Glasgow Music Nonstop
Glasgow Music Nonstop
Enjoy a music-themed city break in the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music. From lively trad sessions to captivating tours, check out our guide to 48 hours in Glasgow for music lovers.
Day 1 - arrive on your Glasgow city break
Check into a music-themed hotel
Get checked into your base for the weekend and start as you mean to go on by choosing a hotel with music vibes.
For cool and central, try Radisson Blu, with its music-themed illustrations and photography. Or Radisson Red, with its stunning views of the OVO Hydro and their line-up of live music and DJ sets in their bars. Visit Radisson Hotels website to book.
Take in traditional Scottish music and culture
Start your city break with an evening full of Scottish music, food and culture. For dinner, Mharsanta in the Merchant City will delight with its seasonal Scottish menu. Book for their trad trail experience (running May - September) for tasty toe-tapping nights that involve dinner, a walk through Glasgow's folk music history and traditional folk music.
Or head to The Piping Centre and learn about the history of the Scottish bagpipes at their museum. You can even try your hand at the bagpipes before enjoying a Scottish meal at their Pipers' Tryst Restaurant. Visit thepipingcentre.co.uk for info.
Lively Scottish trad sessions in the city
If you want to stumble upon trad and folk musicians jamming in Scottish bars, then head to Finnieston. Here you'll find a quartet of Scottish bars that you can easily walk between, The Ben Nevis Bar, The Islay Inn, Park Bar and Snaffle Bit, each known for their trad sessions and fine whisky selections. Visit our bars in Glasgow with free live music page for details on when sessions take place.
"Britain’s best city for music lovers"
Discover new talent in intimate venues
Looking to seek out up-and-coming grassroots talent from Glasgow and beyond? The city is home to many brilliant small venues.
Head to St Luke's in the east end (visit St Luke's website), The Glad Cafe in the southside (visit thegladcafe.co.uk), The Hug & Pint in the west end (visit thehugandpint.com) or Nice N Sleazy in the city centre (visit nicensleazy.com) and be one of the first to witness the next-big-thing.
Visit our music venues in Glasgow page for an idea of the range of venues in the city, from open-air to intimate.
Day 2 - city break in Glasgow full day
Take a tour through Glasgow's music history
Discover decades of music history on the City Sightseeing Bus Music Tour, narrated by the singer-songwriter, Eddi Reader. Expect interesting stories, facts and some insider knowledge from Eddi herself. Book a tour at City Sightseeing's website.
If you prefer to walk, then try the Glasgow Music City Tours whose muso guides bring alive the stories of Glasgow’s legendary music scene. Visit Glasgow Music City Tours website to book. Can't decide which to go for? Remember you've still got another day in the city!
Also, there are some self-guided music tours which can be enjoyed at any time and any pace. Visit guidigo.com and download the Walking Heads' Glasgow Music Celebrated audio tour or search for Glasgow City Pass Walking Tours on the App Store and Google Play Store and check out their music specific tour.
Grab some street food
Time for a lunch pitstop. Glasgow’s indoor street food markets make for a great casual dining experience. For lots of choices, head to Dockyard Social at SWG3, which has street food vendors, specialist bars, live bands and DJs each weekend. For a list of vendors visit dockyardsocial.com. Platform in the city centre is great for quick and tasty grub. It is set in the atmospheric railway arches, home to the former arts and dance venue, The Arches. Visit Platform's website for info.
Must-visit music locations in Glasgow
Your morning music tour will have taken in many of the famous and unusual music venues and locations in the city. But you can't fit everything into one tour! In case you missed them, here are some well-known and unique must-visit music spots in the city.
Famous music locations in Glasgow
The staircase at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
- Barrowlands Ballroom - The legendary venue with the neon sign is on many a bands bucket list. Visit barrowland-ballroom.co.uk.
- City Halls and Old Fruitmarket - 2 stunning and historic venues with original features. Visit glasgowconcerthalls.com.
- King Tuts Wah Wah Hut - Continually named the best small venue in the UK, King Tuts does not disappoint. Visit kingtuts.co.uk.
Unique music locations in Glasgow
Credit: Untitled, (2014), Jim Lambie. Courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow. Photo: Stephen Hosey.
- Album Pathway at Barrowland Park - Revisit music memories at this grand outdoor piece of art - find out more on our city centre contemporary art trail page.
- Britannia Panoptican - Find out incredible stories from the oldest surviving music hall in the world. Visit the Britannia Panopticon website.
- The Musician mural - Music is all around! The Musician mural can be found on Sauchiehall Lane - find out more on our city centre mural trail page.
Did you know that Glasgow's status as a UNESCO City of Music makes it one of 13 UNESCO sites in Scotland? In a world first Scotland's UNESCO sites have been brought together to form a trail - discover more about each of these 13 wonders and the UNESCO trail at visitscotland.com.
Day 2 of your city break in Glasgow - evening
Enjoy dinner in a cool music venue
In Glasgow, vegan bars go hand-in-hand with music. And not only is Glasgow one of the UK's top music cities, but it happens to be one of the UK's most vegan-friendly cities too. Visit sister venues Mono (visit monocafebar.com), The Flying Duck (visit www.theflyingduck.org) or Stereo (visit stereocafebar.com) and enjoy a hearty meal, while surrounded by music scenesters. And check out Mono's record store Monorail while you're there!
The headline event of your city break
You may have based your entire city break around one special event. Are you seeing a global megastar at the OVO Hydro or going to one of the city's outstanding music festivals?
No matter what genre of music you love, the perfect gig is waiting for you in a city that lives and breathes music 365 days a year. Still to choose a gig? Check out our what's on pages for event listings.
Music festivals of all genres
Image: Gaelle Beri
- Celtic Connections - 18 days of roots, folk and world music each winter. Visit celticconnections.com.
- Counterflows - Underground and experimental acts. Visit counterflows.com.
- TRNSMT - Massive acts perform in Glasgow Green at Scotland's biggest music festival. Visit trnsmtfest.com.
These are just a few of the city's spectacular annual music festivals. Find more on our top events and festivals page.
Be part of the most passionate music audience
"There is a vibe in Glasgow that I am drawn to."
Wherever your main event is taking place, one thing will remain the same, the passionate audiences. It is not only Glasgow's music scene that stands out from the crowd. It is the crowd itself. Glasgow is a city that is not afraid to make some noise.
"The crowds are always electric and the atmosphere tops everywhere else in the UK."
Keep the party going at late night bars and clubs
If you've got the post-gig buzz and want to keep the party going, then you're in the right city. Stylish warehouse SWG3 and the longest-running underground dance club in the world Sub Club, are just 2 of the brilliant late night options.
Day 3 - the last day of your city break
Relax with live classical music
What better way to wind down your trip than with some classical music by some of Scotland's most talented musicians. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, one of the top 3 places to study performing arts in the world, and University of Glasgow are just 2 of the city's venues to host lunchtime concerts.
Visit our classical music in the city page for more details.
Music displays in museums
Spinning Around: Glasgow’s Remarkable Record Shops at the Riverside Museum celebrates the city's record shops from the 1980s to the mid-1990s.
John Patrick Byrne: A Big Adventure at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a retrospective of the Scottish artist's works. The exhibition includes several instruments and works depicting his many famous musician friends. This is a paid for exhibition.
While at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum enjoy a free organ recital. Taking place at 1pm (3pm on Sundays), this happens to be the longest-running free daily organ recital in the world!
Visit a Glasgow record store
Finish up your city break with a visit to a record store and choose some vinyl to take home as a holiday keepsake. Strip Joint in Finnieston, Some Great Reward in the southside and Monorail in the city centre all have a great selection of records and also sell yummy food. Visit stripjointglasgow.co.uk, somegreatreward.scot and monorailmusic.com for details.
So what are you waiting for? Visit our Glasgow for music lovers hub and start planning your perfect music-themed trip to Glasgow now.
Article last updated: July 2022