Paisley was founded about 800 years ago around an abbey. It was favoured by the kings of Scotland, several of whom are buried in the abbey grounds. The town's wealth grew largely on the textile industry. With the industrial revolution, Paisley expanded rapidly. Large textile factories and thread works run by Coats and Clark provided employment. The town became famous of a particular style of intricately woven Persian pattern on cotton shawls. This pattern is widely known as 'Paisley' to the present day.
1 Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA) is within the town's boundaries. A large number of airlines fly from here to many locations throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. The airport terminal is just 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Paisley town center. Frequent buses run between the town centre and the airport.
The M8 motorway passes Paisley on the north side near the airport. Exits 27, 28 and 29 of the M8 motorway take you to the north-east, north (airport) and north-west of the town. The M77 passes a few miles to the south east of Paisley. This route connects to Kilmarnock and other locations in South Ayrshire. The A737 connects Paisley to Northern Ayrshire.
Frequent bus service run between Paisley and Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station.
There is a short passenger ferry which runs from Yoker in Glasgow to Renfrew. A frequent bus service connects from this ferry to Paisley town centre.
There are many car hire firms located in Paisley, especially near the airport and the Phoenix retail park on the North West side of the town. Bus services run throughout the town and neighbouring villages. Taxis come in two forms: private hire cars which are cheap but must be booked by telephone in advance or public hire cars which may be hailed in the street. All public hire taxis are white and have wheelchair access. Taxis usually sit on the taxi rank at the airport or outside Gilmour Street Station. All public hire taxis are metered whereas the private hire cars usually calculate the fare using the car's odometer and a fare chart based on the number of miles travelled.
- 1 Paisley Abbey, Abbey Close (In the centre of town, beside the Town Hall.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-3:30PM. Sections of the building date back 800 years. Now a Protestant church, it is the only abbey in Scotland to have survived the reformation. Several kings of Scotland are buried here.
- 2 Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, High Street, ☎ , fax: . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 2PM-5PM. A large number of displays include local industry and weaving plus a natural history section. The galleries mainly show works by Scottish artists. The museum building dates to 1871 and was build by Glasgow architect John Honeyman and was paid for by Sir Peter Coats Entry is free.
- 3 Russell Institute, Causeyside Street. An architecturally interesting building, dating from the 1930s, on the corner of New Street and Causeyside Street.
- 4 Coats Observatory, 49 Oakshaw St West, ☎ , fax: . Daytime entry to the observatory is by guided tour only: Tu-Sa 11:30AM, 1:30PM, 2:30PM; Su 2:30PM, 3:30PM. Public telescope viewing Nov-Dec 22: Tu Th 6:30PM-PM. The observatory was built in 1883 to house a 5-inch equatorial telescope. The original telescope can still be seen and used.
- 5 The Arts Centre, New Street. Formerly the 'Liegh Kirk' (Low Church) of the town, the building is now a vibrant arts centre where you can take in a live performance or relax in the cafe and bar areas.
- 6 Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, High Street. F 2PM-4PM, 11 May-30 Sep: Su 11AM. This large red sandstone building, constructed in the neo-Gothic style during the 19th century, dominates the centre of the town.
- 7 Sma' Shot Cottages, 15 Shuttle St, PA1 2HZ, ☎ . 2 Apr-27 Sep: W Sa noon-4PM. These examples of 18th and 19th century weavers cottages that have been preserved in their original state, proved an incite into life of ordinary people two hundred years ago. free.
- 9 John Neilson Institution, Orchard Street West, ☎ . Opened in 1952, this old school building displays some interesting architecture. The building has now been converted into modern housing.
- 1 Lagoon Leisure Centre, Christie St, PA1 1NB, ☎ . Contains swimming pools and an ice rink as well as other sports equipment and gyms. Ice hockey, curling and leisure skating can be played in the ice rink which has also staged boxing events.
- 2 St Mirren F.C, Paisley 2021 Stadium (St Mirren Park), Greenhill Road, PA3 1RU, ☎ (enquires), (tickets). Local football team.
- Fernie Guided Tours of Paisley (tours leave from outside of Paisley Abbey), ☎ . Sa and public holidays 10:45AM-1:45PM. Bookings are required.. A guided tour on foot round some of the sites and buildings of Paisley.
- 3 Glenifer Braes Country Park (South side of the town). Extensive pathways run along the crest of this hill as far as Barrhead and Johnstone. free.
The University of the West of Scotland is located in the centre of the town. Reid Kerr college is on Renfrew Road in the North of the town.
- Farmers Market. On the last Saturday of every month, the stalls are open at 9AM. Fresh local produced produce at good prices direct form the producer. Come early for the best choice.
- Shimla House Restaurant, 40 Moss St, ☎ . Indian style restaurant. Serves buffet style, eat what you want, or from the menu.
- Cafe India, 8 New St, ☎ . Indian food.
- Antica, 4 Silk St, ☎ . Italian fish and chip shop.
- Cardosis, 4 Storie St, ☎ . A small, but upmarket, Italian restaurant with excellent food. Booking recommended.
- Domino's Paisley, 41 Gauze Street, ☎ . Take-away pizza shop.
- Kwang Tung, 41 George St, ☎ . Chinese restaurant popular with students.
- Koh-I-Noor, 40 New Sneddon St, ☎ . Formerly a manor house, converted into an upmarket Indian restaurant.
- The Mirage, 59 Broomlands St (On the corner of Broomlands and George Street.), ☎ . Indian food at a good price.
- Dantes, 38 Causeyside St, ☎ .
- Shezan Tandoori, 80 Glasgow Rd, ☎ . Good quality, low cost Indian food in the east end of the town. Buffet service lunch and dinner.
- Carlitos, 9-11 Renfrew Rd, ☎ . Italian restaurant and tapas bar.
- kwok Basserie, 28 Moss St, ☎ . Chinese food. Buffet available.
- Tortellini, 16 Shuttle St, ☎ . Italian restaurant and pizzeria.
- Lombardi's, 30 Old Sneddon St, ☎ .
- Night Palace, 45 Old Sneddon St, ☎ . Chinese food.
- Thai Siam, 5 St. James St, ☎ . Thai food.
Most of the night clubs and restaurants are to be found around Shuttle Street, New Street and Storie Street.
- Cafe Borgia, New Street. A young persons' bar.
- The Arts Centre, New Street, ☎ . A small modern bar upstairs form the cafe.
- Abbey Bar, Lawn Street. A classically styled bar catering mainly for middle-aged and elderly people. On Fridays there is a DJ who plays 1960s, 70s and 80s music. On Mondays there is a very well-attended open music night where a wealth of local talent is on hand to entertain.
- Club 69, 40 New Sneddon Street. There are numerous night clubs in Paisley but if you are serious about your dance music there is really only Club 69 for underground Techno and House.
- Gabriels Bar and Diner, 33 Gauze St. An extremely large modern bar, suitable for all ages. It hosts a popular karaoke/disco on Saturdays at 9PM.
- Gilmours, Near Gilmour Street Rail Station. Unremarkable pub, tends to be full of very young drinkers and all that entails. Hosts karaoke every day, even Mondays.
- Lord Lounsdale, Lounsdale Road (Near the RAH Hospital.). An upmarket pub that is popular with the locals.
- Hogshead, 45 High St, ☎ . A new bar of the popular Hogshead chain. Smart classical pub interior with a pleasant atmosphere though more expensive than other bars in the town.
- Last Post, County Square, ☎ . The former main post office building, now converted into a very large bar over two levels. A popular choice with people of all ages.
- O'Neils, New street. A popular place to start a night out, frequented by all ages.
- Russels, 59 High St (Opposit the Museum and Library), ☎ . A popular student-oriented bar close to the University.
- Vienna's Nightclub, New Street. A popular dance club open well into the small hours. This club was notorious for violence in its days as "Club 30" although it appears to now be a student-friendly club with many stewards watching out for you.
- The Bull, New Street. A Paisley institution. A good atmosphere and some private rooms for larger groups
- Canal Station Bar, 1 Stow Brae, ☎ . A bar near the town centre. Also serves food.
- Ramada Glasgow Airport Hotel, Marchburn Dr, Abbotsinch, ☎ . Directly beside the airport terminal building. About 3 miles from the town centre.
- Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport, Abbotsinch, ☎ .
- Premier Inn Hotel Glasgow Airport, Whitecart Road, Glasgow Airport, ☎ .
- Ashtree House Hotel, 9 Orr Square, ☎ .
- Travelodge, Marchburn Dr, Abbotsinch, ☎ .
- Premier Inn Hotel Glasgow (Paisley), Phoenix Business Pk, ☎ .
- Glasgow Airport Hotel, Abbotsinch, ☎ .
- The Lomond Hotels, 91 New Sneddon St, ☎ .
- Glynhill Hotel & Leisure Club, 169 Paisley Rd, Renfrew, ☎ .
- Muirholm Bed & Breakfast, 4 Calside Avenue, ☎ .
- Normandy Hotel, Inchinnan Road, Renfrew, ☎ .
The Library on the high street, in the centre of the town, has public internet facilities.
The taxi rank next to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station attracts a lot of trouble at the weekends, usually around "closing time" in the pubs. Sometimes there are stewards at the rank, sometimes not.
The north-western area known as Ferguslie Park is most certainly not a tourist friendly area. The same applies to Gallowhill.
- Glasgow city is 15 minutes by train form Paisley making it convenient for day trips to the various attractions there.
- The Clyde Coast and Ayrshire towns were popular tourist destinations during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They can be easily accessed by both car and train from Paisley.
- Arran, Bute, and Great Cumbrae (Millport) are three islands in the Firth of Clyde. Trains from Paisley Gilmour Street station connect with the ferries for each of these for easy day trips or overnight jaunts.