a citizens guide to Glasgow, Scotland

say hello to Glasgow

Welcome to a city where the fun never ends – Glasgow! This isn't just any old place; it's Scotland's biggest city and a cultural tour de force. It's like a grand Ceilidh (a big Scottish party, FYI) of history, breathtaking architecture, a crackin' music scene, and a pure dead brilliant spirit that'll make you feel like you've found your second home. Are you ready to take the high road to Glasgow? Let's get stuck in, shall we?

see citizenM Glasgow

best time to visit

The best time to visit Glasgow is between May and August, with long summer days and mild temperatures. But hold your horses, citizens! With its famously unpredictable weather, Glasgow is a city that could dish out all four seasons in one day, no matter the season. Still, the Scottish city rolls out the most agreeable climate-carpet from June to August, where it usually hangs around the 15 to 20°C range. But remember, this is Scotland we're talking about! Slip an umbrella into your bag just to be safe.

Coming in for a festival? Try the Glasgow Film Festival in February or the side-splitting, knee-slapping International Comedy Festival in March. And if you can time it right, there's nothing quite like New Year at the spectacular Hogmanay celebrations. Just remember, there's no such thing as having'too much fun!

getting around Glasgow

Glasgow is a breeze to reach. Flying in? Hop on Bus 500 – the Airport Express – to get to the city centre (conveniently located right next to citizenM hotels). Once you’re in the city, embrace local transport. Buses, trains, the subway (locally known as 'Clockwork Orange'), taxis, bike rentals – you name it, Glasgow's got it!

places to see in Glasgow

Glasgow Cathedral

Step back in time with a visit to this historic gem. Glasgow Cathedral isn't just a stunning example of medieval architecture, it's also the only cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the Reformation intact. With breathtaking stained glass windows and an atmosphere that screams 'old world', it's a time traveler's dream.Whether you're a history buff or simply a lover of beautiful things, Glasgow Cathedral is your ticket to Scotland's past.

George Square

It's quirky, it's fun and it's got a statue of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on its head – we could only be talking about George Square. This vibrant hub is not just a place to meet-up, but somewhere to enjoy the eccentricities of Glaswegian humour. Snap a selfie with the Duke and his unusual headgear or relax with a picnic as you watch the world go by. And who knows, you might just witness an impromptu music performance or two!

University of Glasgow

Swap your muggle clothes for a cloak and wizard's hat as you explore the Hogwarts-like University of Glasgow. With its breathtaking spires, stunning archways and secret courtyards, it's easy to pretend you've wandered into a Harry Potter filmset. But there's more than just magic here; the university is also home to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, stuffed to the rafters with curiosities. Come for the Hogwarts vibes, stay for the world-class exhibits.

the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Step inside the heart of Glasgow’s vibrant music and performing arts scene. The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is an iconic venue where the arts come alive. From classical concerts to contemporary performances, there's always something fantastic on the bill. But it’s not all about the performances, the building itself, with its grandiose architecture and plush interior, is worth a visit alone.

Outdoor attractions

So the Scottish sun decided to put its hat on? Make a beeline for the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, a lush, green Eden nestled within the city. Mosey around the enchanting glasshouses, say hello to the tropical plants and try to pronounce the names of the botanical wonders without getting tongue-tied. And if all that exploring gets too much, there’s always the tearoom. Scone, anyone?

Or perhaps you fancy a Scottish safari? Head over to Pollok Country Park. This massive urban oasis has sprawling lawns, thick woodlands, blooming gardens and yes, even Highland cows (fluffy and Instagrammable, but remember, no cow cuddling, please!). Did we mention it's also home to the Burrell Collection, a world-class museum, too?

For those craving a walk with a view, the Clyde Walkway is your best bet. This tranquil path winds its way along the River Clyde (shock), offering serene views of the city and plenty of birdwatching opportunities. You can stroll, jog, cycle or (if you're feeling particularly lazy) find a cozy spot to watch the river flow by.

Museums and Galleries

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Walk through art history and say ‘hi’ to a stuffed elephant at Kelvingrove. Be it Renoir or a suit of armor, there's always a surprise to be had here.

Riverside Museum

Get shipshape at Riverside – a playground of vintage vehicles, model ships and a real-life street from yesteryears. Warning: shipbuilding obsessions may occur.

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Time-travel at Scotland's oldest public museum, Hunterian. From Roman coins to zoological wonders, it's a non-stop historical delight.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Explore Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where you can cozy up with Salvador Dali's surreal masterpieces, meet the life-sized diplodocus "Dippy," and uncover the city's vibrant past.

Glasgow's neighbourhoods


Welcome to Finnieston, Glasgow's coolest borough. This vibrant ‘hood is a foodie's dream and a night owl's paradise. Looking for an unforgettable meal or live music that makes your heart thump? Bingo – you've found your spot!

West End

Artsy, architectural and oozing bohemian charm – that's the West End! It's home to the University of Glasgow, indie shops galore and a literary atmosphere that makes you want to write a novel. Or maybe a song. Or just drink coffee and people-watch. We won't judge.

Merchant City

If you've got a thing for stylish bars, delectable restaurants and culture galore, you'll want to set up camp in Merchant City. This district is hopping with art galleries and theaters. Strap in and enjoy the ride!

City Centre

Bustling, buzzing and bursting with life, Glasgow's City Centre is where it's at! From shopping therapy on Buchanan Street to cultural immersion in George Square and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, it's all happening here.


A little bit vintage, a little bit hipster and a whole lot of community spirit, Dennistoun is on the rise! Brimming with Victorian charm and eclectic eateries, it's a cocktail of young professionals, families and great vibes.


Hello, Partick! With its lively atmosphere and riverside location a stone's throw from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Partick is a diamond in the Glasgow rough. Packed with cafes and bars, it's the perfect blend of chill and thrill.


Picture lush green spaces, stunning Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a dash of diversity – welcome to Pollokshields! A peaceful nook that boasts a village-like feel, it's a serene daydream in the heart of Glasgow.

local cuisine

Got your tartan bib ready? Great, let's dive into the culinary deep end of Glasgow!

Haggis, neeps and tatties may be the comfort food equivalent of a warm hug but don’t end your food journey just there. Glasgow has a whole banquet of surprises on the menu. Ever bitten into a Mars bar and thought, ‘This could do with a crispy batter?. Yeah, neither have we, but trust us when we say that the deep-fried Mars bar is a must-try (not to mention, the ultimate sugar rush).

Early bird? You've got to order a full Scottish breakfast. Picture succulent sausage, crispy bacon, black pudding, beans, grilled tomato and tattie scones (potato scones). Just don't confuse it with its English cousin. They may look similar, but the Scottish breakfast packs a flavourful punch all its own.

best Scottish pubs in Glasgow

Glasgow's pub scene needs a guide of its own. It's a wild carousel of ales, hops and spirited banter. Heard of the subcrawl? It's a peculiar Glasgow tradition that involves a drink at every stop of the subway. We're just mentioning it, not recommending – mind you. We don’t want you to get blootered, citizens. 

Now, grab your pint glass, and let's get acquainted with the city's top watering holes.

1. Innis & Gunn Taproom

where better to sip on Scotland's most innovative craft beer than at its birthplace on Ashton Lane?

2. Three Judges

time-travel to the good old days of pub culture with a charming vintage ambiance and an impressive real ale selection.

3. Brewhaus

gastropub meets gritty charm at Brewhaus. It’s a must-visit for any 'Trainspotting' fan hankering for great food and brews.

4. Bag o' Nails

the night's still young at this spot, serving up an excellent range of drinks and mouth-watering food ‘til 3am.

5. Drum & Monkey Glasgow

glamorous yet unpretentious, this place serves refreshing drinks in a splendid architectural setting.

6. The Pot Still

enjoy the best Scotch whisky with a side of good old-fashioned Scottish hospitality.

7. The State Bar

a hidden gem with real ale, welcoming locals and the best pub quiz in town.

8. The Ben Nevis Bar

whisk yourself away to the Highlands without leaving the city. Scotch whiskies, craft ales and toe-tapping folk music await!

9. The Bon Accord

beer enthusiasts, rejoice! With an ever-rotating tap and a whisky list as long as the River Clyde, you're spoiled for choice here.

10. The Arlington

dive into Glasgow's underground at this basement bar with a buzzing atmosphere and wallet-friendly prices.

Wrap up your night with a tour of Tennents brewery – the lager maker keeping Scotland's spirits high. We know this list isn't exhaustive, but it's a good place to start. Cheers!

Glasgow's nightlife is legendary! From foot-tapping gigs to globally-renowned shows, the city's beat will undoubtedly move your feet.

The SSE Hydro

say hello to Glasgow's shiniest music beacon. This space-age dome is a magnet for the world's biggest stars and guarantees an unforgettable night out.

Barrowland Ballroom

ready to boogie? Barrowland's iconic neon frontage leads to one of the best dance floors in town. The atmosphere? Electric.

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

oasis was discovered here, need we say more? Catch the next big thing in this intimate and beloved venue.

Oran Mor

a former church turned music mecca, it's an eclectic mix of big names and emerging talent. Just don’t miss the awe-inspiring painted ceiling.

But hey, there's more on the menu than concerts! The city's vibrant rhythm can just as easily be felt in its late-night bars, dance floors and comedy clubs. Here are our top picks:

Nice N Sleazy

dive into Glasgow's gritty underground scene. Great music, eccentric cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere await.


step back in time at this 1920s speakeasy-style club, complete with live jazz performances and delectable cocktails.

The Stand Comedy Club

swap beats for belly laughs. This legendary comedy club promises a side-splitting evening of both up-and-coming and established comedians.

more to do

Festivals and events

Glasgow is known for its lively spirit and an events calendar as diverse as the city itself. Fancy yourself a film buff? The Glasgow Film Festival gives you front-row seats to highly acclaimed cinema. If arts and culture make your heart sing, the West End Festival brings an explosion of music, theatre and more. And don't even get us started on the World Pipe Band Championships! It’s the most foot-tapping, kilt-swinging, bagpipe-blasting party around.


If retail therapy is your thing, Glasgow will not disappoint. Visit Buchanan Galleries or hit up Buchanan Street to sate those style cravings or stroll around local markets for a unique souvenir that screams 'I’ve been to Glasgow!'

Day Trips

Need a break from the city? Adventure awaits outside the city limits. Hop on a train to Edinburgh and uncover Scotland’s historic charm in just a few hours. Or venture to Oban, the gateway to the Highlands. With fresh seafood, delicious local brews and awe-inspiring landscapes, it’s a refreshing change of scenery. Just keep in mind, the train journey is a bit of a trek – perfect for catching up on that book!

Good to know

Glasgow is a city of friendly banter and unexpected chats. It's a place where laughter is contagious and good manners go a long way. So, embrace the spontaneity, flash your best smile and go wherever the moment takes you.

Navigating public transport? Easy peasy. But getting the hang of the Scottish lingo? Now, that’s a challenge. Aye, we ain't kidding. Ever tried to decipher a thick, hearty Scottish accent? Let us toss you a wee life preserver, citizens, and give you a leg up for your great Scottish journey. Ready, set, blether!

25 Scottish slang words you should know

Aye – Yes
A loue ye – I love you (doesn’t always come out sober)
Blootered – Drunk
Steamin’ – Drunk
Boke – Vomit
Braw – Good, fine
Canny – Careful, sometimes clever
Chum – Pal
Clipe – To snitch
Crabbit – Bad-tempered or Grumpy
Dae (pronounced ‘day’) – Do
Dinnae – Don’t
Drookit – Soaking Wet
Eejit – Idiot
Greet – Cry
Gowk – Fool
Haver – Talk Nonsense (Proclaimers fans will have heard this one before!)
Ken – Know
Noo – Now
Peely-walley – Pale
Piece – A sandwich
Skelp – Slap
Tattie – Potato
Tube – Idiot (Not go get confused with the London Underground)
Wee – Small

pretty thrilling, isn't it? Let's roll up our sleeves and wade deeper into the waters of advanced Scottish slang.

Ah dinnae ken – I don’t know
Haste ye back – Come back soon
Haud your wheest – Be quiet
Hell slap it intae ye – It’s your own fault
Dinnae fash yersel – Don’t worry
Keep the heid – Stay calm
Yer oot yer face – You’re very drunk
Yer bum’s oot the windae – You’re talking nonsense

9 Scottish words that have us reaching for the guidebook:

1. Smourich – If love was a language, a smourich would be its sweetest word! Put simply, it's a smooch from Scotland.

2. Coorie – It's like giving a bear hug to a warm blanket on a chilly day! Think of it as the Scottish way of saying 'snuggle' – or 'cwtch' for our buddies in Wales.

3. Crouss – Imagine you've just had a piece of your favorite chocolate cake...that giddy and joyful feeling is 'crouss'. It's like being tickled from the inside!

4. Flichterin' – Ever seen a butterfly doing the jitterbug, or a candleflame dancing a salsa? That delicate, whimsy fluttering is 'flichterin'.

5. Gloaming – That magical moment when the sun has dozed off, but the stars are still too shy to come out, that's 'gloaming'. It's twilight, but with a touch of Scottish mystery!

6. Solasta – When the sun decides to dress up as a disco ball and shine its brightest. It's like being in the limelight of the universe!

7. Turadh – Picture this: it's been raining cats and dogs, but then the clouds part ways to let the sun play peek-a-boo. A silver lining amidst the Scottish showers!

8. Fearthainn – When Mother Nature decides to take a shower and the heavens open up to quench the Earth's thirst, that's 'fearthainn' i.e. rain.

9. Saorsa – It's the feeling you get when you're dancing like nobody's watching or singing like you're in the shower – the Scottish recipe for freedom!

Now that you're equipped with your Scottish slang starter kit, you're ready to hit the cobbled streets. Time to paint the town tartan – off you go!

where to stay in Glasgow

After a day of gallivanting, you'll be in dire need of somewhere to rest your weary bones, and that’s where citizenM Glasgow fits the bill. Our luxuriously plush mattresses, 24-hour bar and lightning-quick Wi-Fi promise a dreamy night’s rest. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into Glasgow's bustling, urban charm, and dinna forget, we're here to snug ye in after your day's frolics. So get a move on, Glasgow is waiting for you!

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