Glasgow offers visitors an eclectic weekend getaway experience with its impressive museums, vibrant bars and independently-owned restaurants – not to mention its legendary music scene!
Merchant City Center area boasts an abundance of hotels to suit every budget, as well as trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Glasgow offers plenty of luxurious hotel options when it comes to choosing a place to stay, like Kimpton on Blythswood Square with views overlooking this surprisingly quiet public space.
St,ay at citizenM, an ultramodern design hotel boasting stylish amenities and contemporary rooms that is the ideal solution for travellers who wish to explore their dsaretination without compromising comfort.
Merchant City was built upon the merchants of Glasgow making fortunes trading tobacco grown across the Atlantic Ocean. However, while their glory days may have passed them by, their architectural legacy lives on in the district that bears their name – Merchant City. Here you’ll find fashionable shopping, restaurants, and bars housed in historic buildings; history enthusiasts should look out for medieval sites such as Tolbooth Steeple. Trongate 103 hosts creative hubs such as Glasgow Print Studio Street Level Photoworks Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre which are among many creative hubs located within its walls – check it out under Hidden Gems!
Museums showcase the area’s rich cultural history. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Scottish National Gallery attract large numbers of visitors.
If history isn’t your thing, many prefer more sustenance for thought.
Visit the Glasgow Science Centre, offering interactive exhibits showcasing science and technology; or the Glasgow Cathedral with its impressive gothic structure, boasting its own astronomical clock. Or enjoy a peaceful stroll at Glasgow Green Botanic Gardens.
Are You Searching For Entertainment in Glasgow? Check Out The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Schedule For Ballet, Operas, Musical Theater Productions, Rock Concerts & Classical Music Performances
Staying in the area was simple thanks to many convenient hotels close by, including Merchant City hotels such as Merchant City Inn nearby offers classic Glasgow Edwardian & Victorian Gothic designs with modern amenities on a shoestring budget. Their rooms resemble comfortable boxy shapes and stylish interiors; each equipped with hotel essentials.
If you want an overview of Glasgow quickly, take advantage of a CitySightseeing Glasgow bus tour. These hop-on, hop-off options stop at several points throughout the city including Glasgow Green Botanic Gardens with onboard commentary available throughout your journey. We found 2-day tickets are excellent value if staying for more than 2 days in Glasgow.
Where the hills truly roll in Glasgow lies an enduring sense of community that embraces everyone – residents who understand that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” That spirit of solidarity can be seen when residents support local businesses like an artisan baker and coffee shop that opened on the same day or an open mic night hosted at local bar/music venue which hosts weekly open mic nights to showcase musicians’ talents. Residents also care for their parks; one volunteer group recently took over maintenance of The South Side Slopes – 68 sets of public stairs that lead to breathtaking city views – while another volunteer group took over maintenance of The South Side Slopes to maintain it for them all.
Quality Inn Hotel Glasgow puts you in an ideal spot to discover this part of Glasgow. Just a short distance away from New Glasgow Square Theatre and 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from Crombie Art Gallery, it features an on-site restaurant, large outdoor pool and 24-hour reception that’s always there to answer questions or address concerns.
Grasshoppers Hotel Glasgow rooms are spacious and beautifully designed, boasting high ceilings with cornices and beautiful windows with breathtaking views. Guests can take advantage of modern hotel amenities including HD SKY TV with Sports and Movies channels as well as its onsite bar serving drinks and snacks, daily breakfast service, as well as free parking offered at this property.
Glasgow’s city centre boasts an abundance of restaurants, hotels and attractions – from amazing art galleries and National Trust properties to incredible street art and live music venues.
City shopping can be an unparalleled pleasure with big high street brands and designer stores to be found at Princes Square, St Enoch Centre and Buchanan Galleries, while smaller independent and vintage shops can be found throughout its neighbourhoods. Additionally, local marketplaces such as The Scottish Design Exchange and Clydeside Collective provide support for creators and independent traders from our city.
Glasgow is an exceptionally easy city to navigate. Being so small allows visitors to walk everywhere or utilise Glasgow’s convenient bus system and Metro train line; bikes may also be rented through OVO Bike scheme, while taxis are readily available for transporting you directly to your desired location.
For those looking to stay in the heart of Glasgow, there are numerous hotels within walking distance that provide budget accommodations. Consider Point A Hotel located within an old church. Offering small but clean rooms with 24 hour reception, free WiFi access and continental breakfast, Sherbrooke Castle features grander 19th-century baronial villa rooms equipped with separate lounges, 40″ TVs and views of Glasgow city center.
House for an Art Lover is an impressive museum dedicated to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work and offers self-guided tours (fee-based admission), events relating to art, architecture and design as well as self-guided visits for admission.
Oran Mor is a converted church located in Glasgow’s West End that now boasts two bars, a restaurant, and two theatres where shows, performances and plays such as A Play, a Pie and a Pint are regularly shown. Due to its popularity, it can become very crowded so ideally you should arrive around opening time to avoid crowding issues.
Glasgow’s West End is an energetic hub of boutique shoppers, foodies and art/music enthusiasts. Home to the University of Glasgow with its magnificent medieval buildings and an eclectic mix of traditional tenements and contemporary restaurants and shops; The area also has some of the city’s best bars, from highly rated upscale establishments to cosy cafes offering authentic Italian, Indian or Chinese fare.
Byres Road is at the core of London’s West End, boasting an upscale shopping district lined with high-end stores, elegant eateries and high-end boutique hotels. Just behind this main drag lies Ashton Lane with its gallery of small specialist shops popular among those coming to shop, dine or meet up with friends.
Are you curious to experience what makes West End unique? Download and follow this self-guided walk via the GPSmyCity tour app:
Oran Mor (Gaelic for “big song”) is an arts centre located in a former church building that has since been transformed into an exciting arts hub. Popular among both tourists and locals alike, Oran Mor is famed for its lively bars and restaurants as well as offering “A Play, A Pie & A Pint” lunchtime theatre performance series – making this the perfect pitstop. From there continue along Kelvin Way; an unexpected “country” stroll located close to city centres which passes bowling greens used during the 2014 Commonwealth Games before turning right towards Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.
One of Europe’s most-visited free-entry museums, it contains one of the world’s finest collections of Spanish paintings – such as Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross – including Salvador Dali’s masterpiece Christ of Saint John of the Cross. Additionally, Scotland’s oldest public museum can be found nearby at Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery while the University of Glasgow Bute Hall often serves as inspiration for JK Rowling’s Hogwarts series.
Hillhead Underground Station provides convenient service in this area, while University Avenue hosts Glasgow University’s main entrance. Visitors staying in this neighbourhood should consider supporting local business by purchasing the Visit West End Card; which works similarly to shopping centre gift cards but provides access to many more local vendors.
Places To See in Glasgow When Staying Over
Glasgow is well known for its stunning Victorian architecture. What many don’t realise, though, is that much of its population lived in tenements during Victorian times – not always associated with Dickensian slums but instead home to working-class families in one-room apartments as well as upper-class and privileged ones with spacious apartments.
Miss Toward’s apartment was fortunate in that it escaped the vast civic vandalism of the 1960s and 70s that saw large sections of tenements demolished to make way for motorways, thus becoming an invaluable museum and window into how Glaswegians used to live.
The museum features a display of Mackintosh designs as well as the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre show, which showcases hand-carved Russian folk art figures that move synchronised to music and light.
Glasgow may lack the picturesque castles and manicured vistas found in Edinburgh, its debonair neighbour to the east, but makes up for this with gallus attitude, style, and an exceptionally varied cultural scene. Glasgow hosts several famous museums as well as an active music scene – not to mention some of the friendliest people you’ll meet anywhere!
Glasgow Green, established by King James II in 1450, is one of Glasgow’s oldest parks. Comprising 55 hectares of historic land dotted with buildings and monuments such as Nelson Monument and People’s Palace – plus hosting events like World Pipe Band Championships and TRNSMT music festival annually – Glasgow Green stands as an icon.
CitizenM is an elegant contemporary hotel offering comfortable beds and power rain showers, all for a nightly rate that won’t stretch your budget. CitizenM is perfectly located to take full advantage of Glasgow’s vibrant nightlife; directly above Polo Lounge (an iconic institution).
Glasgow Cathedral, an example of Gothic architecture from the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, stands as an iconic site in Glasgow’s central business district. Believed to be St Kentigern’s (Mungo’s) original burial spot, Glasgow Cathedral also managed to remain undamaged during the Reformation era without incurring significant damage, boasting beautiful stained glass windows as well as an ample crypt.
St Mungo’s Tomb can be seen directly beneath the choir and can be viewed by visitors. Covered by an elegant brightly embroidered cloth for protection from weather damage, a late-15th-century stone choir screen separates the church from the nave; at its east end, four lancet windows show works by Francis Spear that are sure to bring memories flooding back!
Glasgow Science Centre
Glasgow Science Centre is one of Scotland’s premier family attractions, boasting three floors of exhibits, workshops, live science shows, planetarium shows and an IMAX cinema – making for an engaging visit for both children and adults alike. Though designed primarily to engage young minds, the Glasgow Science Centre still holds much to interest adults as well.
The main Science Mall is a bright and airy space full of fun things to push, pull and stand on, including three floors of hands-on experiments involving centrifugal forces, static electricity and sound waves. There’s also an entire section dedicated to logic puzzles and optical illusions with room size changes and mind-boggling tricks – not forgetting logic puzzles for logic lovers!
Visitors to the Science Mall can purchase a ticket which provides discounts to visit both the Glasgow Tower (127m-high) and planetarium or purchase an annual pass if they intend on returning (children under 3 are free). Parking spaces are available within its car park.