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Central Belt (Scotland) : Clydeside : Glasgow
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For other places with the same name, see Glasgow (disambiguation).
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Host City for
London 2012 Olympics
Hampden Park

London 2012
Olympics [40] · London2012 [41]

Clyde Auditorium

Glasgow [42] is the biggest city in Scotland with a population of about 600,000 in the city itself, or over 2 million if the surrounding towns of the Clydeside conurbation are taken into account. Located at the west end of Scotland's Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow's historical importance as Scotland's main industrial centre has challenged by decades of change and various regeneration efforts. The third largest city in the entire United Kingdom (by population), it remains one of the nation's key economic centres outside London.

In recent years, however, Glasgow has been awarded the European titles of City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sport (2003). In 2008, Glasgow became the 2nd Scottish city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was named as a UNESCO City of Music (joining Bologna and Seville). In preparing its bid, Glasgow counted an average of 130 music events a week ranging from pop and rock to Celtic music and opera. The city has transformed itself from being the once mighty powerhouse of industrial Britain to a centre for commerce, tourism, and culture. Glasgow will be the host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Glasgow has become one of the most visited cities in the British Isles, and visitors will find a revitalised city centre, the best shopping outside London without a doubt, excellent parks and museums (most of which are free), and easy access to the Highlands and Islands.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 6 7 9 12 16 18 20 19 16 13 9 7
Nightly lows (°C) 2 2 3 4 7 10 12 12 9 7 4 2
Precipitation (mm) 142 99 110 60 63 63 68 84 116 132 131 138

See the 5 day forecast for Glasgow at the Met Office

The speed of the conversation tends to be quite quick in Glasgow. If necessary, ask people to repeat (even slowly!) what they are saying, Glaswegians are generally very friendly and able to communicate in far more formal English than that which is commonly used if it is required. Standing on a city centre street corner with a map in the daytime is usually a cue for passing Glaswegians to offer help in finding your way.


As with all areas of Scotland, regional dialects are present in Glasgow. The Glaswegian dialect of Scots or "banter" as the more jovial version of it is known, has evolved over the history of the city. As each wave of migration takes place, new words and phrases are added to the Weegie "patter". There is a strong Celtic language connection due to the Lowland Scots, Highland Gaelic and Irish Gaelic influences.

Some phrases

  • "Wean" (pronounced "wayne") - child (Derived from wee-one, meaning small one)
  • "Wee" - small
  • "Aye" - yes
  • "Bam" or "bampot" or "bamstick" - an impolite term for a silly or annoying person
  • "Eejit" - an impolite term for a person who has done an incredibly stupid thing- an idiot
  • "Tumshie" - a silly person
  • "Pure (brilliant)" - Very
  • "Minging" - bad smelling or bad tasting; similarly a "minger" refers to an ugly person. Can also be used to denote drunkenness; "Ah wis well mingin' on Friday."
  • "Midden" - an old Scots word for a waste dump, but commonly used to described anything that is untidy or unkempt.
  • "Haw" - roughly equivalent to "Hey" and used to attract someone's attention
  • "(to give) pelters" - to humiliate someone
  • "Ned" - Allegedly, this stands for "Non-Educated Delinquent", which sums it up nicely. Typically teenage youths who can be spotted sporting tracksuits, drinking cheap alcohol and wearing "bling" jewellery, as well as bright white trainers (sneakers), soccer socks (kneesocks) scrunched down, and a baseball cap, usually from the brand Burberry. Many neds are aggressive.
  • "Buckie" - Real name is Buckfast, a "tonic wine" (this indicates its fortified alcohol content and not any medicinal value.) It is relatively cheap and purple in colour.
  • "Glaikit" - Means someone is dim or have a blank expression on their face. E.g When I asked him what 13 divided by 11,212.189 was they he looked pure Glaikit.
  • "Teuchter" - Slang word for a Highlander, or anyone from the North of Scotland - often used in a derogatory context.
  • "Gallus" - Means someone is cocky, cheeky or self confident
  • "Bolt" - go away, as in "leave me alone" (tends to be used in a slightly aggressive context)
  • "Besom" - a cheeky or 'bold' woman.
  • "Manky" - unclean, filthy
  • "Baltic" - Really cold as in 'The Baltic Sea'
  • "Mental" - Tough and crazy, as in "Watch out, he's pure mental, by the way". "Mental" can also be used to describe something which is overcrowded or busy as in "the traffic was mental on the motorway today".
  • "Pished" - drunk or intoxicated.

Glasgow slang is also peppered with various more or less meaningless phrases such as 'by the way', 'man' or 'dead' (very, as an adjective) that can give the answers to simple questions an almost baroque complexity. So "Did you enjoy the concert last night?" might be answered "Aye it was pure dead brilliant man" which means, essentially, "Yes, it was good".


For the visitor, central Glasgow can be divided into two main areas, the City Centre, which makes up the majority and contains much of the city’s shopping and entertainment district, as well as its commercial heart, and the West End, the bohemian area of cafés, restaurants and bars surrounding the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Museum. The best way to get good vistas of the city is to climb the many "drumlins" (hills) upon which the central area is built.

City Centre

The City Centre (known as "town" or "the toon" to locals) is bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, High Street to the east, and the River Clyde to the south. This is the area where most visitors will start, and the most notable elements are the American-style grid plan of streets and the lavish Victorian and Edwardian buildings and civic squares which give the city's central area much of its character.

The main arteries of the City Centre are Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street which both run on an east-west axis. They are linked by Buchanan Street which runs north-south. Together, these three streets form the main shopping thoroughfare. Argyle Street is effectively divided in two by the glass walled bridge (known as Hielanman's Umbrella) of Central Station, the city's principal railway terminus. Exiting the station and heading eastwards along Gordon Street, arriving onto Buchanan Street, turn left towards the north, you encounter St Vincent Street which intersects the south side of George Square. Heading in the other direction will lead you back to Argyle Street and St Enoch Square, now dominated by the huge St Enoch Centre shopping mall, although its most famous landmark is the quaint St Enoch Subway Station, now used as a coffee shop. If you continue east along Argyle Street and walk beyond the pedestrianised area you will have arrived on Trongate and the beginning of the Merchant City.

Merchant City

The Merchant City is a sub-district of the City Centre which contains Glasgow's original mediaeval core, and charts its beginnings as an industrial city. The Victorian tobacco lairds and merchants of the 19th century used their wealth from international trade to build the network of streets which formed the basis of the modern city as we see it today. Most of their ornate churches, houses and office buildings have survived to the present day. Trongate is the site of the Tron Theatre (itself a former church), just before the junction of the Trongate, A8 Saltmarket (north/south), Gallowgate and London Road (east/west). This junction is known as Glasgow Cross and marks the original medieval centre of the city. It is dominated by the clock tower of the original City Chambers (destroyed by fire in 1926), and the small hexagonal building known as the Tolbooth. High Street runs directly north from Glasgow Cross and is the main artery of Old Glasgow, leading up to the Cathedral of Saint Mungo (or Glasgow Cathedral), and the Necropolis cemetery – dominated by the statue of John Knox and described by Victorians as a literal “City of The Dead”.

Heading northward along Queen Street, you will enter George Square, the city's notional centre, which is dominated by the city's spectacular City Chambers, the headquarters of Glasgow City Council, the city's local government. On the north side of the square is Queen Street Railway Station, on the east side is the start of the Strathclyde University Campus. The Square itself is populated by several statues of civic leaders and famous figures from history and is often used for outdoor events. Continuing south from George Square, you will find yourself on Ingram Street, which in recent years has become a haven for upmarket designer shops. Heading west along Ingram Street, you will find the magnificent Royal Exchange Square, dominated by the Doric-style Gallery of Modern Art, and the square itself is lined with cafes, restaurants and bars. Beyond the gallery, you will pass Borders bookstore to arrive back on Buchanan Street.

Blythswood Hill & Anderston

Just after Buchanan Street Subway station, you will cross Bath Street. Running parallel to Sauchiehall Street, this is the main route to the western area of the city centre, containing the city's core commercial and business district. As you walk westward up Bath Street, past its rich mix of quirky independent shops and "style bars" you will gradually notice the distinctive Georgian town house style architecture, but most of the buildings have now been converted to offices. Blythswood Square, as you reach the top of the drumlin you have just climbed is the area's centrepiece and is dominated on its eastern side by the old Royal Scottish Automobile Club, now an upmarket hotel.

From the Square as you head south down Blythswood Street (a very steep hill), the new meets the old as state of the art modern glass and steel office buildings stand alongside their classical counterparts. This is the heart of Glasgow’s financial district, known irreverently as "Wall Street on Clyde". At the foot of the hill, you will be back on Argyle Street. Continue south onto the Broomielaw, which sits on the north bank of the River Clyde. You will now be in the district of Anderston, formerly a dockland area, badly scarred by the city's industrial decline, but now being redeveloped as a residential and commercial area.

The Tradeston Pedestrian Bridge crosses the river and is nicknamed the "Squiggly Bridge" by locals because of its distinctive S-shape. Still on the north bank is the remaining curiosity of the area is the Renfrew Ferry, a decommissioned pedestrian ferry now permanently moored on the riverbank and used as a nightclub. Carry on walking along the riverbank until you get to the Kingston Bridge, which carries the M8 motorway across the Clyde. Built in 1969, the bridge is far more spectacular to stand beneath than drive over, with an almost cathedral-like vista and a strange aura of calmness that betrays the likely traffic chaos that is going unseen directly above your head.

Walk back up onto Argyle Street, and you will have completed the circle; in front of which you will see numerous new "apartment buildings" amid the remains of the old Anderston Centre, a brutalist concrete urban regeneration scheme conceived in the late 1960s by the star London architect Richard Seifert (of Centre Point and NatWest Tower fame). Look out for the other main oddity of the area, the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere", a pedestrian bridge built over the M8 motorway but left in an unfinished state and terminates in mid air, which stands largely as a monument to the failures and mistakes of the city's grand regeneration plans in the 1960s.

West End

To the west of the city centre is the ever popular and dynamic Glasgow West End. No official definition of where the West End boundary lies exists, but it can roughly be defined as being bounded by the M8 motorway to the east, Great Western Road to the north, Argyle Street/Dumbarton Road to the South and Crow Road to the west. The nucleus of the area is undoubtedly the neo-Gothic University of Glasgow, which acts as the anchor for this bohemian district with its amazing architecture, tree lined streets and quaint shopping areas this part of Glasgow thrives all year round. The University itself is the fourth oldest in the entire United Kingdom, and one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country.

The university's presence means that the area has a high population of students in the area, which does much to give it its unique character.

Byres Road / Ashton Lane

Most visitors will start here: Byres Road is the West End's main artery, and is reachable via the Subway (get off the train at Hillhead station, which lies midway along Byres Road). The road itself is a treasure trove of independent shops, bars and restuarants. Upon leaving Hillhead station, if you turn left and then an immediate left, you will be in Ashton Lane, a cobbled and quaint backstreet. One of the West End's definate 'must sees' its distinctive whitewashed buildings and ecclectic mix of bars and eateries, including the almost world famous Ubiquitous Chip restaurant, are a tourist hotspot. Be careful as the Lane can be a bit of a tourist trap during the summer months when the students of the university are not there to keep the bar prices reasonable. Ashton Lane leads into University Gardens a semi-circular street lined with Georgian terraced houses which now house academic departments of the university.

University of Glasgow

University Gardens will eventually lead into University Avenue - the main thoroughfare which bisects the university campus. In front of you will be the University's spectacular Main Building, designed in Gothic Revival style by Sir George Gilbert Scott (the man who also designed London's St Pancras railway station). The building has an interesting visitor's centre (open all year round) which is free. The main building sits atop a drumlin from which it is possible to get a fantastic view of the city, which is worth making the effort.

In Search of Raintown
Fans of the Glasgow band Deacon Blue have often made the pilgrimage to the top of the Granite Staircase to recreate the cover photograph of their famous 1987 album Raintown. Sadly, neither of the two cover photos from the album is now possible to reconstruct. Two decades have seen Kelvingrove Park's trees grow to obscure the view of the Clyde and the Finnieston Crane from the top of the Granite Staircase. Equally, the rear cover shot of the M8 motorway approach onto the Kingston Bridge (adjacent to the Mitchell Library) was taken from a disused bridge upon which an office building has now been constructed.

Walking down from the university main building you will arrive into Kelvingrove Park, and the magnificent Kelvin Way, a tree lined avenue, almost Parisian in its gaiety which marks the western boundary of the park. Walking down Kelvin Way, and looking up to your left you will see the buildings of Park Circus atop a steep hill. The pavements (sidewalks) on Kelvin Way are very uneven due to the tree roots underneath, so difficult for anyone with mobility problems.

This area of Georgian townhouses (laid out in a radial pattern similar to the English city of Bath) has made the transition from originally being an upmarket residential area to a prestigious office district for mainly legal and consultancy firms. In recent years, there have been moves to encourage the companies back into the city centre and return the buildings to residential use. If you make the effort to walk through Kelvingrove Park, go up to this area as it is worth descending down the grand Granite Staircase which will bring you down on to the western reaches of Sauchiehall Street.

Kelvingrove Museum

At the southern end of Kelvin Way you will have arrived back onto Sauchiehall Street. On your left will be the massive Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the city's grandest public museum. The museum has one of the finest public collections in the United Kingdom outside London including Salvador Dali's celebrated "Crucifixion of St. John of the Cross" painting. Opposite the museum is the Kelvin Hall, an athletics venue. Continuing along Dumbarton Road, you will arrive on the southern end of Byres Road to complete the circle.

This West End is also the gateway to the amazing West of Scotland, since Great Western Road continues as the A82 to the Clyde estuary town of Dumbarton, then turning north toward the West Highlands to Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Fort William, Loch Ness and finally Inverness.

East End

Farther east from the Cross, along the Gallowgate and London Road, is the famous Barras market area and Barrowland Ballroom, leading to the areas of Calton, Bridgeton, Dalmarnock and Parkhead (home of Celtic Football Club). Turning south onto the A8 Saltmarket leads to the City Mortuary, High Court and the eastern entrance of Glasgow Green park before crossing the Crown Street bridge into the Gorbals.

Get in

By plane

Glasgow is served by two main airports close to the city which are Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick International Airport. Edinburgh Airport is approximately 40 miles away.

Glasgow International Airport

(IATA: GLA), [43]. Located 8 miles west of the centre of Glasgow near the towns of Paisley and Renfrew, this is the city's principal airport, and the main direct long haul and transatlantic entry airport into Scotland. There are regular scheduled UK and European destinations, holiday charters, and the airport is the hub for the Scottish island network operated by Loganair. United Airlines [44] operate a daily service from New York (Newark), while Emirates [45] operate a daily flight to Dubai. If you are entering the United Kingdom via London, British Airways [46] operates frequent shuttle flights to Glasgow Airport throughout the day from both Heathrow and Gatwick. British Airways also operates a regular business shuttle from London City airport, although it can be considerably more expensive than flying from Heathrow or Gatwick -but cheap fares are sometimes available if you book via a price comparison site, rather than going to BA direct. Alternatively, KLM [47] flies regularly to Glasgow from Amsterdam-Schiphol which connects with a wide range of international destinations. EasyJet flies from Luton, Stansted and Gatwick.

The frequent Glasgow Shuttle [48] departs from outside the terminal building to the city centre, dropping off near both main railway stations (£5.00 single, £7.00 day return, £7.50 open return). Slower, less frequent, but cheaper is the First 747 [49] (£4 single, £5 return).

The slowest, but cheapest, option is to use local bus 66, operated by Arriva as often as every 10 minutes to Paisley Gilmour Street train station, where regular trains run to Glasgow Central in as little as ten minutes. Travelling to the airport you can buy an inclusive train and bus ticket from any train station: just ask for Glasgow Airport and show the bus driver your train ticket. Travelling from the airport buy a coupon for £1.50 from the SPT Travel Information counter beside domestic arrivals, show it to the driver and then and use it for £1.50 of credit towards onward train travel from Paisley Gilmour Street station. If the SPT counter in the airport is closed, a "rail exchange" ticket costs £1.80 on the bus, and is similarly valid towards £1.50 of rail travel (note as of February 2012 rail exchange tickets are no longer available). A single from Glasgow Central to/from the airport costs £3.20, or £1.80 with a National Rail railcard.

Car parks serving Glasgow Airport
Address On/Off Airport Distance / Transfer Time Security Park Mark®
[50] Award
Additional Information
Airparks Glasgow
Burnbrae Drive, Linwood, Paisley, PA3 3BJ.
High-fencing, floodlights, 24-hour CCTV and security patrols
Trailers are permitted within this car park at Glasgow but an extra space will be charged
Glasgow Long Stay
Glasgow Long Stay Supersaver, Arran Avenue, Glasgow Airport, Paisley, PA3 2AY.
10 minutes
24 hours a day, has 24-hour CCTV, and is fully fenced and floodlit
There are parking bays for Blue Badge holders near the bus stops. The courtesy coaches are wheelchair accessible and DDA compliant

Glasgow Prestwick International Airport

(IATA: PIK), [51]. This is about 50 km south west of Glasgow on the Ayrshire coast, is the city's secondary airport and a major hub for Ryanair (see Discount airlines in Europe) and several other low cost carriers. Ryanair fly into Prestwick predominantly from Ireland (Dublin), Paris (Beauvais), and Italy (Milan-Bergamo, Rome-Ciampino & Pisa), and with some useful routes from various destinations in Eastern Europe. Ryanair also run various seasonal services to Mediterranean resorts. Note also, that some holiday charter flights fly into Prestwick rather than Glasgow's main airport.

The airport has its own railway station, with two trains per hour to Glasgow Central (show your flight paperwork to get a £3.20 half price ticket; the journey takes around 45 minutes). All trains to Ayr and Stranraer call at the airport. The A77/M77 roads run directly from Prestwick into the centre of Glasgow if you intend to drive.

The X77 bus also runs from Buchanan Bus Station to the airport throughout the day, and crucially covers the times (early morning and late evening) when the trains are not running.

Edinburgh Airport

(IATA: EDI), [52]. Although not an immediately obvious choice, the capital's airport is easily accessible from Glasgow since it is on the western edge of Edinburgh, approximately 60km away and about an hours drive via the M8 motorway. Useful as both Ryanair and Easyjet have a number of European routes that are not available from either Glasgow International or Prestwick. The airport can also easily be reached via a connecting bus from Haymarket railway station - all trains from Glasgow call here. See the main Edinburgh article for more details.

By train

Glasgow has two main line railway stations. Trains from the south of Scotland, the city's southern suburbs and all long distance trains from England arrive at Central Station (officially known as Glasgow Central), while shuttle trains from Edinburgh and anywhere north of Glasgow arrive at Queen Street Station. Both Central and Queen Street stations have left luggage lockers. The stations are an easy ten minute walk apart and the route is well signposted, or there's a frequent shuttle bus between them, which is free if you are holding a through railway ticket otherwise a fare of 50p is charged if you don't.

Most trains within Scotland and the sleeper services from London are run by First ScotRail [53].

From Edinburgh

Confusingly, there are four rail routes between the capital and Glasgow's two main line terminals. An off-peak return is around £11.50, regardless which route you use, a peak return is around £20. In summary the four routes are as follows - all depart from both Waverley and Haymarket stations:

  • Fastest: The ScotRail Shuttle via Falkirk High into Queen Street (High Level) - every 15 minutes on weekdays until 1830, half hourly outside these times. Journey time 50 minutes.
  • Faster: CrossCountry or East Coast trains via Motherwell into Central (High Level) - trains originating from Penzance, Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham or London King's Cross make the journey at sporadic intervals throughout the day - journey time approx 1 hour. CrossCountry services have the cheapest walk-up one way fare between the two cities, of £7 for an Anytime single.
  • Slow: Via Bathgate and Airdrie into Queen Street (Low Level) en route to Milngavie or Helensburgh Central - every half hour, journey time 80 minutes.
  • Very Slow: Via Shotts or Carstairs into Central (High Level) - every hour, journey time up to 90 minutes.

From London and the South

Glasgow can be reached from London by either the West Coast or East Coast main lines. The quality and reliability of the rail services has improved a lot over the years, and it can be cheaper and almost as fast as flying once the time spent travelling to airports with their associated security hassles is taken into account.

  • Faster: Virgin Trains [54] run 13 trains a day from London Euston via the West Coast route. Journey time is 4hrs 30 mins, with one northbound express completing the 400 mile journey in just over 4 hours. Single one-way fares £17.50 is booked up to 12 weeks in advance, rising to £59. Open off-peak return £110. Virgin also operate a two-hourly service from Birmingham.
  • Slower: East Coast [55] run 1 direct train a day from London King's Cross via the East Coast route (taking in York and Newcastle also), with a roughly hourly service to Edinburgh throughout the day, which connects with the Shuttle (see above). Journey time 5hrs 45mins-6hrs 30min (if connecting at Edinburgh). Single one-way fares start at £12.50 one way if booked online and up to 12 weeks in advance. Open off-peak returns are the same as for Virgin Trains.

The Caledonian Sleeper is an overnight sleeper train that runs every night except Saturday to/from London Euston The journey takes approximately 8 hours, although is deliberately scheduled for a late departure and a reasonable arrival time. Tickets can be booked in the usual manner at any main line railway station in Britain or online from Scotrail [56]: the cost of a return journey to Glasgow from London varies from around £100 for two one-way "Advance" tickets rising to the full open return fare of £165 (being the basic fare plus the cost of the sleeping berth in a compartment with either one or two beds). Note that solo travellers may have to share the sleeping compartment with a stranger of the same gender. You can also travel in a seated carriage for around £23 one-way or £95 return (full fare). Certain BritRail passes can be used to buy tickets on the Sleeper trains, but supplements are payable for the berth: check before leaving your home country.

The best value fares on the sleeper are inclusive (travel and berth) one-way tickets known as "Bargain Berths" available only online from ScotRail [57] and are sold in limited numbers for £19, £29, £39 or £49 depending on how far in advance you book. If no fares are available to/from Glasgow Central, an alternative is Westerton, a station on Glasgow's suburban network north-west of the city. It is a calling point of the sleeper to/from Fort William which otherwise does not call in Glasgow. It is occasionally possible to find "Bargain Berths" to/from here after they have sold out to/from Glasgow Central.

Within Scotland

Apart from the Edinburgh shuttles, the key inter-city rail routes to Glasgow from elsewhere in Scotland are as follows:

  • Aberdeen and Dundee (via Perth): Hourly into Queen Street (High Level) throughout the day.
  • Inverness (via Perth): Every two hours into Queen Street (High Level) throughout the day
  • Stirling - Half Hourly (approximately) into Queen Street (High Level) throughout the day.
  • Fort William, Oban and Mallaig: Three trains per day into Queen Street (High Level). In addition, the overnight sleeper train to London Euston calls at Westerton in the late evening where it is possible to change to a service into either Central or Queen Street Low Level.
  • Stranraer: Four trains per day into Central (High Level)
  • Ayr (via Prestwick Airport and Troon): Half Hourly into Central (High Level)

Other Rail Services

All national inter-city routes operate into Central (High Level).

Virgin Trains [58] operate direct services to/from Birmingham New Street.

First Transpennine Express [59] operate a direct service to Glasgow from Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly.

CrossCountry [60] operate a handful of early morning and late evening trains to/from the South West of England via Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Sheffield, Birmingham New Street and Bristol.

By car

The main approaches to Glasgow are the following:

  • from England on the M74 motorway; Glasgow is about 150 km north of the border
  • from Edinburgh (east) or Glasgow Airport (west) on the M8 motorway
  • from Stirling and all points north and east on the M80 motorway
  • from the West Highlands on the A82 dual carriageway

Note - in 2011 the M74 Extension was completed, now allowing an alternative route into the city centre via the South Side. As of November 2011, many GPS services still do not recognise the new route, and therefore bear this in mind if using sat-nav to navigate your way into the city

All routes converge on the M8, which carves through the city centre. Glasgow has no credible park-and-ride system, but some of the subway and suburban railway stations do have small car parks. There is also the Shields Road Park and Ride site[61], which services the city centre.


On-street parking in the both the City Centre and West End is limited and expensive, metered bays are available at the side of the road and you pay at an adjacent machine and display a ticket in your windscreen or dashboard. The prices are typically 30-40p (depending on location) for every 12 minutes. In general, parking charges are levied Monday to Saturday (this INCLUDES public holidays) and free after 18:30 and all day Sundays. But always check what the controlled hours are - these are shown on the ticket machines themselves and on adjacent signs. If attempting to park on the free periods - get there as early as possible before the locals do. Some parking areas are for residents only - DON'T be tempted to use them as you run the risk of being wheel-clamped or even towed away!

There are many multi-storey car parks in the city centre; they are clearly signposted into "East", "West", "North" and "South" zones on all the approaches into the central area with an electronic display showing how many spaces are left in each. They don't however differentiate between the expensive NCP ones and the cheaper ones inside shopping malls or run by the council.

In general, driving in Glasgow's central area should be avoided if you are not a confident driver, as there are one way systems, bus lanes and pedestrian precincts. Glaswegians are not the most patient drivers in the world, and they particularly dislike hesitancy (taxi drivers being the worst culprits). Parking restrictions are strictly enforced, and vehicles parked illegally or in an obstructive manner will be towed away and the owner of the vehicle will be liable for a £150 release charge to recover it. If, however, you are confident enough to hire a car or require it to save money on your travel, all the major rental companies and some lesser ones are at the airport. You should book your car rental in advance to avoid disappointment and can do so from price comparison companies such as Glasgow Airport Car Hire [62]. Visitors from the United States and Canada should note that car rental companies will allocate you a manual transmission car by default, unless you specifically ask for an automatic.

By bus

Long-distance bus services [63] arrive at Buchanan Bus Station (in the city centre, close to Buchanan Street/Queen Street train stations). The main operator is Scottish Citylink [64], but Stagecoach also runs a budget inter-city bus service called Megabus [65]. Somewhat confusingly, however, the two operators often combine and merge services, so don't you may be put on a Citylink bus when you hold a Megabus reservation and vice versa. There are even buses to Poland, setting off from Glasgow around midnight every Monday, Friday and Sunday.

By boat

Sunset over Kingston Bridge

From Ireland, car and foot passengers have a number of convenient ports close to Glasgow. For those travelling with a car, the nearest ferry ports are Troon and Cairnryan for multiple daily P&O Irish Sea[66] ferries from Larne in Northern Ireland. Alternatively, Stena Line [67] operate ferries and the faster Stena HSS several times a day between the Port of Belfast and Stranraer.

Through train tickets are available from any railway station in the UK to any railway station in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland via Stranraer, where the train station is adjacent to the ferry terminal. Fares start at £25 one way (£16.50 with a railcard) for Belfast to Glasgow (available on the day of travel from most railway stations) taking about five hours. Similarly, Scottish Citylink [68] sell inclusive coach and ferry tickets between Belfast and Glasgow and Edinburgh.

From Belgium, Scotland's only ferry connection to mainland Europe[69] is from Zeebrugge which serves Rosyth (near Edinburgh), about an hour's drive from Glasgow. You can also take DFDS Seaways ferry from Holland to Newcastle [70] and drive. This takes 3 h from Newcastle to Glasgow city centre.

Get around

River Clyde looking West towards SECC

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport [71] (SPT) is the agency responsible for the local public transport network, which it describes as one of the most integrated and developed in the UK, not European standards. Nevertheless, Glasgow's public transport system is one of the most extensive in the UK outside of London.

On foot

The centre of Glasgow is very pedestrian-friendly with major shopping streets given over to foot traffic. As you move out of the city centre, all areas have proper pavements, and most major junctions have pedestrian crossings. The River Clyde also has several foot bridge crossings. The main difficulty with walking out of the centre of town is finding where the crossings over/under the M8 are. As you head west, some roads appear to go over Charing X only for the pavement to disappear. As you head north, the underpasses at Cowcaddens can sometimes feel unwelcoming.

Glasgow walking directions [72] can be planned online with the [73] walking route planner.

By subway


  • Glasgow's subway [74] runs in a double circle around the Glasgow city centre and some inner suburbs. Contrary to what tourist guidebooks would have you believe, locals never call it the "Clockwork Orange" (that is a fantasy of the London media) and most will refer to it simply as "the Subway". The system serves the city centre, the West End (around Glasgow University) and Ibrox Stadium. There are interchanges with surface trains at Buchanan Street/Queen Street and Partick stations. 6:30AM-11:15PM (Sunday 10:00AM-5:50PM). The cost is £1.20 flat fare or £3.50 for unlimited daily. No bikes are allowed.

By train

Suburban trains [75] radiate from Central and Queen Street stations to the suburbs and surrounding towns. The network is the largest in the UK outside of London, although there are only two trains per hour on some routes; others are much more frequent. Central serves the dense suburban network which sprawls throughout the southern suburbs of the city, as well as outer suburban services to the Inverclyde and Ayrshire coasts. The underground lower level platforms of both Central and Queen Street stations are hubs for the east-west electric network north of the river which provide useful links to the West End (thus complementing the Subway) and further west to the northern Clyde coast towns of Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Balloch, the gateway to Loch Lomond and the Southern Highlands. More recently, the Low Level line from Queen Street has been extended eastwards to the West Lothian towns of Bathgate and Livingston.

Bikes go free, but many trains have no bike spaces. The SPT Day Tripper ticket (explained below) gives you complete freedom of the network, and the Roundabout ticket (also explained below) gives off-peak freedom of the suburban train network within the city boundary only as well as the Subway.

By bus

Buses go everywhere. First Glasgow [76] is the main operator within the city boundary. There is a bus at least every 10 min on main routes during the day, making it easy to get into the centre of town, though getting out to a specific destination less easy. However, services on many routes are much less frequent in the evening. In the city centre, buses do not always stop at every stop on their route, so check the sign at the stop. Stops are clearly marked with the services that stop there.

First buses do not give change as the driver has no access to cash: you put your money in a slot that checks the amount and deposits it in a storage box. An all-day ticket that can be used on any First bus costs £4.00, a weekly ticket £14.50 (£12.50 for students). Some other bus operators, however, give change.

Other bus operators within the city are Arriva [77] and Stagecoach West Scotland [78] which operate services out to the outlying towns in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire respectively: note that the day/weekly passes bought on First buses will not be vaild on these, with the exception of SPT Day Tripper and ZoneCards (explained below).

One of the current scourges of Glasgow, however (in the opinion of locals, at least), is the myriad of private bus operators that supposedly "complement" the core services operated by First, Arriva and Stagecoach. In reality, many merely duplicate the routes that already exist: the net result has been the city centre being clogged up with empty (and often badly maintained) buses, and for the visitor the key thing to remember is that some of these operators do not accept any of the SPT day passes. On the flip side, they keep the somewhat extortionate prices of First Glasgow in check. The situation is currently a political hot potato among locals.

By taxi

Like most major British cities, you have two options. Your first option is the traditional London-style black cabs which can be hailed from the side of the road (look out for the yellow "Taxi" sign being illuminated). The fleet is operated by Glasgow Taxis [79], and can also be ordered by telephone (+44 141 429 7070). There are taxi ranks outside Central and Queen Street railway stations, adjacent to George Square and along the southern end of Queen Street itself. There is also a taxi rank located at Buchanan Bus Station. For a journey from say the centre of town to the West End expect to pay around £5-£6, from the city centre out to the suburbs around £10-£12. Be aware that some drivers will refuse to take you outside the city boundary, but some will if you offer a good price for them.

Your second option is by private hire or minicab. Unlike the black cabs, these cannot be hailed, and you must book by telephone. There is a myriad of private hire operators which are cheaper than black cabs: their phone numbers are clearly displayed on the back of the vehicles. Never use unlicenced private taxis, which can sometimes be seen touting for business outside nightclubs near closing time and near legitimate taxi ranks. Always look for the yellow Glasgow City Council licencing plate attached to the rear bumper of the vehicle if unsure. Glasgow Private Hire is one of the biggest taxi fleets in Europe and has thousands of cars, which service all areas of the city. They can be reached on a variety of different numbers (including +44 141 774 3000). Another popular alternative is Hampden Cabs, which services most of the city and surrounding area. Hampden Cabs can be contacted on +44 141 649 5050.

By boat

There is now a River Bus service, which picks up tourists from central Glasgow (Broomielaw Pontoon) and takes them to, amongst other sites of interest, the Glasgow Science Centre, and the Clydebuilt (Maritime) Museum.[80]


Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) [81] is the local agency which operates the subway and co-ordinates public transport in the Greater Glasgow area. SPT offers a number of different daily combined bus/rail travel tickets aimed at the visitor.

  • The 'Mackintosh Trail Ticket gives you, for £16, unlimited travel on the SPT Subway and First's bus services in Greater Glasgow after 09:30 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday. It also includes entry to all participating Mackintosh attractions in and around Glasgow.
  • The Discovery ticket allows unlimited travel on the subway only at off-peak times during the week or all day on weekends, and costs £3.50 (adult). If you have a car, a park-and-ride version (around £7) is available which also includes a whole day's parking at any of the subway car parks.
  • The Roundabout ticket gives complete freedom of the subway and the suburban rail network within the Greater Glasgow area, which includes the city boundary and most of the surrounding towns, for £5.60 after 09:30 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Alternatively. the Day Tripper ticket covers the entire Strathclyde rail network, which extends as far south as Girvan in Ayrshire, some 55 mi south of Glasgow, and Ardlui at the northern tip of Loch Lomond some 40 mi north. It has the added advantage of being accepted by most bus operators in the Strathclyde region and on the Kilcreggan and Renfrew ferries. Two versions are available for 1 adult and up to 2 children (£10.20) or 2 adults and up to 4 children (£18.20). You can buy it only from a staffed rail station or an SPT Travel Centre.
  • If you are in town for a week or more, SPT's ZoneCard might be useful. It can be used on suburban trains, buses, and the underground and is valid all day, even in the morning. Prices vary depending on how long you want it for (1 week to 1 year) and how many zones that you want it to cover.[82]

"PlanaJourney" [83] is a free integrated public transport journey planner that includes Glasgow and covers much of the Scottish, Northern Ireland and UK public transport network. It includes bus, rail, Glasgow underground, Scottish ferries and flights. It can assist with planning journeys into and out of Glasgow from anywhere in the Glasgow area or more widely from anywhere in the UK. Outside of Scotland and Northern Ireland, bus information is limited.



As befits a city that was at its richest through the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th, the centre of Glasgow has a fine legacy of Victorian and Edwardian buildings with their lavish interiors and spectacular carved stonework. Outside of the central area the main streets are lined with the legendary tenements - the city's trademark 2 or 3 story residential buildings built from red or blonde sandstone which positively glow during the summer. The decline of Glasgow's economy during the mid to late 20th Century led to the mass construction of high-rise tower blocks and concrete housing estates during the 1960's and 1970s. The dramatic and striking Red Road Flats form the tallest residential property in Europe. Many 1970s office buildings in the centre have been cleared away by state-of-the-art glass structures as Glasgow's burgeoning financial services industry continues to grow.

Glasgow was also the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the "Glasgow Four," a group of leading proponents of art nouveau architecture. Indeed, during his lifetime, Mackintosh was probably better regarded abroad than he was in his native Glasgow, even apparently inspiring Frank Lloyd Wright. However, he was recently resurrected as one of the cities most beloved sons. You will notice, along with quite a few of his buildings to see in the city, including his magnum opus, the Glasgow School of Art, many other knock-offs and impersonations exist. However, despite the 'cult' of Mackintosh, Glasgow produced many other fine architects, the best known of whom is probably Alexander 'Greek' Thomson.

The following list is a selection of significant buildings in Glasgow.

Clyde Auditorium
  • The Clyde Auditorium, (train: Exhibition Centre), [84]. Affectionately known by Glaswegians as the Armadillo, it is a concert hall which forms part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre complex. Designed by Sir Norman Foster, and contrary to popular belief, not inspired by the Sydney Opera House it is in fact supposed to represent ship's hulls. Has now garnered some world fame for being the place where the Susan Boyle audition - the most downloaded YouTube video clip in history - was filmed.
  • The imposing City Chambers [85] (train: Glasgow Queen Street) in George Square was built in 1888 in Italian Renaissance style and is the headqurters of Glasgow City Council. Tours of the building are available daily, and visitors can see the magnificent marble staircases, lobbies, see the debating chamber and the lavish banqueting hall.
  • Glasgow Cathedral is a fine example of Gothic architecture dating from medieval times and built on a site first consecrated in 397 AD.
  • The Mitchell Library, North Street, Charing Cross (rail: Charing Cross) [86] One of Glasgow's best public buildings, it is the largest municipal public reference library in Europe, the imposing structure houses a spectactular reading room, although it has to be said much of the Mitchell's extensive collection is housed in the rather ugly 1970s extension attached to the rear. You can easily lose a day in here!
  • Glasgow School of Art, Renfrew Street (subway: Cowcaddens) [87]. Seen as one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's finest buildings and is one of Britain's pre-eminent schools of art, design and architecture. Guided tours of the building are available (you must book in advance), or if you want to create your own art in the building, you can enroll for evening classes or the summer school.
  • Glasgow University, University Avenue (subway: Hillhead), [88]. Contains the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, including a reconstruction of Mackintosh's house. The exterior is fine in its own right; the current main University building is of the neo-gothic and dates from 1870, although the University as an institution was founded in 1451. The front of the building commands views over Kelvingrove Park and the western fringes of the city.
  • The House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park (train: Dumbreck or subway: Ibrox), [89]. Built in the 1990s to Mackintosh's original 1901 entry for a design competition. Opening times vary; cost is £3.50.
  • Scotland Street School, 225 Scotland St (subway: Shields Road), [90]. Charles Rennie Mackintosh's last major building - thoughtfully designed, with an excellent museum covering both Mackintosh and the changing faces of schools. Open daily. Free.
  • Holmwood House, [91]. Now run by the National Trust, and currently in the process of being renovated, Holmwood House is one of the best examples of the work of Glasgow's other great architect: Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. It is in Cathcart, in the South Side of the City, and is open throughout the Summer.
  • The Willow Tea Rooms[92] 217 Sauchiehall Street and 97 Buchanan Street. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904.

If this just whets your appetite for information on Glasgow's architecture, try and get hold of a copy of Central Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide, by Charles McKean and others. There are various editions (ISBN:1873190220, ISBN:1851582002, ISBN:1851582010).

Museums and art galleries

The Victorians also left Glasgow with a wonderful legacy of museums and art galleries, which the city has dutifully built upon. The following list is only a selection. The city council alone runs 13 museums and galleries. Visitors should be aware that most of the galleries appear to be closed on Sundays, and that - to the understandable annoyance of many visitors to Glasgow - most of the museums shut their doors at 5:00 PM.

  • Burrell Collection, Pollok Country Park (train: Pollokshaws West, then walk through Pollok Park), tel 287-2550.[93] This is a collection of over 9,000 artworks gifted to the city of Glasgow by Sir William Burrell and housed in a purpose-built museum in the Pollok Estate in the south of the city. Open M-Th,Sa 10:00AM-5:00PM; F,Su 11:00AM-5:00PM. Free.
  • Gallery of Modern Art[94] On Queen Street in the City Centre, this gallery houses a terrific collection of recent paintings and sculptures, with space for new exhibitions. In the basement is one of Glasgow's many public libraries, with free internet access and cafe. Free.
Glasgow Science Center
  • Glasgow Science Centre, Pacific Quay (train: Exhibition Centre or subway: Cessnock)[95]. Has hundreds of interactive science exhibits for children, an IMAX cinema, and the 125-meter Glasgow Tower (re-opened summer 2004), the only tower in the world which can rotate through 360 degrees from its base. Every day, 10:00AM-6:00PM. £10 adults, £8 children for any two of the main attractions.
  • Transmission Gallery[96], a gallery set up in 1983 by ex-students of the Glasgow School of Art as a hub for the local art community and to provide exhibition space.
  • Street level photoworks[97], an alternative art gallery/installation space
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street (subway: Kelvinhall), tel 287-2699.[98] One of the finest civic collections in Europe is housed within this Glasgow Victorian landmark museum. The collections include everything from fine and decorative arts to archaeology and the natural world. Open M-Th,Sa 10:00AM-5:00PM; F,Su 11:00AM-5:00PM. Free.
  • Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery., University Avenue. [99]. The Art Gallery contains a world famous Whistler collection, and various temporary exhibitions. It also contains The Mackintosh House, a reconstruction of the principal interiors from the Glasgow home of the Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). The separate museum is the oldest public museum in Scotland and has a variety of exhibits, including a display on the Romans in Scotland (featuring items found in the Roman Fort in Bearsden), one on the various dinosaur discoveries found on the Isle of Skye, and various temporary exhibitions.
  • McLellan Galleries, Sauchiehall Street, tel 565-4137.[100] Normally used as a temporary space for visiting exhibitions, this is a grade II listed building in the center of Glasgow. Open M-Th,Sa 10:00AM-5:00PM; F,Su 11:00AM-5:00PM. Currently used by the Glasgow School of Art during work on the Mackintosh building.
  • Fossil Grove [101], Victoria Park. The remains of an ancient forest, around 330 million years old. This is the only example of a preserved forest from this period on Earth.
  • Museum of Transport, Kelvin Hall, Bunhouse Road (subway: Kelvinhall), tel 287-2720 - UNFORTUNATELY NOW CLOSED.[102] The free-entry museum used its collections of vehicles and models to tell the story of transport by land and sea, with a unique Glasgow flavour. Besides the usual rail locomotives, buses, trams, cars and planes, the museum also included a recreated subway station, and a street scene of old Glasgow. The museum permanently closed on April 18, 2010, and has reopened in new premises during 2011 (renamed the 'Riverside Museum').
  • Provand's Lordship, Castle Street (opposite Glasgow Cathedral), tel 552-8819.[103] Glasgow's oldest remaining house, built in 1471, has been renovated to give visitors and idea what the inside of a Glasgow house was like circa 1700. Open M-Th,Sa 10:00AM-5:00PM; F,Su 11:00AM-5:00PM. Free.
  • Sharmanka, 14 King Street.[104] Sharmanka is a Kinetic Gallery / Theatre. It consists of a number of strange machines created by the Russian artists Eduard Bersudsky. The machines perform stories and the light and sound during the performance adds to a really unique and amazing experience. Performances Thu, Sun 7:00PM or by individual appointment. £4, children under 16 free.
  • People's Palace and Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green.[105] The People's Palace is a great folk museum, telling the history of Glasgow and its people, from various perspectives. Free. The Winter Garden, adjacent, has a reasonable cafe.
  • Tenement House, 145 Buccleuch Street, Garnethill.[106] A National Trust for Scotland site, a middle class Glasgow tenement house preserved in pretty much the way it was in the early 20th Century.
  • St. Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art, 2 Castle Street.[107] Next to Glasgow Cathedral, the museum features exhibits relating not only to Glasgow's patron saint and the growth of Christianity in the city, but numerous exhibits pertaining to many faiths practised locally and worldwide. Free entry.
  • The Glasgow Police Museum. 30 Bell Street. [108]. The Glasgow police force is the oldest in Britain, dating back to 1779. It has dealt with a number of famous cases, and many of the paraphernalia relating to some of these are in this museum: there is also a section dealing with the history of police forces throughout the world. Recently opened up in new premises (2010).
  • The Tall Ship. 100 Stobcross Road. [109]. The 'Tall Ship' is the Glenlee, built in 1896 and one of only 5 Clydebuilt sailing ships that remain afloat in the world today. Now restored and open to the public. (Note: will be moved to the Riverside Museum when this opens in 2011).
  • The Auchentoshan Distillery Visitor Centre. Great Western Road. [110]. A fully functioning Scottish Whiskey distillery, with guided tours and a visiting centre. Note: technically outside the city limits, but part of the Glasgow conurbation: easily accessible via public transport.
  • Titan Crane Cart Street. [111] A fully preserved (despite being over 100 years old) crane as used in the Glasgow shipbuilders John Brown Engineering. Great views of Glasgow from the top of the crane: guided tours available. Note: slightly outside the city limits but easily accessible by bus or train.
  • Antonine Wall. [112] The Antonine Wall marked the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. A Roman Fort was discovered in Bearsden (in the Northwest of the city) and the bathhouse from that fort is still viewable (off Roman Road in Bearsden). Two sections of the wall are also viewable: one, in New Kilpatrick Cemetery (off Boclair Road) and one in Roman Park: both these sites are also in Bearsden. All these sites are signposted and have information boards. There is now a permanent exhibition about this site in the Hunterian Museum.


There are many nightclubs, concerts and festivals in Glasgow.


Glasgow's been famous for its music scene(s) for at least 20 years, with some top acts literally queuing to play at venues such as the Barrowlands or King' Tuts. There's plenty of venues where you're likely to see a good band (and lots of bad bands too); on any day of the week there should be at least several shows to choose from throughout the city, with the number increasing to a even greater variety on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. In no particular order, here follows some pop/indie/rock-orientated venues:

  • Nice 'n' Sleazy on Sauchiehall St. Open til 3AM every night of the week, with bands on practically every night also. Gigs are downstairs and bar upstairs plays a variety of alternative/rock/punk. Over 18's only (both bar and gigs), [113].
  • The Barrowland Ballroom (Gallowgate, 0.5km from Glasgow Cross), [114] The Barrowlands, as it is commonly known, is arguably the city's most famous and most respected live venue - famous for its sprung floor and excellent acoustics
  • King Tut's Wah Wah Hut on St Vincent St, [115] where both Oasis and, local favourites, Glasvegas were discovered.
  • ABC on Sauchiehall St, [116].
  • 13th Note on King St (just off Argyle Street/Trongate), [117].
  • Maggie May's (Merchant City, on the corner of Trongate and Albion Street) [118] Pub/restuarant with a lively programme of up and coming bands.
  • The Cathouse on Union St (close to the junction with Argyle Street).
  • The Riverside Club (33 Fox Street - behind St Enoch Square) Glasgow's top ceilidh (Scottish country dancing) venue on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Mono [119] restaurant and record shop.
  • Stereo City centre venue with regular indie gigs downstairs, bar and cafe upstairs [120].
  • Glasgow O2 Academy on Eglinton St (nearest Subway: Bridge Street), [121].
  • The Arches on Argyle St (underneath the "Hielanman's Umbrella" of Central Station), [122]. Running one of the UK's best techno nights; Pressure. Recently celebrated 10 year anniversary. Note: this is also a theatrical and arts venue, a pub and restaurant.
  • Sub Club on Jamaica St (nearest rail: Central Station) [123]. Recently celebrated 20 years, rated one of the best clubs in the world from house to techno to whatever takes your fancy.
  • The Tunnel [124] on Mitchell Street: with the Sub Club and the Arches one of Glasgow's premier dance clubs: frequently hosts top DJ's from round the world, although doesn't quite have The Arches' or the Sub Club's 'underground' reputation.
  • The Soundhaus, 47 Hydepark Street, [125]. Underground techno and house.
  • The Vale on Dundas St (adjacent to Buchanan Street subway/Queen Street railway station).
  • QMU at University Gardens (West End; nearest Subway: Hillhead), [126].
  • The Classic Grand on Union Street/Jamaica Street (adjacent to Central Station), a former adult cinema now re-purposed as an alternative music venue. Serves the rock/metal/punk/alternative scene 4 nights a week with drinks as low as £1.

The Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre [127] (rail: Exhibition Centre) is the city's premier music venue for major headline acts, even if the acoustics of the halls have always been questionable. More intimate gigs are held in the neighbouring Clyde Auditorium (or Armadillo). SECC Tickets [128] sells tickets for these.

Arts and Theatrical Venues

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sauchiehall Street (nearest Subway: Buchanan Street)[129]. This is the home of The Royal Scottish National Orchestra [130], one of Europe's leading symphony orchestras. It also produces the world famous Celtic Connections Festival [131] every January.

The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), [132] 100 Renfrew Street, is primarily a teaching college but also puts on theatrical and musical performances. It puts on mainly contemporary music, modern dance and jazz.

The Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street, [133], was first opened in 1867. It puts on mainly 'serious' theatre, opera and ballet.

The Tron, 63 Trongate, [134], specialises in contemporary works.

St Andrews in the Square, St Andrew's Square, [135], a restored 18th century church turned Arts venue. It puts on classical music and folk.

The Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, [136] is one of the most famous theatres in the world, and has launched the careers of many international movie and theatre stars. It specialises in contemporary and avant-garde work.

The King's Theatre, 297 Bath Street, [137] is Glasgow's major 'traditional' theatre. It is over 100 years old, and in the midst of a major refurbishment.

The Pavilion, 121 Renfield Street, [138] is the only privately run theatre in Scotland. It was founded in 1904 and has seen many of the greatest stars of music hall perform there: most famously Charlie Chaplin. Nowadays it features mainly 'popular' theatre, musicals and comedy.

The Panopticon Music Hall [139], off Argyle Street, Trongate, is the oldest surviving music hall in the world (it opened in 1857). It most famously held the debut performance of Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy fame) in 1906. It now shows mainly music hall orientated shows: e.g. magic, burlesque and comedy, but also occasionally puts on classical and world music.

Oran Mor [140] 731 Great Western Road. Restaurant, pub, nightclub, theatrical and music venue. Due to its late opening hours, this venue now lies at the heart of the West End social scene.

The Glasgow International Jazz Festival [141] is held every year in June. Other arts or music festivals of note include The West End Festival, the Merchant City Festival and numerous others. As always, consult the listings magazine The List for further details.


There are two main venues for stand-up comedy in Glasgow.

  • The Stand on Woodlands Road (West End)
  • Jongleurs in the City Centre

Although other pubs and clubs frequently hold comedy events: see the listings magazine The List for details.

CF also the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival held yearly thoroughout March/April.


The most interesting films in Glasgow are shown at:

  • Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), 12 Rose St, 332 8128, [142]. Excellent choice of classics, also art and foreign-language movies.
  • The Grosvenor, Ashton Lane (just off Byres Road in the West End), [143].
  • CCA, on Sauchiehall St, [144]. Shows films, though it's primarily an art gallery.

Mainstream films can be seen at the Cineworld on Renfrew St, which is the tallest cinema in the world [145]


Supporters of Celtic and Rangers display their banners at half time in a derby match

Glasgow also has the 3 biggest football stadia in Scotland. The major events in the football season are the clashes between the two Premier League clubs; Celtic and Rangers. Known as the "Old Firm", with their sectarian undertones, these 90 minute matches produce a profound effect on the city, occasionally, but less frequently in recent times; resulting in violent clashes during or after the game. The Old Firm Derby is generally considered to be one of the best derby matches in the world, in terms of passion and atmosphere generated by both sets of fans, and is considered by many neutrals to be the most intense rivalry in all of Britain. The match itself is always highly anticipated and much talked about before and after. Cup (non-league) ties between these two giants are quite frequent, raising the tensions further. Be aware that getting tickets for "Old Firm" games can be difficult and cup ties near impossible. If you do go to one of these matches it is advised that you do not wear team colours (blue/red/white for Rangers, green/white for Celtic) after the match.

  • Hampden Park (Home of Football) (Nearest Rail: Mount Florida - depart from Glasgow Central) Scotland's national stadium [146], capacity 52,063. Hampden hosts many large sporting events and concerts and also houses the Scottish Football Museum. The Scottish national football team plays its home games here. Is also home to Queen's Park Football Club. It is probably most famous for hosting the 1960 European Cup Final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt. In more recent times, the UEFA Champion's League Final was held in 2002 between Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen and the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 between Seville and Espanyol. It is possible for visitors to have a tour of the Stadium and the Scottish Football Museum. Please refer to for more information.
  • Celtic Park (Kerrydale Street, Parkhead - First Bus 40/61/62/240/262 go past the stadium) Home of Celtic Football Club[147], which has a capacity of 60,832 - making it the biggest "club" stadium in Scotland and the second largest in the UK, behind only Manchester United's Old Trafford ground. By visiting the Celtic Visitors' Centre, you can take a guided tour of the stadium as well as taking a trip through the history of the club through our various informative and impressive exhibitions and auditorium. To experience Celtic take one of our guided tours available from Monday to Sunday 11am, 12 noon, 1.45pm and 2.30pm (except home matchdays). Saturday Matchday tours available at 9.30, 10.00, 10.30 and 11.00. Adults £8.50, Concessions £5.50 Family Ticket £20 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) Under 5’s are admitted free.
  • Ibrox Stadium, (Subway: Ibrox) This is the home of Rangers Football Club [148], capacity 51,082. Ibrox tours run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (non match days only!)) and are priced at just £5.50 for kids, £8 for adults and £24.50 for a family group (2 adults and 2 children). On the Ibrox tour, you will get exclusive access to the home dressing room and hear a recorded message from Walter Smith and Ally McCoist. Climb the marble staircase, visit the illustrious Trophy Room, the Blue Room and Manager's Office. Take a virtual tour of the Club's state of the art training facility at Murray Park and even run down the tunnel before taking the Manager's seat in the dugout! Tickets, except for matches against Celtic, are easily available online from the club's website, ticket centre at the stadium and club outlets at JJB Sports Stores in Glasgow city centre. Club merchandise is available from the JJB Rangers Megastore located at the stadium and JJB Sports stores in Glasgow, with unofficial merchandise readily available in the environs of the stadium on matchdays. Food is available at the stadium in the Argyll House restuarant and the various burger stands in and around the stadium concourses. The Sportsmans Chip Shop on the Copland Road adjacent to the Stadium is also popular with the supporters. There are various bars beside the stadium, the Louden Tavern on the Copland Road being the closest. Along the Paisley Road West are numerous bars sympathetic to the Rangers cause, such as the Louden Tavern, the Grapes Bar, District Bar and the Kensignton Bar to name but a few.
  • Firhill, [149] - Home of Partick Thistle Football Club, also known as "the Jags". It has a capacity of 10,887. Partick Thistle matches are a good way to see the Glaswegian passion for 'fitba' (football) without the unpleasantness of the Old Firm rivalry, or the high prices for their games.


For a large city, Glasgow has a surprising number of parks and green spaces; there is more parkland here than in any other British city. The most famous of these is Glasgow Green. [150] Founded by Royal grant in 1450, Glasgow Green has slowly been enclosed by the city and evolved from grazing land into a modern public park. The highlights are:

If you should fall in
Glasgow Green is the home of the Glasgow Humane Society. The Society was founded in 1790 and is the world's oldest practical life-saving body. Until June 2005 the society volunteers were responsible for rescuing those unfortunate to fall into the River Clyde. Unfortunately modern heath and safety regulations require two life boat men on duty and a lack of volunteers has forced the sole lifeboat man, George Parsonage, to stand down the service after 215 years. The rescue service is now performed by the Strathclyde Fire Brigade.

  • Nelson's memorial - an obelisk or needle: built to commemorate Nelson's victory at the battle of Trafalgar
  • The Peoples Palace Museum and Winter Gardens [151] - displaying details of Glasgow life (including one of Billy Connolly's banana boots)
  • The Templeton carpet factory - with its ornate brick work; now a business center
  • The Doulton fountain - recently renovated, it's the largest terracotta fountain in the world

"The Green" as its known to the locals is also one of the major venues for concerts and open air events in Glasgow. The best way to get there is on foot from either Bridgeton or Argyle Street railway stations or from the bus routes along London Road. There is limited official parking in or around the green and the area is notorious for car crime. Be aware the council will tow away illegally parked vehicles and charge you up to £250 pounds to get them back!

Kelvingrove Park [152] in the city's West End is also a very popular park, particularly with the students from the nearby University. The most prominent landmark here is the Art Gallery and Museum [153] on the banks of the River Kelvin which runs through the park. It also contains a recently constructed skate park. The other major park in the West End is the park area surrounding the Botanic Gardens [154] which contains extensive tropical and temperate plant collections from around the world. Other parks of note include Queen's Park [155], Strathclyde Country Park [156], Bellahouston Park [157], Victoria Park [158] and Mugdock Park [159], but there are numerous others.

Gay & Lesbian

Glasgow has a lively scene which centres around the Merchant City area (the so called "Pink Triangle" formed by Revolver, Bennets and the Polo Lounge). The city is gay-friendly, which is shown in the annual "Glasgay" celebrations in October [160].

Out & About

  • Bennetts, 80-90 Glassford Street, Glasgow G1 1UR, +44 141 552 5761, [1]. 6W-Su 11:30PM-3:30AM. This venue is situated over two levels with all you could want from a gay club. £3-W,Th,Su £5-F&Sa.
  • The Polo Lounge, 84 Wilson St, Glasgow G1 1UZ, +44 141 553 1221, [2]. M-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Su 5PM-3A. The upstairs bar is tastefully decorated in a Victorian style and is a great place to relax with friends. Downstairs boasts two dance areas, one playing all your pop favourites, the other chart and dance tunes. The crowd here is very mixed. Entry Fee on Fri & Sat Night.
  • MODA, 58 Virginia Street, Glasgow G1 1TX, +44 (0)141 553 2553, [3]. M-Su 5PM-LATE!. Speciality - Cocktails & Funky DJs!
  • Revolver, 6a John Street, Glasgow G1 1JQ (Opposite the Italian Centre and downstairs next door to the 'Gay Chippie'), +44 (0)141 5532456, [4]. M-Su 11AM-1AM. Mixed and relaxed crowd. Small and friendly bar with a great Pub Quiz on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Radio, Ashton Lane, Glasgow (What self respecting homosexual needs directions to Ashton Lane nowadays), +44 (0)141 3346688, [5]. M-Sat 12PM-12AM. Mixed and relaxed crowd. Small and friendly bar with a great theme nights!.
  • Scene, 17 John Street, Merchant City, [6]. 7 days, early to late. The biggest gay club in Scotland, located in the very trendy Italian Centre of the Merchant City.

Health & Support

Strathclyde Gay & Lesbian Switchboard, '''Gay & Lesbian Line''' - Tel. +44 (0)141 847 0447, M-Su 7PM-10PM. '''Lesbian Line''' - Tel. +44 (0)141 847 0647, Wed 7.30PM-10PM (''Staffed only by women''). '''Homophobic Crime Reporting Line''' - Tel. +44 (0)141 847 0647, [7]. M-Su 7PM-10PM. Free and Confidential Telephone Counselling in the West of Scotland.

The Glasgow LGBT Centre, 84 Bell Street, Glasgow, +44 (0)141 221 7203, [8]. M-Su 11AM-MIDNIGHT. Support, Advocacy, Welfare and Learning. The centre is fully wheelchair accessible with a chairlift.

Glasgow Women's Library, 81 Parnie Street (2nd Floor), Glasgow G1 5RH, +44 (0)141 552 8345, [9]. Reading, Writing, Groups and Events. The library is fully wheelchair accessible (contact the Library in advance).

The Sandyford Centre (The Steve Retson Project), 6 Sandyford Place, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, +44 (0)141 211 8628, [10]. Tu&W 5.30PM-8.30PM. A sexual health service for gay men in Glasgow.

The Glasgow LGBT Centre (The Steve Retson Project), 11 Dixon St Glasgow, G1 4AL, +44 (0)141 211 8628, [11]. Th 5.30PM-8.30PM. A sexual health service for gay men in Glasgow.

PHACE Scotland, Top Floor, Rothesay House, 134 Douglas Street, Glasgow G2 4HF, +44 (0)141 332 3838, [12]. Promoting Health and Challenging Exclusion.


The University of Glasgow

Glasgow has three universities:

  • University of Glasgow [161]. Located in the west end of the city, this university has served Glasgow since 1451 and is the fourth oldest in the United Kingdom, and also one of the country's most prestigious.
  • University of Strathclyde [162] is situated in the north-east of the city centre and was originally founded in 1796 as Anderson's University, and later became the Royal College of Science and Technology (affectionately nicknamed "The Tech" by Glaswegians) before finally gaining full University status in 1964. In 1993 it absorbed the former Jordanhill College of Education, and gained that institution's campus in the West End.
  • Glasgow Caledonian University [163], to the north of the city centre, is Glasgow's newest university. It was formed from the merger of Glasgow College of Technology and Queens' College in 1992. Literally a couple of minutes away from Buchanan Bus Station.


Jobs in Glasgow can be found through the government-run JobCentres. Be aware that you will need a National Insurance number and, if you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, the correct type of work visa to work legally in the UK. Your employer should require this to ensure you pay the correct rates of income tax. However if you ask around you'll find a lot of bars and nightclubs offer work cash-in-hand. Some of the many temp agencies in the city centre aren't too fussy about immigration niceties either. With the city's growing financial services industry, there are quite a lot of opportunities for office temps, though this has changed with the global economic downturn of the last few years.


Glasgow has positioned itself as an upmarket retail destination, the shopping is the some of the best in Scotland, and generally accepted as the No.2 shopping experience in Britain after London. Buchanan Street is the 7th most expensive place for retail space in the world, which means that there's an increasing number of designer clothes shops in areas like the Merchant City. Alongside this, the Council is putting pressure on more traditional shopping centres like the Barras where you can get remarkably similar-looking clothes for a more sensible price.

The nucleus of Glasgow shopping is the so-called "Golden Z", made up of the continuous pedestrianised thoroughfares of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Here, virtually all of the major British big name retailers are represented. Buchanan Street is the most upmarket of the three, with prestigious names such as House of Fraser, Apple Store and Zara and other specialised designer stores. Ingram Street in the Merchant City has seen a boom in recent years for attracting more exclusive, premium brands like Bose, Bang and Olufsen, Ralph Lauren and so on.

Bath Street and Hope Street run parallel to the main pedestrianised streets, and if you want to get away from "chain store hell", they have a fine selection of more quirky, local independent retailers selling everything from fine art, Scottish clothing, antiques and specialist hi-fi.

There are larger shopping malls on the city outskirts at Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.

  • The Barras [164] in the East End is the essential Glasgow shopping experience. Hundreds of market stalls selling everything you could possibly want and a load of other stuff too. Free entertainment available from time to time when the Police raid the place for counterfeit goods. Open 10AM - 5PM every weekend; weekday opening in the weeks immediately before Christmas. The market is notorious for counterfeit good; especially DVDs and clothing. Pirated DVDs should be avoided at all costs, as the quality is often very poor.
  • The Buchanan Galleries [165], Buchanan Street, is a large shopping mall in the heart of the city centre which has all the usual British high street stores, its anchor tenant is John Lewis.
  • The St Enoch Centre [166]. Europe's largest glass roofed building - this huge mall is on St Enoch Square between Argyle Street and Buchanan Street, and a major extension and refurbishment programme was completed in 2010.
  • Princes Square is an upmarket mall just off Buchanan Street in the city centre. Specialises in designer clothes shops, jewellery and audio equipment. Note, Grande Dame of British Fashion Vivienne Westwood has a store as well as a separate jewellery concession in Princes Square.
  • The Argyle Arcade is the city's jewellery quarter housing Scotland's largest collection of jewellery shops. The L-shaped arcade connects Argyle Street and Buchanan Street. Shops here vary considerably - there are a selection of cheaper jewellery shops and a selection of luxury prestigious jewellers. Very commonly used as a short cut for shoppers between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.
  • De Courcy's Arcade is an unusual little shopping arcade with lots of second hand music and book shops and independent gift shops. Located just off Byres Road in the west end (subway: Hillhead)
  • Byres Road. Check out the chichi shops and vintage stored in the West End
  • Fat Buddha Store, 73 St Vincent Street, 0141 226 8972, [13]. 9.30-6pm. Fat Buddha has become an institution in Glasgow since it opened its doors back in 2006, the only streetwear store in the city, it also stocks a wide range of books, magazines, homewares and carried the over 400 colours of spray paint, featured in the New York Times and appears in the Taschen Book 48 hours in Europe. Open every day, offering free Wi-Fi and coffee in the Book section, its a great place to whittle away a few hours. mid.


The city has won the title "Curry Capital of Britain" two years running and has a huge and dynamic range of restaurants, Indian or otherwise. Despite Glasgow being the home town of culinary hero Gordon Ramsay, there are no Michelin-starred fine dining establishments in the city (Glasgow's sole Michelin starred restuarant, Amaryllis - owned by Ramsay himself - embarrassingly folded in 2004), nevertheless there are scores of highly regarded eateries in the city. The restaurants below are some of the culinary highlights of Glasgow.


  • The Ubiquitous Chip [167] (12 Ashton Lane, West End; Subway - Hillhead). Of all Ashton Lane's establishments, "The Chip" as it is popularly known by locals is certainly its most celebrated and most famous. Established by the inimitable Ronnie Clydesdale, this local restaurant has been serving up top quality food using Scottish produce since the early 1970s and is frequently lauded as one of Scotland's finest restauraunts. On the expensive side, but well worth it. Booking absolutely essential.
  • Arisaig, [168] (1 Merchant Square, Candleriggs - Merchant City, nearest railway: Queen Street). Another celebrated Glasgow eatery, bar and brasserie notable for its extensive list of wines and Scottish malt whiskies. Also has music nights.
  • The Red Onion, [169] (247 West Campbell Street, nearest railway - Central/Charing Cross). Perched high up on Blythswood Hill, this locally owned restaurant uses local produce within international dishes produced by recognised chef John Quigley.
  • Roganos, [170] (11 Exchange Place, - nearest railway: Queen Street). Legendary seafood restuarant just off Buchanan Street, and Glasgow oldest eatery - surviving since the 1930s with most of its original Art Deco interior still intact.
  • The Grill Room at The Square [171] (29 Royal Exchange Square, - nearest railway: Queen Street), just along from Roganos, this classy establishment has made a name for itself under the leadership of chef David Friel. Quite pricey but worth it.
  • The Chardon D'Or, [172] (176 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 4RL) Owner and head chef Brian Maule is a former business partner of local hero Gordon Ramsay. When Ramsay began his TV career as a celebrity chef, Maule took the chance to branch out on his own and is now a very highly regarded local institution. The result is Chardon D'Or, opened in 2001 and widely recognised as one of the very best quality restaurants in Glasgow. Owner Brian Maule is also well known for strong links with musicians and entertainers, and his restaurant often offers deals combining concerts or shows with fine dining for one fixed price. A popular choice with local businessmen.
  • Cafe Gandolfi, [173] (64 Albion Street). A real Glasgow institution, serving fine locally sourced food in a relaxed and relaxing atmosphere. Great food and great service make this Cafe a must-visit on any trip to Glasgow.

Takeaway/Fish & Chips

Glasgow has taken many different cultural foods and combined them into a unique dining experience. Most takeaways offer Indian dishes (pakora), pizzas and kebabs as well as the more traditional fish and chips or burgers. This has resulted in some takeaways offering a blend of dishes like chips with curry sauce, the donner kebab pizza, the battered and deep fried pizza to name but a few.

Fish & Chips (aka "Fish Supper") is a perennial favourite, and there are a healthy number of fish and chip shops around the city. As mentioned above, many will also offer Asian or Italian dishes alongside the traditional chip shop fayre. Given the Glaswegian's famous fondness for anything deep fried - "bad" establishments don't usually last long. In the centre of town, four of the best "chippies" are:

  • Jack McPhees, (City Centre - Hope Street, near Theatre Royal, West End - Byres Road). Chain of sit down restauarant with table service. Slightly more expensive than a takeaway, but excellent quality.
  • The Coronation, (Gallowgate, just beyond Glasgow Cross under the City Union railway bridge). A Glasgow institution sitting at the gateway into the Barrowlands area - the usual friendly Glaswegian reception and competitively priced.
  • Da Vinci's, (City Centre - Queen Street). 24 hour dining in this handily positioned sit-down takeaway near many of the city's nightclubs.

On a side note, the now infamous deep fried Mars Bar - served up in many Glasgow chip shops - did not originate in the city, contrary to popular belief. It was in fact invented in Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.


  • Oriental Yummy Menu and prices [174], 96 Queen Margaret Drive, - arguably one of the finest Chinese takeaway in the West End with a proud record and loyal following. Home Delivery Fri-Sat: 5pm-11pm (Sun-Thurs til 10pm- CLOSED TUESDAYS). Order Online to save[175],(OY2 - £2 off next online order).
  • Yumla, 80 Miller Street, (Merchant City). Located in the heart of Glasgow, close to George Square. This delightful restaurant will captivate your taste buds with Peking and Cantonese cuisine. Freshly prepared with unrivalled skill, dishes are served by friendly, attentive staff.
  • The Ho Wong, 82 York Street, [176]. Close to Central Station. Excellent Chinese Restaurant.
  • Dragon's I, 311-313 Hope Street, [177]. In the Theatre District. 'Hitlisted' in The List (2008).
  • Amber Regent, 50 West Regent Street, [178]. Equidistant between Queen Street and Central Station.
  • China Sea Restaurant, 12 Renfield Street, [179]. Right in the heart of Glasgow City Centre, within 1 minute's walking distance from Glasgow Central Station.
  • Mings Restaurant, 2nd Floor, Princes Square, 48 Buchanan Street, [180]. Chinese, Japanese and Thai food.
  • Panda House Menu and prices [181], 665 Pollokshaws Road, - arguably one of the finest Chinese takeaway in the South Side with a proud record and loyal following. Home Delivery 7 Days 5PM - Midnight. Order Online to save[182],(PH2 - £2 off next online order).


  • Brel, Ashton Lane, Glasgow G12 8SJ (In the West End off Byres Road - nearest Subway: Hillhead), Tel. +44 (0)141 342 4966, [183]. M-Su 12PM-Late. Located in the dynamic Ashton Lane in the West End of Glasgow, this restaurant is well known for its Belgian fare particularly their Moules (Mussel) Pots in a variety of flavours. This Bar/Restaurant is set over 3 levels and sells a range of Belgian beers, including Banana and Raspberry, along with a few of the local Scottish favourites. During the warmer weather there is a large Beer Garden at the rear. There is often free live entertainment. Prices: à la carte menu, starters: £2.95-£4.95 and mains: £8.95-£15.50. Also great deals at Food Happy Hour M-Su 5PM-7PM!
  • Stravaigin , (28 Gibson Street, West End - nearest Subway: Kelvinbridge), Tel. +44 (0)141 334 2665, [184] Established by Ronnie Clydesdale (of Ubiquitous Chip fame), and located adjacent to Glasgow University and Kelvingrove Park, this award winning gastro-pub offers a wide selection of both European and World cuisine made from Scottish ingedients. Also renowned for its creative cocktails.
  • Sloans, Argyle Arcade (Morrison Court; off Buchanan St or Argyle Street), [14]. Boasts to be 'the oldest bar and restaurant in Glasgow'. You can sit outside if you wish, or try the bistro or other menus. They offer other activities, such as a cinema-EAT experience, ceilidh dancing and more recently various music nights in the upstairs ballroom.


Glasgow has, arguably, the finest Indian food in the United Kingdom, and indeed many Glaswegians now joke that the Indian Curry is their "national dish". Historically, the city's finest Indian restaurants have been clustered together in the Charing Cross area, just beyond the "main" section of Sauchiehall Street, but in recent years the Merchant City has seen a boom in new establishments. Take your pick from Panjea, The Wee Curry Shop, Mother India's Cafe and more. Check out the Ashoka West End (1284 Argyle Street, near Kelvingrove), the Ashoka at Ashton Lane or Kama Sutra (Sauchiehall Street) - all of which are owned by the local Ashoka [185] chain. Glasgow's top Indian restaurants include:

  • Balti Club Menu and prices [186], 66 Woodlands Road, - arguably one of the finest Indian takeaway in the West End with a proud record and loyal following. Home Delivery 7 Days til Midnight and 4am on Fri-Sat. Order Online to save[187],(code BC2* - top get £2 off when ordering online).
  • Mister Singh's India [188] (149 Elderslie Street, Charing Cross - nearest railway: Charing Cross) The flagship branch of the Ashoka/Harlequin chain and is notable for its waiting staff who wear kilts. Booking is advisable Thursday-Sunday evenings.
  • The Shish Mahal [189] (66-68 Park Road, West End; nearest Subway: Kelvinbridge) Affectionately known simply as "The Shish" by its regulars, this family run establishment has been here for over 50 years.

Chicken Tikka Masala - A Glaswegian Invention?
The Shish Mahal is widely believed to have invented Chicken Tikka Masala, recently voted the UK's favourite Indian dish. According to one Glasgow MP [190],the Shish responded in the 1960's to complaints from Glaswegians that traditional Indian curries were too dry by soaking the chicken and spices in tomato soup, resulting in the first incarnation of the 'wet' style of curry commonly enjoyed today. This MP is now known to be seeking formal EU recognition that Chicken Tikka Masala is a unique Glaswegian creation, and that the Shish Mahal is the origin.

  • The Dhabba [191] (44 Candleriggs, Merchant City) Authentic North Indian restaurant located in the Merchant City and has won numerous awards.
  • The Dakhin [192] (89 Candleriggs, Merchant City - above the City Merchant) Sister restaurant to The Dhabba, about 50 yards further north on the same street, but this time specialising in South Indian cuisine it has some great pre-theatre deals and is lauded as much as its sibling.
  • Cafe India [193] (29 Albion Street, Merchant City) The original Cafe India in Charing Cross was a Glasgow institution before it was burned down in 2006. Now reborn in the Merchant City area, it's re-established itself as one of the city's top curry spots.
  • Killermont Polo Club [194] (2022 Maryhill Road; nearest railway: Maryhill). Upmarket Indian restaurant on the main route out to the affluent north western suburbs of the city. Set in a clubhouse setting, it has won numerous awards and accolades.
  • Chillies West End [195], 176-182 Woodlands Road, West End. In a fantastic location just outside the city centre, but not quite in to the west end. Offers a unique way to sample many Indian dishes with a tapas style menu.

There are also literally hundreds of takeaway Indian restaurants around the city on nearly every main street, although the quality of these can be very variable. Some are excellent - comparable with anything you'd find in the city centre, whilst others can be rather poor. To be on the safe side, only go on local recommendation.


  • Esca near the Tron Theatre is good and inexpensive but often busy.
  • Sofias (337 Byres Road) Formerly Antipasti. Excellent quality restaurant; does not offer table bookings -- just show up and ask for a table. You won't be waiting long.
  • Di Maggio's [196] (Royal Exchange Square, Merchant City; West Nile Street, City Centre) Locally owned chain of family-friendly Italian restaurants with several outlets in the city and outlying towns. Good value and usually no need to book.
  • Dino's (35-41 Sauchiehall Street, immediately opposite Cineworld and Royal Concert Hall) One of Glasgow's oldest and best known Italian restaurants. Good quality and friendly service.
  • L'Ariosto [197], 92-94 Mitchell Street, Glasgow G1 3NQ (3 minute walk from Central railway station). One of Glasgow's top Italian restaurants - expensive but award winning and offers its own courtyard and live music.
  • Jamie's Italian [198], 1 George Square (Adjacent to the City Chambers, nearest rail: Glasgow Queen Street) Glasgow branch of the Jamie Oliver empire, although there is little chance of seeing the man himself. No bookings policy, but there have been stories of people being turned away due to overly casual dress.
  • La Parmigiana [199] (447 Great Western Road). One of the best of the West End's Italian restaurants, but more upmarket than most.
  • Amarone (2 Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow 0141 333 1122 [200]) Stylish restaurant with excellent menu. Highly rated. Mains £8-20.
  • Little Italy (205 Byres Road). More of a cafe than a restaurant, the pizzas, coffee and hot chocolate are phenomenal. Authentic Italian feel to it. A great place for lunch or an informal dinner, or a pizza after a night out in Ashton Lane. A must if you are in the west end of Glasgow.
  • Il Pavone Restaurant, Courtyard, Princes Square, 48 Buchanan Street. Il Pavone Restaurant is regarded as one of the most established, hospitable and fashionable Italian restaurants in Glasgow (within 2 minutes walking distance from Glasgow Central Station).
  • Zizzi have two restaurants: 2nd Floor, Princes Square, 48 Buchanan Street in the city centre [201], and 8 Cresswell Lane in the West End [202]


  • Pancho Villas, 26 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LG (in the Merchant City area opposite Merchant Square), Tel. +44 (0)141 552 7737, [203]. M-Sa 12PM to Late, Su 5PM - Late. It is often very busy of an evening especially towards the end of the week, so it is best to make a reservation. Prices: Set Meals are available Mo-Th between 12PM-5PM for 2Courses - £6.95 and 3Courses - £8.50. A-la-carte Menu, Starters: £2.50-£7.95 and Mains: £8.50-£12.95.


As befits a port town, Glasgow excels at seafood and fish.

  • Gamba [204] (225a West George Street), Winner of The List's (local listing magazine) 'Best Restaurant in Glasgow' award, 2003 and 2004. Two AA rosettes.
  • Mussel Inn [205] (157 Hope Street), Good quality fish restaurant: has a sister restaurant in Edinburgh.
  • Rogano (11 Exchange Place), Sumptuous 1930s style architecture for a total dining experience. Rogano is a Glasgow institution, but beware, especially if you get sucked into their vintage wine list, this place can be extremely expensive.


For fab veggie food try:

  • The Fast Food Shop, pakora place on Woodlands Road is ideal for guilt-free snacking on the way home from the pub.
  • 13th Note, on King Street, [206]. Looks like an anarchist squat when you walk in, and has a full bar, and serves very good veggie (mainly vegan) food. Try the vegan haggis, neeps and tatties, served with a pink-peppercorn cream sauce. Also worth trying are the risotto balls.
  • Mono, over the road in King's Court, is run by the people who established the Note. It has a lighter, airier feel but with an exclusively vegan menu, beers prepared on-site and two shops (food and records).
  • Stereo, vegan pub in the Renfield Lane near the central station.
  • The 78, organic/vegan pub & restaurant in Kelvinhaugh Street (off the west end of Argyle St).
  • Tchai Ovna[207] tea houses with veggie food, located in West End (off Bank St) and Shawlands.


Glasgow is a city of immigrants and has a thriving international food scene.

  • Khublai Khan's: A unique Mongolian Barbeque restaurant that allows you to create your own stir-fry dishes over and over while sampling meat from around the globe. [208]

Also Try Mzouda (Moroccan), Cafe Argan (Moroccan), Shallal (Lebanese), Kokuryo (Korean), Koshkemeer (Kurdish), Café Serghei ,Konaki(Greek) Alla Turca (Turkish) La Tasca (Spanish), Ichiban (Japanese) and the numerous Thai, and Malaysian and Chinese restaurants, including the Yumla, the Thai Siam, the Thai Fountain Rumours and others.


Pubs are arguably the meeting rooms of Scotland’s largest city, and many a lively discussion can be heard in a Glasgow bar. There is nothing Glaswegians love more than "putting the world right" over a pint (or three), whether it’s the Old Firm, religion, weather, politics or how this year’s holidays went. You are guaranteed a warm welcome from the locals, who will soon strike up a conversation.

There are three (or arguably, four) basic drinking areas: these are also good for restaurants. First, there is the West End (the area around Byres Road and Ashton Lane), second there is the stretch of Sauchiehall Street between the end of the pedestrianised area (near Queen Street Station) and Charing Cross (and the various streets off this area). Thirdly there is the Merchant City, which is near Strathclyde University's campus. This is the most 'upmarket' area to drink and eat in, although it still has numerous student dives: start at the University of Strathclyde and wander down towards the Trongate (the West part of this part of town is the gay area). Finally, and up and coming, is the South Side (i.e. South of the Clyde). This used to be very much 'behind the times' socially speaking, but the relocation of the BBC to the South Side and the whole area generally moving 'upmarket' has improved things greatly. Try the area round Shawlands Cross for restaurants, bars, and The Shed nightclub. There are also several hidden gems in and around the Blythswood Square area and the streets between Hope Street and Charing Cross: this being the city's business district however it can feel quite deserted on evenings and weekends.

Be warned though about dress codes, particularly in some of the more upmarket establishments in the city centre and West End: sportswear and trainers (sneakers) are often banned, and some door staff are notoriously "selective" about who is allowed. If confronted with this, go elsewhere. The general "boozer" type pubs have no dress codes, but football shirts are almost universally banned in all: particularly on weekends. One rule to be aware of is that some clubs and upmarket pubs enforce an unwritten policy of not allowing all-male groups of more than about four people. For this reason, it may be advisable to split into groups of two or three. Some pubs in Glasgow are also exclusively the haunt of Old Firm football fans: again, these will be very crowded on football days, can get very rowdy, and should be avoided. Fortunately they are easy to spot; for example, a large cluster of Celtic-oriented pubs exist in the Barrowlands area, while one or two bars on or near Paisley Road West are favourite haunts of Rangers fans. Never put a glass upside down on a table, as it means you are looking for a bar-fight!

The following is merely a selection of the many bars, pubs, wine bars and clubs throughout the city.

An increasingly popular pastime in the city is the 'Subcrawl', a pub crawl round Glasgow's underground system, getting off at each of the fifteen stops to go to the nearest pub for a drink. It is advisable to go with a local especially since in some parts on the south side the nearest pub to the underground station is not immediately obvious, but it is a good way to see the different neighbourhoods and pub cultures of the city.


Like any major British city, the central area of Glasgow has its fair share of chain and theme pubs, with establishments from the likes of Whitbread, Yates and of course the ubiquitous JD Wetherspoon:

  • The Counting House (George Square – near Queen Street station) formerly a flagship branch of the Bank of Scotland, you can drink here in the splendour of this old Victorian banking hall. Converted into an open plan bar by the Wetherspoon chain, it’s popular with tourists and locals alike, with quirky features such as the bank vault now being used as a wine cellar.
  • The Crystal Palace (Jamaica Street – near Central Station and the Jamaica Bridge) Another Wetherspoons establishment, good for evening football; and good place to meet up if you are heading across to the O2 Academy or the Citizen’s Theatre on the other side of the river.
  • Waxy O'Connors (Within the Carlton George Hotel on West George Street, next to George Square/Queen Street station); vaguely Irish themed bar with its curious 'Lord of the Rings'-like setting. Spread over six bars, nine rooms and three floors. The premises is a fun place, with steps and stairs running up and down through the maze of rooms and bars, and a rather ecclectic mix of "tree trunk" and church gothic interior décor.


Glasgow has many options for whisky, though many may not be immediately be obvious for the passing tourist. Here are some good starting points:

  • The Whisky bar in Oran Mor [209] on the corner of Byres Road and Great Western Road has a large selection of whiskies. It's a great starting point for the beginner; if you make yourself known to the staff as something of a newbie, then somebody in here will certainly be able to guide you through the different regions and tastes.
  • The Pot Still [210] at 154 Hope Street, a few blocks north of Central Station. It stocks over 300 single malt whiskeys (as well as other drinks, of course), and the staff really know their stuff. It's also an excellent example of a traditional British pub, with a great atmosphere.

Other great options are:

  • The Ben Nevis, 1147 Argyle St, towards the West End.
  • Bon Accord [211], at 153 North Street, near the Mitchell Library at Charing Cross, with over 230 whiskies.

Formerly, Uisge Beatha (pronounced "ooshke beh-hah", Gaelic for "whisky" and translated literally as "water of life") was a great whisky bar with a fantastic folky atmosphere, impromptu live music, and a massive selection of drinks. It has since closed.

Beers & Real Ale

  • Republic Bier Halle [212](9 Gordon Street; off Buchanan Street – 2 mins from Central Station) Quirky beer pub (as the name suggests), where beers from all over the world are served to you after ordering from a menu. This chain is quickly becoming famous for it's 2-for-1 stonebaked pizza deals, and its recently introduced £5 all-you-can-eat buffet midweek (the main branch on Gordon St will service weekends, but not the sister branches!) While the beers can be quite expensive, you'll be hard pushed to find better quality food for the price in the city centre. A must-visit.
  • Beer Cafe (Candleriggs – Merchant City; inside the Merchant Square complex) Wide range of local and imported beers both in bottles and draught form.
  • The Three Judges (Partick Cross, West End – on the intersection of Byres and Dumbarton Roads – nearest Subway: Kelvinhall). Lovely West End establishment with a continually changing board of ales from all over the UK on tap as well as a cider. They also have a fantastic selection of imported bottled beers in the fridge and Frambozen on tap.
  • West Brewry Bar (Glasgow Green, East End in the Templeton Building). A Restaurant and micro brewery serving traditional food and German style larger beers.
  • Pivo Pivo (Waterloo Street). This bar has a very good selection of beers both on tap and bottled. It is also popular for live music as well. Just round the corner for hope street and they proudly don't sell Tennent's.

Other Real Ale bars can be found at the Bon Accord on Charing X, Clockwork BeerCo near Hampden Park, and also The Three Judges on the Dumbarton Road, at the bottom of Byres Road, which has won the CAMRA award (Campaign For Real Ale) most years for the past 2 decades. Also check out The State off Sauchiehall Street is a similarly good ale venue and a cosy proper pub if you're sick of trendy bars.


The city’s large student population means there are no shortage of student bars, with large concentrations around the Merchant City area (for nearby Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian universities, aswell as several nearby colleges), and of course Byres Road and Ashton Lane in the West End for Glasgow University. Another cluster (near Glasgow School of Art) exists along the western reaches of Sauchiehall Street, just beyond the pedestrianised section. Some of the most popular student bars are:

  • The Ark (North Frederick Street – close to George Square) and The Hall (457 Sauchiehall Street - rail: Charing Cross, Subway: St. George's Cross), catering for Strathclyde/Caledonian Universities and Glasgow School of Art respectively are both part of the Scream [213] chain of student pubs with their famous "Yellow Card" promotions. Note that entry may be restricted to NUS cardholders only during peak times.
  • Strathclyde University Union [214] (90 John Street, Merchant City – short walk from George Square) Notable for once being officially Scotland’s largest pub with 6 bars spread over 10 levels. Entry: £2 for non-members (NUS cardholders - entry fees for event nights may vary, and may be restricted to Strathclyde students)
  • Glasgow University Union / Queen Margaret Union (GUU – at the bottom of University Avenue nr the junction with Kelvin Way, QM – University Gardens at the top of Ashton Lane) The University of Glasgow's two official student unions are very different, from the “establishment” GUU to the more quirky and laid back QM. Open to matriculating students from any one of the city's three universities.
  • Nice N Sleazy [215]. (421 Sauchiehall Street – nearest railway: Charing Cross) A great student institution known locally as "Sleazy's" it's a favourite among Glasgow School of Art students, it’s a cross between a bar and a nightclub, and even a coffee shop by day - one of Glasgow’s best established student venues. Live music in the evenings, and just across the road from the seminal Garage nightclub.


Bath Street has a constantly shifting array of "style bars", which become more numerous as you walk up towards the financial district on Blythswood Hill. The quality varies wildly depending on your taste and tolerance. Some of the best are:

  • Bar Buddha (408 Sauchiehall Street) – The original branch on St. Vincent Street is now closed - and mourned by its fans for being arguably far more atmospheric than its successor, but still a quirky style bar with bags of character.
  • Corinthian (Ingram Street – Merchant City – nearest railway: Queen Street) – Wickedly pretentious bar/restaurant converted from and old bank in the centre of Glasgow’s designer shop district with beautifully restored interior fittings. Food served is of a high standard, although drinks can be expensive. Note that a dress code (smart/casual - no sports footwear) is strictly enforced after 6PM.
  • Hummingbird [216] (186 Bath Street) Newly opened bar/club/restaurant with extremely stylish, avant-garde decor and 4 floors.
  • Bunker [217] (on the corner of Hope Street and Bath Street) Popular bar with office workers from the nearby financial area, and a good base to start a night out from.
  • Kushion (158-166 Bath Street; nearest rail - Charing Cross) Meditterrenean basement theme bar, restaurant and nightclub. Close to King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Student friendly.


Apart from Stravaigin and Brel in the West End (see the Restaurant section above), there are a few gems in and around the city centre.

  • Strata [218] (At the southern end of Queen Street, near Argyle Street) Award winning gastropub split over two levels. Well known for its cocktail bar.
  • Babbity Bowsters (16-18 Blackfriars Street – Merchant City; nearest railway - High Street) – Notable for its fine range of imported lagers, the bar meals are excellent. You can even sit outside in the quaint little beer garden (when it is not raining)

Culture and music

If you like your rock and metal music, try The Solid Rock Cafe at the bottom of Hope street and Rufus T.Firefly's near the top of Hope street.


As the city centre and West End's bars become ever more sanitized, off-the-peg and tourist-oriented, finding a traditional “boozer” in Glasgow is getting harder. For the tourist who wants to make the effort, they can be great places to discover what many would call the “real” Glasgow, the Glasgow where Glaswegians hang out. The other advantage is that the cost of a drink is often a lot cheaper. Common sense should tell you which ones to try out, and which to avoid!

  • The Horseshoe Bar [219](17-19 Drury Street – short walk from Central Station) – Possessing the longest continuous bar in the UK, the rock band Travis used to rehearse upstairs before hitting the big time; as a token of thanks, one of their Brit Awards is displayed behind the bar. Billy Joel has been another famous customer of this establishment when playing in the city.
  • The Saracen Head [220] (209 Gallowgate – near Glasgow Cross) – nicknamed the “Sarry Heid” by locals, this old school pub (began in 1755, although in a different building) lies at the gateway to the Barrowlands area and the East End. Like all pubs in the area it becomes an exclusive haunt of Celtic fans on match days, and gets very rowdy.
  • Failte (St Vincent Street; nearest railway: Glasgow Central) - independent Irish themed pub and a good place to have a banter with the locals. Like most Irish themed pubs in the city, it gets impossibly crowded on Celtic match days.
  • The Scotia Bar [221] (Stockwell Street) One of Glasgow's oldest bars (established 1792). Famous for its folk music and 'traditional' ambiance.
  • The Clutha Vaults(167 Stockwell Street). Pub specialising in traditional folk and blues: live music five nights a week.
  • The Alpen Lodge (25 Hope Street). Great little bar with classic fast service and local banter.



  • Craigendmuir Caravan Park, 0141 779 4159, [15]. Stepps, to the east of the city, is probably the nearest camp site and charges about £12.50/night for a two people in a tent. A train journey from Stepps to Glasgow Queen Street takes about 20 minutes. about £12.50/night.


  • Amadeus Guest House, 411 North Woodside Road, Kelvinbridge (Kelvinbridge Underground, just off Great Western Road, M8 Junction 17), +44 (0)141 3398257 (, fax: +44 (0)141 3398859), [16]. checkin: 2 pm; checkout: 11 am. At the heart of Glasgow's West End, offers family run friendly guest accommodation and breakfast, in bright, clean and airy rooms. Wifi available at a small charge. from £24.00.
  • Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside, 122 Stockwell Street, 44 141 548 5000 (), [17]. In the heart of Glasgow, a modern hotel with 128 air conditioned guest rooms, licensed bar, free hot breakfast and WiFi.
  • Glasgow Youth Hostel (SYHA), 8 Park Terrace (Catch the number 44A bus from Hope St. Get off at the first stop on Woodlands Road. Go up the hill at Lynedoch St and follow the road to the left. The hostel is on the right hand side on Park Terrace.), +44 (0)141 332 3004, [18]. checkin: 2PM. 150 beds split into dorms and family/private rooms (all en-suite). From £13.
  • Euro Hostel, 318 Clyde St, +44 (0)141 222 2828, [19]. Right in the centre of town. Has dorm beds, private rooms, doubles and twins. Starting at £12.95 with free breakfast. Private rooms from £30.95.
  • Blue Sky, 65 Berkeley St, 44 141 221 1710, [20]. Hostel with dorm accommodation. Dorm beds and double rooms available. £10 to £15.
  • Bunkum Backpackers Hostel, 26 Hillhead St, 141 581 4481, [21]. Hostel with dorm accommodation from £12. No curfew or lockout, free linen is provided. Moderately equipped kitchen. Small independent hostel on a quiet street near the vibrant West End. £12 and up.
  • 1883 Guest House, 58 Glenapp St (100m Pollokshields East Rail), 07775 832 461, [22]. Small friendly guest house 3 km from city centre, easy public transport and on-street parking. £25-40.
  • Beersbridge Lodge Guesthouse, 50 Bentinck Street, +44 (0)141 338 6666, [23]. Overlooks the Kelvingrove Park in Central Glasgow, just 50 yards from Sauchiehall Street. Full central heating and a friendly atmosphere. All rooms are double with en-suite facilities, tea/coffee making facilities and colour TVs with Sky Satellite.
  • Campus Accommodation – University of Strathclyde, 50 Richmond Street, +44 (0)141 553 4148, [24]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 10:00. These budget ensuite or standard (shared bathroom and toilet) rooms are provided by the university. These rooms are extremely popular for budget travellers. The rooms are basically for university students but are open to the public during vacations. The location is excellent and next to Glasgow Cathedral. The nearest train station is Glasgow High street, and therefore links to Glasgow Central and Exhibition Centre stations. Very handy for conference participants. Local supermarkets and resturants are within 1/4 miles walk. Unfortunately the rooms don't provide internet access, and you may have go to either internet cafes, local pubs or chained restaurants to get access to internet. £36.50 per en-suite room.


  • The Victorian House, 212 Renfrew St. Small Hotel. Beds between £25-40.
  • McLays Guest House, 264-276 Renfrew St, +44 (0)141 332 4796, [25]. Guest House. Beds between £14-30.
  • Holiday Inn Express Glasgow Airport, St Andrews Drive, Glasgow Airport, 44 141 842 1100 (), [26]. Modern hotel, 2 minutes from Glasgow Airport, providing comfortable air conditioned guest rooms, free breakfast and WiFi.
  • Ibis Glasgow, 220 West Regent Street (Near Blythswood Square - nearest railway station: Charing Cross), +44 (0)141 225 6000, [27]. Glasgow branch of this popular French 3-star chain. £55-60 per night for a double room.
  • Jurys Inn, 80 Jamaica Street (Nearest Railway - Glasgow Central, Nearest Subway - St Enoch), +44 (0)141 314 4800 (fax: ""url=""). Popular chain hotel centrally located near Central Station and Argyle Street. £70-80 per night for a double room.
  • The Devoncove Hotel, 931 Sauchiehall St. A non-too-modern hotel located at the further end of the street from the city centre. Double rooms, including Scottish breakfast from £25. Clean and comfortable, as one would expect for that price, but don't expect 5 star treatment! Buses to the city centre for £1.10. Double rooms starting at £25.
  • Swallow Glasgow, 517 Paisley Road West, 0141 427 3146 (), [28]. Situated near the SECC and Glasgow Airport on the outskirts of Glasgow offering restaurant and leisure facilities.
  • City Inn Glasgow, Finnieston Quay, ☎ +44 141 240 1002, [222]. A central boutique hotel offers a restaurant, bar, meeting venue and events.
  • SACO Apartments, 53 Cochrane Street, 0845 122 04 05, [29]. Great alternative to a hotel and perfect for business travel; also a stone's throw away from a number of trendy bars and restaurants.


  • Crowne Plaza, Congress Road, Finnieston (Next to SECC/Clyde Auditorium - nearest railway: Exhibition Centre), +44 780 4431691, [30]. checkin: 2.00PM; checkout: 12.00PM. 4-star hotel on the riverbank and next door to the SECC complex. Double rooms from £80-£90/night.
  • Glasgow Grand Central, 99 Gordon Street (Adjoins onto the side of Central Station), +44 (0)871 508 8768, [31]. This grandiose olde worlde railway hotel - once one of the city's most prestigious hotels - has been recently refurbished and restored to its former glory. from £79.
  • Marriott Glasgow, 500 Argyle Street (Next to Kingston Bridge - nearest railway: Glasgow Central/Anderston), +44 (0)141 226 5577, [32]. 4-star hotel in the financial district, with good access to the city centre and West End. Double rooms from £70-£90/night.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, 301 Argyle St (On the corner of Argyle Street and Hope Street/Oswald Street, nearest railway - Glasgow Central), +44 141 204 3333, [33]. 5-star hotel located on the edge of the financial district and literally next door to Central railway station - noted for its distinctive copper facade. Double rooms from £140/night.
  • Carlton George Hotel, 44 West George Street (Next to Queen Street railway station), +44 (0)141 353 6373, [34]. 4-Star Boutique hotel located in the heart of the city - on George Square and near Buchanan Street and the City Chambers. Double rooms from £125/night.
  • Hilton Glasgow, 1 William Street (Nearest railway stations - Charing Cross/Anderston), +44 (0)141 204 5555, [35]. 5-Star luxury hotel in the centre of the financial district, with easy access to the M8 motorway and Glasgow Airport. Double rooms from £130/night.
  • Hilton Grosvenor, 1-9 Grosvenor Terrace (On the corner of Byres Road and Great Western Road - nearest subway: Hillhead), +44 (0)141 339 8811, [36]. Hilton's other Glasgow branch in the heart of the West End with easy access to centre and local attractions. Double rooms from £140/night.
  • Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens, 1 Devonshire Gardens (Great Western Road) (About 1/2 mile from the intersection of Byres Road and Great Western Road), 44 (0)141 339 2001, [37]. One of Scotland's most exclusive hotels - popular with celebrities. Suites from £250+ /night.
  • Malmaison Glasgow, 278 West George Street (City centre, short walk from either Central or Queen Street stations), +44 (0)141 572 1000, [38]. Modern boutique hotel located in a former Episcopal Church. Suites from £195/night.
  • Blythswood Square, 11 Blythswood Square (nearest railway Charing Cross/Central), +44 (0)141 208 2458 (), [39]. Brand new 5-star boutique hotel and spa converted from the old Royal Scottish Automobile Club headquarters in Blythswood Square. Rooms from £125/night, Suites from £315/night.

Stay safe

Glasgow is like any other big city: it has safe areas and less safe areas, and the basic common sense rules apply. The centre of Glasgow is very safe and you should not encounter any problems. All of the city centre and tourist areas are well policed. During the day, the City Centre also has many 'information officers' in red hats and jackets who should be able to assist you if needed. Despite what its local reputation may be, it should be noted that being a Western European city, Glasgow ranks among one of the safest cities in the world. Glasgow does indeed have some very dangerous areas - particularly in some northern and eastern suburbs - where drug related crime for instance is rife, but these are well away from the centre and it would be impossible to venture into them unless you were making a conscious effort to do so.

Crime in the city centre is usually limited to drunken and rowdy behaviour late in the evenings - hotspots include the southern end of Hope Street next to Central Station, and under the 'Heilanman's Umbrella'; and the western end of Sauchiehall Street which have large concentrations of bars and nightclubs. There is usually a heavy police presence anyway in these areas on Friday and Saturday nights to defuse any problems. The West End fares better, but be aware that the backstreets off Byres Road and around the University can quickly disorientate a stranger unfamiliar with the area in the hours of darkness.

Although you'll see it being worn everywhere by the locals, if you buy any piece of Celtic or Rangers-related clothing as a souvenir, be wary of wearing it in public as it can lead to confrontation - particularly in the evenings. Most bars and clubs in the centre of the city universally ban all football colours, regardless of team.

It should be noted that whereas prostitution/sexwork is legal in Scotland, 'soliciting' (i.e. prostitutes soliciting for business in the street), 'kerb crawling' (that is 'punters' driving or walking around obviously looking for sexworkers) are illegal, so avoid driving/walking around obvious red light district. The main troublespots in the city have historically been the Blythswood Hill and Anderston areas close to the M8 motorway - a busy office district by day, but usually deserted in the evenings and on weekends. 'Running a brothel' is also illegal, so 'massage parlours' and brothels can be and are 'busted' by the police. If you are in a brothel/'massage parlour' which is raided by the police you may be taken into custody and asked questions you don't want to answer. Avoid such places.

Strathclyde Police, the local police force, has a Stay Safe while Travelling guide [223].

Stay Healthy

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) will provide emergency treatment for anyone in the UK, irrespective of whether they reside in the UK. In a medical emergency, dial 999 or 112. These numbers are free of charge from any telephone. For advice on non-emergency medical problems, you can ring the 24 hour NHS 24 service on 08454 242424.

If you should fall ill or have an accident, then the two closest hospitals to the centre of the city with an Accident & Emergency (A&E) department are as follows:

  • Glasgow Royal Infirmary is on the north east corner of the city centre (just to the north of Glasgow Cathedral). The location of the hospital is well signposted on all major roads, and is just off Junction 15 of the M8 motorway.
  • The Western Infirmary is in the heart of the West End on Dumbarton Road (Nearest Subway: Kelvinhall), adjacent to Glasgow University and Kelvingrove Museum.



Glasgow's area code (for landline numbers) is 0141. When calling from outside the UK, drop the leading 0 and use the UK international dial code +44.


If you are travelling with a laptop then you will find broadband internet access in the rooms of most, but not all, medium to high end hotels. If this is important to you, check before booking. Alternatively, there are many Wi-Fi hot spots in and around Glasgow and WiFinder [224] provides a register.

There are also several places that offer web and other internet access if you are travelling without a laptop. These include:

  • Yeeha Internet, 48 West Geogre Street (30 seconds from Queen Street Station), (0)141 332 6543.
  • i-Cafe, 15 Gibson Street (2mins from Woodlands Rd, West End), (0)141 339 3333.
  • Glasgow Coffeeshop (SYHA) [225] -- 8 Park Terrace, 2 internet terminals available in the basement cafe of Glasgow Youth Hostel, non-residents welcome (0)141 332 8299.
  • The Goat is a nicely appointed bar which also offers free & unlimited wi-fi access & has a laptop available for loan. Excellent bar food also available. Argyll St. Near Kelvingrove Gallery & the Museum of Transport.
  • Offshore Coffee Shop, Gibson Street, beside the River Kelvin in the west end. Offers free wireless access and has good coffee. There is also an art gallery in the basement.

Get out

  • Visit Loch Lomond and climb the nearby Ben Lomond (the most southerly Munro) for great views. It is a 40 minute drive on the A82 road from the West End, and trains to Balloch (on the southern shore of the loch) leave Queen Street (Low Level) every half hour. Ardlui on the northern tip of the loch is accessible via the West Highland Line from Queen Street (High Level).
  • Take a boat trip outside the city, either on a powerboat [226] or on the Waverley (the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world) [227]. Both of these services go to many destinations throughout Scotland.
  • Take a seaplane trip to Loch Lomond, or even further afield [228]
  • Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city, is 46 miles to the east of Glasgow and is easily reachable by train or by bus.
  • The historic city of Stirling lies 28 miles to the north east of Glasgow - best known as the spiritual home of Scottish national heroes William “Braveheart” Wallace and Robert The Bruce. A natural gateway to the Central Highlands, the city’s famous castle is well worth a visit. Trains leave every half hour from Queen Street (high level) railway station, and is easily reached by car or bus via the M80 motorway.
  • Ride the West Highland Railway, perhaps the most scenic rail journey in the world.
  • Walk the West Highland Way from Milngavie (an upmarket suburb of Glasgow) all the way to Fort William. The scenery on the latter half of the walk is absolutely breathtaking and takes you through the heart of Glen Coe, generally regarded as one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland. Reachable via train from Queen Street (Low Level)
  • The Ayrshire coast towns of Largs, Saltcoats, Troon, Prestwick and Ayr are typically old fashioned holiday seaside resorts. Whilst most Glaswegians themselves have long abandoned them in favour of package holidays to the Mediterranean, they all have an individual charm of their own. South Ayrshire is the spiritual home to Scotland's literary hero and national "bard", Robert Burns. All are easily reachable via regular train services from Central Station.
  • Take a day-trip to the Isle of Arran. It is possible to obtain train/ferry combo tickets to reach this destination. The Isle of Arran is known as "Scotland in Miniature" due to the fact it contains many features of mainland Scotland in microcosm. Brodick Castle is home to beautiful gardens and has a path connecting to path up Goatfell, the highest point on Arran which offers stunning views of Brodick bay during the summer (Castle is located at the north end of Brodick, student discount available). The island is also littered with sites of archaeological and historical interest including many circles of ancient standing stones. Take one of the circle island buses to see it all, watch your time though- know the last bus and ferry of the day. There is a beautiful bay with a castle in the middle on the Northeast in a village called Lochranza.
  • Take a day trip to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute on the paddle steamer Waverley [229]. You can catch the Waverley at the Broomielaw on the banks of the River Clyde, just a short walk from the city centre. Alternatively, regular scheduled ferry services leave from Weymss Bay, served by an hourly rail service from Central Station [230] [231].
  • Owned by the National Trust for Scotland Greenbank House and Gardens [232] make for a pleasant day out in one of Glasgow's leafier suburbs. It's a 30 minute walk from Clarkston railway station (catch the train from Central Station (high level)). The garden's have proven to be an inspiration to gardeners throughout the world.
  • A short (30-40min) bus journey West-bound down the M8 towards Houston is a good day out. Houston is a traditional Scottish village steeped in history (and is nearby to both traditional leather tanning town Bridge-Of-Weir and upmarket Kilmacolm, home to many local celebrities), but its main draw is the Fox & Hounds Pub, home to Houston Brewing Company ( You'd be amazed how many Glaswegian have made this same short journey to sample the ale and traditional Scottish beers of Houston! Several brews are available all year round, with seasonal specialities on tap depending on the month. Tours of the small but well respected brewing operation are available. This is one of Central Scotland's most well regarded brewing communities, and well worth a trip. Houston is well served by two bus companies, but watch out as last service back into Glasgow ends around 11PM.
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