Scottish experiences in Glasgow
Scottish experiences in Glasgow
Glasgow combines contemporary city life with traditional Scottish culture. From seeing Highland Cows to sampling whisky, here are some Scottish experiences to enjoy in the city.
Things to see and do
Try out bagpipes
Learn about the history of the Scottish bagpipes at the museum of piping and even try your hand at them before enjoying a Scottish meal at their Pipers' Tryst Restaurant. Visit thepipingcentre.co.uk for info on this beautiful attraction.
Trace your family history
Discover stories of long-gone ancestors at one of Europe's largest public libraries. The Mitchell Library is home to extensive resources in their Family History Centre, as well as one of the largest Robert Burns Collections in the world. Visit Glasgow Life's website for more info.
Explore Scottish scenery
Visit some of the city's parks and viewpoints to see just why Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place. And be sure to visit the city's very own herd of Highland Cattle, in the fields of Pollok Country Park. Visit our parks and gardens page for inspiration.
Stay in a castle
Book your stay at one of the city's most lavish hotels for a Scottish fairytale feeling. Check out Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in the southside (visit Sherbrooke Castle Hotel's website) and Crossbasket Hotel just outside of the city (book at Crossbasket Hotel's website).
Visit a historical site
Take in one of the city’s best viewpoints from the top of Queen’s Park, visit the Battlefield Monument beside the park and dine in the quirky Battlefield Rest - this area is where Mary Queen of Scots' infamous Battle of Langside took place in 1568.
Scottish Football Museum
Find out about Scotland's history with the beautiful game at the Scottish Football Museum. Visit scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk for details on Europe's first football museum and to book tours of Scotland's national stadium, Hampden.
Scottish food and drink
Seasonal Scottish food
Scotland is known for its amazing food and drinks produce, famous for its quality beef, seafood, haggis, whisky and more. Enjoy fine dining in Scottish surroundings at Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery or adventurous flavours combined with local produce at Stravaigin. Find out more about these 2 restaurants and many more by visiting our Scottish restaurants page. If you like to try lots of different places and flavours then try the award-winning Glasgow Food & Drink Tour (visit glasgowfoodndrinktour.co.uk).
Taste of Scotland dining experience
Mharsanta runs a 'Taste of Scotland' experience that offers a gastronomic tour of Scotland. Sample the likes of Glenlivet whisky, hand-dived king scallops, Macsween’s haggis, Isle of Mull cheese and more, while surrounded by screens displaying Scottish scenery and chefs talking through the produce. Visit mharsanta.co.uk to enquire.
A dram at the docks
Take a tour of the Clydeside Distillery and find out about Glasgow’s role in taking whisky to the world. End the tour in style by enjoying samples of whisky while taking in views of the River Clyde. Book a tour at theclydeside.com.
Glasgow whisky bars
There is no shortage of whisky bars in Scotland's largest city. Expect well-stocked shelves, friendly staff and Glaswegian banter from the locals at many city bars that have been open for decades or even centuries! Visit our traditional pubs page for ideas on where to go, including the likes of The Pot Still, The Clutha and The Bon Accord.
A gin on the go
Step aboard a vintage Routemaster bus for an an indulgent afternoon tea with gin. Take in the sights of Glasgow while sipping Scottish gins. Book a tour at redbusbistro.co.uk.
Crossbill Gin created the first ever gin to be made with 100% Scottish botanicals. Their distillery in Barras is open to the public and they also run distilling, blending and tasting classes. Visit crossbillgin.com for info.
Scottish culture and heritage
Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music with a legendary music scene. Due to this status, Glasgow is one of 13 locations that makes up Scotland's UNESCO trail. Discover more about each of these wonders on this world-first UNESCO trail at visitscotland.com.
It'll come as no surprise that the city excels at Scottish and folk music. The city's annual folk, roots and world music festival, Celtic Connections, takes place each winter, celebrating music and its connections to cultures across the globe. Check out the line-up for Celtic Connections 2023 at celticconnections.co.uk.
Glasgow becomes the centre of the piping world each August as the World Pipe Band Championships and Piping Live! take place. Around 220 bands from across the world take part in the championships, while Piping Live! is a week-long festival. Visit theworlds.co.uk and pipinglive.co.uk for more details.
You can also stumble upon free live music in traditional Scottish bars across the city. Visit our bars in Glasgow with free live music page for details on bars such as The Ben Nevis Bar, The Islay Inn and many more who run weekly sessions.
Dance the night away at a Scottish ceilidh
Experience this traditional form of Scottish dancing and music which Scots enjoy at celebrations. Head to Sloans in the city centre who run a weekly Friday night ceilidh in their grand ballroom. Visit sloansglasgow.com for more details.
Visit a comedy club, such as The Stand in the west end, and witness the down-to-earth Scottish humour that has produced legends such as Sir Billy Connolly. An amazing 5 of the 6 National Performing Companies in Scotland are based in Glasgow. Take in an opera, ballet, orchestra or theatre show and see some of the country's finest talent perform. Visit our what's on pages for ideas.
Scottish products to take home
Choose a gift for a loved one to take home in your suitcase at Glasgow Museums shops. The funds raised help support the charity Glasgow Life in its aims to inspire citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture and sport. Browse the collection online at shop.glasgowlife.org.uk or visit in store at a number of city museums, including the Burrell Collection, Gallery of Modern Art and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Get kitted out for a kilt in the shop that fitted Sir Sean Connery and Sir Billy Connolly at Slanj Kilts in the city centre. Pick up a bottle of Stobcross Whisky from The Clydeside Distillery, their single malt scotch whisky, which is crafted onsite.
Visit our independent shopping in Glasgow page for more inspiration.
Article last updated: November 2023