GlasgowTravel Guide

Scotland’s largest city by population is a hub of culture and an incredible place to visit. Whether you’re into the architecture of famous Glaswegian Charles Rennie Mackintosh or the refined art of brewing craft beer, Scottish charm abounds in this fun and friendly city. This is also a town that knows how to shop, so when you’ve soaked up as much epic Glasgow as you can handle, retail therapy and welcoming cosy pubs will be waiting.If you’re planning a visit, explore our Glasgow travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in this Scotland’s most contemporary city. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay in Glasgow, getting around and more.

Glasgow quick facts

Language

National language

English

Beverages

Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (330ml)

AUD $3.35

Local time

Tuesday

2:59am

Currency

Pound sterling

AUD $1.00 = GBP £0.52

Eating out

Restaurant meal (casual dining)

AUD $28.57

Electricity

Plug type: G

3 pins • 230V

Explore Glasgow

Where to stay in Glasgow?

The question of where to stay in Glasgow is all about knowing what sort of accommodation will suit you best. Do you prefer to keep it simple, or would you like to go all out and stay somewhere fancy? It’s also important to pick accommodation that is close to everything you’d like to do during your holiday. Looking to go on a cultural excursion? Stay in West End! Want to explore the port districts? Stay in the city centre. To give you a better idea of what sort of accommodation to expect in each area, here’s a handy breakdown of some of our favourite spots.

The city centre is home to some of the very best places to stay in Glasgow if the five-star experience is what you're looking for. Close to just about everything the city has to offer, including public transport for when you need to go further afield, the city centre is ideal for when you want to base yourself in one spot while remaining central to all the best activities.


A former district of warehouses and docks, Finnieston is one of the best areas to stay in Glasgow these days. A booming entertainment quarter, it's where the expansive Scottish Event Campus is located, making it the city's home of live concerts. Hotels here are plentiful, very comfortable, and not typically expensive.


Trongate is one of the oldest streets in Glasgow and is considered the main thoroughfare into the city's East End. Located in what is now Merchant City, the area has seen a major revitalisation since the 1990s and boasts some of the fanciest hotels anywhere in the city. For those who want five-star accommodation, Trongate is where you want to be.


As the city's major art and culture hub, many hotels in this area are influenced by the bohemian lifestyle the West End promotes. Every hotel is unique, and many are owned and operated by locals, rather than a chain or franchise. This has led to wonderfully eclectic designs and the repurposing of some of the city's oldest and most beloved buildings.


Staying on Cathedral Street is a great way to get stuck right into every historic religious site. Hotels in this area run the gamut from simple motels to four-star bed and breakfasts, all of which are quite comfortable and reasonably priced. Staying on Cathedral Street will put you on the doorstep of the famed East End and all it has to offer.


Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Upwards angle of an old building in Glascow
    • Glasgow Cathedral lite up with ground lights facing upwards
    • Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow with dim lighting illuminating the exterior features
  • Upwards angle of an old building in Glascow
    Upwards angle of an old building in Glascow
    Upwards angle of an old building in Glascow
  • Glasgow Cathedral lite up with ground lights facing upwards
    Glasgow Cathedral lite up with ground lights facing upwards
    Glasgow Cathedral lite up with ground lights facing upwards
  • Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow with dim lighting illuminating the exterior features
    Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow with dim lighting illuminating the exterior features
    Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow with dim lighting illuminating the exterior features

Things to do in Glasgow

In such a sprawling metropolis, you’ll never find yourself running short of amazing things to do in Glasgow. Spend some time exploring the gorgeous Glasgow Botanic Gardens or immerse yourself in the city’s long and storied history with a tour of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The next incredible Glasgow experience is always just around the corner.

The history of Glasgow Cathedral is tied to that of the city itself. Supposedly built on the site where St Mungo founded the city of Glasgow, the cathedral was constructed in the late 1200s, just prior to the Scottish Reformation period. It remains an active site of Christian worship today and is one of the city's most popular tourist destinations.


Constructed in the 1800s, the Glasgow City Chambers still operate as the seat of local government to this day. A historically sacred site, the City Chambers mark the moment Glasgow recognised its destiny as a global city. Tours are run daily and give an insight into the construction and artistry involved in the building and its goings on.


One of the finest art and design schools anywhere in the world, the Glasgow School of Art was designed by noted local artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The building, which opened in 1897 and remains in operation today, is widely regarded as Mackintosh's masterpiece. Tours and exhibitions run regularly.


Found in the East End, the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is an entire building dedicated to not only Scotland's primary religions, but also the history of all of the world's most significant structures of belief. It has hundreds of different pieces and offers a lovely, introspective way to spend time in the city's east.


Celtic Park is the home stadium of Glasgow's Scotland Premiership League football team, Celtic F.C. With 60,000 seats, Celtic Park is one of the best places in the city to take in some football among a crowd of people who love the beautiful game most. Make sure you attend a game against Glasgow's other major football team and Celtic's fiercest rivals, Rangers F.C.


For those who love history and nature, there's no better combination than the People's Palace and Winter Gardens. A combination of museum and greenhouse, the site serves as a repository of the city's social history from 1755 to the present. There's no better way to immerse yourself in Glasgow's more modern history than by visiting this attraction.


Housed within a former Neoclassical townhouse from 1776, the Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow (GoMA) is home to many hundreds of modern artworks by local artists. GoMA is also notable for its statue of the Duke of Wellington, which typically has a traffic cone perched at a jaunty angle on its head. Nobody knows who puts them there, and the cones are frequently removed, but it's a cheeky reminder that Glaswegians have little patience for authority figures.


Located on Argyle Street, adjacent to Kelvingrove Park, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery has an astounding 22 galleries with different themes, boasting 8,000 pieces. This state-of-the-art gallery is one of the most popular in the entire United Kingdom, so turning up early or going later in the afternoon is a good idea if you're keen to avoid the crowds.


One of the newest buildings in the city and located in the Glasgow Harbour district, the Riverside Museum is the current home of the Glasgow Museum of Transport. The complex also boasts numerous works by renowned Scottish artists. Exploring the museum is a delightful way to spend an afternoon in the Harbour district.


Glasgow's famous Mackintosh House was the home of legendary Scottish husband and wife artists Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Upon walking into the home, which was built in 1906, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd just stepped into an ultramodern penthouse. A true design touchstone and over a century ahead of its time, this site is a must-visit.


Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Glasgow travel tips

If this is your first time travelling to Scotland, or even travelling internationally, you may be in need of a few Glasgow travel tips. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Travelling to Glasgow as an Australian is an incredibly easy process. It’s been said that, for Australians, arriving in Scotland feels like a bit of a homecoming. There is much that Australia has in common with Scotland – our fanatical love of sports and a good beer for instance – so you’ll be feeling comfortable and at home in no time at all.

One of the best things about travelling to Scotland as an Aussie is that, unless you're intending to stay for longer than six months or are actively looking for work, you won't need a visa to enter the country. All that's required for Australian citizens to enter the UK (which comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is a current Australian passport.


When it comes to food, Glasgow has a little bit of everything. No matter what you're in the mood for, be it familiar franchises, local eateries serving international dishes or hearty, traditional Scottish cuisine (go on, be bold and try the haggis – it's actually alright), there's something to suit every taste.


Scottish electrical plugs and voltage are identical to that used in the rest of the UK. This is good news because it means you can take your Australian laptop, smartphone, portable batteries, cameras and other devices with you. All you'll need to charge them is a simple power adapter.


Located deep in the city's west, Glasgow Airport is the primary hub for all domestic and international travel to the area. A reasonably sized building and far from difficult to find your way around, should you arrive in Glasgow directly, this building will likely be your first taste of Scotland. Its uncomplicated terminal will be a blessing after a long-haul flight.


Scotland's currency is the pound sterling, the same currency used in the rest of the United Kingdom. The pound is typically worth quite a bit more than the humble Aussie dollar, so it's best to make a budget ahead of time to ensure you'll have enough funds to last you for the length of your adventure.


Tipping in Glasgow, as in Australia, is welcomed but not required. Say you've had a lovely meal at a nice restaurant and the service has been impeccable. In this instance, you might tip your server 15-20 percent of the total bill, but it's not necessary. In the case of a taxi ride, it's customary to round up to the nearest pound.


While English is the primary language in Scotland, the Glasgow accent is so thick that it's considered its own dialect: Glaswegian. Our top piece of Glasgow travel advice is: if you have trouble understanding someone, just ask them to repeat what they've said. Most locals are well aware their brogue can be a complicated one for the untrained ear.


Flights to Glasgow

Glasgow food and drink

Working out where to eat in Glasgow won’t take you very long. A modern European city, Glasgow is home to a thriving food and drink scene with many different international options, local and overseas chains, traditional Scottish cuisine, and upscale fine-dining. Better yet, every part of the city boasts its own favourite eateries, so no matter where you’re based, you won’t go hungry. Try the haggis if you’re feeling brave, or simply stick to what you know – in Glasgow, there’s no wrong answers when it comes to grabbing a bite.

If you enjoy getting to know a new city by eating everything in sight (a noble goal), spend your stay exploring the many Glasgow restaurant precincts that dot the city. One of the best and most well-known of these precincts lies along Byres Road in West End. For another trendy culinary experience, head to the riverside suburb of Finnieston or simply stick to the city centre.


While the West End is known as the coffee capital of Glasgow, don't overlook Northern Glasgow's more affluent suburbs. As with anything in Scotland, the Glasgow coffee scene is extremely competitive, with each major area of the city determined to outdo the rest. One thing's for sure, you won't struggle to find a good cup of coffee in this town.


As is the case in any self-respecting Scottish town, you'll never be far from a selection of quality pubs. Glasgow pubs and nightlife form the backbone of the city's food and entertainment culture, providing low-key spaces for drinks with friends and delicious meals. They also function as live music venues and, on the right night, the ideal place to experience a televised game of football.


Glaswegians love a good food market. From fresh produce to highly specific meats and exotic spices, and even the odd food truck, Glasgow food markets have a little something for everyone. Located in the city proper as well as out in the suburbs (try Govan or Clarkston), you'll find many great food and farmers' markets across Glasgow.


Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Glasgow through your eyes

Where to shop in Glasgow?

Glasgow shopping is a uniquely Scottish experience. From the vast shopping centres found throughout its various districts to the boutique fashion outlets in the more bohemian districts, Glasgow has a bargain to interest even the most discerning travellers. Many of the city’s nicest shopping precincts also rank among its most historic – recent renovations in the Merchant City district have seen a number of Glasgow’s most upmarket shops move into venerable warehouses and old buildings. This makes shopping a great way to grab a deal on a souvenir and take in some local history at the same time.

Glasgow markets are where you can find that special, truly unique souvenir from your time in Scotland. Open every weekend and scattered all over the city, visiting any of Glasgow's markets will allow you to peruse lots of locally made products and meet some of the colourful locals. If you're not sure where to go, ask at your hotel for a Glasgow shopping guide.


Located on Buchanan Street within the Style Mile is the Argyll Arcade. Home to over 30 of the city's finest jewellers, Argyll Arcade is a treasure trove of locally made jewellery and keepsakes with which to remember your incredible Scottish adventure. Among the most iconic Glasgow shopping centres, Argyll Arcade is well worth stopping by as you make your way through the city centre.


The Style Mile in the city centre is widely considered the home of Glasgow fashion. Also known as The Golden Z, the Style Mile will take you from Argyle Street in the south, along Buchanan Street and finally onto Sauchiehall (pronounced so-key-hall) Street in the north, forming a ‘Z' shape. This precinct has some of the most upmarket and desirable shopping in Glasgow.


The West End is Glasgow's bohemian art district. The running theme here is a defiantly Scottish ‘we'll do it ourselves' attitude. If you've been wondering what to buy in Glasgow, this area is full of family-owned businesses and local retailers selling handmade products of every kind. You're sure to find the perfect memento here.


Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Glasgow?

The locals will tell you that, without a doubt, if you want to experience the finest possible weather in Glasgow, then you should do your best to visit during the summer months. This is not to suggest that there’s no value in visiting Glasgow throughout the rest of the year, though, because there absolutely is. Only you can decide what constitutes the best time to travel to Glasgow. Just be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes if you plan to visit outside of summer.

Summer is the season in which the city is on its best behaviour weather-wise. The sun comes out, the rains disappear, and the Glasgow temperature hits its average highs of about 15°C to 20°C, making it the perfect time of year to soak up the great outdoors. Sure, it's a little chillier than the kind of temperatures we're used to in summer, but imagine how much easier that hike's going to be! Appropriate clothing: Cool weather gear – the locals claim it's summer, but as an Australian you may not agree Don't forget: Sunglasses – it's cool out but still quite glary


By far the most extreme of all the Glasgow seasons, winter turns the city into a beautiful, snowy postcard scene. Like their Irish cousins, the Scottish take the religious holidays at the end of the year quite seriously, making the weeks surrounding Christmas an interesting time of year to visit. Just be sure to stay warm out there. Appropriate clothing: Warm, waterproof clothing Don't forget: Snow boots


Autumn sees the temperature drop rapidly down to an average of about 7°C or below by late November. Along with colder temperatures, the Glasgow rainfall that disappeared in the summer months begins to build again, gradually threatening to become snow. This is the perfect time to explore all of the city's beautiful museums and galleries. Appropriate clothing: Your umbrella, just in case you get caught in the rain


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How to get around Glasgow

Given its heritage as an industrial town and a major freight hub, Glasgow transport has always been among the best in the UK. From reliable public transport to beautifully curated city streets made for walking or cycling, there are many options for getting around Glasgow. Additionally, because Glasgow is not as large a city as somewhere like Sydney or Melbourne, you won’t find yourself waiting for transport very long. Most routes are short and traffic is often minimal. Friendly reminder: be careful on the road after it’s been raining!

Glasgow taxis are one of the best ways to get around town when you've slept through your alarm and find yourself running way behind schedule. Fast, efficient and never far away, there are plenty of taxi companies in Glasgow ready to pick you up and get you where you need to go. Don't forget that ridesharing companies also operate in Glasgow.


Nextbike is the Glasgow bike hire system run by the city council that allows users to hire a bike online, pick it up from one of the many racks throughout the city, ride to a destination, and return the bike to their nearest rack. If you don't like being rushed, this allows you to set your own pace while exploring the city. It's also cheaper than other forms of public transport and environmentally friendly.


Travelling on Glasgow public transport is an ideal way to navigate the city on a budget. While there's a prepaid travel card system similar to the Opal or Myki systems here at home, it's actually divided into two separate cards. Smartcard lets you ride the subway and ZoneCard lets you ride the bus. Keep them handy at all times and remember which one is which!


Simply walking around Glasgow gives travellers the chance to slow down and really take in everything the city has to offer. Whether you want to follow an interesting inner-city walking trail or simply go for a wander and get your bearings, you never know what you'll find along the way. Watch the weather though – you don't want to get rained on!


Let us help you organise your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.

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What are the best parks in Glasgow?

Glasgow parks are everywhere. Even as you fly into Glasgow Airport, the one thing that will jump out at you right away is just how many parks there are. Pockets of green can be found in every part of city, natural havens among the hustle and bustle of daily life. Some of these parks commemorate great moments or people in Glaswegian history, while others are simply there for the benefit of Glasgow residents who love nothing more than appreciating a day of fine weather. Add some tranquillity to your itinerary with a tour of Glasgow’s loveliest parks.

Located in the West End and named for Queen Victoria's jubilee in 1886, Victoria Park is 20ha of gorgeous green landscape filled with activities for visitors both young and old. There are greens for picnics, areas for football, tennis and the great Scottish game of golf, hiking trails, monuments, and even a Fossil Grove that was discovered in the 1800s.


The Glasgow Botanic Gardens can be found on the banks of the River Kelvin in the heart of the West End. The gardens were originally built to serve the school of botany at the University of Glasgow but are now a public space with walking trails, monuments, Kibble Palace, and numerous glasshouses filled with native and overseas plant life.


Located in the bohemian West End district, and home to the world-famous Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Kelvingrove Park opened in 1852 and remains one of the city's most popular parks to this day. Historic sites and monuments abound, including the recently refurbished bandstand. The park backs onto the University of Glasgow and is a short walk from Mackintosh House.


Glasgow's second largest park at a whopping 80ha, Linn Park is a veritable hive of outdoor activities. Featuring walking trails and a public golf course, Linn Park has the space for just about everything you could possibly want to do in the outdoors. Explore the site's many monuments like the ruins of Cathcart Castle, or get a little orienteering in before dark.


Glasgow Green, established in the 1400s, is the city's oldest park and one of its most popular. Located in the East End along the banks of the River Clyde, it's packed with beautiful greens (hence its name), historical monuments, the iconic People's Palace, and numerous walking trails and sporting grounds. This is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll in the city.


Getting from park to park is so much better with your own wheels. Hitch your ride now!

Glasgow Frequently asked questions

When packing for a trip to Glasgow, don't forget the essentials like your visa, passport, chargers, camera, some GBP and the correct power adaptor. Clothing wise, check out the seasonality guides and pack to suit the conditions - aka plenty of  layers for winter and lighter options for summer. Other necessities include a raincoat, walking shoes, hat, sunglasses, wellies and a kilt*.

*Not essential, but where else will you be able to flaunt this bad boy 24/7? 


Glasgow is an incredibly walkable city, so you shouldn’t have any issues navigating all the sites. With this in mind, travellers generally opt to stay in Central Glasgow and West End.


Life happens - we get it! Read more here.


While Glasgow isn’t winning any prizes for year-round sunshine, it does give travellers the chance to experience all four seasons. Summer offers the hottest temps and long, sunny days between June and August, while winter will bring the cold, fog and snow between December and February. If you’re not a fan of the cold and are keen to make the most of your days in Scotland, we recommend visiting between March and August.


Beyond sampling haggis and shopping for your next kilt, Glasgow packs a mighty punch when it comes to holiday activities. Take your pick from days spent strolling through rolling hills, catching a gig at any of the bustling music venues, seeing a football game at Celtic park, exploring the Victorian-era Glasgow Necropolis and meeting some locals at the pub.


Flight Centre's travel experts are well versed in the art of decoding thick Scottish accents, and have worked hard to curate the best Glasgow holiday packages on the market. Sign up to get the hottest deals sent straight to your phone & emails here. You can also check out our deals online, or speak to one of our Travel Experts.


The current requirements for travelling to Glasgow

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