COVID-19: Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis please follow the latest guidance from the Scottish Government website and stay safe.  Due to these circumstances, please note the information on this website is subject to significant change

Know before you go: A practical guide to visiting Glasgow

Glasgow is ready to welcome you back.  Some may feel apprehensive about heading out and about but our favourite places are safe, ready and eager to welcome you back! 

Many of the city’s shops, cafes and attractions are back up and running and each will have their own health and safety measures in place but here we’ve outlined just a few things you may find useful to know before you go.

1. Stay safe.  Protect yourself and others

We want everyone to have safe and enjoyable experiences so please be kind and be patient as we all get used to things being a bit different. And remember the Scottish Government’s five FACTS that will help all of us stay safe and protect each other.

You can also Download the new Protect Scotland app which has been designed to help reduce the spread of the virus by alerting users if they have been in close contact with another app user who has tested positive for coronavirus. 

In Scotland, it’s a legal requirement for people to wear face coverings (unless exempt) in shops, on public transport, in hospitality venues and in enclosed spaces where physical distancing is more difficult. Face coverings don’t have to be drab, why not support a local Glasgow maker and buy one from  Slanj Kilts or Braw Wee Emporium, just a couple of Glasgow-based companies designing their own. 

2. Plan ahead for your visit

Simple measures such as avoiding peak times when travelling and checking ahead that the shops, cafes and venues you plan to visit are open, can help ensure a more enjoyable experience.

Bars and the majority of restaurants are currently closed following new guidelines from the Scottish Government (with effect from October 9 - November 2). During this time, cafes are able to remain open between 6am and 6pm, with no alcohol sales. Check in advance if pre-booking is required for both indoor and outdoor spaces and be aware that face coverings are mandatory for staff and customers when moving around the venue and when not eating or drinking. There is also a limit of six people (from two households) to a table. The government Eat Out to Help Out scheme has ended but many of the city's cafes are continuing to offer similar discounts throughout October! Check individual websites or social media pages for terms and conditions and to find out if your favourite place is participating.

Shops are limiting numbers, introducing one-way systems and may have changed their opening hours.  

Queuing means getting into or around a venue may take longer so please be patient and make sure you leave yourself plenty of time. 


Many of the city’s hotels have now reopened. If you have plans to stay overnight, each venue will have strict health and safety guidelines in place to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Please check with your accommodation provider for their individual COVID 19 regulations including what procedures would have to be followed in the event of a guest displaying symptoms.  New Government guidance (with effect from October 9 - November 2) advises that hotel bars and dining rooms cannot serve alcohol but can stay open until 10pm for residents only. 

3. Getting here and getting around  

Updated Government guidelines advise that public transport usage should be minimised as much as possible from October 9 - November 2. Walking and cycling are being encouraged to leave space on public transport for those who have no alternative.  Visit the Transport Scotland for further guidance on travelling within Scotland.

Glasgow Subway car parks are open so why not park the car and either walk or cycle into the city?  The city centre is only a 15-minute walk from Bridge Street or just 30 mins from Shields Road.  You’ll also find Nextbike hire at each of the stations, with a fantastic deal offering users their first 30 minutes free-of-charge, from now until March 2021.

Should you wish to drive into the city, the car parks at St Enoch Centre and Buchanan Galleries shopping malls are now open.  Alternatively, hop in a Glasgow Taxi.  Their cabs are sanitised, safe and offer contactless payment.

Glasgow City Council's Spaces for People programme has been developed to give pedestrians and cyclists more space to roam in the city centre and encourage more active travel.  The widening of footpaths and the introduction of a one-way pedestrian system on Buchanan Street and Argyle Street are just some of the temporary measures put in place.  Others include pop-up cycle lanes on Cumberland Street, London Road and Gorbals Street and more cycle parking installed in George Square. 

4. Support local Glasgow businesses

Our experiences may be a little bit different for the foreseeable, making it a good time to reconnect with Glasgow and support the city’s amazing local businesses.

Look out for businesses that are part of the new ‘Good to Go’ scheme, a UK-wide industry standard designed to give consumers confidence and allow businesses to demonstrate they are adhering to government and public health guidance and have correct protocols in place.


For 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, tours, local neighbourhoods and more.


Article last updated October 2020