What To Do in Glasgow for a Day

1 day in Glasgow itinerary

1 day in Glasgow itinerary – a complete travel guide to what to see in Glasgow in a day.

1 day in Glasgow itinerary

Glasgow is the largest city in the country and it’s a great starting point for your trip to Scotland. It’s a lovely city with gorgeous Victorian buildings, a vibrant nightlife and many shopping centres.

How many days to spend in Glasgow

From one to two days.

One day is enough to see most of the tourist attractions if you aren’t into museums. Otherwise, you’ll need 2 days. To save time use the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus.

If you plan to take day trips to the Scottish Highlands or the famous Stirling Castle, add two extra days to your itinerary.

If you plan to visit several castles, buy an Explorer Pass to save money.

How many days I spent

I spent a week in Scotland – 2 days for Glasgow and 5 for Edinburgh. In Glasgow, I chose to stay in the Merchant City, the medieval heart of the city.

It’s a 3-star charming hotel with a perfect location for a city trip.

I spent more time in Edinburgh because I used the city as a base to explore the rest of Scotland. During my vacation, I also visited the Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Palace and Rosslyn Chapel.

Where to stay in Glasgow for sightseeing

Dakota – Best for families
Located in the western part of the city centre, the hotel is a great base to explore the centre and West End.
9.3/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,370+ guest reviews

The Z Hotel – Best for couples
A perfect hotel right next to George Square.
9.0/10 Rating – See hotel images and 8,250+ guest reviews

Fraser Suites – Apartment
Awesome apartments housed in a beautifully-renovated Victorian building in the Merchant City.
9.1/10 Rating – See apartment images and 2,090+ guest reviews

If you don’t know what area to choose, check out my guide to where to stay in Glasgow.

One day in Glasgow itinerary

What to see in Glasgow in one day? Follow this detailed Glasgow itinerary to get the best of the city in 24 hours.

Morning – Tour the city centre


08:30 AM – 09:30 AM
Start the day with a breakfast at The Wilson Street Pantry or iCafe. I love the toast with avocado and salmon at The Wilson Street Pantry. The porridge is also good.

The Wilson Street Pantry

There is some great street art just next to iCafe. Don’t miss to take a look if you have breakfast there. In fact, you can find amazing examples of street art all over the city.

street art
Glasgow Cathedral

09:45 AM – 10:30 AM
The Glasgow Cathedral is one of the most famous sites in the city. It is a stunning Gothic cathedral from the 12th century. In its crypt, you can see the tomb of Saint Mungo, the patron saint of the city. The saint founded Glasgow in the 6th century AD. The name of Saint Mungo is, in fact, a nickname. The latter means “my dear one”. The real name of the saint is Kentigern.

Glasgow once had a castle. The Bishop’s Castle stood right next to the cathedral. From here comes the name of “Castle Street”. Unfortunately, the castle was demolished in 1792.

Glasgow Cathedral


10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Right next to the cathedral is the Necropolis, an old Victorian cemetery. The bridge that connects the cathedral and the cemetery, is known as the Bridge of sighs. The name comes from the fact that this bridge was a part of the route of funeral processions. As the Necropolis is located on a hill, the views over the cathedral are quite beautiful.


Provand’s Lordship

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Provand’s Lordship is the oldest remaining medieval house in Glasgow. It dates from the 15th century. The house is small but charming and free to visit!

Provand's Lordship

George Square and City Chambers

12:15 PM – 12:30 PM
The George Square is named after King George III. Initially, the square was a muddy hollow used for slaughtering horses. The square started to get its current look during the 18th and 19th century. The building of the City Chambers is a great example of Victorian architecture.

George Square
Gallery of Modern Art and Duke of Wellington Statue

12:30 PM – 12:45 PM
While passing along the Gallery of Modern Art, stop and take a look at the Duke of Wellington Statue.

Gallery of Modern Art

This is one of the symbols of Glasgow – an orange traffic cone on the statue’s head. The cone was placed here around 1980 by some local residents. The authorities removed it many times, but in vain. It appeared again and again. In the end, the authorities decided to leave it there for good. During my visit to Glasgow, the cone was on the horse’s head.

Duke of Wellington Statue

01:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Stop for a lunch at Martha’s or Singl-end.


Afternoon – West End and Glasgow University

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

03:00 PM – 03:30 PM
Pass along the building of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The museum is free, so if you are into art, spare some time to see the exhibitions.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery

If you are in a mood for something sweet after the gallery, go to Tantrum Doughnuts.

University of Glasgow

03:45 PM – 04:15 PM
This is the place where you will feel like in one of the Harry Potter movies. The movies weren’t shot here in fact. However, it is a magical place.

University of Glasgow
Botanic Gardens

04:30 PM – 06:00 PM
The Botanic Gardens is the ideal place to finish a day of sightseeing. Take a walk or just sit on a bench and enjoy the sun (if it is sunny). I was very lucky with the weather during the first days of my trip – sunny without a single drop of rain. Something not very common in Scotland.


Finish the itinerary 1 day in Glasgow with a dinner at Bothy or Stravaigin. Both restaurants offer traditional Scottish food.

If you love Indian food try Obsession Of India, a great restaurant in the Merchant City.

Obsession Of India

For fish and chips go to Merchant Chippie.

Merchant Chippie

After sunset, take a walk along the river. There are some spectacular views. I took the photo below from the bridge on Crown St.

Glasgow at night
After dinner

Try some whisky at Òran Mór, a bar located in a church.

To taste some awesome gin, go to Gin71. If you are into beer, Brewdog Bar is your place.

What to do in Glasgow for a day – more ideas

Celtic Park

Take a guided tour of Celtic Park, one of the biggest football stadiums in Europe.

Explore Scotland

Take a day tour to Loch Ness and Loch Lomond and discover the magnificent beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Tolbooth Steeple

The Tolbooth Steeple once was a part of the Town Hall.

Tolbooth Steeple
People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Take a walk in the Winter Gardens. If you are interested in the history of the city and its people, visit the People’s Palace.

St Andrew’s Cathedral

St Andrew’s Cathedral is a small beautiful cathedral from the beginning of the 19th century.

Hunterian Museum and Hunterian Art Gallery

The Hunterian is the oldest museum in Scotland. It is opened in 1807.

Getting around Glasgow

You can easily explore Glasgow by foot. I stayed in the Merchant City and didn’t use any public transport at all. However, if you need any, there are underground and regular buses.

The underground runs in a double circle around the city centre. In fact, this is the only city in Scotland that has an underground. The latter is named Clockwork Orange because of the colour of the carriages.

The First Group buses serve the city of Glasgow.

How to get from Glasgow airport to the city centre

There are two airports – International (GLA) and Prestwick (PIK).

International Airport is located 16km west of the city centre. Airport Express is the easiest way to get to the city centre. There are shuttles every 10min and the trip to the city centre is about 20-30min.

Prestwick Airport is 51km away from the city centre. You can reach it by bus or train.

Further reading for your trip

Find self-guided walking tours and historical insights in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Scotland.

Visitors often combine Glasgow with:

If you’re planning to rent a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.

What else is a must if you have only 1 day in Glasgow?
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About the author
Avatar Milena Yordanova
I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.

3 Replies to “What To Do in Glasgow for a Day”

  1. Carol Henderson says: Reply

    Thank you for the recommendation of Bothy the restaurant! We went there yestyand had the best haggis and black pudding in our entire trip. Your itinerary was also very helpful for us for a one-day trip. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Carol, I’m glad the itinerary was helpful for you. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this Glasgow itinerary. It was exactly what we needed! We stayed at the Z Hotel as you recommended and it was perfect. The location is very strategic – 3min to Queen Street train station and 1min to George Square (from where you can take the hop-on-hop-off bus).

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