Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, home to more than 10% of the country’s population. Where the capital city of Edinburgh prides itself on its traditions and history, Glasgow tends toward the more modern. Long known as a city of heavy industry, Glasgow has remade itself into a center of art, music and innovation. The city is located on the River Clyde, which runs west out into Firth of Clyde and the ocean beyond.

The new and old of Glasgow, Creative Commons photo by Robert Orr.

The new and old of Glasgow, Creative Commons photo by Robert Orr.

Getting to Glasgow

There are two major airports in Glasgow, Glasgow International Airport (GLA) and Glasgow Prestwick (PIK), plus another specifically for seaplanes. Glasgow Central railway station is the largest rail hub in Britain outside of London, and trains arrive from London Euston once or twice an hour. It’s about an hour-long drive from Edinburgh on the M8, or a six-hour trek from London on the M6 and A74.

Once you’re there, Glasgow has a great system of buses and rail both inside the city and out to the most popular attractions nearby. And, as of October 2014, there is also a bus ticket app, so you don’t have to worry about buying paper tickets at a station.

Things to Do in Glasgow

Glasgow hosts some of Scotland’s best museums and cultural gems, including:

  • The Theatre Royal
  • Riverside Museum
  • The Mitchell Library
  • The Gallery of Modern Art

If you’re more of a sports fan than an art appreciator, Glasgow has you covered. Football fans can take in the magnificent atmospheres of Celtic Park and Ibrox, homes of bitter rivals Celtic and Rangers respectively. If you’re lucky enough to be in town when the Scottish national team is playing, a trip to Hampden Park is not to be missed. Cricket, rugby, basketball and ice hockey are also well represented.

>> Check our Glasgow events calendar for upcoming festivals and events in the city.

Glasgow’s music scene has become one of the most vibrant and important in Europe, producing bands like Franz Ferdinand, Belle and Sebastian, Idlewild, Chvrches and too many more to list here. From big venues like the Hydro and SECC to tiny neighborhood bars, you’ll never be starved for live music here.

Glasgow is also the gateway to the coast and islands of western Scotland. Some trips starting in Glasgow:

Places to Stay in Glasgow

There are dozens of hotels in the city center that give you easy access to Glasgow’s best culture and shopping. The city’s neighborhoods are quite distinct, and you should consider what attractions you want to be closest to when deciding which area of the city is right for you. For more budget-minded travelers, or just those looking to hang out with other visitors, there are several hostels around the city that offer cheap shared or private rooms.

A few recommended hotels:


citizenM Hotel Glasgow

Fraser Suites

Fraser Suites Glasgow

Grand Central

Grand Central Hotel