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Glasgow Tourism And Travel Guide
8.5° C / 47.2° F
March to September
3 to 4 Days
Glasgow International Airport
Glasgow Central Station
Glasgow is one of the most well-known cities in Scotland and is situated along the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. The inhabitants of the city are known as ‘Glaswegians’ and their distinct dialect is referred to as Glasgow patter; it is often considered quite difficult for foreigners to decipher their style of English. Glasgow offers its visitors a wide variety of entertainment and local attractions, which makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions not just in Scotland, but in the UK. Glasgow was initially just a small rural settlement on the Clyde river that underwent substantial economic growth after becoming the largest seaport in Scotland. The establishment of the University of Glasgow further brought recognition to the city and helped put it on the map.
The present-day Glasgow consists of several neighbourhoods and districts that appeal to travellers of all tastes and backgrounds, which helps the tourism industry of the city to a great extent. Here is a travel guide to offer you more details about this versatile city and help you plan your own trip.
How to Reach
Glasgow has three major airports; the Glasgow International Airport, the Glasgow Prestwick International Airport and the Edinburgh Airport. Out of these, Edinburgh Airport is located the farthest away from the city at 50 km. The Glasgow International Airport is the busiest one out of the three and is serviced by most major airlines. Public buses and taxis are available from all terminals to various destinations across the city.
There are two main railway stations in Glasgow. The Glasgow Central Station receives connections from the southern part of Scotland and England, while the Glasgow Queen Street Station connects to north Scotland. There are several trains that come into Glasgow daily from all over the UK, with at least 20 trains coming in from London alone.
The wide network of roads and highways makes Glasgow accessible from all over Europe. The main highways linking Glasgow are the M8 from Edinburgh, the M74 from England, the A82 from the Highlands, the M80 from Stirling and the M77 from the West Coast of Scotland. There are public and private buses available from all over the country, including taxis and car rentals as well.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summer (June – August):
Summers mark the beginning of peak tourist season in Glasgow. With average temperatures in the range of 20⁰C, the weather is warm and sunny most days and makes outdoor exploration of the city very enjoyable. While chances of rain exist all through the year in a place like Glasgow, they are the least during summers. The sun often sets as late as 11 pm during these months, which gives travellers plenty of daylight hours to enjoy most attractions of the city.
Autumn (September – October):
Autumn is generally associated with frequent rain in Glasgow. The initial few weeks in September are pleasant enough for a visit but the temperature continues to fall as the season progresses and chances of rainfall increase substantially.
Winter (November – February):
Winters in Glasgow are typically the off-season for tourists. The weather gets bitterly cold and the temperature reaches highs of only around 5⁰C. Chances of precipitation are quite high during this season, which can often be seen in the form of snowfall. If you are someone who enjoys a city covered in snow, winters in Glasgow might be a fun time for you. The cheap hotels are another advantage of visiting in winters.
Spring (March – May):
Spring season in Glasgow is characterized by cool weather towards the first half of the season that gradually grows warmer as summers approach. The average temperature during these months is around 8⁰C, which increases to around 15⁰C as May arrives. Rain can occur at any time and the weather is very unpredictable in that regard during these months.
Things to Do
Sightseeing Bus or Walking Tour:
The City Sightseeing Bus Tour is one of the most popular activities for tourists in Glasgow, especially if you are a first time visitor. The bus runs every ten or twenty minutes from 21 different spots across the city and introduces travellers to most attractions within Glasgow. There is also a tour guide on board to offer information about the different places. The walking tour can be arranged through any one of the tourist agencies in Glasgow; these include private tours and half-day tours as well.
Visit the Museums:
Glasgow is packed with numerous museums and art galleries that will interest all kinds of travellers. Places like the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Riverside Museum, St Mungo’s Museum, Hunterian Art Gallery etc. are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Glasgow and receive visitors all through the year. The Gallery of Modern Art showcases the artwork of some of the best local artists as well as highlight influences from international artists.
Spend a Day at the Parks:
If you are travelling with family and children, enjoying a picnic in one of the many parks and gardens would be a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in Glasgow. With over 90 parks spread across the city, you’ll have so many options to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice. Pollock Country Park and Kelvingrove Park are a couple of the most frequented ones by both locals and tourists.
Where to Shop
Glasgow is a paradise to a shopping aficionado. Whatever your taste, everything from big-name brands to vintage wares is at your purchasing disposal here in Glasgow. The city centre features the biggest concentration of stores in town; some of the popular ones in the city like Buchanan Galleries, St. Enoch Centre, House of Fraser, Ingram Street etc. are all located here. Barras Market located at the east end of Glasgow is one of the oldest markets here and features old fashioned stalls and vintage stores as its main highlight. Buchanan Street and Argyle Street are also some of the prominent shopping spots in the city.
Where to Eat
Most travellers would associate Glasgow with all things deep-fried. The city is known for its soul-satisfying comfort food that combines a mix of cuisines from around the world. While all of that still holds true, Glasgow has reinvented its dining scene with a variety of upscale and sophisticated eateries that provide a perfect balance to the informal yet comfortable dining spots.
Try a taste of North-Indian cuisine in the heart of Scotland with a visit to The Dhabba, which is an upmarket Indian restaurant with chefs that previously served the rich and famous back in India. Mother India and Dakhin are also great places if you are homesick for Indian food in Glasgow. Ubiquitous Chip, Gamba, Ox and Finch, Spanish Butcher and Stravaigin are the best eateries in the city if you want top-notch quality in food. Fanny Trollopes is a great restaurant for an authentic Scottish experience, which uses seasonal ingredients to produce most of its dishes and hence, doesn’t usually carry a fixed menu.