As Scotland’s largest city, it’s verging on impossible to explore Glasgow in a day. This doesn’t mean you can’t try! Whether impromptu getaway or whistle-stop tour, all it takes is a few minutes of immersion for the city to reveal its true self. Explore our 24-hour Glasgow travel guide and soak up the addictive ambience of the Dear Green Place.
If a job’s worth doing then it’s certainly worth doing well. That includes breakfast! Start the day with a memorable meal — think fluffy pancakes, eggs whizzed up in every way imaginable, full Scottish and freshly squeezed juice — at legendary Glasgow haunt Cafe Gandolfi housed in the city’s old cheesemarket. Honest Scottish produce, effortlessly cool design elements and inimitable tastes make this one a winner.
After soaking up the Merchant City atmosphere watching the Glasgow world go by, start strolling towards George Square to marvel at the City Chambers, an architectural masterpiece opened in 1888 by Queen Victoria. Each opulent detail alludes to the time when Glasgow was the Second City of The Empire. The free tours are brilliant, although nothing can prepare for the staircase — a cascading sweeping vision of glimmering Italian Carrara marble and the largest of its kind in Western Europe. Art lovers can swing by the nearby GoMA for a mind-reeling showcase of local and international modern art.
Next stop, the Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre For Architecture and Design and the first ever public commission of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Be sure to investigate every floor and scale the Instagrammable spiraling stairs to achieve unrivaled cityscape views.
There’s no better act to follow The Lighthouse than a trip to The Willow Tea Rooms, a must-visit place for a foodie pit stop brimming with mesmerizing Mackintosh décor and truly magical eats. Although venturing to the surrounding style mile and Sauchiehall St is tempting, take a three-minute stroll to the legendary Glasgow School of Art and admire the design prowess. It’s worth having a gander inside and the shop has great gift ideas from GSA artists.
The perfect way to spend the afternoon is a trip to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, a vibrant space overflowing with eclectic exhibits and cultural collections, including a Dalí masterpiece.
Just a brisk 11-minute walk and swift taxi ride from Kelvingrove is Ubiquitous Chip, a dynamite eatery and respected Glasgow culinary institution amassed with fairy lights and leafy Jungalow vibes. Take advantage of the contemporary Scottish menu and boutique drinks list and let the evening unfold. The Chip empire also boasts a magical Roof Terrace, the aptly named Wee Pub (a firecracker of a dram den and the smallest in Scotland) and The Corner Bar.
If you can pry yourself away from The Chip, take a wander down Ashton Lane, perhaps the prettiest street in all of Glasgow, and explore the tempting attractions. Brel is a fine place to kick back and relax with Belgian beverages and other elixirs from afar. Suited to conversations and people watching, the outdoor courtyard is a dream come true.
To end the Glasgow whistle-stop tour, why not take a taxi to The Corinthian Club and live out all Vegas desires in the swanky casino. Then again, the cocktails at the many bars of this gem are out of this world too. Those in it for the music can hit up Glasgow’s network of live music venues, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut included. Expect a night like no other!