Best Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland

If you’ve always wanted to check out the best things to do in Glasgow, now’s the time. The biggest city & culture hub of Scotland is experiencing a renaissance. It’s shed its rough-and-tumble reputation to become one of the hippest places to live in the United Kingdom—and even Europe as a whole.

Even if you only manage to carve out one day in Glasgow on your Scotland itinerary, it’s worth a visit. Among the top Glasgow attractions, you can check out age-old historical sites, like Glasgow Cathedral. You can sift through street markets & cool art galleries. Or you can sip on a refreshing ale or fine Scotch whiskey in a traditional Scottish pub.

Not sure where to go in Glasgow? Follow along with this guide to the best places to visit in Glasgow…

What to see & do in Glasgow

Go on a shopping spree on Buchanan Street

Even if you don’t enjoy shopping when you travel, walking along Buchanan Street is a must for any visit to Glasgow. Buchanan Street is the among the best places to shop in Glasgow. No matter which direction you turn, you’ll find a boutique carrying your favourite international brands. You’ll also scope out plenty of less-familiar local ones.

Don’t want to drop your hard-earned quid on clothing? Buchanan Street is still among the city’s top places to catch the beat of Glasgow.

Buchanan Street

Don’t want to drop your hard-earned quid on clothing? Buchanan Street is still among the city’s top places to catch the beat of Glasgow.

Your stomach and sweet tooth will thank you, as well. There’s a dizzying array of restaurants and cafés on Buchanan Street. Many have amazing desserts to pore over.

If you happen to visit in December, check out Glasgow’s Christmas markets. They take place at the end of Buchanan Street on St. Enoch Square.

Stare down history at the Scottish Opera Titanic Memorial

By now, you’ve probably heard a billion stories about the Titanic. That doesn’t mean you should skip out on the Scottish Opera Titanic Memorial. This top Glasgow attraction will enlighten you on the tale of the Titanic like no other place on earth.

Scottish Opera Titanic Memorial is a monument to the engineers who worked below deck on the Titanic. As the massive ship sank, these engineers were the selfless heroes who did everything they could to stop the mighty sea from crashing into the ship.

The Opera was once the headquarters for the professional Scottish engineers governing body. They built the memorial to honour their fallen comrades. There’s a mass held here each year. It reflects on the dangerousness and importance of engineering.

Dazzle at Glasgow Cathedral

Searching for traditional old European charms in Glasgow? Look no further than Glasgow Cathedral. Built in 1136, this cathedral has been the cultural symbol of the city for centuries. It remains the oldest building in Glasgow.

Glasgow Cathedral & Skyline

Glasgow Cathedral’s glorious Gothic form hails from the Middle Ages. It got its design “only” a few hundred years after its original inception. The high arches and stained glass windows are dazzling. They’re a must-see for every traveller to Glasgow.

While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to descend into the eerie 13th-century crypt. The crypt entombs the patron saint of Glasgow, St. Mungo.

Stroll through The Necropolis

The Necropolis is unlike any other cemetery in the world. You might recognize this top point of interest from eerie movies like Death Watch (1980). Seeing The Necropolis for yourself should be high up on your Glasgow sightseeing hit list.


The Necropolis isn’t built like a typical cemetery. Its Victorian monuments are spectacular works of art that beg to be seen. Many claim that the over-the-top design was to thwart would-be body snatchers during the early 1830s. Known as “resurrectionists,” body snatchers would dig up freshly buried corpses to sell them on the medical research market.

Try to visit The Necropolis in the morning during the sunrise to see it at its eeriest and most jaw-dropping.

Catch a Flick at the Glasgow Film Theatre

If you’re an avid movie-watcher, you’ll love the Glasgow Film Theatre. Not only does the theatre show the ultimate in world cinematic delights, but contemporary art house films. The theatre is also home to the annual Glasgow Film Festival.

Not only can you relax with a movie, but you can also grab a craft beer or a snack from Cafe Cosmo. The café is located inside the theatre itself.

Before you visit make sure you check online to see what’s playing on the Glasgow Film Theatre’s website. If you’re interested in visiting for the Film Festival, the 2021 Festival will start on February 24th and end on March 7th.

Solve mysteries at Tick Tock Unlock

Got a hankering for something a little different? One of the best places to break from the usual cycle of historical European attraction hunting in Glasgow is Tick Tock Unlock. This attraction is a live escape room game in the heart of the city.

Escape Room

If you’ve never done a live escape before, Tick Tock Unlock is the place to do it. Live escape games require participants to solve several different puzzles using clues to escape the room.

And in case you’re wondering: Even visitors with claustrophobia can partake without a meltdown. The escape rooms at Tick Tock Unlock are larger than other escape venues in Scotland.

Watch a show at SSE Hydro

Bands like Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, and Travis, and comedic icons like Billy Connelly once called Glasgow home. Performing arts run through this city’s veins. It’s no surprise that one of best things to do in Glasgow is to check out a show at SSE Hydro. The area arena is one of the top event venues in the city.

SSE Hydro

A ton of amazing bands & musicians have played at SSE Hydro since its opening in 2013. In recent years, some of the biggest names have included Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Twenty One Pilots, Shawn Mendes, and Keith Urban.

Other than famous musicians, there are several other events that go on there throughout the year, such as comedy shows and art venues.

There are also a ton of pubs and restaurants close to SSE Hydro. Most lie in Finnieston, an area recently pegged as one of the hippest places to live in Europe.

Where to stay in Glasgow for sightseeing

For most travellers, the best area to stay in Glasgow is the city centre. In staying here, you’ll be up close and personal with many of the city’s top points of interest. For destinations further afoot, the main transport hubs of Glasgow are also close by. Get your accommodations sorted with these top choices:

  • The Z Hotel Glasgow is a great option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel in the heart of the city. The rooms here are cozy yet comfortable. What really kicks this hotel up a notch, though, are the extra amenities. You’ll love the wine & cheese tasting every evening.
  • Hotel Indigo Glasgow is a sleek & stylish central hotel. It’s the perfect choice for mid-range travellers wanting to add a little flair to their stay. The central train station is also right next door for your day-trippin’ pleasure.
  • Dakota Glasgow is among the top luxury picks in the city centre. This classy 4-star hotel offers chic style and spacious, comfortable rooms. The modern brasserie serves innovative British cuisine & classic cocktails. It’s a fantastic retreat for an evening in.

Related attractions guides


Treksplorer is a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. Originally launched in 2011 by founder & editor Ryan O'Rourke to document his travels in East Asia & Central Europe, Treksplorer now includes things to do, where to stay, when to visit, and hiking & walking guides spanning over 30 countries from Japan to Spain and Canada to New Zealand.

DISCLAIMER: Treksplorer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its affiliated international sites.

DISCLAIMER: You'll notice that from time to time I link out to recommended hotels/tours/products/services. If you purchase anything through these links, I'll receive a commission. It won't cost you anything extra, but it will help keep me trekkin' on and delivering more free (and unsponsored!) travel information to you. Thanks :)