With a population of just more than 600,000 residents, Glasgow is Scotland’s most populous city, and among the top five largest in the United Kingdom.
The city’s location on the banks of the River Clyde, about 20 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, makes it a popular destination with lovers of natural beauty and wide-open spaces.
Glasgow is also full of historic attractions and trendy shopping districts and has experienced booms in its art and cuisine scenes in recent years as well.
Compared to other Scottish cities, it’s quite bohemian, and there are lots of options for those looking to take advantage of its nightlife.
1. City Center Guided Walking Tour
For those who’ve just arrived in town, guided walking tours are great ways to get your bearings quickly while conserving valuable travel dollars.
This walking tour lasts between 2 ½ and 3 hours and centers on Glasgow’s vibrant city center, which is rich with both contemporary and historical attractions.
Tour highlights include stops at the Necropolis, the Glasgow Cathedral, and a number of statues and memorials dedicated to prominent city residents from ages long past.
Guests will also discover shopping and dining venues, and where to go for drinks later in the evening.
Tours cover about three miles, so wear comfy shoes.
2. Celtic Park Stadium Tour and Dining Experience
Scots have always loved their football, and the Celtic Park Stadium is one of the city’s most prominent sporting attractions.
The stadium is home to the Celtic Football Club and is open to the public for guided tours that are big hits with football fans from all over the world.
After meeting their guide outside the stadium, the tour will venture inside for a behind-the-scenes look at areas that are usually off-limits to everyone except players, coaches, and staff.
Stops include the board and dressing rooms, dugouts, and the tunnel leading to the pitch, after which guests will enjoy a hearty three-course meal and dessert.
3. Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
From the Gallery of Modern Art and Glasgow Cathedral to the Glasgow Science Center and IMAX Cinema Pacific Quay, this value-packed hop-on-hop-off bus sightseeing package has nearly all the bases covered.
Depending on which option you choose, tickets are good for either one or two days from the time of purchase and give guests easy access to dozens of the city’s premier attractions.
Unlike traditional tours, hop-on-hop-off tours allow ticketholders to visit the attractions that interest them and skip the ones that don’t.
Guests can spend as much or as little time at each site as they want, depending on their interests and schedules.
4. Clydeside Distillery Tour and Whisky Tasting
If there’s one thing Scotland doesn’t have a shortage of, it’s distilleries.
For centuries, they’ve been churning out Scotch whiskey that’s sought after around the world.
Even for those who don’t fancy themselves spirit aficionados, distillery tours and tastings are great ways to learn about local industry and culture, and they’re downright fun too.
Along with their guide, guests will tour the Clydeside Distillery, learn about the fermentation and distillation processes, and marvel at amazing views of the River Clyde below.
Tours include three complimentary wee drams per guest and discounts on a variety of Scotches in the distillery’s gift shop.
5. Past and Present Merchant City Music Tour
For those who prefer to depart from the well-worn path and explore parts of the city that most tours avoid, this Merchant City music tour would be a great way to spend a few morning hours.
Tours are led by knowledgeable local music lovers who are enthusiastic about imparting their love of music to visitors.
Stops include ballrooms, seedy pubs with tiny stages, and the oldest remaining music hall in the United Kingdom.
Guests will learn about prominent performers of the past as well as popular up-and-comers and enjoy a discounted lunch at a hip café-bar in the music district.
6. Glasgow Walking Tour with Beer Tasting
Pretty much everything is better when ‘with beer tasting’ is added at the end, and that’s definitely the case with this guided, small-group walking tour of central Glasgow.
After a brief meet and greet with their guide, guests will set out to Blythswood Square, where they’ll delve into the city’s history, culture, and beer making traditions that at one time made it one of the largest beer producers in the world.
Along the way, participants will stop at several pubs, where they’ll rub elbows with locals, learn about the science behind turning mundane ingredients into world-class beer, and sample many brews of different colors and flavor profiles.
7. Haunted Glasgow Exploration Game and Tour
App-based exploration game tours are becoming big hits with fun-loving travelers who value engagement and activity over sitting on a cramped tour bus for hours on end.
Not only are they fun and educational, but they’re downright cheap compared to their traditional tour counterparts.
Participants of this tour will use their phones as guides, which will lead them to some of the city’s most eerie, haunted, and horrific attractions.
Between sites, guests will work as a team to solve riddles and decode clues while learning about the city’s history and getting up close and personal with some of its premier sites.
8. Silent Disco Adventure Tour
Looking for a unique tour experience?
Enjoy singing and dancing in public, and generally making a spectacle of yourself?
If so, then you’re in luck, because this silent disco adventure tour was designed for people just like you.
It’s a music-centered experience that allows guests to tour the city and see some of its most prominent attractions while singing and dancing like they’re practicing for an audition with Simon Cowell.
Tours last about an hour, require moderate physical activity and are led by hip guides who’ll get the party started if guests are having a difficult time getting into the groove.
9. Fun, Private, and Professional Photo Shoot
Though you may not be a movie star, sports phenomena, or jet-setting blueblood, you can still have a fun, private, and professional photoshoot like you’re all of the above.
This unique tour option is a great idea for those looking for something a little different.
In addition to having their images captured among some of the city’s most notable attractions, guests will learn about its history and culture – and have a blast in the process.
Tours are available in one and two hour packages. At the end of the excursion, guests will get either 30 or 60 high-resolution images to commemorate their experience.
10. Guided Street Art Walking Tour
In recent years, Glasgow has experienced an art renaissance, and many of the city’s neighborhoods are adorned with vibrant murals and other street art that are definitely worth checking out.
On this two-hour tour, guests and their guide will explore some of the city’s most bohemian neighborhoods, discover amazing works of contemporary art, and learn about the artists who made them and their inspirations.
This is a truly eclectic tour, so bumping into hordes of tourists on more traditional tours won’t be an issue.
Guests usually discover restaurants, bars, and galleries they’d like to explore on their own later, so don’t be shy about asking your guide for suggestions.
11. Outlander Adventure 1-Day Tour from Glasgow
The Scottish countryside is dotted with historic castles and quaint villages, and many of its most scenic areas have been filming locations for the popular Outlander television series.
On this Outlander adventure tour from Glasgow, guests will visit three centuries-old castles that have played prominent roles in the television show over the years.
Participants will learn about the castle’s fascinating histories and interesting tidbits about other popular movies that were filmed on-site as well.
At nine hours, tours make for long days, but they’re great options for those interested in putting the city’s hustle and bustle in the rearview mirror and seeing things from a more rural perspective.
12. Scottish Football Museum and Hampden Park Stadium Tour
Regardless of which team you root for on match day, this Scottish Football Museum and Hampden Park Stadium combo tour is a great way to spend a few hours for diehard football fans visiting Glasgow.
The museum includes a number of distinct galleries containing impressive collections of priceless objects of Scottish football memorabilia, including uniforms, photos, first-hand accounts, and cups.
Tours include a friendly and knowledgeable guide, as well as a Hampden Stadium excursion that grants access to the team’s dressing rooms, warm-up areas, and other behind-the-scenes areas that are usually off-limits.
Tours are offered multiple times daily to accommodate those with different schedules.
13. Glasgow’s Music Mile Tour
Even if you didn’t know there was such a thing as a UNESCO City of Music, you’d probably be surprised to learn that Glasgow is the first such city in the United Kingdom to receive such a designation.
Glasgow’s musical traditions stretch all the way back to its Celtic roots. Now, the city features several music schools and popular performance venues that cover everything from jazz and punk to rock and pop.
On this two-hour tour, guests will follow in the footsteps of famous Scottish bands like Oasis and Blur, and visit a few of the stages where they cut their teeth before making it big.
14. Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Tour from Glasgow
Over the centuries, the Scottish Highlands have produced some of the country’s most acclaimed historical figures, and even most international visitors recognize their names.
Larger-than-life figures like William Wallace, Rob Roy, and Robert the Bruce.
This combo tour begins and ends in Glasgow and touches on elements of history, culture, and nature that most guests find engaging and entertaining.
Tour highlights include the national monument to William Wallace and the impressive and historically significant Stirling Castle.
After lunch, guests will visit Loch Lomond; then, they’ll make their way to the Glengoyne Distillery, which produces some of the country’s most coveted malt whiskeys.
15. Customized Private Walking Tour with a Local
Customized private tours are great options for travelers looking to get the most bang for their hard-earned vacation dollars.
Discovering the city of Glasgow through the eyes of a local is this walking tour’s aim. To that end, guests and their guide will set out to experience an eclectic mix of attractions based on the participant’s interests.
Tours generally begin with getting acclimated with the neighborhood in which you’re staying and discovering popular places to eat, dine, catch live entertainment, or enjoy an evening drink.
Tours can last between two and six hours, depending on guests’ schedules and interests.