Arrive for one day in Glasgow and get a brief introduction to Scotland’s largest city! Edinburgh may be the capital, but Glasgow is actually the biggest city in both size and population. Here you’ll find trendy bars, music venues, unique cafes and restaurants, along with many fascinating museums and the best shopping in the UK outside of London
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Here are some of the best things to do and see with one day in Glasgow.
Walk up Buchanan Street
Buchanan Street is the bustling city centre street in the heart of Glasgow. You’ll find detailed historical buildings, excellent shopping, and the beautiful Princes Square.
Explore the Glasgow Cathedral & the Glasgow Necropolis
After wandering around Buchanan Street and the city centre, go slightly east and you’ll find the Glasgow Cathedral. First opening in 1197, it still has its original copper roof and details making it an excellent example of gothic and medieval architecture in Glasgow.
Just behind the cathedral, there is the stunningly eerie Glasgow Necropolis. Wander around this historic graveyard and enjoy the marvelous views of the Glasgow Cathedral from above.
See Gallery of Modern Art & The Duke of Wellington Statue.
Right off Buchan Street, you’ll find a true symbol of Glasgow. The free-to-visit Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is housed inside an 18th-century building featuring rotating exhibitions, an art shop, and even a quaint cafe.
In front of GoMA, however, is the Duke of Wellington State – a true symbol of Glaswegian humor. This statue is known to be sported a traffic cone (or two) on top of his head, and his horse can even oftentimes be seen rockin’ one too.
Check out the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.
Made from Glasgow’s red sandstone, the building is an attraction of its own. Though once inside this free museum, expect to be greeted by works from Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Salvador Dali’s masterpiece ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’. With 22 galleries on display, you’ll see everything from animals to designs from Scotland’s architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Where to eat and drink in Glasgow
Have drinks at Waxy O’ Connors.
Celebrate your first night in Scotland! One of Glasgow’s most uniquely designed bars, Waxy O’ Connors has three floors and six different bars with a very treehouse-like vibe as it’s made almost entirely out of wood. The bar is right in the city centre, between Buchanan Street and George Square. It’s a must-visit pub in Glasgow.
Have a delicious dinner at Sloans.
If you’re looking for a dinner recommendation in Glasgow, Sloans is an excellent choice. With indoor and covered outdoor seating, the bar/restaurant boasts a beautiful old venue with delicious eats like its famous macaroni and cheese as well as tasty fish and chips, steak and Guinness pie. They have vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options too
Live music scene
As the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music and UK’s top cultural and creative city Glasgow is famous for its vibrant live music scene.
Home to Celtic Connections – the largest annual winter music festival of its kind and the UK’s premier celebration of Celtic music, no wonder there is a range of traditional Scottish music venues across the city.
Then, in the summer there is World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow Green- the world’s biggest week of piping!
Here is a list of the pubs with folk music sessions.
Park Bar is a truly Scottish experience. For more than 50 years, the Park Bar has acted as a popular venue for Ceilidh music, hosting some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians
The Ben Nevis, a traditional Scottish pub, although a bit quirky is home to folk sessions in Glasgow three nights a week.
Òran Mór is a truly unique venue – formerly Parish Church – in the heart of Glasgow’s West End.
Hidden Gem in Glasgow
ASHTON LANE is the vivid part of the city’s West End is home to world class food served in great bars and restaurants. Charming cobbled streets with fairy lights make it a bohemian hideaway well worth a visit. Try Ubiquitous Chip bars, mezzanine and roof terrace with selection to classic cocktails, with real ales and one mighty whisky collection.
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Where to stay in Glasgow
Accommodation in Glasgow is affordable, except the times when the city is fully packed because of business conferences or events.
If you stay only 1 or 2 days in Glasgow and plan to do sightseeing on foot, I would recommend staying at one of the city centre or West End budget style hotels.
Driving a car in Glasgow is a nightmare, so I definitely recommend using public transport. Glasgow is much bigger than Edinburgh so sighseeing buses will be your best choice.
Get here Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour tickets starting at US$22.48
B&B accommodation mostly is located outside of the city centre, though West End has some affordable accommodation. You can also stay outside of the city and take a city train to get to the city centre.
City Tours in Glasgow
In case you would prefer to have organised tour and learn more about the city I highly recommend taking one of the below tours.
Also, there is a great opportunity to meet a local who gives you a more unique, personal and authentic local experience. It’s a good way also to get the full experience of Glasgow- though the local accent, known as a Glaswegian, is almost as famous as the city itself.
Click the links below to find out rates and availability
Discover other things to do in Glasgow
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