Discover the best things to do in Glasgow

An aerial view of Glasgow
by Limara Salt
1 September 2023

Fantastic culture, a top-notch music scene and delicious homegrown whisky are just a few reasons to visit Glasgow. While most tend to stop at the capital city when visiting Scotland, Glasgow should not be overlooked for visitors keen on history, culture, and more.  

Check out some of the best things to do when visiting Glasgow. 

Spend a rainy day in a museum  

British weather can be famously hard to predict, but even if the heavens open during your visit there’s still plenty of fun ways to stay dry. A perfect option for science fans is the Glasgow Science Centre which provides fun for all ages, including a kid-friendly 360-degree screening of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and Science Lates, an opportunity for adults to enjoy the exhibitions without the kids.  

The Riverside Museum is a free museum designed by internally renowned architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, and houses over 3,000 objects from the city’s collections, while the Glasgow Museum of Art contains four galleries and a library.  

Go for a cheeky drink 

Glasgow is known for having some of the weirdest and wondrous bars in the country, so if you’re keen on a cocktail there’s plenty to choose from. Alston Bar & Beef is located in Glasgow Central train station and has a huge selection of gin as well as local beers. Nearby Horseshoe Bar is a traditional pub that’s become a Glasgow institution known for its karaoke nights, and with a bar stretching to over 100ft it reportedly has the longest bar in Europe! 

Don’t forget the ‘scran’  

There’s much more to food in Scotland than haggis, and Glasgow has amazing eateries to get stuck into. For pizza, you can’t get much better than Paesano Pizza for authentic, wood fired Neapolitan Italian pizza in the heart of the city. The Meat Bar is a great basement restaurant where the French Dip and Trailer Trash burger is a favourite, and there are a few options for vegetarians, too.  

For coffee and a sweet treat, head to small independent coffee shop Laboratorio Espresso for some delicious cannolis.  

Take a ride on the world’s third-oldest underground 

The Glasgow Subway opened in 1896 and is still one of the best ways to get around the city. There is only one route which travels 6.5 miles and runs in a circle of 15 stops – meaning that even if you miss your stop you’ll just go back around again.  

It has an inner circle and outer circle that run in opposite directions across the river Clyde and is a great way to experience Britain’s second-oldest underground system and bypass busy streets.  

Delve into the historic city  

The art collection of Sir William Burrell and Constance, Lady Burrell has over 9,000 objects ranging from stained glass to paintings by French artists including Manet, Cezanne and Degas, and visitors can enjoy the collection for free.  

Venture outside to see various locations that celebrate famous Glaswegian Charles Rennie Mackintosh including House for an Art Lover and Glasgow School of Art. You can also book a walking tour with Virgin Experience Days or see the sights from the sky in a helicopter while earning Virgin Points.  

Grab a souvenir before you go  

Keen shoppers will not be short of options in Glasgow, with Buchanan Street (major high street brands), Princes Square (shopping complex with bars, restaurants and a cinema), and Merchant City (minutes from the city centre with quirky shops) all worth a look.  

If you’re taking a ride on the subway jump off at Byres Road to find the centre of West End, a leafy and trendy part of the city with independent shops and lovely cafés, while nearby Ashton Lane has numerous hidden gems to explore.  

What are you waiting for? Book your trip to Glasgow with Virgin Trains Ticketing to earn Virgin Points on your journey! 

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