3 Days in Glasgow: Everything You Should Know
Glasgow may not be the historic capital of Scotland, but it is the most populous city in the nation. And although it has a reputation for being more working-class and rough around the edges than Edinburgh, there's plenty to see and do in Glasgow that makes for a spectacular vacation. You can't visit Scotland without seeing Scotland's largest city, and when you visit Glasgow and its bustling city centre along the River Clyde, you'll soon see what makes the city so special.
If you only have a few days to spend in the city, you'll want to see all the highlights of the town on your Glasgow itinerary. Therefore, Glasgow's city centre is likely to be your main base of operations. Visiting Glasgow for three days will give you enough time to see some of its most popular tourist attractions and get a taste of the unique atmosphere of Glasgow city. And if you find it only whets your appetite to explore more of the city and the country, that's not surprising. You certainly won't be the first person to be charmed when you visit Glasgow.
To make things easier on yourself, don't forget to drop off your longings at a secure luggage storage facility in Glasgow. Traveling light makes it much easier to get around and make the most of your 3 days in Glasgow.
Start your first day in Glasgow by visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, and for good reason. It houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts, and it's free to enter.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery holds one of the largest collections of historical arms and armor in the world. Its collection of art is just as impressive, covering both local and international artists and spanning centuries from classical to modern art and everything in between.
Afterward, explore the beautiful grounds of Kelvingrove Park. The park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic lunch. If you're feeling energetic, you can even rent a bike and go for a ride. It's an excellent way to get some exercise and absorb the atmosphere of this vibrant city.
In the afternoon, take a walk through Glasgow's historic center. Start at Glasgow Cathedral, one of the city's most famous landmarks. Then, wander down the cobbled streets of the Merchant City neighborhood and nearby George Square. This area is full of shops and restaurants, as well as some of the best-preserved medieval architecture in the city. You'll also get to see a number of works by the legendary Charles Rennie Mackintosh, including the Glasgow School of Art.
Finish up your day with a visit to The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Architecture and Design. The building itself is worth a visit, but there's also an excellent museum inside with rotating exhibitions on architecture and design.
After all that walking, you'll need to fuel up. Glasgow city centre is where you'll find many of the city's best restaurants, including the fabulous seafood restaurant, The Ship on the Shore. Seafood is always a good option in this coastal city, but if you'd prefer something different, try The Dhabba, a popular Indian restaurant.
No trip to Glasgow would be complete without experiencing a traditional Scottish pub. Head to The Horseshoe Bar in the city center for a pint of beer and some delicious pub food. The bar is over 150 years old and has been visited by everyone from Roy Rogers to Bono. If you're looking for something a little livelier, check out Bourbon Street for some live music.
Wherever you choose to go in Glasgow city centre, you can rely on encountering a lively atmosphere and friendly hospitality. Just make sure not to overindulge on the excellent beer and whiskey you'll find in town. You have a busy Glasgow itinerary ahead of you, and a hangover is not the best way to make the most of 3 days in Glasgow.
Start your second day in Glasgow with a visit to the People's Palace and Winter Gardens. The People's Palace is a museum that tells the story of the people of Glasgow, from the city's humble beginnings to its present day. The museum is free to enter, and it's a great way to learn about the city's history and culture.
Afterward, take a stroll through Glasgow Green, the city's oldest public park. The park is a great place to relax and people watch, and it's also home to a number of monuments and sculptures. If you aren't too tired, you can even go for a run or walk around the park's perimeter.
Once you've worked up an appetite, head to Café Gandolfi for lunch. The café is located in the Merchant City neighborhood and it's known for its delicious seafood dishes.
In the afternoon, visit the Riverside Museum. The museum is dedicated to transportation and travel, and it houses an impressive collection of trains, cars, bicycles, and boats. You can even hop on board a replica of a Glasgow streetcar from the early 1900s. It's a great place to learn more about the history of the city from an unusual perspective and is one of the best museums in Glasgow.
Afterward, take a short walk to the Glasgow Science Centre. The science centre has three floors of interactive exhibits, as well as a planetarium and an IMAX theater. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon if you're traveling with kids. This family-friendly activity has earned its place as one of the top tourist attractions in the city, and it won't just be the kids who learn something from a visit here.
In the evening, make your way to Finnieston for dinner. Finnieston is one of Glasgow's hippest neighborhoods, and it's home to a number of great bars and restaurants. For dinner, check out The Gannet, which specializes in locally sourced seafood dishes. Afterward, head to Kelvingrove Café for a drink or two. The café has an extensive wine list and a cozy, relaxed atmosphere.
On your last day in Glasgow, begin with a visit to the Glasgow Cathedral. The cathedral is one of the city's most important historical landmarks, and it's well worth a visit. Guided tours are available, or you can simply explore the cathedral on your own. Dating back to the 12th century, the cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and has been the spiritual heart of the city for centuries. It's the perfect place to get a sense of the ancient origins of the city at the oldest building in town.
Afterward, walk to the nearby Glasgow Necropolis. The necropolis is a Victorian cemetery that's home to over 50,000 graves. It's an eerie and atmospheric place, and it offers stunning views of the city.
When you're finished exploring the necropolis, make your way to the West End for lunch. The West End is one of Glasgow's most affluent neighborhoods, and it's known for its great restaurants and boutiques. For lunch, try One Devonshire Gardens, a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves modern Scottish cuisine.
If you haven't had enough of art yet, consider a trip to the Hunterian Art Gallery. Located on the campus of the University of Glasgow, the gallery holds the preserved home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the architect who did so much to shape the way modern Glasgow looks. The gallery also holds paintings by Mackintosh and by other local artists.
Just across from the art gallery, you'll also find the Hunterian Museum. The museum, the oldest in Scotland, is divided into several different collections, including the Zoology Museum and the Anatomy Museum. So if creepy mummies, surgically altered cadavers, and taxidermy animals are your thing, this unique museum is the place to go.
But maybe you're tired of all this learning and would rather get some shopping done. You'll find some of the best shopping in Glasgow in the neighborhood of Buchanan Street. This pedestrianized street is lined with high-end stores, and it's the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two (or three).
Alternatively, if you'd rather recharge in a more natural environment, a visit to Glasgow Botanic Gardens is always a good idea. The gardens, located just west of the city center, are free to enter, and they're a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
For your last evening in Glasgow, have dinner at The Ubiquitous Chip. The Chip is one of Glasgow's most famous restaurants, and it's been serving Scottish cuisine since 1971. The restaurant has a cozy, charming atmosphere, and the food is absolutely delicious. Be sure to try the haggis, a traditional Scottish dish made from sheep's heart, liver, and lungs.
Glasgow may not have the wealth of historic buildings that Edinburgh does. Nor does it have the prestige of being the nation's capital. However, Scotland's biggest city certainly has plenty to recommend it to visitors. From the stunning medieval architecture of Glasgow Cathedral to the lively nightlife of Glasgow's West End, you can find just about everything you need to make for a memorable trip to Scotland here.
Anyone who has visited Glasgow will tell you that it's a city like no other. And while 3 days in Glasgow is enough to see most of the city's top attractions, you'll really only be scratching the surface.
This Glasgow itinerary is designed as a kind of brief introduction to the city so you can explore Glasgow in a limited time. But if you want to get to know the city better, there's so much to explore. Once you've seen all the sights on this list, you'll be ready to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city and get to know it better for yourself. There's very little doubt you'll be glad you did.
As always, Bounce is here to make travel easier by giving you a place to store your belongings in Glasgow. By partnering with local businesses in the city and around the world, Bounce makes it safe and convenient to drop off those unneeded bags and travel light. The less you have to carry with you, the easier it will be to follow this Glasgow itinerary or develop your own and enjoy the wealth of activities this underrated city has to offer.