1 day in Glasgow itinerary – a complete travel guide to what to see in Glasgow in a day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For fish and chips go to 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.
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
Take a guided tour of Celtic Park, one of the biggest football stadiums in Europe.
Take a day tour to Loch Ness and Loch Lomond and discover the magnificent beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
The Tolbooth Steeple once was a part of the Town Hall.
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.
Find self-guided walking tours and historical insights in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Scotland.
Visitors often combine Glasgow with:
- Scottish Highlands – the most beautiful part of Scotland. Check out the most popular Highlands tours.
- Edinburgh – the charming capital of the country. Find out how to see the best of Edinburgh for 3 days.
If you’re planning to rent a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.
|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.|