A Weekend Trip to Glasgow | A Culture Filled City Break Guide for First-Timers
Take the Train
If you are travelling from cities situated north of Glasgow, you’ll be arriving at Glasgow Queen Street station. The station opens up on George Square, one of Glasgow’s main squares dominated by the City Chambers’ grand building (more about it later).
Travelling from any location south of the city, you’ll likely be arriving at Glasgow Central station, the busiest train station in Scotland. You will need at least 4.5 hours to reach Glasgow from London, and 3.5 hours from Manchester. With a journey time around one hour from Edinburgh, Glasgow is a clear winner if you want to escape the crowds of the Scottish capital at the weekend.
Fly into Glasgow
The Glasgow Airport Express service 500 is the shuttle bus that connects Glasgow airport to the city centre in just 15-20 minutes. The bus departs every 30 minutes 24/7 just outside the terminal. A single ticket costs £4.50 only. To save time, I usually buy mine online and show it to the driver when boarding the bus.
Where to Stay During your Trip to Glasgow
What to Do During your Weekend Trip to Glasgow
Take a tour of the University of Glasgow
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOWFree access to the grounds
Address: University Avenue, Glasgow
How to get there: I walked 30 minutes from Glasgow city centre heading west. Taking a stroll through Kelvingrove Park on the way made the journey more enjoyable.
Tip: Take advantage of the guided tour and the money goes towards supporting the students.
Walk the Alleys of Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis
ST MUNGO'S CATHEDRAL & NECROPOLISFree
Address: Castle Street, Glasgow
How to get there: It is a 15 minutes walk from the Merchant City to the East End. I accessed the Necropolis through Church Lane, a cobbled street at the back of St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art.
Tip: Take a stroll down High Street till you reach Glasgow Cross. At its centre still stands the Tolbooth Steeple, the only surviving building of Glasgow’s 17th century town hall.
Lose Yourself in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUMFree
Address: Argyle Street, Glasgow
How to get there: The museum is located 30 minutes on foot west of the city centre.
Tip: As you are already here, visit Kelvingrove Park and the University of Glasgow situated nearby if you don’t wish to come back later on to this part of the city.
Visit Glasgow City Chambers
Stroll Around the West End and the Botanic Gardens
Address: 730, Great Western Road, Glasgow
How to get there: I walked 40 minutes from the city centre to the Botanic Gardens on a beautiful day from the city centre. Alternatively you can take the subway from Buchanan Street to Hillhead, you’ll be there in 15 minutes.
Tip: The University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove are very near, so you might want to visit these two great places while you are in the neighbourhood.
Browse the Shops in Buchanan Street
Where to Eat in Glasgow
Essential Tips for Visiting Glasgow
- Getting There | Search for the best flight deal to Glasgow with Skyscanner. For train tickets, you can buy online on ScotRail, the main train company servicing Scotland.
- Where to Stay | There is no shortage of hotel rooms on Booking.com but if you are a light sleeper, you may want to make sure the neighbourhood is quiet enough at night time. As mentioned earlier, I stayed at the Premier Inn Glasgow City Centre South Hotel, cheaper than most hotels and away from the pubs and late bars. Check the latest prices.
- Where to Go Next | Located just 30 minutes north of Glasgow by train, Stirling is a must-see for those who love a good Scottish castle to explore and an historic market town to visit. You can read more about Stirling on my blog here and where to stay if you’re planning to stay the night.
- Planning | For more advice on things to do and where to eat during your weekend trip to Glasgow, why not buy Lonely Planet’s Scotland Travel Guide. I like to bring a hard copy on my travels for last minute research and inspiration. For francophones, the French version is available to buy online here.
- Travel Insurance | Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before visiting Glasgow. Heymondo has a nifty app to help you get the assistance you need while on the go.