What was once one of the most influential industrial cities in the world today sets a welcoming scene for art lovers, history buffs, the LGBT community, shoppers, families, and night owls from all around the globe. With nearly 2 million visitors per year, Glasgow people are set to live on tourism only.
If you are going to Glasgow anytime soon, be prepared to have the time of your life, even with the constant grey skies. And when the sun sets, Glasgow turns into a city of vibrant nightlife, with so many fun things to do, not just for couples and solo travelers, but for the entire family too.
Before we delve into the most fun activities to do in Glasgow at night, don't forget to store your belongings at one a safe luggage locker in the city. Be footloose and fancy free on your night on the town!
Spend Time in George Square
Locals and tourists alike spend a good amount of their time on George Square day in and day out. Named after King George III, the square is located in Glasgow's City Centre and surrounded by pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, gift shops, buildings, statues, and monuments exuding Victorian, Italian Renaissance, and Gothic architecture. Take your time as you explore each corner of the square, and admire the statues and monuments of the most famous Scots like Sir Walter Scott, James Watt, and Robert Burns.
On the east side of the square, you will see the most iconic sight - the magnificent City Chambers, home to Glasgow's local government, built in Italian Renaissance style. This entire area in the center of the city used to be the trading hub of Glasgow from the 18th century and earned the name the Merchant City in 1980. So many things have happened on this square. Still, the most famous one to a large extent is when Prime minister Winston Churchill met with Harry Hopkins, an envoy extraordinary to President Roosevelt.
They met in the Millenium Hotel, known today as the North British Hotel. Here they discussed the involvement and assistance of the British and the Americans in fighting the Nazis during World War II. Nonetheless, George Square is one of the best free attractions in Glasgow, so make sure to stop by, day or night.
Enjoy a Glasgow Street Art Walking Tour
If you are a fan of street art, you are in for a big treat. Glasgow is home to many street artists who have turned the entire city into one big art gallery. You can either book an art walking tour with an expert tour guide or wander the streets on your own admiring all kinds of different murals adorning buildings in Glasgow.
There is one trail in particular that every tourist visiting Glasgow has to take. It is named Glasgow City Center Mural Trail, and it is about 3 hours long walk. On this trail, you will see about 25 pieces of art scattered around Glasgow City Centre.
Leave from Buchanan Bus Station, put your comfy shoes on and make the most of the trail, day and night. You will find plenty of bars and restaurants along the way.
Wander Through the Gallery of Modern Art
Located in the Merchant City, in Royal Exchange Square is the Gallery of Modern Art. The gallery features four galleries, a coffee shop, a gift shop, and a library. There is also a permanent display about the history of the building, which you may find more interesting than the artworks themselves.
The entrance is free, and it takes about 1.5 hours to visit both floors. Exhibits include artists from the late 19th century to the present day like Niki de Saint Phalle, Tim Stead, and more. In front of the gallery is the Duke of Wellington statue that, oddly enough, is often decorated by a traffic cone. The horse's head is too adorned with a cone.
Dine in Style on Ashton Lane
This cobblestone street is a magnet for locals and tourists alike, especially at night. The small charming enclosed lane near Hillhead subway station is lined with traditional white townhouses, numerous pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes at great prices.
Check out the Ubiquitous Chip, the most famous bar and restaurant on the street serving the best food in town. It is the perfect place for whisky fans or wine lovers too. Visitors can enjoy eating in a few different seating areas, including a beautiful botanical garden and the Wee Bar. This place is open seven days a week from 12 pm till 1 am.
Spend a Night at The Cinema
When you've seen it all, it is time to unwind with some popcorn and a good movie, but not on your couch. Glasgow's cinemas offer a wonderful atmosphere in their venues for the entire family, especially at night. There are two that stand out, including The Everyman in Princess Square, right of Buchanan Street and The Grosvenor, located on the West End of Ashton Lane.
Grab your date, your friends, or your kids, and enjoy some good ol' classics or the latest blockbuster in one of Glasgow's charming cinemas. Both cinemas close around 10 pm.
Unwind in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens
If you love plants, this is an excellent wee place to see the beauty of nature and enjoy a relaxing day away from the bustling city noise. The gardens have two large greenhouses and outdoor gardens for everyone to enjoy. There is also plenty of outdoor seating around the entire area.
You will find a variety of plants, a little over 9,000 to be more precise, from orchids and cacti to roses and tropical plants, and a national collection of tree ferns, all arranged in beautiful displays. The futuristic look of the palace domes is quite a sight on its own. The entrance is free, and there are nearby restaurants and cafes for hungry visitors.
Young families will especially enjoy the waymarked trail of Minibeasts, Birds and Trees of the Botanics Gardens. At night time, the entire area is beautifully lit. Open till 9 pm, this famous attraction in Glasgow's West End, near Hillhead Subway Station, is a must-see on your trip to Glasgow.
Prepare to be Amazed by the Magical Lights of GlasGLOW
If you happen to be in Glasgow in time for Halloween (end of October till mid-November), this light show is a definite must-see. Every year, Glasgow Botanic Gardens hosts a spectacular show like you haven't seen before. Although the theme changes each year, there is always something to do and see.
From food markets offering the most delicious food to live music and laser shows, everyone visiting GlasGLOW is in for a treat. In October 2020, there were over 90 oo0 visitors, making it the largest outdoor activity in Scotland. Tickets for adults cost around $20.
Have a Laugh at a Comedy Show
Out of the many fun things to do in the Scottish city at night, visiting a comedy club in Glasgow should be on your list too. Most offer stand-up comedy nights at reasonable prices and it is a good change from spending the night in a bar. The three most famous comedy clubs are The Stand, Rotunda Comedy Club, and The Glee Club Glasgow.
The Stand is open from 7.30 pm till 10. 30 pm, but if you want to stay a bit later, Rotunda will keep you laughing until the wee hours of the night. Plan a fun night and a delicious brunch the next day.
Go Back in Time at Glasgow Cathedral
What better way to learn about Scotland, Glasgow, and its fascinating tales, than to visit the oldest building in Glasgow and the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland. Glasgow Cathedral opened in 1197, and it is believed to be built on the burial site of Glasgow's patron saint of the city, St. Kentigern, also known as St. Mungo. The cathedral is also famous for being the only medieval cathedral to have survived the Scottish reformation of 1560.
Although the church closes at 4 pm, you can admire the Scottish Gothic architecture from the outside any time. Entrance is free, but if you want to visit Glasgow Cathedral during the day and learn more about the history, make sure to book in advance to guarantee your entry.
See the Views From Glasgow Necropolis
Near the Cathedral is Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian Garden Cemetery with over 3,500 monuments. While graveyards might not be the best thing to explore at night, this is one of the many Glasgow things to do during the day, as the place closes at 4.30 pm.
Sitting on a hill to the east side of the cathedral, the views from this place will make your time here worthwhile. It's truly an enjoyable spot.
Relax in Kelvingrove Park
Located in the West End of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park is an excellent place for a night walk with your favorite person. This large greenspace follows the River Kelvin and offers plenty of interesting features for its visitors.
Built in 1852, the typical example of a Victorian park is home to many statues and monuments, including Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. In addition, the park is a host to many events throughout the year.
Watch a Performance at the Theatre Royal
Built in 1867, the Theatre Royal is the oldest theatre of its kind in the city. Located in Glasgow's City Centre, this venue exudes old Victorian charm. It hosts hundreds of performances a year from dramas and comedy to concerts by local and international artists. It is also home to the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet.
You may find that ticket prices vary depending on the event, and you should book well in advance to secure your seat. When picking your seats take a look at the layout online to see which seats give you a great view of the entire stage. Don't make the mistake of booking seats with a restricted view, like the stalls, as your view is partially obstructed by pillars.
There is a bar and a rooftop terrace on the upper floors with a spectacular view of Glasgow. Keep in mind that drinks and snacks are a little expensive, as expected from a theatre of this genre. If you are driving to the theatre, there is limited nearby street parking, but there are two multi-level car parks within a short walking distance.
The Theatre Royal opens doors at 10 am and closes at 6 pm.
Dance the Night Away on Sauchiehall Street
One of the main shopping streets in central Glasgow turns into the best place to go clubbing at night, especially on the weekends. Some of the best venues in town are located here and attract visitors of all kinds.
So whether you are a student looking for parties and cheap drinks or want to let your hair down to some chill live music or dance to salsa, this street is your go-to hotspot.
See the City Centre and More
What to expect from Glasgow, day or night? Head to the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow Green or Glasgow Central, all fun places to be. While most attractions are located in the downtown area, there are many places to see off the beaten track and scattered all around the city.
So whether you are looking to see a tall ship, Victorian architecture, Glasgow art galleries, the Glasgow Science Centre, Mackintosh House, the Winter Gardens, or just want to chill in a bar and listen to some live music, your Glasgow itinerary at night will definitely be packed!