Glasgow's neighbourhoods each have their own character and charm, with amazing parks and green spaces, stunning architecture and hidden gems to discover. Under the new Scottish Government guidelines, you can travel freely within your local authority to visit spaces and places beyond your doorstep. While we stay local to stay safe, check out our guide to making the most of each of the city's vibrant neighbourhoods.
Enjoy Glasgow's city centre neighbourhood
Are you looking forward to getting back to the heart of the city? With the streets quieter than usual, it is a great time to take in the beauty of the city centre, which is home to some of the UK's best-preserved Victorian architecture.
Two buildings worth a visit for the exterior alone are the Mitchell Library, Europe's largest public library, which is due to reopen on April 27 and Glasgow City Chambers, the centre-piece of George Square. Round the corner, there is much to discover in and around the elegant streets of the Merchant City, one of Glasgow’s oldest quarters. Ingram Street is home to designer stores, which are preparing to reopen next week, as well as the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), home to contemporary Scottish and world art. For booking information for visiting both Mitchell Library and GoMA visit glasgowlife.org.uk.
There are many cobbled lanes nearby to discover, including Sloan's Lane and Mitchell Lane. It is down some of these lanes that you will find huge pieces of street art adorning the sides of buildings, which make up the City Centre Mural Trail. From a fantastical floating taxi to a modern-day depiction of Glasgow's Patron Saint, St Mungo, the mural trail makes for a great day out, whether you take a self-guided tour or a tour led by expert guides at Walking Tours in Scotland (visit their website for information on private and public tours restarting in April and May respectively).
The city centre is also a great neighbourhood for discovering the genius of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The tearooms, exhibition and rooftop terrace at Mackintosh at the Willow are due to reopen on April 30 (bookings can be made on their website). And for a hidden gem, seek out the bronze statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh by Glaswegian sculptor, Andy Scott. Famed for his Falkirk Kelpies, Scott's Mackintosh statue can be found in the Anderston area of the city centre.
For food and drinks on the move, try Sprigg on Ingram Street for fresh salads and snack boxes that are jam-packed with colour and taste - preorder from Sprigg's website or simply order at the door. Just round the corner on Miller Street is one of the city's most popular haunts, Paesano Pizza, who have managed to keep the stove on throughout lockdown by changing from sit-ins to takeaway and deliveries. So why not pick up one of their weekly specials (check out Paesano's menu) and find a spot nearby in George Square for a treat-time lunch.
Enjoy Glasgow's west neighbourhood
The west of Glasgow is a lush green area of the city, full of traditional tenement lined streets, quirky independent shops and standout architecture. With so much going on, it's no wonder that various districts of the west, including Kelvinbridge, Partick and Finnieston, keep appearing in the coolest and hippest of neighbourhood lists by leading UK media.
For parks and outdoor spaces, Kelvingrove Park is superb, with great city views from the top and providing a green backdrop to not-one-but-two of the city's finest buildings; the gothic University of Glasgow and Victorian Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Other green spaces in the west include the Botanic Gardens, ideal for woodland walks along the River Kelvin and home to the beautiful glass Kibble Palace. While Victoria Park is known as one of Glasgow's prettiest parks, especially at this time of year due to its spring flower displays.
A number of the city's key attractions are based in the west, including two of Scotland's most popular free and family-friendly attractions, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Riverside Museum. Both of these leading attractions are due to reopen on April 26, and until then, their grand exteriors are worth the visit alone! Visit Glasgow Life's wesbite and follow @glasgowlife on Twitter for info on booking slots to visit these venues. There are plenty of hidden gems nestled in the west of the city too, such as the Sixty Steps. Designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, find out where to find this sweeping stone staircase at sixtysteps.org.uk, which is well worth seeking out for those who love architectural quirks.
It is down the cobbled lanes of the west, that many of the city's unique and independent stores reside. Makers and creators based on the likes of Ashton Lane, De Courcy's Arcade and the Hidden Lane have been selling their products from their online stores these past months (check out our guide to Glasgow's online shopping scene) and are currently preparing to welcome customers through their doors once again from April 26. And a number of popular Glasgow shops have opened already under the extension to essential shops to include homeware, including Timorous Beasties, which sells high-end and contemporary fabric, wallpaper and furniture from their Great Western Road store.
Leafy, creative and community-led, Glasgow's south is the perfect place for a long leisurely walk. With beautiful tenement streets, the city's largest parks and trendy little cafes, head south and have a great day!
When in the south of the city, it's hard not to start with Pollok Country Park. There are many lovely Instagram-friendly photo opportunities, from woodland trails to bridges over the White Cart Water to Highland Cows and their springtime fluffy calves. The grand Pollok House, which houses an impressive Spanish art collection and tearoom is aiming to reopen to the public at the end of April - find the latest reopening details on the National Trust for Scotland's website. Then there is Queen's Park, home to one of the city's best viewpoints, Scotland's Poetry Rose Garden and tennis courts, which are open now (download the Glasgow Club app to make bookings).
The south is also a good place to view some of the work by two of the city's most famous architects - Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander Greek Thomson. For the Art Nouveau wonders of Mackintosh, check out the exterior of Scotland Street School Museum and House for an Art Lover, set in the beautiful parkland setting of Bellahouston Park. Visit House for an Art Lover's wesbite for details on reopening plans for the arts centre, rooms and cafe, and until then, enjoy their currently open walled garden in full spring bloom.
Wander through the district of Strathbungo and find Moray Place - one of a number of the city's most desirable streets to live in, which can be found in the south. If you enjoy a bit of house envy, check out the stunning streets of Milbrae Crescent, Queen's Drive and Blairhall Avenue. Further out in Cathcart is Thomson's Holmwood House - keep up-to-date via the National Trust for Scotland's website on which date in May that the architect’s finest residential villa is due to reopen.
For gourmet grub-on-the-go, the south of the city has got you covered. The trendy districts of the south, including Shawlands, Govanhill, Battlefield and Strathbungo are brimming with foodie places offering takeout. One of the city's most popular spots for brunch and lunch is Cafe Strange Brew, which has installed a takeaway hatch - visit Cafe Strange Brew on Instagram for ideas on what to order from this multi-award winning cafe. Just down the road is The Glad Cafe, which launched a new venture during lockdown, Crossmyloof Bakery Pizzeria. Check out their topping options for Friday and Saturday evening pizzas on their website.
Enjoy Glasgow's east neighbourhood
Bold and beautiful, the city's east neighbourhood is home to some of the city's oldest buildings, as well as exciting new developments; a unique blend of creativity and heritage.
Uncover the medieval heart of Glasgow by taking a stroll around the Cathedral Precinct, which encompasses the grand Glasgow Cathedral (reopening April 30 - book tickets in advance), one of the best examples of a medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland. Beside Glasgow Cathedral is the Provand's Lordship (Glasgow's oldest house) and the Necropolis, a beautiful Victorian garden cemetery with panoramic views over Glasgow. Often described as an outdoor museum and art gallery, the Necropolis is a fascinating place to visit and is of course open to visitors just now due to being outdoors only.
There are plenty more green spaces and parks in the east of the city. Tollcross Park is home to a stunning rose garden and the city's oldest park, Glasgow Green includes The Doulton Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world and one of the city's most unique buildings, Templeton on the Green. For more information on Glasgow's parks and gardens visit Glasgow City Council's parks pages.
For Instagram-worthy images to capture the true spirit of the east of the city, there are two iconic signs that are great to snap. The Barras Market sign and the Barrowland Ballroom neon sign. For music memories, head to the nearby Album Pathway at Barrowland Park, which lists the name and date of thousands of bands that have played the legendary venue, arranged like records on a shelf. Can you spot any gigs you attended?
For takeaway to enjoy out and about, there are plenty of options. You'll need to be quick if you want to grab a seriously tasty sausage roll from Scran on Alexandra Parade, who are operating takeaway from the door (Wed-Sun). Visit Scan on Instagram for some mouth-watering pics of their food range. Soak in the vibes as you take in the east's coolest district, Dennistoun, and try out Tibo Bistro for takeaway coffee and great grub. Check out Tibo's menu online, which includes the likes of full breakfast, paprika halloumi fries and philly cheesestack toasties.
Enjoy Glasgow's north neighbourhood
Glasgow's diverse north neighbourhood is a combination of industrial heritage meets urban playground meets wildlife wonderland. Take a journey along the historic waterway, the Forth and Clyde Canal - an urban retreat that is great for wildlife spotting and for water-based sporting activities.
Take in the beautiful Georgian style buildings of Speirs Wharf, once home to industrial mills, before setting off for a walk or a cycle along the Forth & Clyde Canal. Visit scottishcanals.co.uk to find out which wildlife to expect to come across along the canal. Along the way, stop to admire the exterior of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Mackintosh Queen's Cross, a vision of gothic beauty. For by the canalside lunch, try Ocho, who are serving up delicious dishes to takeaway (Fri-Mon). Visit Ocho on Instagram for an idea of what delights to expect.
Just across the canal is Glasgow’s very first inner-city nature reserve, Hamilton Claypits Local Nature Reserve. Once home to an area of claypits that produced clay to line the canal and keep it watertight, this reserve is renowned for its viewpoint, as well as the wonderful wildlife, flora and fauna. And if you head further north once again, you’ll find one of the oldest nature reserves in Scotland and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, Possil Marsh and Loch. With a well signposted circular walk around the reserve, you can leisurely meander around this home to rare plants and 150 species of birds.