Glasgow has an unfair reputation as a dull, grey, industrial city. Those who’ve actually visited know this is far from the truth; the city is a busy metropolitan community which brings together the very best of Scotland as well as flavours from all four corners of the globe. You’ll enjoy a warm welcome, a fascinating visit, and probably more than a couple of strong drinks if the locals have anything to do with it.
Looking for an itinerary to explore the city? Check out our slider on how to spend 24 hours in Glasgow!
Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, there’s something for everyone in Glasgow! Read on to discover some of the very best things to do in Glasgow, from the experts at CrossCountry.
Take in the sights
Those of you with a mental image of Glasgow as some far-flung cultural backwater, comprised entirely of grey buildings are going to have a surprise when you see it for yourselves. In Glasgow you’ll find architectural wonders unlike any in other cities. From the beautiful Glasgow Cathedral, to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (more on that later!), there’s plenty of sights to keep you occupied.
Top Tip One of the city’s many Hop-on-Hop-off bus services is a great way to get a lie of the land without tiring yourself out too soon on your visit!
Get outside in a park
Glasgow isn’t known as the “dear green place” for nothing. With a vast choice of parks to explore, you’ll be spoiled for choice. If you’re looking to simply lie back and enjoy the great weather (fingers crossed!) you could do worse than Glasgow Green – it has a great central location plus plenty to explore should the mood take you. However, for a more unusual way to get out and about why not visit Cuningar Loop, home to Scotland’s first outdoor bouldering park? Whether you want to have a go at climbing, explore the network of paths or go for a spin on the bike tracks, you’re sure to have an active day out.
Learn something at a Museum
There’s a whole raft of museums available to you in Glasgow, and the best part is that most of them are free! Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of our favourites and is home to a great selection of amazing artists. If you’re into your football, then the Scottish Football Museum is sure to be a hit. Or, for something completely different, why not try the award-winning St Mungo Museum? Not only is it housed in an impressive looking old building, with a great name, but it also takes a fascinating look into the importance of religion in people’s lives from around the world. Trust us – it’s better than you might think!
Top Tip: For a whole list of all the museums in the city you can access for free (and you really can’t say better than free!) check out the Glasgow Museum website.
Taste something new
One of the best things about Glasgow is that it really is a melting pot of cultures from around the world, and nowhere is that clearer than in the amazing food on offer across the city. From falafel to curry, sushi to tacos, there’s something to cater for every taste! Glasgow is known for its pop-up food stall scene – so you’ll never know where you’ll find the best bite of your life! We recommend heading to the West End, where there’s loads of permanent options as well should the pop ups not take your fancy.
Top Tip: Head to Finnieston in particular for some of the best, and most unusual eateries in Glasgow. Our favourites include The 78 serving up amazing vegan grub, and Alchemilla, which was listed in the Michelin guide for 2018.
Splash some cash
If you’re anything like us, you’ll love a bit of retail therapy, and Glasgow is one of the best places in the country, if not the world to splash some cash. If it’s serious fashion you’re into, you’ll need to head to Glasgow’s Style Mile, here you’ll find every single brand, designer and trend that your heart desires. Hold onto your credit card, because it can get a little wild round here! If you’re more into vintage finds Dowanside Lane and Ruthven Lane are home to a treasure trove of second hand shops and unique boutiques.
Catch a show
If there’s one thing Glasgow knows a thing or two about it’s putting on a good show. You’ll find stacks of live music venues across the city, and whatever gets your toes tapping you’ll be sure to find something perfect from big names like Beyoncé at the SSE Hydro, to the best local talent at the vibey Stereo. However, for a real slice of Glasgow’s music history, head on down to King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, where Oasis were discovered and a great line up of undiscovered bands have played every single night since the 90s. Some of them have gone on to great things (think Radiohead, The Verve, Coldplay and The Strokes), so you might uncover the next big thing.
Top tip: If the theatre is more your thing head down to the King’s Theatre, here you’ll find a great selection of musical theatre, as well as classical performances, perfect for a more low-key night.
Sample some Haggis
We know what you’re thinking – but Haggis is an underappreciated delicacy. There’s plenty of places to try it across the city, whether you’d rather have it in a burger, as part of a fry up, or in its rightful place alongside tatties and neeps. With Glasgow’s foodie revolution, the humble haggis has been given a bit of a facelift, so we really encourage you to give it a go! You can even find some pretty decent veggie versions, so there’s really no excuse not to.
Top Tip: If you really can’t face Haggis, there’s plenty of other local specialities on offer – why not try some tasty local lobster? And veggies will love the amazing selection of local cheeses.
Knock back a dram (or two)
Even if you’re not all about the party spirit, it would be a shame to visit Glasgow and not try some of the excellent tipples on offer. From some of the world’s best whiskies to locally brewed beers, and even the odd craft gin. It’s no secret that the locals love the hard stuff, and with such amazing regional drinks on offer, who can blame them?
Top Tip: We encourage you to drink sensibly; why not visit the Drygate Brewing Company where you can sample some of the 26 beers they have on tap, while enjoying a delicious dinner at the same time.
There’s absolutely loads to do in Glasgow, so why not find out more about visiting Glasgow by train. If you’re staying for longer than a night, you’ll want to stay in a great hotel! Plus, make sure you take advantage of great savings with our Advance train tickets.