Only 24-48 hours in Glasgow
Glasgow is one of those world-class cities that could keep you busy for a lifetime. If you're like most tourists, your time spent in Glasgow may be limited, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the highlights. Whether you're planning a quick day trip or a weekend getaway to Scotland's friendliest city, this handy guide will help you make the most of it.
One or two days in Glasgow isn't enough time to explore all the iconic landmarks and attractions, but it does give you the perfect chance to experience life like a local. The key is to plan a tight itinerary that allows you to squeeze in all your must-see spots within the time allotted.
If you're wondering what to do in a day in Glasgow, the answer always starts with breakfast. Glasgow boasts a surprisingly varied culinary scene ranging from the traditional to the exotic. When in the United Kingdom, however, your best bet is the full Scottish or full English breakfast. Many people have heard of the full English, which consists of eggs, toast, black pudding or sausage, baked beans and bacon. The full Scottish is similar but throws in haggis, oatcakes or scones.
Start your day at Cafezique, one of the few eateries in town that does breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. The cafe's Big Breakfast includes eggs, black pudding, sausages, beans, shoulder bacon, a tattie scone, mushrooms, tomatoes and thick toast. Other breakfast options throughout Glasgow include Cafe Gandolfi in Merchant City, Kember & Jones in the West End, or The Hyndland Fox in Hyndland.
Take a Morning Stroll
After breakfast, stroll towards one of the six squares located in the City Centre. George Square is the principal civic square and, as such, the city's most iconic. George Square features several important statues, including the impressive equestrian monument to Queen Victoria.
The district's remaining squares are Cathedral Square, St. Enoch Square, St. Andrew's Square, Blythswood Square and Royal Exchange Square. To make the most of the limited hours you have in Glasgow, grab a coffee and scone from a nearby cafe and enjoy breakfast under the morning sun.
If you started your walk in George Square, head one block west to Buchanan Street, Glasgow's main shopping thoroughfare. This famous shopping district boasts upmarket stores as well as souvenir shops like Tartan House of Scotland. Be sure to check out the Buchanan Galleries, the largest and most prestigious shopping destination in Glasgow.
Grab Lunch on the Go
After working up an appetite from your morning walk, you'll want to grab a quick lunch. Glasgow offers a variety of street food vendors and takeaway restaurants that make it easy to score an affordable meal without sacrificing much sightseeing time from your brief Glasgow itinerary.
Banana Leaf is a different kind of curry eatery that allows you to sample authentic South Indian dishes rarely seen on other menus. For Pan Asian flavours, try the Bar Soba street food in Merchant City.
Prefer more American-style eats? Try Buddy's, Glasgow's original burger and barbecue restaurant. Not only can you savor smoked pork ribs and poutine, but Buddy's even offers vegetarian, vegan and halal-certified menu options.
Tour the Museums
When you only have a day or two in Glasgow, you'll want to narrow down your museum options to the one you simply can't miss.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a true local icon. It offers an extensive natural history section, an impressive armour and arms collection, artworks by the Old Masters and historic European jewellery. The building itself is an architectural marvel worth visiting.
Riverside Museum is an award-winning facility that exceeds all expectations. The building houses more than 3,000 objects related to Scotland's rich transport history, including trains, planes, skateboards, automobiles and even prams.
Sample Fine Dining
Glasgow is the perfect city for enjoying a romantic date night. For instance, Rogano is an Art Deco style restaurant with a unique 1930s ambiance. As Glasgow's oldest surviving restaurant, Rogano highlights the city's best culinary creations. Its seasonal menus frequently list Scottish salmon, roast leg of lamb and glazed pork belly.
Experience Glasgow Nightlife
Glasgow comes alive after dark with a lively music scene, historic theatres, traditional pubs and trendy bars. If you're in the mood for some entertainment, see what's happening at City Halls and the Old Fruitmarket or the National Theatre of Scotland.
Considered one of the UK's best clubbing cities, Glasgow features a Saturday night subculture at the renowned Sub Club, which is the longest running underground club night in the world. Other popular venues include The Glue Factory and SWG3 Studio Warehouse.
- City Halls & Old Fruitmarket: 87-101 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NQ, UK
- National Theatre of Scotland: Rockvilla, 125 Craighall Road, Glasgow G4 9TL, UK
- Sub Club: 22 Jamaica St, Glasgow G1 4QD, UK
- The Glue Factory: 22 Farnell St, Glasgow G4 9SE, UK
- SWG3 Studio Warehouse: 100 Eastvale Pl, Glasgow G3 8QG, UK
Unwind at a Spa
After trekking around Glasgow all day, treat yourself to an indulgent evening at one of the local spas. The Spa at Blythswood Square is a hotel spa open to guests and the public. The 10,000-square-foot facility features a hydrotherapy pool, two relaxation pools, a crystal steam room, a sauna, a fully equipped gym and an elegant reception area where you can enjoy snacks, a light meal or drinks. Enjoy a range of luxurious, holistic treatments individually designed for your face and body.
Cramming Glasgow into one or two days isn't easy, but you can get a taste of some of the city's best attractions and restaurants. Once you've seen everything Glasgow has to offer, you'll be planning your next trip back in no time.