What To Do In Glasgow In One Day
Explore The Centre
Start your day in Glasgow in George Square, the heart of the city. Go down Queen Street, choosing whether to pass some time in the Gallery of Modern Art with its guarding statue complete with an adorned traffic cone on its head (Glasgow does have a sense of humour).
From there, turn to the shopping district of the city by going down Royal Exchange Square to Buchanan Street. Buchanan Street and its adjoining Sauchiehall Street are the shopping sources for the centre of Glasgow, housing on its paved stones the vast majority of recognisable brands from the high-street names to designer stores. Decorated with beautiful Georgian buildings as well as every possible shop you could need, this part of the centre is a must-see stop for anyone with a slight interest in shopping.
See Some Local Talent
From the shopping district, head to the west end of the city, either by walking to the end of Sauchiehall Street and then through Kelvingrove Park (quite a long walk) or catch the nearest subway to Kelvinbridge. From here, walk up the Great Western Road to Òran Mór, a church turned pub and playhouse. This is a great spot to catch a taste of the Glaswegian theatre scene as well as catching a bite to eat, as Òran Mór runs a lunchtime special called A Play, A Pie And A Pint at 1pm Monday-Saturday. You’ll get a pie, a pint or glass of wine, and a short slice of original drama all for a reasonable price!
Embrace Your Green Fingers
From Òran Mór it’s an easy walk across the road to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens are a little haven of topicality in the middle of the city and have been in operation since 1817. Spend an hour or two exploring the various greenhouses, marvelling at the treasures that they hold, learn about the different species they house or simply enjoy the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle.
See Glasgow’s Religious Heritage
To see a different side of Glasgow, head to the east end of the city to savour its Medieval and Victorian past. Take the subway to High Street Station and then walk up the High Street to Glasgow Cathedral. This gorgeously dark Gothic building is linked to the religious history of the city, as it is known for being the alleged location for the church built by the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo. The University of Glasgow also has its foundations within the cathedral, as it began as classes held in the cathedral itself, with the Bishops of Glasgow serving as Chancellors of the University for around two hundred years. Although it technically hasn’t been a cathedral since 1690 as that was when it stopped being the seat of a bishop, the history of the cathedral is linked with that of the city, and hence is still worth a visit.
Dive Into The Victorian Past
After exploring the Cathedral walk across to the Necropolis. This is basically a fancy Victorian graveyard that in the 19th century the rich merchants and traders of the city decided to lay their bones to rest in when Glasgow was hit by the Industrial Revolution. It doesn’t sound that interesting, but the Necropolis is actually fascinating to walk round to look at the investment placed by these prominent people on their final resting place. Half the graves are like mini houses and are actually really ornate. Also, being on a hill, the Necropolis offers fantastic views of both the Cathedral and Glasgow below.
Visit A 500 Year Old House
To finish off your history tour, stop off at Provand’s Lordship across the road from the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art and the Cathedral. Supposedly the oldest house in the city, this historic house dates from the medieval period around 1471, having most likely once housed members of the clergy for the Cathedral. Once being numerous houses like this, Provand’s Lordship is the only remaining houses from this period in the city, the rest being demolished between the 18th and 20th centuries. It is a testimony to the religious heritage of the city and beyond that, it is fascinating to walk around such an old house and imagine people living in such buildings hundreds of years ago.
Marvel At The Local Street Art
Walking around Glasgow you are bound to run into some street art. But if you want to see some of the best in the city, walk back towards the city down High Street then along George Street. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some of the extremely impressive wall murals that decorate this part of the city, a nod to the artistic culture of Glasgow, particularly around the University of Strathclyde as you walk back towards George Square.
Exploring Scotland? For more travel inspiration, head over to the UK Travel Section for more ideas on what to see and do in Scotland and beyond.