Glasgow for first time visitors
Glasgow for first time visitors
Visiting Glasgow for the first time? Here’s our helpful guide to some unique experiences that should be top of your itinerary.
The Burrell Collection & Pollok Country Park
Located in the southside, you could easily spend the whole day in Pollok Country Park. Glasgow's largest green space is home to two amazing visitor attractions, woodland walks, Highland cows and a free electric shuttle bus! Visitors can explore the world-class Burrell Collection, which was named Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023, the world's largest museum prize. Meanwhile Pollok House is a stunning Georgian mansion set by the river. Visit burrellcollection.com to plan a day trip. *Please note Pollok House is closed for approximately 2 years for a major conservation project.
City Sightseeing bus tour
The City Sightseeing Glasgow bus tour operates all year round and has 21 stops, with informative commentary on board about the city’s history, architecture and places to visit. Visit the City Sightseeing Glasgow website to find out more and check out our tours in Glasgow page for many more city tour options, by bike, bus or foot!
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
No visit to Glasgow would be complete without a trip to one of the many museums and galleries, most of which are free to visit. Housed in an iconic red sandstone building that sits next to the beautiful Kelvingrove Park, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is consistently one of Scotland's most popular attractions. Visit glasgowlife.org.uk for opening times.
City Centre Mural Trail
In recent years, many of Glasgow's lanes and buildings have undergone colourful makeovers by talented street artists. You can explore these amazing works of urban art at your own pace or on a guided tour. Visit our City Centre Mural trail page for more details and visit walkingtoursin.com to book tours.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Glasgow is home to the biggest concentration of work by the genius architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Discover his Art Nouveau style at Mackintosh House, House for an Art Lover and Mackintosh at the Willow - the beautifully restored Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms. Visit our Charles Rennie Mackintosh page to find out more about the places you can visit.
Glasgow UNESCO City of Music
Glasgow was the UK's first UNESCO City of Music and is a hotspot for live performances in famed venues like The Barrowlands and King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. From lively trad sessions to brilliant festivals to captivating tours to late night venues, check out our music hub for all things music. Not-to-be-missed is a Glasgow Music City Tour, which brings to life the people and places that helped shape the city’s legendary scene (visit glasgowmusiccitytours.com).
Glasgow has a rich and varied architectural heritage. The city's wealthy past has left a legacy of some of the finest Victorian architecture like the iconic City Chambers which sits majestically overlooking George Square. Glasgow Cathedral is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture that remains in Scotland and next to the Cathedral is the fascinating Necropolis – a cemetery full of wonderful sculptures and stories. Visit our Historic Glasgow page to find out more.
As Glasgow is a compact city, you can explore more than one neighbourhood in a day. Walk, cycle using the city’s popular OVO Bike scheme, or hop on the city’s 125-year-old Subway! Each of the city's neighbourhood have their own distinct charm. From the historic and creative east end to the arty and leafy southside, head to our neighbourhoods section to discover more.
Glasgow has a diverse and constantly expanding food and drink scene. Enjoy classic Scottish dishes from haggis, neeps and tatties at The Ubiquitous Chip to the finest Scottish seafood at Gamba. From street food at Platform to Michelin star dining at Cail Bruich, Glasgow has some of the most exciting chefs and independent restaurants with a focus on the finest locally sourced and sustainable produce. Visit our Eat & Drink section for some more inspiration.
Glasgow is a shoppers’ paradise. The city centre is where you'll find big high street brands and designer stores in Princes Square, St Enoch Centre and Buchanan Galleries. Or be an environmentally conscious shopper and support the city’s creators and independent traders in places like the Scottish Design Exchange, The Clydeside Collective and The Hidden Lane or in the eclectic mix of vintage and pre-loved stores scattered throughout the city’s neighbourhoods. See our shopping pages for more information.
Whisky is Scotland’s national drink and is renowned globally, so be sure to add sampling a dram to your must-do list. Located on the banks of the River Clyde, The Clydeside Distillery is the first dedicated single malt distillery in Glasgow in over 100 years. Visit The Clydeside Distillery website to find out more about their visitor centre and distillery tours. And be sure to take in a traditional bars such as The Pot Still and The Ben Nevis, where friendly locals will help you navigate huge selections of whisky. Visit our traditional pubs page to find out more.
Article last updated: July 2023