A Guide to Glasgow
Glasgow is an ideal destination for both business and leisure. It is a great base to explore the breathtaking Scottish countryside, and to appreciate Scotland’s interesting and colourful heritage. Glasgow itself boasts some of the world’s best architecture, which is not surprising, as it was home to the designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. There are also many great museums and galleries, many of which are free. Glasgow also offers a great range of hotels and apartments to suit a range of needs. No matter what your reason for visiting Glasgow, you will be guaranteed to enjoy yourself.
Getting There and Away
Glasgow International Airport is located 8 miles/13km west of central Glasgow. Edinburgh Airport is also only one hour from Glasgow by car.
To and from Glasgow International Airport:
Bus 905 and 950
- Services are operated by Citylink, Fairline and Linnpark (950).
- Bus stops are located outside the terminal and stop at numerous points in the city including Buchanan bus station.
- Services depart every 10-15 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes off peak
- Journey time: 25-30 minutes
- Cost: Single £3.30, Return £5.00
- Depart from the front of the terminal
- Journey time: 20 minutes
- Cost £20.00
Two main rail stations:
- Central Station, Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SL - Most national arrivals will call at or terminate here.
- Queen Street Station, North Hanover Street, Glasgow, G1 2AD - The Edinburgh Express service departs every 15 minutes from here.
Central Station and Queen Street Station are linked via the 398 bus service, which is free on production of a valid train ticket. This departs every 10 minutes from 07:00 Monday to Saturday and from 10:00 on Sunday.
The majority of coaches to Glasgow will call at, or terminate in, Buchanan Bus Station (Killermont Street, Glasgow, G2 3NW), which is conveniently located next to Queen Street Station.
Back to the top
- Glasgow’s centre is very compact and easy to navigate on foot.
- The centre can be crossed in around 20-30 minutes.
- The Subway operates a circular system around the city and has 15 stops.
- Services operate from 06:28 to 23:10 Monday to Saturday and from 10:03 to 17:36 on Sunday.
- Single: £1.00 - Return: £2.00 - 10 Journeys: £8.00 - 7 day ticket: £9.00
- Discovery ticket: (one days unlimited travel after 09:30) £1.90
- Child tickets are half the adult prices, except the Discovery ticket which remains the same.
- Day Tripper ticket: £15.00 (2 adults and 4 children), £8.50 (1 adult and 2 children). Ticket is valid on the train, subway and most ferries and buses.
- Single/return tickets can be purchased from vending machines in the stations. Other tickets can be purchased from the booths at the stations.
- Trains operate every 4-6 minutes at peak times and every 8 minutes off peak.
- All buses depart from Buchanan bus station.
- A variety of operators manage a range of services across Glasgow and Scotland, however further information can be offered by Strathclyde Passenger Transport, who have many travel shops throughout the city.
- Ticket prices vary depending on the operator, but usually return/day tickets are better value than single tickets.
- One of Scotland’s oldest passenger ferries.
- Crosses the River Clyde, making it easy to get from North to South.
- Operates Monday to Saturday 06:30-21:30 and Sunday 10:00-18:30.
- Cost: Single £1.00 (Child £0.50)
- Operates on the Clyde Estuary between Kilcreggan, Helensburgh and Gourock.
- Connects conveniently with transport links to other parts of Scotland, including Loch Lomond and Dunoon.
- Cost: Gourock to Kilcreggan or Helensburgh; single £1.90 (child £0.95). Books of ten tickets are also available for £13.30 (Child £6.65).
Back to the top
Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery: Mackintosh House
Art Gallery, 82 Hillhead Street, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ
- The Hunterian Museum includes collections on anatomy, zoology, the personal collection of William Hunter, and an art gallery. The gallery contains a reconstruction of the Mackintosh House - the residence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
- The house is comprised of original features and furnishings taken from Mackintosh’s home.
Museum, Gallery and House, Monday to Saturday 09:30-17:00
Museum and Gallery: FREE
Mackintosh House: £2.50, Child (under 5) FREE, after 14:00 on Wednesdays FREE
Gallery of Modern Art
Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AH
- The Gallery's contemporary collections and temporary exhibitions attract many visitors every year.
- With sculptures and paintings from all over the world, there is much to see.
Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 10:00-17:00
Saint Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
2 Castle Street, Glasgow, G4 0RH
- The museum and its exhibitions focus on faith in the world’s communities.
- There are four exhibition areas dedicated to the Gallery of Religious Art, the Gallery of Religious Life, the Scottish Gallery, and a temporary exhibition space.
- See Salvador Dali’s famous painting, ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’, and take time out in the UK's first Zen Garden.
Monday to Thursday and Saturday 10:00-17:00
Friday and Sunday 11:00-17:00
Braehead Shopping Centre, Kings Inch Rd, Glasgow, G51 4BN
- Museum spans 300 years of ship building on the Clyde, and incorporates many interesting interactive activities.
- There is also the chance to see MV Kyles, the oldest surviving Clyde-built ship in the UK.
Monday to Saturday 10:00-17:30
11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU
- The Lighthouse spans six floors, and is dedicated to architecture and design.
- Designed by Mackintosh, the Lighthouse has a dedicated space to the world renowned architect, and a comprehensive guide to his work in Glasgow.
- The Lighthouse also features a great number of visiting collections.
Monday, Wednesday to Saturday 10:30-17:00
Child (under 16) £1.00
Under 5s FREE
Back to the top
Where to Stay
Glasgow has witnessed much growth over recent years, and has also seen many hotels springing up to accommodate both the business and leisure traveller. LateRooms.com has some fantastic Glasgow hotels deals available to suit a range of needs. From 5 star hotels to comfortable 3 star properties, luxury apartments to budget beds, you will be spoilt for choice, no matter where you want to stay in the city.
- If you are travelling to the Edinburgh Festival but are struggling to find accommodation, then why not stay in Glasgow? Being only 50 minutes from Edinburgh via the Express shuttle, it may prove more cost effective.
Back to the top
Where to Eat
The Ubiquitous Chip
12 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SG, +44 (0)141 334 5007
- A long-standing Glaswegian tradition, with a very popular restaurant and brasserie.
- Specialises in traditional Scottish cooking.
- Two courses plus coffee in the restaurant will cost £33.80, while main courses in the brasserie cost between £7.00 and £13.00.
- Open every day for lunch and dinner.
28 Westminster Terrace, Glasgow, G3 7RU, +44 (0)141 221 1663
- Popular restaurant serving Indian food with a unique twist.
- In addition to its fully licensed bar, the restaurant operates a ‘bring your own beer’ policy for a small fee.
- Dinner costs between £12.00 and £15.00. Lunch and pre-theatre menus are also available.
28 Gibson Street, Glasgow, G12 8NX, +44 (0) 141 334 2665
- You will also find Stravaigin 2 located in the West End.
- Food is based around Scottish cuisine with a hint of fusion, served up in stylish surroundings by friendly, knowledgeable staff.
- Main courses range from £13.00 to £20.00, with a pre-theatre menu available between 17:00 and 19:00 (2 courses plus coffee costs £11.95).
- Open from 10:30 daily.
97 Saint Georges Road, Glasgow, G3 6JA, +44 (0)141 333 0534
- Vegetarian café serving a good range of meals and snacks.
- Menus can be adapted for special dietary needs.
- Main courses cost from £5.95.
- Serves from 10:00-22:00 daily.
283 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3HQ, +44 (0)141 332 3800, 227 Byres Road, G12 8UD, +44 (0)141 334 3811
- Well established Italian restaurant with two venues located in the centre and the west end.
- Has an extensive pizza, pasta, meat and fish menu with other things besides.
- Main courses cost from around £6.00.
- Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Back to the top
Glasgow has a thriving and varied nightlife scene, ranging from a strong pub culture, to a constantly developing bar scene and renowned club culture. The main hub of the pub and bar scene is located around the Merchant area of the city centre, and in the West End, which is a lively student haunt.
232-246 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6ND
- The name means ‘water of life’ referring to whisky.
- All the bar staff wear traditional kilts.
191 Ingram Street, Glasgow, G1 1DA
- Exclusive, trendy bar and restaurant housed in a magnificent Victorian building, complete with a 26 foot glass dome.
- Set over 5 floors with a range of bars and music available, there is something for nearly everyone.
2nd Floor Terrace, Princes Square, Glasgow, G1 3JN
- Offers an excellent range of cocktails, which are always changing and being redeveloped.
- Décor is chic and attracts a stylish crowd.
The Scotia Bar
112 Stockwell Street, Glasgow, G1 4LW
- Reputed to be one of Glasgow’s oldest pubs, this venue is popular for its folk nights and real ale.
- The famous comedian Billy Connolly is also said to have started his career here.
Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SG
- Belgian bar offering a good range of beer and food.
- In summer the front terrace opens up, making it a pleasant stop for a drink.
Glasgow is famous for its lively and varied clubbing scene. Not surprisingly you will find a club night to go every night of the week and at the weekend you will be spoilt for choice.
Key venues are:
253 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DL
- Host to club nights; ‘Colours’, ‘Death Disco’, ‘Pressure’, and ‘Inside Out’ - all of which attract the big names of the DJ world.
The Art School
168 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6RQ
- A range of nights including ‘Freak Menoovers’, ‘Cotton Cake’, and ‘Mind the Gap’.
22 Jamaica Street, Glasgow, G1 4QD
- Prides itself on its ‘underground’ philosophy with an emphasis on, and dedication to, house music.
34 - 44 Queen Street, Glasgow, G1 3DX
- Plays a range of music from indie to house, cheesy pop to hip hop, depending on which night you visit.
84 Mitchell St, Glasgow, G1 3NA
- Trendy club serving up a range of R'n'B and funky house, with a popular student night on Thursdays.
Back to the top
Theatre & Entertainment
Scotland has a vibrant and comprehensive theatre and entertainment scene, stretching from the traditional to the modern and avant-garde.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3NY
- One of Glasgow’s major concert venues hosting mainly classical performances, but also concerts of other genres.
297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN
- Open since 1904, this theatre hosts many West End musical productions.
121 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G2 3AZ
- Scotland’s only remaining variety theatre.
- Shows are based around comedy and traditional comedic acts as well as music.
119 Gorbals Street, Glasgow, G5 9DS
- The theatre produces plays for the people - i.e. home talent that would normally go unseen.
- Established in 1943 by James Bridie, the theatre continues to produce ground breaking works.
63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB
- Modern theatre presenting new productions, as well as revamping existing ones in its unique style.
There are also numerous festivals which take place:
West End Festival
- Incorporates parades, carnivals, music and art.
- Usually a fortnight in mid June.
Glasgow International Jazz Festival
- Every year the city buzzes with the influx of visitors from all over the world wanting to see the many renowned jazz artists who perform each year.
- Usually takes place in June.
Back to the top
For the Kids
Glasgow Science Centre
50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1EA
- Visit the Science Mall, and try your hand at the many hands-on exhibits.
- See many live shows, and also take a closer look at the night’s sky through the Scottish Power Planetarium.
- There is also an IMAX cinema showing 2D and 3D films, as well as the Glasgow Tower, which offers unsurpassable views of Glasgow.
- Science Mall: 7 days 10:00-18:00 (Closed Monday from October to End of March).
- Science Mall, IMAX and Glasgow Tower: Adult £6.95, Child £4.95 (per attraction).
- 2 attractions Adult £9.95, Child £7.95
The Big Adventure
2 Napier Street, Linwood, PA3 3AJ
- If the children need to let off steam, then what better place than Europe’s biggest indoor play area?
- There are play areas dedicated to babies, the under 5s and the under 12s.
- Contains 5 levels of slides, helter skelters and ball pools.
- Under 5s £3.75
- Over 5s £4.25
- Adults and babies FREE
The Ceramic Experience
24 Albion Way, East Kilbride, G75 0YN
- Offers the chance to let you and the children’s imaginations run wild by designing and painting your own ceramic plate, coaster or cup.
- Trained staff will be on hand to help you get the most out of your ceramic experience.
- 7 days a week 10:00-17:30
- Entry is FREE
- Prices for ceramics vary depending on the product.
Greenock Road, Largs, KA30 8QL
- This attraction provides an insight into Viking life, with characters based on those who once lived on the nearby Viking fjord.
- Also located within the complex is a swimming pool, meaning you can make this trip a full family day out.
- December and January: closed
- November and February: Saturday and Sunday 10:30 - 15:30
- March: 7 days a week 10:30-15:30
- April to June: 7 days a week 10:30-16:30
- July to September: 7 days a week 10:30-17:30
- Viking Experience: Adult £4.10, Child £3.10 (4-15 years), Family £12.20 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children).
- Swimming: Adult £2.40, Child £1.70, Under 5s FREE, Family £6.40 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children).
M&D’s Scotland Theme Park
- Scotland’s largest theme park offering a range of rides and attractions.
- Experience the thrilling Vortex ride, or venture into the indoor play area.
- There are also a range of places to eat.
- April, September and October: Saturday and Sunday only
- May and June: partial opening (closed on Mondays)
- July and August 7 days a week
- November to end of March: closed
- Unlimited ride wrist band (over 1.35m) £14.50
- Unlimited ride wrist band (under 1.35m) £10.50
- Family ticket (any 4 people) £42.00
Back to the top
Glasgow is renowned for being one of the UK’s most stylish shopping Meccas outside of London. Oozing with panache and offering an abundance of choice, it is truly a shopper’s paradise.
The main shopping streets are:
- Sauchiehall Street
- Buchanan Street
- Argyle Street
Saint Enoch Centre
55 Saint Enoch Square, Glasgow, G1 4BW
- The largest shopping centre in Scotland.
- Has a range of high street stores and places to eat, as well as a Jelly Club play centre for the children.
220 Buchanan St, Glasgow, G1 2FF
- Has many high street stores, and around 2000 free car parking spaces.
Glasgow, G2 8BG
- One of the oldest shopping arcades in Europe and Scotland’s first covered arcade.
- Houses a variety of jewellery stores, most specialising in diamonds.
If you are looking for designer products, then the areas around Princes Square and Merchant City are top hot-spots. It is also worth paying a visit to the Italian Centre which houses shops such as Versace and Armani. For independent stores, quirky boutiques, and vintage clothing, head for the West End where you will find lots of hidden gems.
Back to the top
Gay & Lesbian
Glasgow has a very comprehensive and flourishing gay and lesbian scene. Many of Glasgow's gay/lesbian bars and clubs are located in the Merchant City area, however there are many other bars and clubs dotted all over the city centre. With the centre being compact, it is really easy to move between venues and areas.
Popular bars and clubs:
84 Wilson Street, Glasgow, G1 1UZ
- This bar/club has multiple rooms playing a range of different music.
- The décor is grand with lots of draping velvet, leather, and mirrors.
- Attracts a friendly, varied crowd.
80 Glassford Street, Glasgow, G1 1UR
- Club spans 2 floors and plays a range of classic and modern pop tunes.
- One of Glasgow’s oldest gay clubs.
6A John Street, Glasgow, G1 1JQ
- Relaxed, fashionable venue that is new on the gay scene.
68 Virginia Street, Glasgow G1 1TX
- This popular venue attracts a trendy crowd with its modern surroundings.
- Plays mainly mainstream chart music.
For support, advice and further information on the scene in Glasgow visit the Glasgow LGBT Centre. The centre has different social events and workshops. There is also a café, where you can meet people and socialise.
There are also a series of events geared towards the gay and lesbian community:
- Alternates its host status bi-annually with Edinburgh.
- The provisional date for Pride Scotia 2009 is Saturday 27th June.
- Festival celebrating Glasgow’s gay culture, incorporates many events inluding arts, club nights and workshops.
- Usually takes place between the months of October and November.
Back to the top