Glasgow's east end
Glasgow's east end
Bold, beautiful, and historic, the east end is a unique blend of creativity and heritage, brought to life by a friendly community spirit.
Things to see and do
Find out how it all began with a visit around some of Glasgow's most historic attractions. A must-visit is the medieval masterpiece, Glasgow Cathedral. Visit Historic Environment Scotland's website to book a visit and marvel at the building, which has become a favourite filming location for Hollywood productions such as Outlander and The Batman.
Overlooking Glasgow Cathedral is the beautiful Victorian garden cemetery, Glasgow Necropolis. Likened to an outdoor museum and gallery, enjoy a walk through the monuments and sculptures and take in panoramic city views that show just why Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place. Visit Friends of Glasgow Necropolis website for walking tour information.
Glasgow frequently tops the lists of 'friendliest city and people' in the UK and worldwide. And nowhere is that down-to-earth and warm personality felt more than in the city's east end, from traders at the Barras Market to taxi drivers. For insights into what has shaped Glasgow's unique personality, visit the People's Palace which explores life in Glasgow through the ages. Visit Glasgow Life’s website for more details on the People's Palace and other historical museums in the city. *Note that the People's Palace is currently closed for essential building maintenance.
One of Glasgow's most historic attractions is Tennent’s Brewery, a must-visit for both history buffs and beer lovers. Take in Tennent's Heritage Centre free of charge and find out about the rise of an iconic Scottish brand from the 1500s to present or book one of Tennent's many tours.
Glasgow is the UK's first UNESCO City of Music and the east end is where you'll find the city's most legendary music venue, the Barrowland Ballroom. One for the bucket list for fans and bands alike, head to the bright lights of the Barrowland Ballroom neon sign and take in a gig to experience that electric atmosphere. Visit the Barrowland's website for listings of upcoming gigs and head to our music venues in Glasgow page for an overview of the city's amazing music scene.
- Sample the Scottish sweeties that have lasted generations at the oldest sweet shop in Glasgow, Glickman’s Confectionary.
- Find the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed Celtic Cross in Glasgow Necropolis - believed to be the first recorded piece of work by the city’s most famous architect and designer.
- Take in heritage walks, events and archives celebrating the lives and forgotten histories of women at the award-winning Glasgow Women's Library. Find out more at womenslibrary.org.uk.
- For a truly unique Glasgow experience, visit the 100-year-old Barras Market and chat with the fast-talking and witty traders.
- Enjoy inclusive cycling for new learners and vulnerable users from Free Wheel North at Glasgow Green with their range of adapted bikes, trikes and more. Visit their website for details.
Top places for food and drink
The Barras area in the city's east end has numerous cool dining and drinking spots. Check out the menu for The Winged Ox Bar & Kitchen online and enjoy food within the former 19th century church that is now the live music venue, St Luke's.
A unique place to visit, full of style and art, is the Barras Art and Design Centre (BAaD). It has various spaces, including a suntrap container yard, where you can enjoy anything from street food to a tasting menu - find out more at baadglasgow.com.
For modern Italian-inspired cuisine try the newly opened Celentano's, which is based in the boutique Cathedral House Hotel. View the creative menu on Celentano's website to see why it is causing a stir amongst local foodies.
Modern Scottish pub The Gate is the place for exciting cocktails with a Scottish twist. Visit The Gate on Instagram to see some of their cocktail creations. If you prefer U.S. style, then head to Van Winkle, which stocks Glasgow's largest selection of Bourbon. Visit vanwinkle.co.uk for details on their BBQ and southern menus.
Credit: Drygate Brewery
The beauty of the city’s brewery triangle in the east end is that they each specialise in something different. Tennent’s Brewery offers up their famous Scottish lager.
Right next door is Drygate Brewing Co., a craft brewery, event venue, brasserie and community hub all rolled into one. With 26 rotating taps and a curated bottle selection, you'll be spoilt for choice - visit Drygate.com to find out more.
Described as having a Glaswegian heart and German head, WEST Brewery brew their beers in line with ancient German Purity Laws. Visit westbeer.com for more details on this dog-friendly venue which is home to one of the city's best beer gardens.
Dennistoun: one of the coolest places in the world
Dennistoun was ranked number 8 in Time Out Magazine’s Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World list (2020). The travel magazine said the area’s community spirit, easy-going attitude and cultural life were reasons for it making their top ten. See the full description and where else made the list at Time Out Magazine online.
Designed to be Glasgow’s first suburb, a walk around Dennistoun's main streets of Alexandra Parade and Duke Street shows rows of traditional Glasgow tenements right next to some of the city’s favourite eateries and family-friendly parks, such as Alexandra Park.
"Easygoing Dennistoun has a sense of independence unlike any other corner of this city. Now more than ever, it’s thriving."
Time Out, 2020
The food and drink scene was one of the reasons that Dennistoun was rated so highly by Time Out. You can enjoy fine dining at Bilson Eleven, set within a 19th century traditional townhouse. View a sample of their tasting menu at bilsoneleven.co.uk. Trendy spot Tibo serves up the likes of philly cheesestack toasties all day every day. Check out Tibo's menu online.
For cafe culture, grab a tasty sausage roll and some of the best coffee in the city from Scran or feel set up for the day with a sandwich from Mesa, where fillings are loaded between thick fresh slices of sourdough. View mouth-watering pics on Scran's Instagram page and Mesa's Instagram page.
Cake lovers should head to Rawnchy (view their colourful cakes on their Instagram page) and enjoy brunch or lunch followed by a guilt-free vegan raw cake afterwards.
Serving the community and visitors for years, Celino’s and Coia's Café are much-loved in the neighbourhood for their authentic hearty Italian cuisine. Visit Celino's website and Coia's Cafe's website to find out more about their restaurants and delis for takeaway treats.
Parks and green spaces
The parks of the east end combine the old with the new, much like the rest of the neighbourhood. The city's oldest park Glasgow Green is so large that it bridges two neighbourhoods - the east end and the city centre. But it's in the east end side of the park that you'll find some of the city’s most unique landmarks, including the largest terracotta fountain in the world, the Doulton Fountain, and the city’s most unusual looking building, Templeton on the Green.
Meanwhile, the city's newest park, community woodland Cuningar Loop bridges both Glasgow and South Lanarkshire. Thousands of native trees have been planted in the former derelict area, making it a great example of Glasgow's move towards a more sustainable future. Visit Forestry and Land Scotland's map of the park, which includes adventure play, public art, bouldering and a riverside boardwalk.
And don't forget the tourist attraction that is Glasgow Necropolis (see things to see and do above). Visit Glasgow City Council's parks pages to find out more about Glasgow Green and other east end parks, such as Tollcross Park and Alexandra Park, which are both favourites amongst the locals for walks, family picnics and play.
Music and arts in the creative east end
Many of the city’s artists and creators live and work in the east end, and therefore it is no surprise that the area is full of cultural things to do. While the Barrowland Ballroom is known as the champion of music venues, many multi-purpose venues are attracting great talent to perform. St Luke’s, Drygate Brewery and Barras Art and Design (BAaD) frequently host bands, as well as events such as comedy nights, fashion shows, gigs and talks. Visit our what's on section for a great selection of events to attend.
The Album Pathway. Credit: Untitled, (2014), Jim Lambie. Courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow. Photo: Stephen Hosey.
For music memories, the Album Pathway at Barrowland Park lists the name and date of thousands of bands that have played the venue, arranged like records on a shelf. Created by a Turner Prize nominee, the Album Pathway is one of 14 public artworks making up a city art trail. Find a full list of the artworks and where to find them on our contemporary art trail page.
Art is all around in this down-to-earth neighbourhood. In fact, the sixth most Instagrammed mural in the whole of the UK is found on High Street – a modern-day depiction of Glasgow’s founder St Mungo. Visit our city centre mural trail page to find out more.
If you prefer to be indoors, then you can expect to see a great range of exhibitions at independent galleries and studios, such as David Dale Gallery, Many Studios and Market Gallery.
Top sporting teams and venues
As part of the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the east end has world-class sporting venues, which continue to host major international sporting events, as well as serve the local community. So if you fancy taking a taster-session few laps around the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the Emirates Arena or diving into the Tollcross International Swimming Centre - then head to glasgowclub.org to make a booking.
Football fans will know all about the thunderous crowd at Celtic Park, home to Celtic Football Club. Book a Celtic Park Return to Paradise Tour or get tickets to a match to experience it for yourself!
The east end is also the base for Scotland's only professional netball team Strathclyde Sirens and Scotland's professional basketball team The Glasgow Rocks. For upcoming fixtures to watch the teams in action visit sirensnetball.com and glasgowrocks.co.uk.
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Article last updated: September 2021