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Planning to spend one day in Glasgow, Scotland? Feeling overwhelmed about how to plan your time in the city? We understand; we’ve been in your shoes. There are an astounding number of things to do in Glasgow – and trying to plan a succinct 1-day itinerary is not so simple. No need to fret. We are sharing the perfect way to see Glasgow in a day!
Best Things To Do in Glasgow in One Day
Glasgow is an amazing city filled with historic sights, engaging museums and scenic landscapes. The vibrant and lively downtown is the heart of the city, but what to see in Glasgow extends beyond the urban core. In fact, some of the very best things to do in Glasgow are found outside of the center.
With so many attractions spread out from one end to the other – deciding what to see in Glasgow in 1 day can be perplexing. However, with a solid trip plan, even travelers limited to visiting Glasgow in one day can still see the all the best sights!
One Day Trip to Glasgow
We were staying in Edinburgh when we decided to take a one day trip to Glasgow. The two cities are just 45 miles (72 km) apart and it’s easy to travel from one to the other by bus or train. (We discuss more about getting to Glasgow later.)
We were intent on making the most of our day in Glasgow – and didn’t want to miss a single sight. As we researched what to see and do in Glasgow, our list of attractions grew. Bearing in mind opening hours and walking distances, we carefully planned our detailed day trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
We know our plan of what to see in Glasgow in a day works – because we’ve already done it! We are now detailing everything you need to know to plan your trip to Glasgow.
Pro Tip: In the end, we saw everything on our One Day Itinerary Glasgow list, but realized that we could have easily spent 2 days in Glasgow – if not longer. If you are still deciding how many days to spend in Glasgow, we share itinerary tips for longer trips at the end of the article.
Update: Since our first One Day Glasgow Trip, we returned for a much longer stay and have discovered additional fun things to do! Therefore, after we outline an ideal Itinerary for Glasgow Things To Do in One Day, we will feature more incredible places to see in Glasgow.
How To Spend One Day in Glasgow: 20 Sights to See
Our outline for how to spend a day in Glasgow covers the must-see sights – as well as tips for what to eat during your trip. We have organized our Glasgow 1 Day Itinerary so that the attractions are listed in the order that we recommend visiting them.
We share a map link to each sight so that you can easily route yourself from one to the next. To save time (and your feet!), we also recommend using the Glasgow Underground on two occasions (which we note in the itinerary). Additionally, we share a complete Map of Glasgow Attractions at the end of the article.
Save, Pin or Bookmark this Glasgow Travel Guide to plan your trip to Scotland!
#1 Glasgow Cathedral
MAP. Start your One Day in Glasgow Itinerary at the Cathedral. The Gothic Cathedral in Glasgow is an extraordinary sight and a must-see for your trip to Scotland. The late Queen Elizabeth II attended services here twice, once in 1977 and again in 2012 to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
The grand structure dates to the year 1136, making it the oldest building in Glasgow today. The Glasgow Cathedral is dedicated to St. Mungo (also called St. Kentigern) – the city’s patron saint who is buried at the church crypt (be sure to go down the stairs to see the cavernous space). The church interior is dimly lit by sunlight that filters through the colorful stained-glass windows.
#2 Glasgow Necropolis
MAP. Some travelers might think it’s strange to include a cemetery in their Glasgow One Day Itinerary, but the Glasgow Necropolis is truly one of the best sights in the city. Covering 37 acres, it is believed to be one of the first mixed-faith burial sites in the world.
Located on a hill that rises behind the Cathedral, the Glasgow cemetery – where 50,000 Glaswegians are buried – hosts a number of ornate and striking monuments. Pedestrian paths weave through ‘The City of the Dead,’ passing gravesites and memorials which date to the mid- to late-1800s.
#3 St. Mungo Street Art
MAP. It would be impossible to spend a day in Glasgow and not notice the impressive displays of street art. Detailed murals and graffiti tags grace the sides of buildings and are tucked along inconspicuous side streets.
While street art has decorated the city since the 1970s, Glasgow’s recent Mural Project has brightened blighted spaces. Artist Smug, who lives in Glasgow, has contributed many works – including Saint Mungo, one of his most famous Glasgow art murals, at 287 High Street. We highly recommend including the mural in your 1 Day Glasgow Itinerary.
#4 High Street, Glasgow
MAP. High Street is one of the oldest streets in Glasgow, and in Medieval times, was the main thoroughfare. Lined with Victorian tenements, the curving street slopes down toward the River Clyde, marking the eastern edge of Merchant City. (We’ll visit Merchant City later in the day.)
The most significant sight along Glasgow High Street is the 7-story Tolbooth Steeple, a clocktower that was built in the year 1626. Adjacent to the steeple is another one of the interesting Glasgow sites – the replica Mercat Cross. Historically was used to mark the location of the market (but this one was built in 1930).
#5 St. Andrew’s Square, Glasgow
MAP. St. Andrew’s Square is dominated by the 18th century church, St. Andrew’s in the Square. The exquisite classical church was designed in a style similar to St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and ranks as one of the oldest churches in Glasgow.
Although St. Andrew’s in the Square no longer functions as a church (it has been renovated into an event center), it is still worth including in your 1 Day in Glasgow Itinerary. Take a peek into the square to admire the outstanding architecture.
Travel Tip: Music lovers who plan to visit Glasgow in one day will want to squeeze in a stop at the nearby Barrowland Park. Popular with workers on lunch and local dog walkers, what makes it a Glasgow tourist attraction is the list of the many famous musical acts that have performed at the nearby Barrowland Ballroom concert venue.
#6 The Barras Market
MAP. Certainly worth stopping by on the weekend when the market is in full swing, Barras is a long-standing marketplace for antiques and oddities. Open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, The Barras is a fascinating gathering of Glaswegians and visitors hunting down unique wares along with everyday needs and souvenirs.
Once Glasgow’s daily thriving market, Barras Market was established by James and Maggie McIver in the early 1900s. Today, weekend shoppers can find bargains on everything from vintage clothes to household appliances to heaps and piles of random items.
#7 Glasgow Green and People’s Palace
MAP. A spacious park on the East End, Glasgow Green is the city’s oldest park, dating to the 15th century. The Green, which hugs the curve of the River Clyde, is crisscrossed by walking paths and dotted with monuments – and walking along the shaded paths is one of the best things to do in Glasgow in a day.
At the center of the park is the opulent People’s Palace, a small but wonderful museum detailing City of Glasgow history – and it’s free to enter. In front of the building is the impressive Doulton Fountain, which stands as the largest terracotta fountain in the world.
Travel Planning Tip: There are many excellent museums in Glasgow – most of which are free of charge. When visiting Glasgow in one day, it is unlikely that you will be able to enter them all. We recommend thoroughly enjoying the museum that is of most interest to you – and breezing through the others.
#8 Shawarma King
MAP. If you want to see all of the sights on our 1 Day Itinerary Glasgow, it’s probably best to eat a quick meal rather than sit down at a restaurant and wait for table service. Our top pick for take-away in Glasgow is the famous Shawarma King.
The always highly rated kebab house was voted the Best Shawarma in Glasgow in 2022 and again in 2023. Behind massive spits of swiveling meats, the staff whip up delicious wraps, falafels and kebab plates at affordable prices. We recommend getting it to go and eating it on the bank of the Clyde River.
#9 River Clyde and Glasgow Bridges
MAP. The Clyde River has had a significant influence on Glasgow. Essential for trade and vital for shipbuilding, the River Clyde was instrumental in the city’s industry and expansion.
Several bridges cross the River Clyde in Glasgow. Victoria Bridge, built in 1854, is the oldest surviving bridge in Glasgow, but the pedestrian only South Portland Street and St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridges are our favorite to walk across.
An extensive pedestrian path, the River Clyde Walkway, lines the riverbank allowing walkers, joggers and cyclists to travel along the riverside under the shade of trees with a scenic view.
That said, to get to the next stop on our Glasgow Day Trip Itinerary, we recommend riding the Glasgow Subway. Use the St. Enoch Underground Station and travel to Partick Station.
#10 The Tall Ship Museum
MAP. Free. Located on the west side of Glasgow, the best way to reach The Tall Ship Museum is via subway. We recommend alighting at Partick Station – as it’s just a short walk and there are signs that point the way.
Visiting The Tall Ship Museum is one of the fun things to do on a one-day trip in Glasgow – especially if you are traveling with kids.
The 3-mast Glenlee was built in 1896 and proudly floats on the Clyde River. Guests are invited to hop aboard and freely explore the ship from bow to stern, as well as deep below deck.
#11 Riverside Museum
MAP. Free. The Riverside Museum – which sit directly next to The Tall Ship – is one of the best places to visit in Glasgow in one day. Dedicated to the history of transportation, the museum is chock-full of old cars, train compartments, motorcycles and bikes.
The Wall of Cars is an impressive sight – but we personally liked the Glasgow Old Town Street displays. The short street features typical shops from the early 1900s – and visitors are invited to go inside each establishment to learn more about its history.
#12 Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum
MAP. Free. One of the most interesting things to do in Glasgow in one day is to visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Housed in a magnificent red sandstone building, the Kelvingrove Museum features more than 8,000 pieces of artifacts and artworks.
Originally opened in 1901, the property completed an extensive renovation program in 2006. Displays are separated into two categories, Life and Expression, and spread across 22 galleries. The pieces range from ancient Egyptian mummies to masterpiece paintings to modern sculptures. There is even one of Elvis Presley, apply titled Return to Sender!
While the Floating Heads in the East Court continue to haunt us, don’t miss (and it is likely impossible to do so), the grandiose Centre Hall – complete with a pipe organ towering over the far end.
#13 University of Glasgow
MAP. Next on our list of what to see in Glasgow in one day is the beautiful University of Glasgow campus on Gilmorehill. The university was founded in 1451 and moved to the Glasgow West End in 1870. With some 30,000 students, it’s the largest university in Scotland based on enrollment and gives the entire area a youthful vibe.
The main campus building is a stunning Gothic revival double-quad, complete with a soaring bell tower. Enter through the main entrance into the Cloisters and walk around the interior of both quads.
Glasgow Travel Tip: If you are intrigued by interesting artifacts and unusual collections, then make room in your Glasgow Itinerary 1 Day Trip for the unique Hunterian Museum (free admission). Art aficionados should pop into the nearby Hunterian Art Gallery and architecture enthusiasts will want to tour the attached Mackintosh House
#14 Kelvingrove Park
MAP. An 85-acre park in the West End of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park was designed in the mid-1800s as the city was expanding (and the center was becoming overcrowded and undesirable).
The River Kelvin streams through the hilly park, which features numerous monuments and spacious lawns. Visitors are free to explore the many paths, but it is worth seeking out the Stewart Memorial Fountain. Fans of fine 19th century architecture should make the effort to climb up Woodlands Hill to see the elegant Park Circus Crescent.
Travel Tip: To get back into central Glasgow from Kelvingrove Park, we recommend taking the subway again. From the park, use the Kelvin Walkway riverside path, which takes you right to the Kelvinbridge Station and ride back to St. Enoch Station.
#15 Street Art Murals in the Glasgow City Centre
MAP. As we have already mentioned, there is incredible Glasgow street art – and seeking it out is one of the top things to do in Glasgow for a day. There are a few great murals just steps from the St. Enoch Underground Station we recommend seeing.
From St. Enoch Square, walk north and cross Argyle Street and then west to Mitchell Street (a narrow one-way street that looks more like an alley). There you will find the Most Economical Taxi, Girl with a Magnifying Glass and Wind Power murals.
While seeking out street art on Mitchell Street, check out The Lighthouse – an architecturally unique building designed by renowned Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, in 1895. It now serves as Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture and was unfortunately closed to visitors on our most recent trip to Glasgow.
#16 Buchanan Street
MAP. Marking the epicenter of the city and the thriving shopping district, Buchanan Street is a must on your Glasgow one day trip. The pedestrian-only street is lined with high-end retailers and department stores.
Even if you don’t intend to shop, stroll the street to see the extravagant Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Along the way, you will likely be entertained by street performers and feel the buzz of modern day Glasgow.
Glasgow Sightseeing Tip: Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Detour from Buchanan onto Gordon Street to Tantrum Doughnuts for a sugary sweet treat. The artisan donuts are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate.
#17 Gallery of Modern Art and the Duke of Wellington Statue
MAP. From Buchanan Street, walk through the Royal Bank Palace archway into Royal Exchange Square. At the center of the square is the Gallery of Modern Art (free), which is housed in the former Royal Exchange building (dating to 1829). The GoMa has four galleries of rotating contemporary art exhibits.
Standing directly in front of the GoMa is the Duke of Wellington Equestrian Statue – which has become one of the quirky Glasgow landmarks. The statue was erected in 1844 – but since the 1980s, fun-loving Glaswegians have taken to decorating the Duke’s head with a traffic cone.
The city attempted to thwart the ‘cone bandits’ by making a plan to elevate the statue, but the move was met with fierce outcry (and more cones!). The people of Glasgow prefer their ornate statue to be adorned with a cone, it seems – and it’s definitely one of the top things to see in Glasgow in one day.
#18 Merchant City
MAP. Continue your Glasgow sightseeing with a leisurely walk through Merchant City. The district marks the first Glasgow New Town, when wealthy residents moved west from crowded High Street. The grid plan included wide streets, stately homes and tobacco warehouses.
Today, the area is a mecca of shops, bars, restaurants and residences housed in beautiful old buildings. At the center of Merchant City is Merchant Square – the former fruit market and now a hub of eateries and entertainment. The stylish district is also the site of many top Glasgow festivals in the summertime.
#19 George Square
MAP. George Square is a Glasgow must see sight. Named for King George III, the space was developed in the early 1800s. Ringed by regal government buildings and elegant architecture, the square represents the civic center of Glasgow. On the east end sits the Glasgow City Chambers and free tours of the building are offered twice daily.
Unlike some urban public spaces, George Square features four green lawns, where visitors can stretch out and relax. Monuments of Scotland’s most revered citizens stand in the square – including statues of Robert Burns, James Watt and Sir Walter Scott – along with The Cenotaph war memorial.
#20 Dinner and Drinks in Glasgow
Now that you’ve checked off everything on our Things To See Glasgow in One Day list, it’s time to rest your feet and relax!
End your Glasgow one day tour with dinner and drinks in the city center. There are a copious number of bars and restaurants in the area, and we naturally have a few recommendations.
Glasgow Restaurants on George Square
A lively spot right on George square is The Counting House. The modern Weatherspoon-chain pub serves real cask ale and a typical pub menu – but the beautiful building (don’t miss the ceiling) served as a bank for more than 100 years and the outdoor patio is a top spot for imbibing al fresco (and it’s highly recommended if the weather is nice for your one-day Glasgow trip!).
The Piper Whisky Bar, on the south side of the City Chambers, is a fun pub that offers a menu of iconic Scottish food – like Haggis and Fish and Chips, plus occasional live music.
Other Glasgow City Eats
Just a block west of George Square is Shilling Brewing Company, which is also housed in a former bank building. At the Shilling Brew Pub, they make craft beer onsite – and feature guest taps from other Scottish brewers, as well. Woodfired pizzas are the only menu item, but trust us, they are delicious!
Another favorite Glasgow restaurant for pizza is the hip Paesano Pizza on Miller Street. Utilizing authentic Italian ingredients to top a variety of pizzas, Paesano offers patrons a friendly and casual place to dine, along with excellent prices.
Alternatively, we like the festive atmosphere at the buzzing bars and restaurants at Merchant Square – but Sloans (one of the oldest pubs in the city) makes a wicked mac-and-cheese.
Ashton Lane, Glasgow
If you prefer (or are staying in) the Glasgow West End, Ashton Lane is a lively spot to finish off your visit. The super popular Ubiquitous Chip offer modern Scottish cuisine, while the Innis and Gunn Brewery has excellent pub grub. If you are in the mood for Belgian dishes, check out Brel, but if it’s more of a drinks and nosh kind of mood, drop into The Gardener.
After a long day of ticking off your list of what to see in Glasgow for a day, get a taste of the local flavor with a whisky tasting.
The Pot Still is the best bar in Glasgow for a fun and unpretentious whisky tasting – and it is located just a short walk from George Square. (Plus, they made delicious savory pies!)
For a more formal introduction to Scotch Whisky, visitors can join a tour at The Clydeside Distillery. The West End distillery is state of the art with views over the River Clyde (however, they close rather early, so it might be tough to plan a visit with just one day in Glasgow, Scotland).
Glasgow Map of Attractions
Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive version of our Glasgow, Scotland Map.
More Glasgow Things To Do
We shared our top tips for what to do in Glasgow in one day, but there is more to see if you have time. Consider adding (or swapping out) some of these things to do in Glasgow, Scotland to your 1 Day in Glasgow trip itinerary.
Glasgow City Walking Tour
Visitors can use our outline of things to see to create their own Glasgow walking tour. However, travelers who would rather a personal introduction should consider joining one of the many walking tours in Glasgow led by local guides – like this popular and highly rated tour.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Dating to the year 1817, the Glasgow Botanical Gardens are one of the top sights in the city. The gorgeous green space encompass 27 acres of colorful flora from regions around the world. The gardens are free – including entry to the Kibble Palace Greenhouse.
Tennent’s Brewery Tour
One of the oldest brewers in the United Kingdom, Tennent Caledonian Brewing is located in Glasgow just below the necropolis – and is open for tours. Visitors can discover the sights in the Wellpark Brewery complex – including the Heritage Center and a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. The tour ends with a pint of freshly poured beer straight from the source.
Prefer craft beer? Us, as well! Next door to Tennent is Drygate Brewing, a collaboration brewery offering unique and diverse beers. Plus, they have an excellent outdoor space!
Glasgow Street Art Tour
Glasgow’s street art scene is truly part of it’s culture. Interested travelers can join a local guide for a tour of the best art murals in Glasgow. Tour participants will gain a better understanding of the artwork and area as well. Reserve your spot on the tour!
Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
An unusual and somewhat dark museum, the Sharmanka Kinetic Theater boasts mechanical sculptures that move to eerie music. There are two shows and multiple performances a day. Additional info.
Pollok House and Gardens
Located 4.5 miles (7 km) southwest of Glasgow, the Pollok Estate is an elaborate country house. In addition to housing a large collection of Spanish artwork, the home itself is open for tours and the on-site café is atmospheric. Tickets are required for entry.
The gardens and surrounding park are lovely for a walk – and free to visit. A highlight of the park is the hairy Highland Cows (or coos as they are called locally!). The Burrell Collection Museum (free) is also located within Pollok Estate.
More Glasgow Museums
In our one-day itinerary for Glasgow, we featured a few of the best museums – but not all of them! Fellow travelers may want to make time in their itinerary to see some of the other fantastic museums in Glasgow.
One of the oldest houses in Glasgow dating to 1471, Provand’s Lordship Museum (free) features 17th century furniture and informational plaques. It was temporarily closed during our visits – but we hope that it reopens in the near future!
St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
Dedicated to Glasgow’s Patron Saint, the St. Mungo Museum (free) contains religious artworks and relics. Much more interesting than we had anticipated, the displays are intriguing and engaging. The museum sits right across from the Cathedral and is worth popping into for even just a half hour (and for the free toilets).
Glasgow Science Center
A fun science and technology museum, the Glasgow Science Centre (tickets required) is one of the fun things to do in Glasgow with kids. Highlights of the hands-on museum are an IMAX theater, a planetarium and the Glasgow Tower observation deck. Visitors could easily spend the better part of a day at this museum!
Top Tip: Before leaving the museum, take a moment to cross the Millennium Bridge for River Clyde views. The panoramic view to the east encompasses the often-photographed Bell’s Bridge (a swivel swing bridge), the Clyde Arc Bridge (a symbol of the city) and historic Finnieston Crane (a nod to Glasgow’s shipbuilding past).
Fairfield Heritage Museum
A fascinating museum detailing the history of shipbuilding in Glasgow, Fairfield Heritage Museum (free) features well-displayed exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of Glasgow’s influence on shipping worldwide. The museum is housed in the old shipyard offices – and knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand to offer personal insight and additional information.
While the museum is a wee bit off the beaten path for most 1-day Glasgow visitors, those who are enthralled by ships and maritime history will want to be sure to include it!
Govan Old Church Stones
An ancient collection of carved standing stones and Viking ‘hogbacks’ are housed in the repurposed Govan Old Church. The museum (free) invites visitors to learn about the history of the land and unusual stones that date back more than 1,500 years. Enthusiastic volunteers are happy to help guests make sense of the massive stones.
The Govan Old Church is just a short walk from Fairfield Heritage Museum, making it easy to see both attractions in just a couple of hours.
Day Hikes from Glasgow
The city of Glasgow is a great jumping off point for a multitude of day hikes.
The above-mentioned Pollok Country Park is a fantastic place for walking. The park features 11 miles (7 km) of trails – including a Highland Cattle Walk and Pond Walk.
The Clyde Walkway, Kelvin Walkway and Forth & Clyde Canal are all great routes that follow along picturesque waterways. A long walk along the Clyde River via National Cycle Route 75 can take trekkers all the way to Bothwell Castle, too.
1 Day Tours from Glasgow
While we have outlined how to spend one day in Glasgow, visitors can also plan a one day trip from Glasgow.
Perhaps the most popular 1 day trip from Glasgow is an adventure into the Scottish Highlands. Top attractions on a day trip to Highlands from Glasgow are Loch Lomond, ancient castles and amazing Glencoe. Find out more here!
Alternatively, you can plan day trips from Glasgow to Loch Lomond on their own using the train to Balloch. Once in Balloch (on the south end of Loch Lomond), we recommend hopping aboard a 2-hour loch cruise.
How Many Days in Glasgow?
With so many things to do Glasgow, you may be wondering, Is One Day in Glasgow Enough? Actually, no. The fact that there are countless things to do and see in Glasgow is why we returned for a longer stay!
That said, our ‘One-Day Trip Glasgow’ was a great introduction. We understand fellow travelers have differing timeframes – so we are sharing some sample Glasgow itineraries for those with more (or less) time.
2 Hours in Glasgow
Travelers with a layover in Glasgow can still get a quick peek and we recommend sticking to the city center. Start at the Cathedral and Necropolis, then walk down High Street to Merchant City. Head west through Merchant City to see the Gallery of Modern Art and Duke Wellington Statue, then walk north on Buchanan Street to George Square.
36 Hours Glasgow Itinerary
Travelers with 36 hours in Glasgow can actually cover quite a lot of ground. For a fast-paced trip, create a Glasgow 36 Hours Itinerary using our outlined one-day trip plan above. Then, with the time remaining, make a quick visit to the Botanical Gardens, go down to Pollok Park or spend half a day at the Glasgow Science Museum.
Visitors who want to slow down a bit could spread out our 1-Day Glasgow Travel Itinerary over a day and half, which would allow for a more leisurely tour (and time to visit some of the museums in depth).
2 Days in Glasgow Itinerary
Visiting Glasgow in 2 days allows for a much more relaxed sightseeing pace. In fact, you would not even need to add attractions to our outline of what to do in Glasgow, Scotland in one day. Instead, slow down and thoroughly enjoy the sights.
We recommend spending the first day in the Glasgow City Centre and East End. Then, on Day 2 go to the West End of Glasgow to visit the Tall Ship Museum, Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Art Museum and Park and University of Glasgow Campus. If time allows, follow the Kelvin Walkway to the Botanic Gardens.
3 Days in Glasgow
Travelers visiting Glasgow in 3 days have heaps of options for how to spend their time! We recommend using the above tips for a 2-Day Glasgow Itinerary – then on the third day, choose one or two additional sights.
For example, opt to spend the last day at the Science Museum and other museums south of the river (Fairfield Heritage and Govan Old Church Stones). Or venture south to explore the Pollok House and Estate.
Alternatively, take an organized day trip to the Highlands to see more of amazing Scotland – or plan your own trip to Loch Lomond.
Tips for Planning a Trip to Glasgow, Scotland
Now that you know what to see and do in Glasgow, we have a few travel planning tips that will help you best plan your vacation to Scotland!
Scotland Trip Planning Info
There is a lot more to planning a trip to Scotland than determining what attractions to see.
Those planning a vacation to Scotland from abroad need to consider other details of their trip. We offer helpful tips and advice in our Guide to Planning a European Vacation.
However, our Ultimate Scotland Itinerary details how we planned our trips – and we share even more in these specific destination articles:
- Looking for tips on what to do in Edinburgh? Use our guide to the Best Things To Do in Edinburgh in 3 Days and our tips for What and Where to Eat in Edinburgh.
- Spending time in the Highlands? Check out our Guide Of The Things To Do in Inverness!
- Want to see an idyllic Highlands village? Spend a day in Plockton, Scotland!
- Going to Skye? Find out the Best Things To Do in Portree and the Top Things To See on Isle of Skye. Then, create your Perfect Skye Itinerary!
- Ready for the best multi-day hike in Scotland? Read about how we Trekked the West Highland Way for 4 days!
As you plan your Scotland trip, organization is key! Don’t let the little details get lost in the shuffle. Stay organized with our printable Travel Planner that includes 26 pages of trip planning printables.
Timing Your Visit to Glasgow
On a quick Glasgow one-day trip, timing is of the utmost importance.
Throughout the day, be sure to keep an eye on the time (especially if you are using public transport). If you find you are falling behind, know in advance which sights you will skip to stay on schedule.
Make note of the current opening time of attractions. The museums, cathedral and graveyard all close by 5pm – if not earlier (plus, the church closes mid-day for lunch). We purposely routed our Glasgow 1-Day Itinerary so that we could enter museums early in the day and then wander outdoors in the evening, when opening times were not an issue.
Our trips to Glasgow were in the summer when there is plenty of day light. This meant that we could extend our sightseeing in Glasgow into the evening. Travelers visiting outside of the summer season should check sunrise and sunset times to ensure you will have enough daylight to see all the best Glasgow sights.
Of course, it would be best to have a sunny day in Glasgow for your trip – but that is nearly impossible to predict in Scotland.
Regardless of the fickle weather, there are many things to do on a rainy day in Glasgow. If your trip coincides with a rainy day, Glasgow museums are your best bet for beating the foul weather.
How To Get To Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow is well-connected to regional destinations (like Manchester) by bus and train. The main bus station (Buchanan Bus Station) is located on the north edge of the city center. There are two Glasgow train stations – the Glasgow Central Train Station and Queen Street Station – which are both centrally located as well.
If you are travelling to Glasgow by plane, you will arrive at Glasgow International Airport (GLA) that is located just 10 miles west of downtown. The best way to get from GLA to the city is via the Airport Express 500 Bus, which takes about 30 minutes.
Day Trip Edinburgh to Glasgow: How To Get There
On a one day return trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow, visitors can opt to take the bus or the train.
The bus typically costs less than the train and takes about an hour and 20 minutes, while the Express Edinburgh Glasgow Train takes just under an hour (but costs twice as much).
Organized Day Tours from Edinburgh to Glasgow
Before we made our DIY trip plan, we searched for an easier way to see Glasgow in a day: An organized day tour from Edinburgh to Glasgow. Unfortunately, we did not find any tour operators in Edinburgh offering fully planned day trips to Glasgow.
Looking for more ideas for Day Trips from Edinburgh?
Travelers staying in Edinburgh are spoiled for choices when it comes to day trip adventures. These are a few of the most popular DIY and Guided Edinburgh day trips.
Transport for a Day Trip to Glasgow from Belfast
Dublin to Glasgow Day Trip: Getting There
The flight from Dublin to Glasgow takes just under an hour, but it can be just as cheap as flying from Belfast.
Planning a Day Trip: Glasgow from London
Flights from London to Glasgow can cost a bit more, but they are still relatively affordable and flight time is about an hour and 20 minutes. There are direct trains from London to Glasgow – but it takes about 5 hours, which is way too long when planning a day trip to Glasgow!
Getting Around Glasgow
Once in Glasgow, it is fairly easy to get around. For our 1-Day Glasgow Itinerary, it’s best to move on foot and via subway.
The subway in Glasgow is one of the easiest urban transportation systems we have ever used. The entire Glasgow Underground consists of just 15 stations, which are connected in a loop with two lines: The Outer Circle and Inner Circle.
The Outer Loop runs clockwise and the Inner Circle goes counter-clockwise. The complete circuit takes just 24 minutes and trains run frequently.
Tickets cost £1.75 per ride, no matter how far you travel. Tickets can be purchased from kiosks or from the ticket office. Keep the ticket handy, as you need it to exit the station.
Hop On Hop Off Bus Glasgow
The Hop On Hop Off Bus is another great way to get around Glasgow, especially for tourists traveling to Glasgow for one day.
The bus makes stops at all of the recommended attractions on our One-Day Glasgow Itinerary. An All Day Bus Ticket Glasgow can be purchased in advance of your trip.
Where To Stay in Glasgow for One Night
Spending 24 hours in Glasgow? Then you will need a place to stay!
Visitors who plan to spend one night in Glasgow should stay in the center close to the main attractions. Being in the heart of Glasgow will allow the opportunity for further exploration early in the next morning.
For a one night stay in Glasgow, we recommend staying in a central hotel (rather than an Airbnb, which can have short check in times, no luggage storage and exorbitant one-night fees).
There are many hotels in Glasgow City Centre in a range of prices.
The boutique Carlton George Hotel in Central Glasgow is situated right next to the Queen Street Rail Station and offers luxury rooms at fair prices. Plus, they have a complimentary mini-bar, as well as decanters of whisky, gin and vodka in every room. Check availability!
Situated just steps from George Square, the Z Hotel offers incredibly affordable rooms for the prime location. The rooms are on the small side, but they are clean and the beds are comfortable. Check rates!
What You Will Need for your Glasgow 1 Day Tour
Now that you know what to do in Glasgow, it’s time to get ready to go! We have a few tips on what you will want to pack for your one-day Glasgow trip. For all of our packing hacks, head over to our Travel Packing Page – and grab your FREE Packing Checklist!
In our outline of what to do in Glasgow in a day, we cover some ground – so it’s important to wear the right shoes! I like to wear lightweight and versatile sneakers and Kris prefers these trail shoes for sightseeing. Read all our advice and reviews on the Best Travel Shoes!
Glasgow is a beautiful and unique city! Upgrade to a real camera to properly capture the sights. We use a Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens. We think it is one of the best cameras for budget travelers because it is easy to use, takes quality photos and comes with loads of accessories.
Scotland Weather Gear
As we already mentioned, it rains in Glasgow…a lot. Make sure you are prepared for your One Day in Glasgow Trip with sufficient weather gear. We recommend bringing a travel umbrella and a lightweight rain coat.
On a day trip, you will want to make sure you bring everything you anticipate needing along with you. Therefore, a good day bag is necessary. We like using small backpacks for day trips – but share all of our tips in our article, Best Day Packs for Travelers.
UK Travel Insurance
We Want To Know: Do you have any tips for spending one day in Glasgow? What to do? What to eat? Tell us in the comments!
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