 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-00:00. Spacious modern pub serving from its own microbrewery.
- 9 The State, 148 Holland Street G2 4NG (off Sauchiehall Street), ☏ . M-Th 11:00-23:00, F Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 12:30-23:00. A good ale venue and a cosy proper pub.
The city’s large student population means there are no shortage of student bars, with large concentrations around the Merchant City area (for nearby Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian universities, as well as several nearby colleges), and of course Byres Road and Ashton Lane in the West End for Glasgow University. There is another cluster (near Glasgow School of Art) along the western reaches of Sauchiehall Street, just beyond the pedestrianised section. Some of the most popular student bars are:
- 10 The Ark, North Frederick Street (close to George Square). Catering for Strathclyde and Caledonian universities. Has a big beer garden.
- The Hall, 457 Sauchiehall Street (rail: Charing Cross, Subway: St. George's Cross). Catering for Glasgow School of Art. Part of the Stonegate chain of student pubs with their famous "Yellow Card" promotions. Entry may be restricted to NUS cardholders only during peak times.
- 11 Strathclyde University Union, 90 John Street (Merchant City, short walk from George Square). Notable for once being Scotland’s largest pub with 6 bars spread over 10 levels. Entry: £2 for non-members (NUS cardholders - entry fees for event nights may vary, and may be restricted to Strathclyde students).
- Glasgow University Union (at the bottom of University Avenue nr the junction with Kelvin Way). The “establishment” GUU - one of the University of Glasgow's two student unions. Open to matriculating students from any one of the city's three universities.
- Queen Margaret Union (University Gardens at the top of Ashton Lane). The more quirky and laid back QM - the other student union of thr University of Glasgow. Also open to matriculating students from any one of the city's three universities.
- Nice'N'Sleazy (see Do).
Bath Street has a constantly shifting array of "style bars", which become more numerous as you walk up towards the financial district on Blythswood Hill. The quality varies wildly depending on your taste and tolerance. Some of the best are:
- 12 Corinthian Club, 191 Ingram Street G1 1DA, ☏ . W Th 12:00-01:00, F Sa 12:00-03:00, Su 12:00-00:00. Gorgeously restored bank and law courts, this is now mainly an events venue, but Teller's Bar & Brasserie serves individuals. Smart casual dress code.
- Hummingbird, 186 Bath Street G2 4HG (opposite Bunker), ☏ . F 16:00-03:00, Sa 12:00-03:00. Stylish bar, club and restaurant over four floors.
- 13 Bunker, 193-199 Bath Street G2 4HU, ☏ . Tu-Th 16:00-03:00, F-Su 13:00-03:00. Late spot with food and live music.
Apart from Stravaigin and Brel in the West End (see the Restaurant section above), there are a few gems in and around the city centre.
- 14 Babbity Bowsters, 16-18 Blackfriars Street G1 1PE, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Slick inn in Merchant City with upstairs dining area and six hotel rooms. B&B double £110.
Culture and music
- Solid Rock Cafe, 19 Hope Street G2 6AB (by Central Station), ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 12:00-00:00. Rock and metal-themed pub.
- 15 Rufus T. Firefly, 207 Hope Street G2 2UW, ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 12:00-00:00. Rock and metal music. Also offers good and affordable pub food.
Traditional and local
As the city centre and West End's bars become ever more sanitised, off-the-peg and tourist-oriented, finding a traditional “boozer” in Glasgow is getting harder. For the visitor who wants to make the effort, they can be great places to discover what many would call the “real” Glasgow, the Glasgow where Glaswegians hang out. The other advantage is that the cost of a drink is often a lot cheaper. Common sense should tell you which ones to try out, and which to avoid!
- 16 Horseshoe Bar, 17-19 Drury Street G2 5AE (short walk from Central Station), ☏ . Daily 11:00-00:00. The horseshoe-shaped bar is one of the longest continuous bars in Europe, and a listed feature. Rock band Travis used to rehearse upstairs before hitting the big time, and one of their Brit Awards is displayed behind the bar. God trad pub, serves food.
- 17 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.
- 18 Scotia Bar, 112 Stockwell Street G1 4LW, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. One of Glasgow's oldest bars, established 1792. Famous for its folk music and trad ambiance.
- Alpen Lodge, 25A Hope Street G2 6AB (by Central Station), ☏ . Daily 11:00-00:00. Great little bar with rustic decor, speedy service and local banter.
- 19 The Flying Duck, 142 Renfield Street G2 3AU, ☏ . Tu-Su 17:00-22:00. Bar with vegan menu, with live events.
Gay and lesbian
Many pubs nowadays describe themselves as LGBTQ+ friendly - they want the income - but the attitude of other customers might be something else. The main scene is the "Pink Triangle" south of City Chambers.
- AXM, 80-90 Glassford St G1 1UR, ☏ . Th-Su 22:00-04:00. Lively gay nightclub over two levels.
- Polo Lounge, 84 Wilson St G1 1UZ, ☏ . Nightly 21:00-04:00. Gay bar and venue on two levels: upstairs bar in Victorian style and two dance areas downstairs. Stroppy security.
- Underground, 6a John Street G1 1JQ (Opposite Italian Centre), ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Mixed and relaxed crowd. Small and friendly gay bar with drag bingo on a Saturday afternoon.
- Katie's Bar, 17 John Street G1 1HP, ☏ . M-Th 15:00-00:00, F-Su 12:00-00:00. Basement pub and entertainment venue within the Italian Centre. Regular quizes and drag acts.
Distilleries & breweries
In 2022 most tours remain suspended, but you might still like to sample their product.
- 20 West Brewery, 15 Binnie Place G40 1AW (within Templeton Business Centre, Glasgow Green), ☏ . Bar Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. A restaurant and micro brewery serving German trad food (daily to 21:00) and lager and hefeweizen beers. The tour takes 45 min. Brewery tour £15.
- 21 Wellpark Brewery, 161 Duke St G31 1JD (Bus 41 90 189), ☏ . 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.
- Drygate. Tours Su 13:00, 15:00, 17:00m, bistro and taproom is open daily 11AM-11PM.. is a micro-brewery at the west end of the Wellpark site - access via John Knox St. This is joint venture between C&C (owners of Tennents) and the craft brewer Williams Bros. Pub with views into the brewey and outdoor seating. tour £20.
- 22 Clockwork Beer, 1153 Cathcart Road G42 9HB (Train: Mount Florida), ☏ . 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.
- 23 Clydeside Distillery, 100 Stobcross Rd G3 8QQ, ☏ . 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.
- 24 Auchentoshan Distillery, Great Western Road, Clydebank G81 4SJ (towards Dumbarton, take train to Dalmuir), ☏ . 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.
- See Paisley for the hotels around Glasgow Airport.
- 1 Red Deer Village Camping and Caravan Park, Clay House Road, Stepps G33 6AF (Train to Stepps), ☏ . 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.
- Amadeus Guest House, 411 North Woodside Road G20 6NN (Underground: Kelvinbridge), ☏ . This B&B remained closed in 2021 but may be available for self-catering.
- 2 Holiday Inn Express, 122 Stockwell Street G1 4LW, ☏ . 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), ☏ . 150 beds in dorms and private en-suite rooms. A little way out, but lovely building and location. Dog-friendly. Rooms from £20.
- 4 Glasgow Metro Youth Hostel, 89 Buccleuch Street G3 6QT, ☏ . In July and August this Glasgow School of Art student residence acts as a hostel with single rooms. Singles from £20.
- 5 Euro Hostel, 318 Clyde St G1 4NR, ☏ . Clean hostel right in the centre of town. Has dorms, private rooms, doubles and twins. Dorm £10 ppn, private room £35, breakfast £5.
- 6 Clyde Hostel (formerly Bluesky), 65 Berkeley St G3 7DX, ☏ . Hostel with dorm accommodation, guests must be 18-35. They need to improve on the previous management, when the place was often dirty. Dorm £16 ppn, private double £36.
- Campus Accommodation (University of Strathclyde), 50 Richmond Street, ☏ . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 10:00. These budget ensuite or standard (shared bathroom and toilet) rooms are provided by the university. These rooms are extremely popular for budget travellers. The rooms are basically for university students but are open to the public during vacations. The location is excellent and next to Glasgow Cathedral. The nearest train station is Glasgow High street, and therefore links to Glasgow Central and Exhibition Centre stations. Very handy for conference participants. Local supermarkets and restaurants are within 1/4-mile walk. The rooms don't provide internet access, and you may have go to either internet cafes, local pubs or chained restaurants to get access to internet. £36.50 per en-suite room.
- Grasshoppers, 87 Union St G1 3TA (within Central station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 7 Victorian House Hotel, 212 Renfrew St G3 6TX, ☏ . Basic but cheap small hotel. B&B double £25.
- 8 Hotel ibis Glasgow City Centre, 220 West Regent Street, G2 4DQ, ☏ . 2-star city centre branch of this popular chain. Double (room only) £100.
- Ibis also have "Styles" branches at 116 Waterloo St and Miller St, and a "Budget" at Springfield Quay off Paisley Road.
- Jurys Inn, 80 Jamaica Street G1 4QG (south side of Central station), ☏ . Popular chain hotel in great location. B&B double £80.
- 9 Devoncove Hotel, 931 Sauchiehall St G3 7TQ, ☏ . Good mid-range choice at the Kelvingrove end of the street.
- 10 GoGlasgow Urban Hotel, 517 Paisley Road West G51 1RW (By jcn 23 of M8 near Ibrox Stadium), ☏ , email@example.com. Good mid-range hotel, but gets crowded and noisy when Rangers are playing at Ibrox. B&B double £60.
- 11 15Glasgow, 15 Woodside Place G3 7QL, ☏ . Stylish B&B in leafy Kelvinside. B&B double £130.
- 12 Hilton Garden Inn, Finnieston Quay G3 8HN, ☏ . Riverside business hotel with restaurant, bar and meeting venue. B&B double £80.
- 13 Park Inn by Radisson Glasgow City Centre, 139-141 West George St G2 2JJ, ☏ . Smart hotel with 91 guest bedrooms 3 blocks from Queen St station. B&B double £100.
- Crowne Plaza, Congress Road, Finnieston G3 8QT (Next to SECC), ☏ . Modern business hotel on riverbank by Millennium Bridge. Double (room only) £90.
- Grand Central Hotel, 99 Gordon Street G1 3SF (within Central Station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Old-style Victorian railway hotel, great comfort and style. Double (room only) £100.
- Marriott Glasgow, 500 Argyle Street G3 8RR (Jcn 19 of M8), ☏ . 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), ☏ . Slick friendly hotel, great location. Double (room only) £80.
- Carlton George Hotel, 44 West George Street G2 1DH (next to Queen Street station), ☏ . Great little hotel right in the centre. B&B double £100.
- Hilton Glasgow, 1 William Street G3 8HT (Jcn 19 of M8), ☏ . Bright clean hotel in financial district west edge of centre. Double (room only) £90.
- 14 Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel, 1-9 Grosvenor Terrace, Great Western Rd G12 0TA, ☏ . B&B double £100.
- 15 Hotel du Vin, 1 Devonshire Gardens, Great Western Road G12 0UX, ☏ . 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, ☏ . Modern boutique hotel in a former Episcopal Church, central. B&B double £100.
- 16 Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, 11 Blythswood Square G2 4AD, ☏ , email@example.com. Upscale boutique hotel and spa gets great reviews for comfort, service and food. B&B double £140.
Glasgow is like any other big city: it has safe areas and less safe areas, and the basic common sense rules apply. The centre of Glasgow is safe and you should not encounter any problems. All of the city centre and tourist areas are well policed. During the day, the City Centre also has many 'information officers' in red hats and jackets who should be able to assist you if needed. Despite what its local reputation may be, being a Western European city, Glasgow ranks among one of the safest cities in the world. Glasgow does indeed have some very dangerous areas - particularly in some northern and eastern suburbs - where drug related crime for instance is rife, but these are well away from the centre and you would be unlikely to venture into them unless you were making a conscious effort to do so.
Crime in the city centre is usually limited to drunken and rowdy behaviour late in the evenings - hotspots include the southern end of Hope Street next to Central Station, and under the 'Heilanman's Umbrella', the railway bridge over Argyle St adjacent to Central Station; and the western end of Sauchiehall St which have large concentrations of bars and nightclubs. There is usually a heavy police presence anyway in these areas on Friday and Saturday nights to defuse any problems. The West End fares better, but be aware that the back streets off Byres Road and around the university can quickly disorientate a stranger unfamiliar with the area in the hours of darkness.
Although you'll see it being worn everywhere by the locals, if you buy any piece of Celtic or Rangers-related clothing as a souvenir, be wary of wearing it in public as it can lead to confrontation - particularly on matchdays and in the evenings. Most bars and clubs in the centre of the city universally ban all football colours, regardless of team.
Whereas prostitution and other sex work is legal in Scotland, 'soliciting' (i.e. prostitutes soliciting for business in the street), 'kerb crawling' (that is customers driving or walking around obviously looking for sex workers) are both illegal, so avoid driving or walking around obvious red-light districts. The main trouble spots in the city have historically been the Blythswood Hill and Anderston areas close to the M8 motorway - a busy office district by day, but usually otherwise deserted in the evenings and on weekends. 'Running a brothel' is also illegal, so 'massage parlours' and brothels can be and are 'busted' by the police. If you are in a brothel/'massage parlour' which is raided by the police you may be taken into custody and asked questions you don't want to answer.
In order to contact a local police station call 101. Police Scotland, the Scotland-wide police force, has a "Travel Safe" guide.
In a medical emergency, dial 999 or 112. These numbers are free of charge from any telephone. Scotland's National Health Service (NHS) will provide emergency treatment for anyone in Scotland, irrespective of whether they reside in Scotland or not.
For advice on non-emergency medical problems, you can ring the 24 hour NHS 24 service on 111 free of charge from landlines or mobiles.
If you should fall ill or have an accident, then the two closest hospitals to the centre of the city with an Accident & Emergency (A&E) department are as follows:
- 2 Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 84 Castle Street (on the north east corner of the city centre, just to the north of Glasgow Cathedral; it is well signposted on all major roads, and is just off Junction 15 of the M8 motorway), ☏ . Accident and Emergency services open 24 hours.
- 3 Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, 1345 Govan Road, Govan, G51 4TF, ☏ . Accident and Emergency services open 24 hours. 1,677-bed acute hospital. The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow is next door.
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), ☏ . M-F 11:00-16:00. Helpful friendly place with printing. No lift. 30 min £2.
- iCafe Merchant City, 70 Ingram St G1 1EX, ☏ . M-F 08:00-21:00, Sa Su 09:00-21:00. 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.
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.
- 4 Pakistan, 45 Maxwell Drive G41 5JF, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-17:00. Helpful efficient place, serves all of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- 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 Railway, a wonderful scenic journey from Fort William to 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|
|Greenock ← Paisley ←||W E||→ Coatbridge → Edinburgh|
|merges with ←||N SE||→ Motherwell/Hamilton → Manchester|
|Ayr/Prestwick Airport ← Kilmarnock ←||SW NE||→ merges with|
|merges with ←||SW NE||→ Kirkintilloch → Stirling|
|Campbeltown/Crianlarich ← Dumbarton ←||NW SE||→ ENDS AT ST GEORGE'S CROSS / J17|
|Trossachs ← Bearsden ←||NW SE||→ ENDS AT COWCADDENS|