Plan a day trip to Glasgow to enjoy amazing shopping, delicious food and drink, stunning sights and great experiences. There is so much for you to discover.
Take time to explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, uncover hidden gems through fascinating tours and trails, drink and dine in award-winning bars and restaurants and shop in the city’s fantastic high street and independent stores.
Most businesses across the city are back up and running having adapted their offerings and put in place health and safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Here’s our guide to some of the great experiences on offer.
Tours are a great way of seeing Glasgow and learning fascinating facts about the city from expert locals. Walking Tours in Glasgow have restarted their public and private tours. Their popular Street Art tour takes groups around the city centre's beautiful pieces of huge street art adorning the sides of buildings. Glasgow Music City Tours have also re-launched their popular Music Mile and Merchant City tours revealing the sights and sounds of the city’s legendary scene.
City Sightseeing Bus Tours are a favourite for any day-tripper wanting to make sure they tick off all the main sights and landmarks. Book in advance to enjoy the open-top tours offering plenty of fresh air and wind in your hair as you spot top landmarks with commentary from friendly expert guides. The bus tours have teamed up with city centre foodie favourites to offer joint ticket deals - Sprigg for a delicious picnic and Scottish restaurant Mharsanta for a two course meal at stop number three en route. If you like the idea of combining stunning sights with scrumptious food, then there is also the Red Bus Bistro. The vintage bus is back on the roads offering a truly unique dining experience, serving afternoon tea whilst touring the sights of the city.
If you prefer to take things at your own pace you can follow a self-guided trail around the murals or follow the brand new City Centre Contemporary Art Trail which allows visitors to enjoy some of the city’s fantastic contemporary art that can be seen from the streets around the city centre.
Explore the city's neighbourhoods each with their own distinct personality, vibe and hidden gems. As Glasgow is a compact city and easy to get around, you can explore more than one neighbourhood in one day. So you might want to take a bike ride around Pollok Country Park in the leafy south in the morning, followed by some lunch and shopping in the vibrant city centre. Afterwards, head to the urban playground that is the north for a stroll along the banks of the canal then enjoy a late afternoon wander around the quaint, cobbled lanes of the bohemian west finished off with dinner in a laid-back, hip hang-out in the east!
Find out more about what's on offer in each unique neighbourhood and decide where you want to head first! Check out our Know before you go: A practical guide to visiting Glasgow for help with planning your trip.
Glasgow is home to some of the country's top attractions. Marvel at the Victorian elegance of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, set within the beautiful Kelvingrove Park in the west of the city. Following its recent reopening, visitors can now visit its world-class collection of art and artefacts from Natural History to Arms and Armour. The award-winning Riverside Museum, with it's amazing exhibits and interative displays, is also open and ready to welcome back visitors to enjoy it's fascinating transport collections. Both museums are free to visit but tickets must be booked in advance.
Now even more of the city's fantastic attractions have opened their doors to visitors once again. The Hunterian Museum, Scotland’s oldest public museum, has a fantastic collection of scientific and Roman artefacts to view. Book your free tickets online in advance. The Museum is located in the grounds of the gothic University of Glasgow, officially Scotland's most Instagrammed university and also said to be the inspiration behind Hogwarts! For showstopping, book your tickets now for the medieval Glasgow Cathedral, used in the filming of hit TV show Outlander. A cultural attraction of great significance is Mackintosh at the Willow - book now to take in the exhibition, a guided tour and have afternoon tea within the exquisite surrounds of the restored Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed tearooms.
From grand to hidden gems, check out the quirky Britannia Panopticon, the oldest surviving music hall in the world, see what is on the programme at the creative and edgy Centre for Contemporary Arts, the hidden gem that is the Glasgow Police Museum, or the treasure trove within the one-of-a-kind Glasgow Women's Library - all ready to welcome you back. Be sure to check individual websites for information ahead of your visit as opening times and ticket requirements may differ.
Glasgow has a food and drink scene that is described by Rough Guides as "one of the best places to head for culinary experimentation". From successful street markets to award-winning Scottish dining to being one of the UK's most vegan-friendly cities, Glasgow's food scene is varied and constantly reinventing itself, just like the city!
Pubs, cafes and restaurants have reopened both indoor and outdoor spaces, with safety measures in place. Be sure to check individual websites for booking information, be aware that face coverings are mandatory when moving around inside premises and that there is a 10pm curfew in place.
The city's ever-evolving food scene has continued to change shape over the past few months with some new additions including modern Scottish fine dining at Glaschu, South-East Asian inspired dishes at Mamasan Bar & Brasserie and deep dish pizza pies at Thundercat. And coffee-lovers will be delighted to hear that the Glasgow Coffee Festival will take place across 10 days this October, with over 50 coffee shops and roasters participating - buy tickets for just £5 here to support independent local cafes.
The city has also welcomed some outdoor food and beer gardens, serving up gastro-delights from street food vendors al-fresco style, such as Cranside Kitchen at The Rotunda, Ronnie's Bar and Bike Shop at SWG3's Galvanizers Yard, Glasgow Beer Works and Festival Village in the city centre. The Calton Taproom at Barras Art and Design has its own state-of-the-art smoker to bring the best BBQ, rotisserie and grilled meats, fish and vegetables to the area. Check out our Dine Out in Glasgow feature for details on some of the best spots.
Glasgow is home to flagship high street and designer stores, as well as weekend markets and original independent stores that you won't find anywhere else.
Many of the city's high street favourites which can be found on the stylish Buchanan Street and Ingram Street are now open and the city centre shopping malls including, the family-friendly St. Enoch Centre, leading Buchanan Galleries, boutique Princes Square and historic Argyll Arcade are all ready to welcome you back.
The city's neighbourhoods each have their own distinct character which is reflected in the great independent stores and exclusive boutiques you’ll find there. In the west, you'll find the quirky De Courcy's Arcade and not-so-secret Hidden Lane or head south to check out giftware and stationery at Hell Yeah or stunning homewares at 28 Langside. See our guide to Glasgow's shopping scene for a round-up of those who are back in business across the city.
As a city full of crafters and creators, it is no wonder that Glasgow has a number of great weekend markets, with Art on the Exchange and the Barras Market both ready to welcome you. There's nothing quite like browsing the lovingly-created products at weekend markets, whilst chatting with creators to come face-to-face with Glasgow's distinctive friendly personality.
In Glasgow, we are spoilt for choice with over 90 parks and gardens, eight of which have won the UK’s coveted Green Flag award, it is no wonder that Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place.
Glasgow is home to a public cycle hire scheme, operated and maintained by Nextbike! With nearly 800 bikes for hire in 79 locations, Nextbike has made the first 30mins free-of-charge for rental users in Glasgow until March 2021 to encourage people to give-it-a-go. Glasgow's Parks, especially Pollok Country Park and Cathkin Braes Country Park, as well as the green corridors of the Forth and Clyde Canal in the city's north, are excellent for cycling for all levels.
For sports fans, Kelvingrove Park in the West and Queen’s Park in the South both have their Tennis Courts and Lawn Bowls now open, with bookings to be made in advance.
For those looking for more action, the north is the place to be for urban adventure. Pinkston Watersports is open on a limited capacity for canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and swimming and Glasgow Wake Park is also open for pre-booked sessions.
For more ideas and inspiration on how to enjoy and experience the city at the moment, check out our Glasgow Now section for articles on shopping, dining out, local neighbourhoods and more.
Article updated August 2020