At one time Britain’s largest seaport, Glasgow is one of the UK’s liveliest and friendliest cities. It’s also one of the best looking, awash with Victorian architecture combined with a local Glasgow-style from the turn of the 20th century, the brainchild of one Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Booming at the time of the industrial revolution, Glasgow became a byword for shipbuilding and manufacturing and is rightly proud of its fabulous heritage. Now one of Europe’s top 20 financial centres, the city is a thriving, happening place, with an after-hours culture making it just as busy by night as by day. And its position on the River Clyde gives the city one of its finest vistas as well as being an area that perfectly portrays the regions past and present.
Find everything you need to know about Glasgow below and ensure you make the most of your trip to the city, no matter how long your stay.
If you're visiting Glasgow for a business trip, take a look at our Business in Glasgow page to help you find a meeting room or conference venue to impress.
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Have a browse through some of the best Glasgow hotels on Booking.com and find the perfect accommodation for you to unwind after your Flybe flight.
Things to see
Glasgow has much to offer its visitors, with plenty happening by day and night to please all interests. Awash with museums, fabulous architecture and sites of historical interest, the city offers a beautiful mix of tradition and modernity, a shopping experience to rival anywhere in the UK and a lively after hours culture and restaurant scene.
Should you need assistance on reaching Glasgow’s city centre from the airport, see our Glasgow Airport arrivals page for all the details you need. The city is glorious on the eye, from its exquisite cathedral and Victorian city chambers to its art galleries and museums. For a major city it is also rife with greenery, with tranquil open spaces such as The Necropolis and Pollok Country Park just a hop and skip from the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets.
Tourists with a few hours to fill are well-served by Glasgow’s open-topped buses, which grant the opportunity to get on and off as many times as you like, depending on what you wish to see. Glasgow’s heritage is still very much in evidence, with the iconic Tall Ship – over a century old, and the only local-built boat still on British waters. Beyond the city’s environs, the exquisite Clyde Valley offers peaceful countryside for walkers and motorists. However you’re looking to fill your time, you’ll never be short of things to see in Glasgow.
Glasgow is famous for its Style Mile, which takes in Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street and boasts everything the savvy shopper could wish for. Pedestrianised areas welcome shoppers and street performers with open arms and the area as a whole is almost a mini-city within the city. The Argyll Arcade is in particular not to be missed. One of the UK’s oldest covered arcades, it is rightly famed for its jewellers (more than 30 at the last count) but is worth a visit purely for its delightful ambience and hammer beam roof.
Anyone looking for a local souvenir will find much to delight in Victorian Village Antiques. A great selection of antique jewellery from various ages awaits the visitor in search of something truly Scottish, and Gallowgate’s historic Barras Market is a wonderful way to spend an hour or two with goods both old and new sharing the same space.
Glasgow thrives by night as much as it does by day. The music scene in the city rivals any in the UK, and amongst the city’s diverse selection of eating and drinking establishments there’s something for everyone, however quiet or loud you like it. The Teuchters’ Triangle is a great place to start – made up of the Islay Inn, the Park Bar and the Ben Nevis, all found on Argyle Street, these three bars offer great ale and live folk and traditional music amid a friendly party atmosphere.
When it comes to clubs, try Queen Street’s intimate La Cheetah for dancing and electronic music. Renfield Street’s The Flying Duck is a club with a difference – a bohemian Vegan café by day with boards and books to enjoy, nights see DJ sets and free toast for anyone dancing (it’s true!). Jamaica Street’s Sub Club is the world’s longest-running underground dance venue, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017 and having gone through every music revolution from acid house to the present day.
Those after theatre in Glasgow are also well catered for. The Tron Theatre stages a mix of visiting and original productions and boasts a great festival season; the Citizens Theatre is the place to see household names perform on stage, and the Theatre Royal is a must-visit for its glorious interior as well as being the home of Scottish ballet and opera.
Those with an appetite will find much to love in Glasgow’s thriving restaurant scene, with its local specialities, seafood and some of the best Italian and Indian cuisine you’ll find anywhere in the world. Try The Finnieston on Argyll Street for locally-sourced fish and shellfish, or Cathcart Road’s Hooked for traditional fish and chips with a modern twist. Sauchiehall Street’s Tarantino’s is up there with the very best Italian restaurants and Mister Singh’s on Elderslie Street offers a delicious Indian/Scottish fusion, with the waiting staff decked out in kilts. Not to be missed!
If you fancy trying something new, Ruthven Lane’s Hanoi Bike Shop offers Vietnamese fodder at great prices in a relaxed, informal atmosphere, and Kelvinhaugh Street’s The 78 offers the kind of vegan cuisine that makes carnivores forget all about the medium-rare steak they had in mind.
The counties of North and South Lanarkshire offer much for anyone travelling beyond the city. A short half-hour drive can take you to Calderglen Country Park, with its walking routes, nature trails, golf course and zoo. The Falls of Clyde can be reached in under an hour, offering waterfalls, walks and wildlife within a World Heritage Site, and the Pentland Hills Regional Park – a hiker’s paradise – are a similar distance away to the south-east. One highlight not to be missed is the David Livingstone Centre, just 30 minutes’ drive from the city. Housed in the original birthplace of the explorer, the museum is full of original artefacts, diaries and equipment used by Livingstone, and its scene standpoint overlooking the River Clyde makes it a perfect setting for a picnic and leisurely stroll to boot.
The city also offers day trips to areas further afield, so if it’s castles, lochs or mountains you’re interested in, there’s plenty opportunity to hop on a coach and be back before nightfall.