Check out Panoptic’s Picks for The Top 10 Best things to do in Glasgow! A city that is known for its warm and friendly people, with the famous slogan ‘People Make Glasgow’. Ask your average Glaswegian for directions and they will likely chat to you for ages giving you directions, or take you there themselves! No matter where you are in Glasgow, you can be sure to get a chat and a laugh from someone! The city’s character is also made up of its vibrant music scene, fantastic restaurants, bars and beautiful architecture and so much more…
Top 10 Best Things to do in Glasgow
(Written by a Local!)
1. Have Afternoon Tea, Mackintosh Style!
The Willow Tea Rooms is a historic work of art nestled in Glasgow city centre, where everything from the layout down to the furniture was designed by world-renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh! It welcomed its first customers in 1903 and is now a living museum of his design work!
For only £5.50, you can walk through the building which has been made into an exhibition full of visual, audio and interactive displays.
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If you want the authentic Mackintosh experience, you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the ‘Salon De Luxe,’ The Willow’s original historic tea room! Alternatively, if it’s a sunny day, why not tuck into a traditional Scottish lunch on the rooftop terrace?
If you’d like to take a piece of Mackintosh home with you there is a shop full of beautiful gifts made by local artists in Charles Rennie Mackintosh design.
2. Have a Scotch on The River Clyde
Whether you’re a whiskey lover or just want to experience all things Scottish, this is one not to be missed! The Clydeside Distillery is a single malt scotch whisky distillery that is situated on the river Clyde that runs through Glasgow city centre.
You can choose from a range of different tailored tours and experiences including a whiskey and chocolate tasting! There is also a cafe where you can enjoy a ‘wee dram’ and a traditional Scottish lunch, and a whiskey shop if you taste something you just need to take home!
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Why not make a day out of it? You can rent a Glasgow city bike from one of the ‘OVO Bike’ stations dotted around the city and soak up the beautiful views while cycling along the river Clyde to the Distillery. (There are 12 bike racks right outside!)
The characterful venue is also available for exclusive hire, it is perfect for unique private dining experiences, parties and events with a number of beautiful spaces for you to choose from!
3. See it For Yourself… The Bar That Everyone’s Talking About!
This totally instagrammable hidden hotspot is situated on the top floor of the YOTEL Glasgow. Soak up beautiful panoramic views of the city while you eat, drink, bowl and party in style!
This neon-lit bar and bowling alley host regular DJ nights, monthly disco brunch parties and fantastic entertainment 7 nights a week! They also serve stylishly delicious pub grub and cocktails that are to die for, whether you’re looking for a place to have some fun on a weeknight or morning-to-night madness on the weekend, VEGA is the place to be!
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If you’re looking for something extra special, why not book their semi-private VIP room or private dining space? They also have coworking tables that you can work from during the weekdays and private event space for meetings with all of the meeting essentials!
4. Laugh Until Your Cheeks Hurt at One of The Worlds Top Comedy Clubs!
Glaswegians are known for their humour and this stand-up comedy club is the place to be to experience it! The stand is an intimate, relaxed stand-up club in Glasgow’s west end, but don’t let the size fool you, it has come to be recognised as one of the top comedy venues in the UK and is said to be one of the best in the world! It also hosts acts during the international Glasgow Comedy Festival in March each year that is not to be missed!
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The club hosts live entertainment seven days a week with a mixture of top, up-and-coming acts and every night, without fail, you can hear the laughter from the street as you walk past!
Red Raw is their weekly showcase of new acts and is regarded as the best in the UK, it hosts different hilarious beginner acts as well as some surprise big-name comedians (such as Frankie Boyle, Kevin Bridges and Dylan Moran) that hit the stage to test out their new material! Prices start at just two pounds for the Red Raw beginners’ night on Tuesdays to a maximum of £15 for the premium Saturday night show.
5. Discover Glasgow’s Famous Street Art!
The City Centre Mural Trail was set up to promote some of the inspirational street art that has been created in Glasgow in recent years, making it easy for people who aren’t familiar with Glasgow to discover the incredible gems that are dotted about the city.
Street art is not only viewed as valued additions to Glasgow’s buildings, it is even encouraged by the Glasgow city council and seen to enrich the city by covering up ‘dreich’, dull buildings with outstanding pops of colourful artwork.
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Make a day of it by following the Mural Trail map! All of the pieces are within walkable distance of each other, however, if you are walking, I recommend picking a cluster of murals that you’d like to see as it can be a long day of walking!
As you walk through the city, discovering the beautiful murals and the characterful streets of Glasgow, why not grab a bite to eat, get a drink and get immersed in the local lifestyle?
Panoptic’s Top Pick
One of our absolute favourites is ‘Saint Mongo’. It shows the patron saint of Glasgow with a robin. Telling the story of one of his miracles, where he brought a pet bird back to life as a child.
One For Insta!
Looking for an instagrammable spot in Glasgow? This photo-realistic mural shows a girl with a magnifying glass, picking something up off the street. Stand under her fingers and get that insta-worthy perspective photo that looks like she’s picking you up!
6. The Hidden Lane with The Famous Atmosphere!
Tucked away in the heart of Glasgow’s west end is the beloved hidden gem, Ashton Lane. The charming cobbled street is wrapped in twinkling fairy lights and lined with iconic restaurants, trendy bars and the sound of live entertainment that is sure to put a spring in your step. The street may be small but the atmosphere is larger than life!
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Where to get a drink on Ashton Lane?
On a sunny day, it is a favourite local hotspot to have a drink, some lunch and soak up the sun! Check out Brel Bar’s beer garden.
Where to eat on Ashton Lane?
Calling foodies everywhere! Ubiquitous Chip is an absolute must-try restaurant when you’re in Glasgow. The brasserie serves Scottish inspired favourites in a mezzanine setting flooded with leafy vines, and water features. An absolutely serene dining experience!
What to see on Ashton Lane?
Catch a Movie at the Grosvenor Cinema, Glasgow’s fully licensed cinema! Get cosy on a comfy full-size couch, and enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, and a blockbuster.
7. Put The ‘Crazy’ in Crazy Golf!
Who doesn’t love a game of crazy golf? Well Golf Fangs takes the ‘crazy’ in crazy golf to another level! With 18 holes of pure entertainment, it was designed to tribute Glasgow’s renowned entertainment scene and is covered from wall to ceiling by bespoke graffiti art done by local artists, flooded with neon lights and interactive displays. Each hole is different and inspiring in its own way, giving you a new experience at every turn!
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The atmosphere is surreal, with dimmed lights and bright neon displays and a whole lot of fun in the air. Add DJs, cocktails and street food to the mix and it’s an experience you won’t forget!
There are different packages to choose from and they also offer the venue for private hire, get inspired and make a statement with your next party or corporate event!
8. Meet Some Highland ‘Coos’!
Pollock Country Park
Pollock Park is a beautiful green haven in the south side of Glasgow. The park is steeped in history and is best known for its lusciously green woodland trails, beautiful wildlife gardens, charming Museums and, you guessed it, ‘Highland Coos’! These lovable long-horned, fluffy-furred cows are iconic to Scotland and you can meet them here in the city!
Pollok has won both the ‘Best Park in Britain’ and the ‘Best Park in Europe’ awards! Despite its popularity, Pollok Country Park is still a quiet sanctuary for both its visitors and wildlife, it is the perfect place for a day of relaxation and to escape the busy city!
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You could easily spend a day soaking up the scenery, but if you’re looking for something to do, there’s plenty! Have a picnic at one of the picnic areas or grab lunch at the country house, test your skills on an orienteering course or say hello to some highland cows, check out the museums (for free!) or admire the historic buildings on a walk through the gardens!
If you’re looking for something for an extra-special day, Pollock House is available for hire, for private parties, corporate meetings, private dining, team building days and good-old-fashioned Scottish Ceilidh’s!
9. Visit Glasgow’s Top Art Gallery & See the City’s Famous Practical Joke!
The Gallery of Modern Art is housed in an 18th Century neoclassical stone building in the heart of Glasgow, at the centre of Royal Exchange Square. It showcases permanent and temporary exhibitions of contemporary artwork by both acclaimed local and international artists.
Glasgow itself is renowned for being the top city in the UK for art, architecture and design – with one of the world’s most extensive collections of art, and top-ranking art schools, ‘Glasgow School of Art’. Is it any wonder that this museum is Scotland’s most visited art gallery?
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What does GoMA showcase?
You’ll find a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions of contemporary artwork by both acclaimed local and international artists here, there is also a permanent display that charts the history of the building… and it’s free to visit!
The Gallery also host regular temporary exhibitions and events with artists that are any art lover’s dream! It also offers a lovely cafe, a shop, and a beautiful library.
If art isn’t your thing then you should at least see the building itself, and more importantly the famous statue out front! It’s a statue of the Duke of Wellington riding a horse that has become the city’s long-standing practical joke.
For over 30 years locals have been placing a traffic cone on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue. When authorities remove the traffic cone, it is quickly replaced by another one! Visit the city’s infamous joke and don’t forget to get a picture of the Duke (and his cone!)
10. Attend a Gig at One of The Most Iconic Live Music Venues in The World!
If you’re a music fan, a gig at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut is not to be missed! The live music venue hosts top live up-and-coming music acts every weekend. It opened in 1990 and has been at the forefront of the Scottish live music scene ever since and continues to be one of the most celebrated venues in the world.
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Book a ticket for as little as £9 and dance the night away as you discover top new and emerging bands! If you’re thinking the atmosphere has something extra special about it, it does! King Tuts has supported some of the music industry’s biggest names at the start of their careers: from Oasis, to Radiohead, The Killers, Juliette Lewis, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, Florence & The Machine, Biffy Clyro, Snow Patrol, The Cribs, The Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Lewis Capaldi and Paolo Nutini plus many, many, more!
Considering Glasgow for your next event? Get in touch to find out more!
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