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11 things you can do in Glasgow now

From discovering the delights of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in a brand new walking tour to trying whitewater tubing for the first time, here is our list of 11 things that you can do in the city right now. 

1. Enjoy dinner and drinks at Merchant Square

Entranceway to Merchant Square, Glasgow with two trees Image credit: Merchant Square

Arrange a catch up with friends and family over a meal or drinks in the stunning surrounds of Merchant Square. Dating back to the 1800s, this former merchant’s marketplace is home to some top-notch bars and restaurants including Bar Soba, Steak, Cattle & Roll and Metropolitan where you can enjoy lunch, dinner or cocktails in the beautiful courtyard. Visit the Merchant Square website for more information.

 

We can't wait to see Merchant Square fully open with our guests safely enjoying cocktails, drinks and eating delicious food in the inside/outside feel of our fantastic venue in the heart of the Merchant City.

Jennifer Morrison, Merchant Square

2. Explore the city by bicycle with Glasgow Bike Tours

Bicycles from Glasgow Bike ToursImage credit: Dan Burnam Photos

Ride along and take in the sights of the city with Glasgow Bike Tours. Visit locations where you can see spectacular views of the city, not possible by bus or car. The entire tour is outdoors, and the route is generally flat. It has been designed using cycle paths, river and canal pathways and minor roads with very little traffic. A 20% discount is currently being offered to locals and groups. Head to the Glasgow Bike Tours website to book.  

3. Enjoy Glasgow International at the Gallery of Modern Art

External detail of the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

Glasgow International, one of the UK’s largest and most influential visual arts festivals, will take place across the city from June 11-27. Comprising of over 70 exhibitions and events, performances and talks at over 30 spaces across the city and online, the 2021 festival will highlight Glasgow as a centre for innovative contemporary art. Visit the festival website to find out more and book tickets.

4. Watch a film at the Glasgow Film Theatre

Exterior of the Glasgow Film TheatreImage credit: Glasgow Film Theatre

Taking in a movie with a side of wine and popcorn is a much-loved experience in Glasgow and one that we’ve missed recently. So, it’s great news that Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), the city’s original independent cinema, can finally reopen its doors to its adoring public! Screenings to look forward to including Nomadland, Minari, Judas and the Black Messiah and Sound of Metal. Book your tickets on the Glasgow Film Theatre website.

 

I am so excited to be back in the city after such a long, unprecedented absence. I am most looking forward to greeting our customers back into the cinema and also to be back working with our brilliant team of Glasgow Film Theatre staff and volunteers.

Angela Freeman, Glasgow Film Theatre

5. Sample the Crabshakk pop-up menu at Cathedral House Hotel

Enjoy a second helping of incredible Scottish seafood food served in stunning surroundings as Crabshakk and Cathedral House Hotel join forces once again this summer. This amazing pairing is available Friday to Sunday from 12-6pm with tables either inside or outside in the hotel garden, where you can enjoy views of Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis. Visit the Cathedral House Hotel website to see the sample menu and book a table.

6. Try whitewater tubing at Pinkston Watersports

Open water swimming at Pinkston WatersportsImage credit: Pinkston Watersports

Pinkston, just five minutes north of the city centre, is Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course with a brilliant range of activities on offer from cold water swimming, kayaking and canoeing and the brand new adrenalin-fuelled, whitewater tubing! Prepare to get soaked and have fun as experienced instructors guide you through what’s involved. Visit the Pinkston website for prices and availability.

 

7. Browse the quirky stores down the Hidden Lane

The Hidden Lane, Glasgow

The not-so-secret Hidden Lane in Finnieston is open for business with its community of artists, designers and independent traders ready to welcome you back. Take a wander around this creative and colourful lane and pick up beautiful handmade treasures from Porteous & Co, quirky gifts from Neon Gray and zero-waste sustainable fashion from House of Black. The Lane also has its own vintage tearoom and is home to Glasgow’s first organic brewery. Visit the Hidden Lane website for a list of all the businesses.

We are most definitely grateful to be open and to have the reinstated routine of shop life. There is a feeling of new beginnings, rather like starting all over again.

Vicki Dreyer and Matt McCulloch, Porteous & Co

8. Visit Mackintosh at the Willow for a decadent afternoon tea

Exterior ornate signage of Mackintosh at the Willow, Glasgow  

Mackintosh at the Willow, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed tearoom, offer a scrumptious afternoon tea in the magnificent surroundings of their Salon De Luxe room. The experience includes a champagne afternoon tea as well as a talk by a Mackintosh expert and entry to the interactive exhibition. While you are there check out the rooftop terrace for drinks and dining in the sunshine. You can book your experience on Mackintosh at the Willow's website.

9. Try out the Beresford Lounge

Interior of the Beresford Lounge Cafe on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow Image credit: Beresford Lounge

The Beresford Lounge is a new venue which is located in the iconic, Art Deco Beresford building on Sauchiehall Street. Spread over three floors, it comprises of a cafe, bar, restaurant and nightclub as well as the members-only Patrons Lounge. The Instagrammable interior décor exudes 1930s glamour and includes a stunning mural by artist Catherine Abel and artwork commission by Glasgow School of Art graduate, Calum Stevenson. Find out more about this amazing new venue at the Beresford Lounge website.

10. Book a walking tour to discover the delights of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

A brand new collaboration between Walking Tours In Glasgow and Mackintosh at the Willow sees the introduction of a great new Mackintosh walking tour. With an expert guide, you'll take a deeper look at Mackintosh's life, marriage, influences and incredible expertise; visiting some of his most famous works that still stand to this day and some lesser-known treasures along the way. The tour finishes at Mackintosh at the Willow to allow you to explore their exhibition. Book your tickets at the Walking Tours In Glasgow website.

We are buzzing to be back in business and showing off the beauty of Glasgow to locals and Scottish visitors! With our city centre, street art and new Mackintosh tour we get to meet such a wide variety of people and it's so good to connect in person again.

Liv Barber, Walking Tours in Glasgow

11. Treat yourself to an overnight stay at the voco Grand Central Hotel

Interior of the voco Grand Central Hotel, GlasgowImage credit: voco Grand Central Hotel

The famous Grand Central Hotel has recently undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment to become a voco branded hotel. The hotel’s 230 bedrooms have been updated and the hotel bar Champagne Central, overlooking Central Station, is where guests and visitors can enjoy cocktails, afternoon tea and a new tapas menu in glamorous surroundings. Visit the voco Grand Central website and treat yourself to an overnight stay.

 

Visit our Glasgow Now section for more inspiration on how to enjoy the city.

Article last updated: June 2021