Places to stay, places to eat and fun things to do in Glasgow, Scotland.
Despite being the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow never caught my interest in the past. Its not that I had ever heard anything particularly bad about the city.. It was just barely mentioned. All I ever heard from friends visiting Scotland was either about Edinburgh or the Scottish Highlands. That is probably why I was surprised when Sam insisted we’d start our Scotland road trip in Glasgow. She had heard such wonderful things, I hadn’t heard a thing, so what the hell right?
As soon as I stepped out in the streets of Glasgow I felt surprisingly comfortable. It’s just one of those cities that welcomes you with warmth, despite the ridiculous amounts of rain pouring from the sky in the same brief moment. Unlike cities like London and Edinburgh, Glasgow is not about facades and putting on a show for tourists (no offence, I love those places too). Glasgow felt more authentic, it felt real. And I loved every minute of it.
Keep reading for my best ideas on fun things to do in Glasgow!
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How To Get To Glasgow
Getting to Glasgow should be fairly easy for most people. Here are some great options on how to get to Glasgow:
Glasgow By Air
Most major airlines fly into Glasgow Airport, which is a 15 minute bus ride from Glasgow City Centre. The 500 Glasgow Airport Express departs the airport every 10 minutes and cost £8 for one adult. Flying into Edinburgh Airport is also a great option. We saved a lot of money booking return tickets from Norway to Edinburgh instead of Glasgow, so you should compare flights to both airports to get the best price. The Citylink bus will get you from Edinburgh Airport to Glasgow in less than an hour for £12.50.
Glasgow By Ground
Visiting from another “nearby” cities like London, Manchester or even Dublin and Belfast? You also have a lot of options if you’re planning on traveling to Glasgow by train or bus. Play around with websites like Megabus and Omio to find options that suit your budget and other preferences.
Related: How To Book Cheap Flights
Great Places To Stay In Glasgow
When my time in any given city is limited, my highest priority when choosing a place to stay is location. That way I get to spend less time on transportation and more time enjoying the city of my choice. If possible, I prefer accommodation within walking distance of my selection of sights.
We chose to stay at Jurys Inn on our trip to Glasgow. It is located in the middle of Glasgow City Centre, so we could walk to any place we wanted to visit – just how we like it. The hotel holds a great standard for a low cost, so here you’ll get great value for your money. The staff were very friendly and it was always clean as well. We booked a room with two large beds, and there was more than enough room for the three of us (and our luggage) in there.
Other Great Places To Stay
Grand Central Hotel: Elegant four star hotel located at Glasgow Central Station, convenient if you’re arriving by train.
ibis Styles Glasgow Centre West: Stylish and modern three star hotel in the wonderful ibis Styles franchise.
Native Glasgow: A so-called aparthotel inspired by 1920s ocean liners with impressive decor. Great for groups or families.
citizenM Glasgow: Trendy and smart hotel with fun decor and great amenities.
Fun Things To Do In Glasgow That You Can’t Miss
No matter if you’ve only got two days in the city or two weeks, you’ll always find something to do. There are a ton of fun things to do in Glasgow for everyone and here are my best ideas:
1. Have Fun Exploring Glasgow By Foot
Start exploring Glasgow the best way possible. Have a walk around the centre of the city and try to take it all in. Observe the locals and the life in the little cobblestone streets. Enjoy the incredible architectural gems on every corner, the delicious smells escaping the different restaurants, the art.. Everything and anything. This way you’ll also get to know the city instead of just taking a taxi from A to B. And trust me, Glasgow has something for everyone.
2. Go Shopping
Head over to Buchanan St, Argyle St or Sauchiehall St if you’re in the mood for shopping. The latter two mostly contain chain stores, gift shops and budget warehouses like TK Maxx and Primark. With a few exceptions, of course. Buchanan St has chains like Urban Outfitters, Zara and Miss Selfridges mixed with high-end stores like Gucci, Michael Kors and Hermès. At the north end you’ll find Buchanan Galleries, a mall with stores like River Island, Mango, Monki and Victoria’s Secret. Head over to cozy Ashton Lane for quirky and trendy restaurants whenever you need a shopping break.
3. Enjoy The Best View Of Glasgow
Experiencing a new city from above is never boring, and in Glasgow you get to see the great view for free at The Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is actually Scotland’s Centre for design and architecture; and also works as a visitors centre, exhibition space and events venue. So what you get to experience at this place can vary a lot – super exciting! As a bonus you get to enjoy the view of the city, you just need to climb a few stairs first. Although it was windy and rainy at the time of our visit, The Lighthouse remains one of my favorite sights in Glasgow. Bonus: It’s completely free!
4. Visit A Museum Or A Gallery
Chances are it’s going to rain. It’s Scotland, after all. But no worries, just pop up that umbrella and find the nearest church, cathedral, gallery or museum. Ohh and did I mention that all the major museums and galleries in Glasgow are free to visit? And not to mention freakin’ gorgeous. It’s not a coincidence that a few of these locations have been selected as filming locations for the TV show Outlander! A few of the most popular places to visit include University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow City Chambers.
5. Explore The Wonderful Street Art In Glasgow
One of the many reasons why I fell in love with Glasgow was all of the incredible street art the city is covered in. There were so so many and I couldn’t keep track of which one was my favorite. I think I decided on the black cab being held up by balloons – cool, right? If you have a serious case of FOMO or if you’re looking for the location of a specific mural, you can click here for a full mural trail map. There are SO many talented artists out there, I’m in awe!
6. Visit Edinburgh
Located less than an hour away, stopping by Edinburgh is basically mandatory when visiting Glasgow. So get on that train and spend a day – or a weekend if you have the time – exploring beautiful Edinburgh. Have fun shopping, enjoy learning about Scottish history while admiring countless impressive buildings and enchanting streets, explore sights from Harry Potter or Outlander, or go see the largest whisky selection in the world. The city has so much to offer and you shouldn’t miss it for the world.
Read: My Complete Guide To Edinburgh
7. Visit Winterfell & Castle Leoch
Did you know you a famous filming location from Game of Thrones and Outlander is only a 40 minute drive outside of Glasgow? You do now. Doune Castle is a 14th century castle that’s been a popular filming location throughout the years. Most people might recognize it as Winterfell from the first season of Game of Thrones, or as Castle Leoch in Outlander. Monty Python and The Holy Grail was also filmed there. It was such a fun experience and I truly recommend renting a car for a day so you can visit it. Go early in the morning to escape the worst crowds.
If you don’t want to drive yourselves, you can always do a tour instead. This 1 day Outlander tour from Glasgow takes you to several filming locations, like Doune Castle, Falkland (1940’s Inverness), Blackness Castle (aka Fort William) and adorable Midhope Castle (aka Lallybroch). My favorite was Midhope Castle – I get boosebumps just thinking about that place!
8. Experience The Scottish Highlands
Exploring The Scottish Highlands was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’m not even exaggerating a little. This is why I can’t stress this enough: if you have the time for it when you’re in Glasgow, VISIT THE HIGHLANDS. Even if you only have one day to spare! I promise you won’t regret it.
We were lucky enough to do a three day roadtrip through the highlands after our great time in Glasgow, and we had so many wonderful experiences. It’s definitely best to rent a car and drive yourself if you want the ultimate highlands experience, as public transportation will only get you to a certain point (both literally and figuratively). We got to see a lot in our three days, but I would recommend four days or more if you have the time for it, as there are so many wonderful sights in the highlands.
Read: Scotland Road Trip Map | 8 Day Itinerary
If driving yourself isn’t an option, the best idea is definitely to book a guided tour. Although I’ve noticed most highland tours out there depart from Edinburgh, there definitely are some great tours from Glasgow as well:
1 DAY: With this one day tour you get to experience some of my favorite highland highlights like Glencoe, Fort William, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle & lovely Inverness.
2 DAYS: You can also enjoy even more highlights with this two day tour through the highlands. Experience breathtaking Cairngorm National Park, historic Culloden Battlefield, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Stirling Castle & much more.
3 DAYS: If you have more time on your hands, you could also do a 3 day tour (similar to our trip to the highlands). With this three day tour you get to experience some of my favorite highlands sights like Eilean Donan Castle, the beautiful Glencoe nature, Loch Ness, and the best part – The Isle of Skye. So so so amazing!
Where To Eat & Drink In Glasgow
Glasgow is a great destination for foodies. There are a ton of great places to eat and drink in Glasgow, and there are always new restaurants popping up. Glasgow is also filled with cozy pubs on every street, so there is really no need to plan if you’re the spontaneous type.
22-24 W NILE ST
WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM
Bill’s in Glasgow was simply a cute little breakfast & brunch place we saw on one of our walks and we decided to grab breakfast here our last day in Glasgow. The restaurant has such an adorable interior, very down to earth kind and farm-ish vibe. The buttermilk pancakes and the garden breakfast were both amazing, truly recommended.
2. The Counting House
2 ST VINCENT PLACE
The Counting House is a bar & restaurant located right across the street from George Square in an iconic building from the 1800’s. This architectural treasure started it’s life as the Glasgow head office for the Bank of Scotland. The interior inside is fantastic, there is no other way to describe it. You can even use the bank’s former vaults as an intimate space for socializing, complete with iron gates and a vaulted entrance. SO cool.
3. The Raven
81-85 RENFIELD ST
The Raven is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a filling meal accompanied by some delicious beer. They specialize in American inspired foods like roast meats, and a variety of craft beers, and it was all soooo delicious. Their sweet potato fries were to die for too. Extra bonus for having a super lovely staff and cute interiors. Definitely worth a visit on your Glasgow trip.
Enjoyed my ideas on things to do in Glasgow? You might enjoy these posts as well:
The Ultimate Guide To Edinburgh
Scotland Road Trip Map | 8 Day Itinerary
How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In Manchester
Magical Things To Do In Dublin At Christmas
How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In London
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I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to spend two days in Glasgow and things to do in Glasgow. It really is a beautiful city. Save for later!
The Highlands is somewhere I’d love to visit. I love being in with nature as it were and large areas to have a fun outdoors adventure is always great when you have kids like me. A tour would be perfect.
There are so many tours available and there is so much to see in the highlands! Perfect for bringing kids ☺️😄👌🏻
Now this is a complete guide for anyone visiting Glasgow! Your pictures are super amazing and would make anyone want to visit Glasgow. I would absolutely love the street art, city walk, shopping and seeing the Highlands too! Just magical! You sure did have fun, right?
Awee thank you so much Dalene ☺️🌼 I sure did! I’m sure you would love it too 😄
Glasgow looks and sounds so unbelievably amazing! It looks like you had such a wonderful adventure. I’ve never been, but I hope to one day have the opportunity to travel to Scotland.
Ohh it absolutely was, I hope you get to experience it yourself soon ☺️ Such a beautiful country
This is such an extensive guide which would come in handy when planning for a trip to Glasgow. I would love to visit the Highlands and marvel at nature’s beauty.
Thank you! I hope you get to see the highlands one day ☺️☺️
I only new Glasgow as the country of our clients that we’re supporting at work, didn’t know it was this beautiful. thanks for sharing.
Those highlands are beautiful! And the city looks like a lot of fun to explore. Looks like there is so much to do there.
Wow these are some cool places to visit there. I have never been here but would love yo visit there sometime
The highlands is a must go for me. I’m gonna save this up for future travel to glosgow.
Both Glasgow and the highlands are incredible! I hope you have an amazing trip in the future ☺️
Glasgow looks so pretty! I love that is has such beautiful street art and so many great restaurants. I have actually ate at Bill’s in Salisbury, delicious food! I hope to visit Scotland next summer, fingers crossed.
Great guide for Glasgow! I definitely want to get to the Highlands. And I do love Outlander so would hit up those castles.
Thank you, Leslie! The highlands were incredible!
Yayyy, I spent a full day in Glasgow prior to hiking the West Highland Way, it was so fun. It rained pretty much the whole time for me too (I actually bought a whole new rain jacket when I realized how brutal it was, which helped me tons on the hike) so parts of it were kind of ominous, like the Cathedral and Necropolis (though those might be ominous all the time anyway). Thankfully I also found a free hop-on hop-off tour that was only happening for one day, and it took me to all kinds of places around town that I would have found too far to walk in the rain otherwise. I loved the Kelvingrove Museum, Riverside Museum, the viking Govan Stones at the Old Parish Church, and the oldest house in Glasgow. I didn’t know about the Lighthouse, I wish I had done that! I also didn’t see nearly as much off-the-beaten-path street art as I could have, just two iconic ones that I walked by on accident. Also missed all these yummy sounding restaurants 🙁 I did go to one that I thought was really good, Mother India’s cafe, because I heard Glasgow is known for it’s Indian Food. I’m not sure if that place is actually located on The Curry Mile or not but it was delicious.
Oh wow you really explored a whole lot of Glasgow! I will definitely check your ideas out next time 🙂
How was the hike??
I absolutely love Scotland and will be visiting again soon in a few weeks so it looks like I have a few more places that I need to check out while in Glasgow! 🙂
Glad to hear it 😄 have fun!
My mum is from Glasgow and most of my family are there, but I haven’t visited since I was a kid. I’d heard it’s really revitalised itself in recent years and your post shows that definitely seems to be true . Every year I say I’ll go up there, then I get distracted by other destinations…maybe next year I’ll actually make it!
Ohh you have to, it was such a great place to visit!
Glasgow looks like such a fun city to explore! I’ve been to Scotland and loved everything about it but didn’t get the chance to visit Glasgow. Will definitely make sure to visit on my next trip. Great post! 😁
It was a great city to explore, make sure you visit next time 😄😄
For growing up so close to Glasgow in the north of England, I have never really explored the city as much as I should have. One thing I always see that appeals is the incredible street art.
The street art was amazing 😍
I’m thinking about doing a quick stop in Glasgow next month and can probably only manage 2 days from there, absolute perfect timing to come across this! Love your photos too 🙂
Thank you so much, Alex. Enjoy Glasgow 😍 Such a lovely city!
Always love your photos of a city! You’ve managed to make grey Glasgow pretty. Also, definitely saving this for food recommendation!
Awe that means a ton, thank you so much!
What a great guide Tina! And your photos are stunning as always. Both my mom and sisters have been to Glasgow several times and they loved it, so I can’t believe I haven’t been yet. Definitely on my bucket list for next year!
Thank you so much ☺️ Ohh yeah? Next time you have to join them!
So glad you loved Scotland! I absolutely adore all the street art in Glasgow, it’s definitely a highlight for me. Also tons of pubs and restaurants, the nightlife is fantastic. It’s so underrated compared to Edinburgh (although I DO prefer Edinburgh, just I think it’s a shame when people skip Glasgow!).
For sure! Yeah I love Edinburgh as well, but its sad when people skip Glasgow because of an undeserved bad rep from the past. Its definitely worth visiting 😄☺️
Oh wow to be honest I didn´t think much about Glasgow but now I just might have changed my mind about visiting. Especially love the street art, thanks for sharing this post x
The street art is amazing! 😍
I really wish I had time to fit Glasgow during my Scotland trip a few years ago. Reading this today has only made me want to go back and see it soon 💗
Next time 😄😄
Oh I loved Glasgow!! I went with all girlfriend a few years back and we had such a fun time! We visited quite a few tea shops as we are a bit obsessed with scones! I would love to go back again!
Ohh we missed out on that! Any tea shops to recommend? 😀
The photos are stunning. As a local Scot, it makes me ashamed that I haven’t opened my eyes to how beautiful Glasgow is… even in the rain! Great post!
Thank you <3