Glasgow’s stunning architecture provides a unique backdrop for a city break, whether you’re exploring the city’s museums and galleries, indulging in some retail therapy, or taking in its world-class entertainment
Why visit Glasgow?
You’ll find exceptional architecture everywhere you look in Glasgow, from the magnificent medieval Glasgow Cathedral and impressive City Chambers to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Scotland Street School Museum and House For An Art Lover.
Glasgow’s museums and galleries are home to many treasures, where you can find everything from whale bones to a world-class collection of Whistler paintings.
For avid shoppers, the compact nature of the city is a gift. Friends and family will love Glasgow’s Style Mile in the heart of the city, which is home to designer stores, independent boutiques and speciality shops. When you’ve shopped until you’ve nearly dropped, refuel at one of the city’s many independent cafes or restaurants.
Glasgow’s impressive foodie scene is vibrant and creative, serving up everything from modern Scottish and traditional dishes to a wide range of international cuisine. Pick up a picnic from one of the artisan eateries or specialist delis and head for one of Glasgow’s parks. The Botanic Gardens and Pollok Country Park, the city’s largest green space, both provide a perfect escape from the hubbub of the city.
Glasgow’s nightlife is as rich and varied as you’d expect in this cultural city, with comedy, cabaret, theatre and a legendary music scene. You will find plenty of opportunities to sample whisky, the nation’s favourite tipple, in the city’s many bustling pubs and bars.
Whether weekend city breaks in Glasgow are planned as a family treat, time out with friends, or a well-deserved getaway with your partner, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do in Glasgow.
A brief history of Glasgow
Glasgow’s beginnings as a city date back to the 12th century, with the consecration of its first stone cathedral in 1136. The University of Glasgow was established in 1451 as the city’s importance and influence increased, and by the late-19th century Glasgow had become one of the richest cities in the world.
After the Second World War, competition from overseas and a lack of investment saw Glasgow’s heavy industries heading into economic decline. Following major regeneration however, Glasgow was named European City of Culture in 1990 and City of Architecture and Design in 1999. It was the European Capital of Sport in 2003 and in 2014, played host to the Commonwealth Games.
When’s the best time to visit?
Culturally-rich, there are always things to do in Glasgow, but if you want to enjoy the best in Celtic entertainment, then there are two prime times of the year to visit. In January, Glasgow’s annual Celtic Connections festival celebrates Celtic music. Then, in August, the Piping Live festival takes place, featuring some of the biggest names in Scottish and international piping. This is followed by the World Pipe Band Championships, which attracts more than 5,000 musicians from all over the globe.
Spring is a great time for short breaks. Glasgow celebrates with the International Comedy Festival, featuring top names from the UK and beyond. Then in April, the biennial Glasgow International festival celebrates visual art.
Festival season gets into full swing during the summer months, with the West End Festival, Glasgow Mela, and the Glasgow International Jazz.
If you’re planning autumn weekend breaks, Glasgow hosts Doors Open Days in September, when some of the city’s most interesting buildings open their doors to the public.
Glasgow is a compact city, so it’s easy to explore on foot or by bike (on-street cycle hire is available). Alternatively there are local buses, the Subway (known as ‘the Clockwork Orange’), and a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour.
Take a look at our hotels in Glasgow and experience all the culture, shopping and food that this great Scottish city has to offer.