The Best Time to Visit Glasgow 2023: the Ultimate Guide
Scotland's biggest city and a cultural hub of the west of the country, Glasgow hasn't always enjoyed the best reputation. However, in recent years, this former industrial city has done a lot to overhaul its reputation and appeal to visitors from across the UK and around the world. In particular, the regeneration of the River Clyde corridor has fundamentally changed the way the city looks, lives, and works, making it far more appealing as a tourist destination than it used to be.
Still, a couple of things haven't changed. One is that the locals will be the same unpretentious and down-to-earth types they have always been. Another is that the Glasgow weather can be a major factor in deciding when to visit. Western Scotland's reputation for unpredictable weather is well-deserved, and no matter what time of year you visit, you can expect to encounter some wet weather when you visit Scotland.
But that's no reason not to go. At worst, the colder weather just gives you an excuse to curl up next to the log fires in some of the city's more welcoming pubs and enjoy a dram of whiskey. Plus, with some great tourist attractions to see, it's worth braving the Scotland weather to see what Glasgow has to offer, whether you visit in the peak summer period or in the winter season. Chances are you'll have a wonderful time either way.
You'll have an even better time if you drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage locker in Glasgow. Leave your belongings behind but make sure you bring a rain jacket when you visit any part of Scotland.
Summer in Glasgow
The weather in Glasgow in the summertime can be glorious, with long days and warm temperatures making it ideal for exploring everything the city has to offer. However, as with the rest of Scotland, there's also a chance that you'll encounter some rain during your stay.
That said, the chances of experiencing wet weather are lower in Glasgow than in other parts of the country, particularly in the Highlands. And even if it does rain, it's unlikely to last for long. So don't let a little bit of water stop you from enjoying all that Glasgow has to offer during the summer months.
Summer is certainly the warmest time of the year, with average temperatures sitting at a comfortable 61°F (16°C). However, it's not unusual for the mercury to rise above 68°F (20°C), making it pleasant for walking around and exploring the city.
Of course, if you want to make the most of the good weather, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Glasgow. The Riverside Museum is a great option, particularly on a sunny day when you can stroll along the River Clyde. Or, for something a bit more active, take a hike up to the Cathkin Braes, where you'll be rewarded with fantastic views of the city.
Because of Glasgow's northerly location, summer brings long daylight hours which, combined with the relatively impressive average high temperature, makes the summer season ideal for outdoor cultural events in the city. If you choose to visit Glasgow during the sunny days of summer and its warm temperatures, you can enjoy festivals like the World Pipe Band Championships and the Glasgow Mela, as well as a host of other smaller events including the Highland Games. You could even head out of the city and make the hour and a half journey to Scotland's capital to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, one of the biggest performing arts festivals in the world.
Visit Glasgow during the summer, and you'll be able to enjoy high temperatures, great festivals, and interesting cultural events. However, summer is most definitely high tourist season, so don't expect to have the city to yourself. Additionally, hotel prices will be higher during the high season than at most other times of year. If you want to avoid the dark days of the winter months, enjoy live music, and experience higher temperatures, summer is definitely the best time to visit Glasgow, with July usually being the hottest month of the year. But if you'd prefer to avoid the highest prices and the crowds that come with sunny days, it might be worth packing your rain gear and considering another time of year.
Fall in Glasgow
After the busy summer season, things tend to quiet down a little in Glasgow in the fall. The weather also starts to cool off, making it a great time to visit if you don't mind a little bit of chill in the air.
Average temperatures in September and October are around 55°F (13°C), with the odd surge into the 60°F (16°C) range in early fall. November sees temperatures drop a bit further, with an average of 48°F (9°C). However, even though it's getting colder, there's still plenty to do in Glasgow during the fall months.
One of the best things about visiting Glasgow in the fall is that you'll avoid the crowds that come with tourist season. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing going on in the city. In fact, November is when Glasgow comes alive with a number of events and festivals.
The first two weeks of November see the return of the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, which features some of the biggest names in jazz from all over the world. And at the end of the month, you can enjoy the Glasgow Film Festival, which showcases films from around the globe.
If you're looking for a quieter trip, autumn is also a great time to take advantage of Glasgow's many museums and art galleries. With fewer people around, you'll be able to enjoy them at your own pace without having to worry about crowds.
Pack your sweaters and jackets when you visit Glasgow in the fall, as the weather can be quite cool. You might also want to pack an umbrella, as November is one of the rainiest months of the year.
Winter in Glasgow
Although winter is the coldest time of year to visit Glasgow, it's also one of the most magical. December sees temperatures drop to an average of 41°F (5°C) Celsius, with highs only reaching about 50°F (10°C). January and February are even colder.
However, just because it's cold doesn't mean there's nothing to do in Glasgow during the winter months. In fact, winter is when the city springs to life with tons of great festive things to do around town.
One of the best things about visiting Glasgow in the winter is that you'll be able to enjoy the festive season in all its glory. Christmas markets pop up all over the city, and you can even ice skate in Glasgow's very own Winter Wonderland.
If you're looking for something a bit more low-key, winter is also a great time to visit Glasgow's many museums and art galleries. With fewer people around, you'll be able to enjoy them at your own pace without having to worry about crowds.
As well as Christmas, Glasgow is famous for its Hogmanay celebration, the lively Scottish New Year's festival that is a highlight of the low season. Many people travel to the city for the Christmas and New Year's period, so hotel prices will generally be higher around this time.
Also, don't forget that one of the most quintessentially Scottish festivals of the year, Burns Night, takes place in January. This celebration of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, has grown over the years into a celebration of Scottish culture, with all the music, poetry, food, and drink that implies. If you're looking to immerse yourself in Scottish culture, this may be the best time to visit Glasgow, even if you will face a lower average temperature than at other times of year. The celebration of the life and works of Robert Burns is an experience not to be missed.
When packing for a winter trip to Glasgow, be sure to bring along your warmest clothes. Temperatures can drop below freezing, so you'll need coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to stay comfortable. You might also want to pack an umbrella, as December is another of the rainiest months of the year.
Spring in Glasgow
Although spring is a great time to visit Glasgow, it's also one of the busiest times of year. The weather starts to warm up in March, with average temperatures of 48°F (9°C) and highs reaching into the 70°F (21°C) range. April and May are even warmer, with averages of 55°F (13°C) and 61°F (16°C) respectively.
One of the best things about visiting Glasgow in the spring is that you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful weather. This is a great time to explore Glasgow's many parks, as they'll be in full bloom. You might also want to take advantage of the warmer weather by doing some sightseeing outside of the city center.
Although the crowds do pick up in spring, the Glasgow tourist attractions like museums and galleries are generally not as crowded as they are in summer. There are fewer lines and fewer tourists in your precious pictures.
When packing for a spring trip to Glasgow, be sure to bring along some light layers. The weather can be quite changeable at this time of year, so it's always good to have a jacket or sweater on hand. You might also want to pack an umbrella, as April also sees its fair share of rain.
As well as being a great time to enjoy the weather, late spring is also a busy time for events in Glasgow. The Glasgow International Jazz Festival takes place in late June, while the West End Festival runs from early June to early July. Hotel prices will generally be higher around these times, so be sure to book in advance if you're planning on visiting during peak season.
When is the best time to visit Glasgow for you?
Anytime you plan to visit Scotland, you can't discount the role the weather will play in your schedule. Glasgow most definitely experiences four seasons, sometimes all in one day, so no matter when you visit this coastal city, you'll need to be prepared for just about everything the weather can throw at you.
On the plus side, Glasgow natives have learned how to deal with the fickle nature of Scotland weather. No matter what time of year you visit, you'll find plenty of activities to keep you busy both indoors and out.
Glasgow is also surrounded by some spectacular scenery, and if you want to make the most of it, the sunny days of summer are probably the best time to do it. Combined this weather with all the great festivals in the city and that makes summer an attractive option. But spring, fall, and even winter all have their own charms too, so so don't neglect these seasons. The parties and festivals in Glasgow are capable of warming up even the coldest months of the year, so if you want to experience the best of Scottish culture, winter can be a great time to visit.
Often, what you choose to bring on a trip to Scotland can make or break your trip. You'll need to prepare for all kinds of weather, but to make sure you don't get weighed down, drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Glasgow. That way, you'll be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.