Plan for when you can: A guide to visiting Glasgow
The easing of restrictions alongside the arrival of spring is sparking a desire in many of us to get planning. From April 26, attractions, galleries, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops are due to reopen.
The wait is nearly over for reconnecting with the places and people that you’ve missed. Whether you are craving experiencing city centre life once again or looking to slowly dip your toe back in, Glasgow will be ready to welcome you back, safely. And expect it to be a warm welcome, as the city was once again named the ‘friendliest city in the world’ (Rough Guides, 2021). Some things never change!
Back to the heart of the city
Have you missed Glasgow city centre as much as we have? Get ready to explore the heart of one of Europe’s most cultural cities. Walk down Buchanan Street lined with flagship Scottish stores, cycle up the new wider and greener Sauchiehall Street Avenue, saunter down the cobbled city lanes or take a walking tour around the colourful mural trail. No matter how well you know Glasgow, you are sure to see the city with fresh eyes.
Glasgow city centre has beauty built-in. Whether your version of beauty is the elegant City Chambers, Charles Rennie Mackintosh's trademark style, street performers or perfectly brewed craft beers or coffees, Glasgow city centre’s got you covered.
Remember that many places, especially restaurants and bars, will be operating booking systems, so it’s time to get excited and start planning which favourite spots you want to revisit and which new places you want to discover.
Or maybe it’s the active outdoors that you have missed? From track cycling to tree-top climbing, biking to bouldering, wakeboarding to walking trails – many of the outdoor activities in the city have re-opened or are in the process of opening soon with safety guidelines in place (check directly with operators for booking).
For a place to pause for thought, then head to the top of one of the city’s parks for stunning panoramic views. See the Campsies from the flagpole at Queen’s Park, take in Glasgow Cathedral from the Necropolis, or marvel at the city skyline from the elegant Park Circus.
A unique feature of Glasgow is that many of the city's top attractions and museums are set within picturesque parkland settings. Look forward to being able to set foot in some of the country’s most spectacular buildings and browse their world-leading collections soon. In the meantime, the exterior of many of these attractions are worth the visit alone, such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Kelvingrove Park and House for An Art Lover in Bellahouston Park.
Have you had your fill of Netflix box sets and online quizzes? Are you longing for an in-person cultural experience? As the UK’s top cultural and creative city (European Commission, 2019), Glasgow is home to world-class museums, galleries, family-friendly attractions and an edgy contemporary art scene that shows the city at its energetic finest. It's time to start planning your Glasgow wish-list and think about where you would like to go once dates allow.
Are you looking forward to walking into the grand hall of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum or admiring new artworks at Tramway, spending hours of family fun at the Glasgow Science Centre, tucking into scrummy afternoon tea in the historic Mackintosh at the Willow or trying one of the city’s hidden gems which you’d always meant to visit but hadn't gotten around to? Follow Glasgow Life on Twitter to keep-up-to-date with reopening and booking info for many of the city's museums and galleries.
Avoiding peak times when travelling and checking shops, restaurants and attractions you plan to visit are open and operating booking systems, can ensure a more enjoyable safe experience. Visit our Glasgow Now section for more inspiration on how to enjoy the city.
Article last updated: March 2021