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For a great introduction to Scotland's biggest city, follow this itinerary from a little outside central Glasgow to take in its premier museum, the Kelvingrove, one of its hippest cafe districts, and its lovely Botanic Gardens; with an option to walk between the three on a lovely riverside path. In the afternoon return to the city centre to the shopping streets and landmark squares around the quirky Modern Art Gallery. Then drop in on Glasgow Cathedral and the adjacent Necropolis; an atmospheric graveyard with excellent city views, and a great place to watch the sunset. From here it's a short walk to the Merchant City: a vibrant restaurant and nightlife district. Its many pubs will help you round off the night and spend your savings, since none of the attractions in this guide charge an entrance fee!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller

11 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Art Museums

Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace

Gardens

Buchanan Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Princes Square

Shopping Malls

Gallery of Modern Art

Art Museums

George Square

Points of Interest & Landmarks

City Chambers

Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings, Historic Sites

Glasgow Cathedral

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

The Necropolis

Cemeteries

Merchant City

Neighbourhoods

City Merchant

Restaurants

Christian W's City Tips

  • Rest your feet by taking Glasgow's cute miniature subway to the Kelvingrove (Partick Cross station) and back from the Botanic Gardens (Hillhead station).
  • Pack a raincoat or umbrella – Glasgow is one of Britain's wettest cities!
  • A tip of around 10% is expected in restaurants but less so in cafes.
  • Save
    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This eclectic museum is packed full of treasures – from medieval armour to contemporary art – and is far and away the most visited Glasgow museum. Unmissable for any museum lover.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • On a nice day consider walking the pleasant wooded path alongside the River Kelvin to the Botanic Gardens. The route is signposted behind the museum and takes about 30 minutes.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Charles Rennie Mackintosh-Making the Glasgow Style 20/08/2018
    • Not to be missed 20/08/2018
    • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    Address:
    Kelvingrove Art Galleries Argyle Street
    Glasgow G3 8AG
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 276 9599
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Glasgow's Botanic Gardens date back to 1817, though their landmark glasshouses - including the handsome Kibble Palace – arrived decades later. Today, it’s a popular local hangout, making people-watching an added attraction, and best visited during the gardens’ regular art exhibitions, theatrical performances and festivals.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Byres Road area, just south of the Botanic gardens is full of hip cafes and interesting restaurants.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Romantic 20/08/2018
    • Nice gardens situated in a quiet park. 20/08/2018
    • Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace
    Address:
    730 Great Western Road
    Glasgow G12 0UE
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 334 2422
    Other:
  • Save
    Buchanan Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    One of the city’s best-known and liveliest streets, Buchanan Street is mostly just a line of chain stores. But there’s a nice buzz about this pedestrianised zone all the same, and it's common to see street performers here.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The Willow Tea Rooms above a jeweller at #217 is a great cafe whose interiors – including even the cutlery and menus – are all the elegant work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #28 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice walking area 20/08/2018
    • Great shopping 19/08/2018
    • Buchanan Street
    Phone:
    +44 141 621 0496
    Other:
  • Save
    Princes Square
    Shopping Malls
    Christian W Says:

    Glaswegians are sometimes dubbed 'the Italians of Scotland' for their gregariousness and style-conscious showiness. See where the real fashionistas among them shop in this lovely sandstone mall. It's full of art deco touches, ornate iron work, classy boutiques and good for people-watching – whatever the weather.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Some of the entrances to the mall are not obvious and involve escalators straight from Buchanan Street. Eyes peeled!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #52 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Posh Shops 31/07/2018
    • A good place to shop and relax 09/07/2018
    • Princes Square
    Address:
    Princes Square 48 Buchanan Street
    Glasgow G1 3JN
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 221 0324
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Gallery of Modern Art
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Once the extraordinary 18th-century mansion of tobacco magnate William Cunningham, this building now provides attractive exhibit spaces – complete with stained glass and Corinthian columns – for stimulating contemporary art. Nicknamed GOMA, the museum has a solid permanent collection (Scottish artists include Peter Howson, John Byrne, Toby Paterson, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Tim Stead) but is often a better bet for its temporary exhibitions.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • There’s a good cafe with free WiFi in the basement.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #287 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    • Art workshop 06/08/2018
    • Lovely building but.... 04/08/2018
    • Gallery of Modern Art
    Address:
    111 Queen Street
    Royal Exchange Square
    Glasgow G1 3AH
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 3050
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Wed
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    George Square
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Of all of Glasgow's landmarks, the wide-open plaza of George Square is probably its key focal point. Steady traffic and a railway station always give it a vibrant bustle and it's full of self-confident Victorian architecture and statues to admire.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Writer Sir Walter Scott is at the top of the square's centrepiece column, while other statues here depict other national heroes such as James Watt and Robbie Burns.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Too cute during the holidays 19/08/2018
    • Part of Glasgow that must be done!! 19/08/2018
    • George Square
    Address:
    George and St. Vincent Sts.
    Glasgow
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 2000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    City Chambers
    Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Glasgow's most prestigious structure and arguably Britain's finest-looking council building, the City Chambers, were modelled on Classical Italian architecture and completed in 1888. The ground-floor mosaic ceilings and mighty Italian marble stairwells are open to the public.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • To see more of the labyrinthine interior you’ll need to join a free tour – Mon–Fri 10.30am and 2.30pm. No need to book in advance.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • stunning 07/08/2018
    • Beautiful Architecture 06/08/2018
    • City Chambers
    Address:
    80 George Square
    Glasgow G2 1DU
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 2000
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Glasgow Cathedral
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    In 1451, and around a century after it was built, Pope Nicholas V declared Glasgow Cathedral equal to Rome as a place of pilgrimage. Amazingly, the roof timbers are original but it's the exquisite stained glass that steals the show.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For a few pence you can pick up a sheet in one of several languages that guides you around the building.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Visit to the Glasgow Cathedral 19/08/2018
    • Must see in Glasgow 19/08/2018
    • Glasgow Cathedral
    Address:
    2 Castle Street
    Glasgow G4 0RH
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 552 6891
    Hours:
    Sun
    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Necropolis
    Cemeteries
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    The atmospherically decrepit Necropolis lies on the on the adjacent hill and bristles with extravagant tombs. It's very photogenic and you'll have a great view of the city from here.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The large monument in the centre is to John Knox, the Scottish clergyman who led Scotland's Protestant Reformation.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An attraction that is different 20/08/2018
    • An Amazing Walk in History 19/08/2018
    • The Necropolis
    Address:
    50 Cathedral Square
    Glasgow G4 0UZ
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 5064
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Merchant City
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Developed from the 1750s onwards, the Merchant City was once a district of residences and warehouses of wealthy Glasgow merchants who largely made their money in shipping, tobacco, sugar or tea. In recent decades this attractively regenerated area has become a key leisure district, featuring many of the city's most innovative bars and restaurants.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Merchant Square hosts a Craft & Design Fair every Saturday and Sunday with artists displaying their work (which spans from traditional to modern crafts). Great for souvenirs!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lots of shops 15/08/2018
    • So many pubs and restaurants to choose from !! 11/08/2018
    • Merchant City
    Phone:
    +44 141 552 3138
    Other:
  • Save
    City Merchant
    Restaurants (Seafood, European, British, Scottish)
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    One of the Merchant City's longest standing and most reliably good places is this leading seafood restaurant. Set meals work out very reasonably – given the quality – for a delicious three course at dinner.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • For something uniquely Scottish, try having a raisin-and-bread-based "clootie dumpling" for dessert.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #196 of 2,043 restaurants in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • warm welcome, delicious food 20/08/2018
    • So tasty!! 09/08/2018
    • City Merchant
    Address:
    97-99 Candleriggs
    Merchant City
    Glasgow G1 1NP
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 553 1577
    Price range:
    US$16 - US$48
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    12:00 PM - 10:30 PM
    Other:
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