The 9 Best Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland

As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow is an ideal destination for those seeking a memorable city break. The gorgeous blend of modern and Victorian architecture highlights the unique character of this beautiful city. Renowned for its friendly locals, world-class museums and thriving arts scene, Glasgow beckons adventurers to uncover the best it has to offer 

In this guide, we showcase the 9 best things to do in Glasgow that are perfect for any trip. We highlight some of the best free things to do in Glasgow that will appeal to budget travellers before discussing some romantic options for couples. We then discuss the best things to do in Glasgow at night, whether you want to dive into the nightlife or explore the gothic dark side of the city. 

So join us as well explore the best things to do and places to see in Glasgow, we promise you won’t be disappointed. 

The Best Free Things to Do in Glasgow

Glasgow is a great place to go on a budget trip and is much cheaper than other UK destinations like London or Edinburgh. There are so many activities in Glasgow that are entirely free, which is ideal for those seeking an affordable escape. Below we highlight some of our favourite free things to do in Glasgow that will delight you and your wallet. 

Walk the City Centre Mural Trail

One of the best free things to do in Glasgow is the City Centre Mural Trail. There is some amazing street art in Glasgow which adds so much charm when exploring the city. A massive project was undertaken to revitalise the city and bring colour to the streets, turning the centre of Glasgow into an open-air art gallery.

It’s a very popular attraction in Glasgow, that offers a different way to explore the city. Some notable murals on the trail include ‘The World’s Most Economical Taxi’ and ‘Fellow Glasgow Residents’, which are both colourful and speak to the Glaswegian spirit. The trail is completely free and you can find a map of the murals online. 

However, if you want a more robust experience, you may want to take a walking tour of Glasgow’s street art with a knowledgeable guide. 

Visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

One of the most popular free things to do in Glasgow is exploring the fabulous collection of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is situated in Glasgow’s West End and is one of the most prominent cultural institutions in the city. The museum’s collection is extensive and includes exhibits on art, ancient history, Scottish culture and more. 

There are 22 galleries at Kelvingrove, so there is plenty to discover. There is a diverse range of Scottish art as well as galleries dedicated to natural history and ancient Egypt. If you find yourself in Kelvingrove at 1 pm, you can also attend a free organ recital which is a charming addition to the visitor experience. 

After you’ve had your fill of the museum, you can wander the expertly manicured grounds of Kelvingrove Park. This scenic setting is ideal for picnics and outdoor activities, providing a welcome escape from the busy city. If you are in Glasgow in summer, musical performances are often held in the bandstand in Kelvingrove, creating a delightful ambience. 

Get Active at Pollock Country Park

Another free thing to do in Glasgow is a trip to Pollock Country Park. This vast open space is just 5km outside of Glasgow city centre and is filled with cultural attractions and activities. Explore the grandeur of Pollock House,  an elegant Georgian mansion, or spend time wandering through the verdant woodlands. 

Pollock Country Park is one of the best places to go walking in Glasgow, with picturesque meadows and a well-managed network of trails. There are also play areas for children, interactive workshops as well as an equestrian centre with horseriding facilities. This makes it one of the best things to do in Glasgow for families as there is endless entertainment for children. 

One of the best parts about visiting Pollock Country Park is that you can explore the impressive Burrell Collection. Housed within a purpose-built gallery, the collection features a wide range of art and artefacts donated by Sir William Burrell. With medieval objects and Asian art, the diverse offering will appeal to any history buff.

The Best Things to Do in Glasgow for Couples

What is most surprising about Glasgow is that it’s a very romantic place, perfect for couples seeking a refreshing city break. Whether you want to sample the best malt whiskey on a decadent tasting or take a day trip to the stunning waters of Loch Lomond, there are so many activities in Glasgow for couples. 

Whisky Tasting at Clydeside Distillery

If your significant other has a taste for whisky, then a trip to Clydeside Distillery is in order. Situated on the north bank of the River Clyde, the distillery is housed within a Victorian pump house which pays homage to Glasgow’s industrial Heritage. The unique riverside setting and eye-catching architecture make the experience especially romantic. 

On a tour of Clydeside Distillery, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the entire whisky-making process, from malting to maturation. The distillery combines traditional methods with modern technology to create a distinctive and high-quality single malt whisky. 

Tours often include a whisky tasting, which provides visitors with more education about the different expressions of Clydeside whisky. During your tasting, you and your partner can enjoy picturesque views of the River Clyde and the surrounding area. Being both high-end and educational, this is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Glasgow for couples.  

Wander Buchannan Street

A great place to visit in Glasgow that is perfect for couples is the main shopping thoroughfare of Buchannan Street. The area has a vibrant atmosphere and a diverse range of shops, allowing couples to peruse as they’d like and soak up the street’s architectural beauty. Many of the buildings along Buchanan Street showcase impressive Victorian architecture, contributing to the street’s character and charm.

Buchanan Street is one of the best things to do in Glasgow for couples as there is such variety along the cobbles. You will often find street performers and musicians which makes the street feel very lively. There are also some important cultural landmarks here such as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the statue of Donald Dewar, Scotland’s first First Minister. 

If you’re looking for a romantic place for dinner in Glasgow, then Buchannan Street is a great choice. There are a variety of dining options that cater to different tastes, as well as cocktail bars where you can enjoy a drink with your loved one. 

Day Trip to Loch Lomond

Couples visiting Glasgow should take the opportunity to visit Loch Lomond on a day trip. The gorgeous landscape is truly enchanting and provides an intimate experience for romantic partners. It can be accessed via a 40-minute drive from Glasgow or you can book a guided tour of Loch Lomond that includes a visit to Stirling Castle.

Loch Lomond is located in The Trossachs National Park, which is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. You can explore the Loch on a boat and take in the picturesque landscape or you can hike the many trails in the area. What makes Loch Lomond great for couples is the presence of quaint villages like Luss, where you can enjoy a romantic stroll along the shore, taking note of the traditional cottages and gardens.

Things to Do in Glasgow at Night

Glasgow truly comes alive after sunset, with a vibrant evening scene catering to all interests. Whether you want to enjoy eclectic cocktails at Ashton Lane or find the best drinking spots in Glasgow on a pub crawl, you will be overjoyed by the things to do in Glasgow at night. Even those who don’t enjoy drinking can find fun evening activities in Glasgow, like gothic tours that are superbly macabre. 

Explore Ashton Lane

One of the best places in Glasgow for nightlife is Ashton Lane. This quirky, cobbled lane is known for its vintage shops and boutiques, but come the evening it transforms into one of Glasgow’s best social spots. There are a variety of bars and restaurants that offer a more laid-back atmosphere which is ideal for those seeking a distinctive night out in Glasgow. 

Ashton Lane has some of the best restaurants in Glasgow, offering Scottish cuisine and artistic ambience. There are some unique bars on Ashton Lane which offer eclectic cocktails and drinks. It’s a great place to go for evening entertainment in Glasgow as the atmosphere is truly inviting. 

Go on a Glaswegian Pub Crawl

It’s no secret that one of the best things to do in Glasgow at night is a bar crawl. There are a plethora of bars and pubs in Glasgow that are ideal for hopping around and making the most of the spirited evening atmosphere. You can book onto an organised pub crawl that will take you to the best drinking spots in the city or you can choose to explore your own way. 

Sauchiehall Street is one of the best places in Glasgow for bar crawls as the street is lined with incredible bars and clubs. Likewise, Merchant City is a very popular drinking spot. This area is known for its trendy bars and restaurants which offer a more upscale setting made all the more glamorous by the beautiful historic buildings. 

Take a Gothic Tour of Glasgow 

This may be one of the more unique things to do in Glasgow, but it’s a great choice for thrill seekers who aren’t interested in bar hopping. Glasgow has a fine selection of gothic buildings and any chilling urban legends are associated with its landmarks. If you’re keen to try unusual things to do in Scotland then a gothic tour of the city is just the activity for you. 

One of the best places to go for a spooky evening in Glasgow is the Necropolis, an old Victorian cemetery just next to Glasgow Cathedral. You can also find many operators offering Glasgow ghost walks, which will take you to some of the most haunted sites in the historic city.


Overall, there are so many things to do in Glasgow and our suggestions only cover a fraction of the experiences you can have in the city. The benefit of visiting is that there are so many free activities in Glasgow, meaning you can explore the top sites on a tight budget. Plus, with romantic settings and day trips, there is so much to do for couples in Glasgow. 

Aside from its museums and scenic buildings, there is also vibrant nightlife in Glasgow which caters to all interests. With unique bars on Ashton Lane and a variety of spots for pub crawls in Glasgow, those seeking evening adventures will be overjoyed. However, if you’d prefer to explore the paranormal side of Glasgow, a gothic tour might just be the evening activity for you. 

So, whether you find yourself immersed in the vibrant street art of Glasgow, savouring the tranquillity of Pollok Country Park, or enjoying a dram of whisky by the River Clyde, Glasgow promises an unforgettable experience. 

Have you been considering a unique trip to the UK? Browse our other travel guides like The 8 Best Places to Road Trip in the UK and 9 of the Best Places to Visit in Cumbria for more top advice.

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About the Author

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Tom Adams

I am an experienced writer with a diverse background, having lived in 7 countries by age 16. I have specialised in various topics throughout my career, such as archaeology, sports and travel writing. Having grown up abroad I feel a special connection with the countries I once called home, in particular China, Singapore and Thailand. With my archaeological background, I also have a plethora of historical knowledge about Italy, Greece and Egypt. My favourite thing to do while travelling is visiting museums and historic landmarks and learning more about the local culture. As a foodie, I also make a point of sampling as much local cuisine as possible whenever I visit a new country. My favourite place I’ve visited so far has to be New Zealand, but I also loved Hong Kong and Copenhagen.