Glasgow is a fantastic city – full of charm and character. There are so many things to do in Glasgow city centre and around.
However, Glasgow is definitely one of those places where it is more enjoyable to have a tour guide showing you around so you hear all the very entertaining stories of the city.
Glasgow is also extremely close to some of the key sights in Scotland – from the home of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns in Ayrshire to the stunning Scottish Highlands to the United Kingdom’s highest mountain Ben Nevis.
Here are my recommendations on the best Glasgow tours to take – plus a few of my favourite things to see and do in Glasgow Scotland I discovered whilst visiting.
Glasgow Tours Scotland
Glasgow Walking Tours
- For music fans, the Music Mile Walking Tour offers a great way to learn about the Glasgow music scene over 2 hours – all genres.
Logistics: 2pm pick up at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Lasts 2 hours Finishes at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
2. The Glasgow City Centre Walking Tour departs at 1030 and 2 pm every day. This walking tour is run by locals and takes you to all the key sites in the centre of the city.
This Glasgow tour covers Glasgow cathedral and necropolis, Glasgow Green, the Clyde and much more. This is a great value tour that gives you some of the best things to see in Glasgow Scotland.
Logistics: Pick up is Sir Walter Scott monument in the centre of George Square The tour lasts 2.5 to 3 hours Finishes in George Square
3. If you like different day tours, try one run by Tennent’s Brewery. You’ll see some of the key things to do in Glasgow centre and then on to the Wellpark Brewery, Scotland’s oldest still working brewery, where you will enjoy a free pint.
Logistics: Tour meets at 10am at Glasgow Cathedral It is mostly outside so do dress appropriately. It runs for 2 hours and finishes at the Wellpark Brewery.
British Rail Passes for Overseas Visitors
Rail is a brilliant way to get around Scotland. The BritRail Central Scotland Pass covers the key central cities in Scotland – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Fife Station. If you’re planning on exploring the Highlands and the islands of Scotland then a better option is the BritRail Scottish Freedom Pass.
4. Or design your own perfect Glasgow walking tour with a private guide. This 5-hour walking tour with a private guide will ensure you cover the highlights of Glasgow and go at your own pace.
This is a perfect option if you have only one day in Glasgow and want to hit the main Glasgow attractions.
Logistics: You can choose your start time. The guide will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.
5. Whiskey lovers can combine things to do in Glasgow UK with some tastings on the Glasgow City Centre Whisky Tour. The Whisky tour covers four different bars and everything you have ever wanted to know about Scottish Whisky.
The tour begins at 1 pm at the Pot Still Whisky Bar and runs every day. It lasts approx. 3 hours
Free Walking Tour Glasgow
The Free Walking Tour thing has become huge. Essentially most decent-sized cities now offer a free walking tour of some type – general city discovery or even specific subjects like food.
At the end of the free tour, you decide if it was good enough to justify some type of tip. This model guarantees that your tour guide works hard to entertain and inform you and I find they are some of the most enjoyable tours that I take while travelling.
6. So when it comes to free things to do in Glasgow Scotland put a walking tour at the top of your list. The Glasgow Gander currently offers a free walking tour that takes place Wednesday to Saturday (1030am and second tour on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm) and covers the city centre.
This Glasgow tour begins on Royal Exchange Square outside the Costa Coffee and finishes at Glasgow Cathedral. It runs for approximately 2.5 hours.
7. The tourism board VisitScotland also offers contact details for a free Glasgow Walking tour on their site. They offer a couple of different options – 2.5 hour and 3.5-hour tours – and offer a tailoring option.
The links weren’t quite working when I went back to check this so if you find out more or you are VisitScotland please let me know and I’ll update this. In the meantime, there is a contact phone number and email address so check it out.
Glasgow Central Tours
8. I know it always seems like the biggest cliché but I am a big fan of a hop on hop off bus. Getting one is a great way to get a feel for a city and everything on offer.
I like taking them at the beginning of a trip as it then helps me plan what I want to do with the rest of my time. Alternatively, when I only have half or one day somewhere I like to take them to give me an overall feel.
And the Glasgow hop on hop off bus is great – and an easy way to tick off some of the key things to do in Glasgow Scotland activities from your list.
⇒ Save time & stress – Book the Glasgow Hop on Hop-Off Bus
9. Football lovers will enjoy a guided tour of Hampden Park, home of the Scottish National Football team. The tour includes admission to the museum and you will get to take a look at the player’s changing rooms, tunnel, and underground roadway. Discover Scotland football.
Logistics: Tours leave from the Museum Café on the 2nd floor of Hampden Park. There are approx. 4 tours per day and they last up to 2 hours.
House for An Art Lover Glasgow
This isn’t quite a tour – although you can organise tours ahead if you have a big enough group – but it is somewhere that I loved in Glasgow and I think it should be on everyone’s top ten things to do in Glasgow list.
House for an Art Lover Glasgow is just outside the centre of Glasgow. The house is an art gallery, exhibition space, a lovely restaurant, studio and visitor attraction.
It was designed by Glasgow’s most famous architect, Rennie Scott Mackintosh, as a country retreat. The house sits within the 169 acre ground of Bellahouston, one of Glasgow’s oldest and loveliest parks.
I so loved my visit to House for an Art Lover. I went to see a couple of exhibitions, including a recreation of some of Rennie Scott Mackintosh’s lovely work, had a great lunch and very much enjoyed wandering the grounds.
A great thing to do in Glasgow – and very photogenic.
⇒ Heading to London? Check out my posts on 13 Unusual Experiences in London, the best London Food Tours, my virtual London Travel Blog, some great Earlsfield restaurants, restaurants near Clapham Junction and Victoria Station restaurants, a mad hatter afternoon tea party and a day trip to Brighton and Cotswolds tour from London options.
Highland Experience Tours From Glasgow
11. Combine the Highlands with Loch Ness on this Scottish highlands tour from Glasgow. You’ll also get to see a couple of Scottish castles and battlegrounds on the way in your luxury coach.
It’s a big day – up to 12 hours – but this is a serious bang for your buck trip in terms in terms of how much you see and the reasonable price.
Logistics: Tour leaves from Central Glasgow at 8 am and returns to the same point approx 1945 that day.
⇒ Read my post on Climbing Ben Nevis
There are some fantastic UK City and Sightseeing passes which offer free entry to all must-see attractions & great deals.
12. If you’re more interested in the Western Highlands this day tour from Glasgow will take you there plus Glen Coe and Loch Lomond.
And of course a couple of castles along the way. This is one of the great day trips Glasgow Scotland offers.
Logistics: Tour leaves from Central Glasgow at 830am and returns approx 1900 that day. 13. Or combine the Western Highlands with Oban instead of Glen Coe and Loch Lomond on this day trip.
Oban is on the coast and the self-professed seafood capital of Scotland. This is a different perspective on the West Highlands.
Logistics: Central Glasgow picks up at 815am, drop off the same place around 6 pm.
14. If you have the time try this 3 Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands trip. You’ll see Glencoe, Loch Lomond, some great castles and my favourite the oh so beautiful Isle of Skye.
This is a great one for photographers and those who love some stunning scenery. One of the most stunning Scotland tours from Glasgow.
Logistics: The tour includes 2 nights B&B accommodation and all transport. It does not include meals. Pick up and drop off is central Glasgow.
15. This is the big one-five days experiencing the Best of Scotland! This is the perfect tour if you are travelling solo or looking for a fast way to see as much of Scotland as possible in a limited time.
It takes in Oban, Glencoe, Isle of Skye and the Trotternish Peninsula.
Logistics: The tour offers a mix of hotel and b&b accommodation. Meals are not included. Drop off and pick up is central Glasgow.
Day Trips From Glasgow
16. If you’re a fan of the tv series Outlander then this is the day trip for you! This 8-10 hour Outlander Tour will take you to some of the key filming locations for the series including Lallybroch, Castle Leoch and Crainsmuir. Castle Leoch has also been used in Game of Thrones.
This tour has some particularly strong positive reviews.
Logistics: The tour is currently running mon-wed and Saturdays (do double check) at leaves Glasgow at 845am. The pickup point is 266 George Street.
⇒ Don’t Miss Out – Book this Popular Outlander Tour Now
BritRail Passes for Overseas Visitors
If you’re planning on travelling around England and Scotland then the best option is to buy the BritRail GB Pass. This covers all train journeys across all of the United Kingdom. There is a BritRail MPass which has an e-ticket that can be downloaded onto a mobile. However, it has one key restriction which is that the travel must be taken on consecutive days so make sure you check if this suits your plans before purchasing.
17. Combine Stirling Castle with Loch Lomond and the Whisky Trail – one of the Glasgow days out for adults due to the whiskey component.
Logistics: Tour leaves from Central Glasgow at 9 am and will drop you back at the same point at 6 pm. 18.
This trip covers the hometown of Scottish poet Robert Burns as well as the fantastic Culzean Castle.
Logistics: Pick up point is Central Glasgow at 930am and expect to be back by 6 pm.
19. Finally, Scotland is heaven for photographers – when the light is right. That does tend to happen several times a day but it is rather unpredictable.
This Photography Tour of Glencoe gives you the whole day in the area which improves your odds of getting some nice shots. There is also one to one teaching.
Logistics: This tour is a bit more flexible. It generally runs from 9 to 5 and the pickup and drop off tend to be central Glasgow.
And remember, Edinburgh is only 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Glasgow so a day to trip to Edinburgh from Glasgow is super easy.
⇒ Read my post on Underground Edinburgh Tours
⇒ And Glasgow is one of the gateway cities to the lovely region of Dumfries and Galloway – Read about the Top 11 Things to do in Dumfries and Galloway
How to Get To Glasgow
The best way to get around Scotland is to hire a car. Scotland is such a stunning country and the weather constantly changes – so if you’re in the car you can pull over and take shots.
It is also a very easy country to drive in. The roads around Scotland outside the cities tend to be quite empty.
Stay in Touch in the UK
Grab a WorldSIM PrePaid Global SIM Card to stay in touch at reasonable prices. Access WIFI at local rates with the mobile wi-fi rental wireless internet anywhere you go in Britain. This in your pocket wifi can be picked up at Heathrow or Paddington Station.
Boutique Hotels in Glasgow
Glasgow has a fantastic boutique hotel scene. There are loads of gorgeous options and some really great value price points.
Let’s start with the quintessential Glasgow Boutique Hotel One Devonshire Gardens. Opened in 2006 this stunning property now encompasses five townhouses and is often visited by celebrities.
One Devonshire Gardens has a great location, fantastic “Monsoon” power showers, and an award-winning restaurant.
Glaswegian hotelier Ken McCulloch created the Dakota brand. The latest incarnation is the Dakota Deluxe which is located in an old Works and Pension building in the city centre.
Ken’s wife is an interior designer and the design is where this lovely Glasgow boutique hotel really shines.
Grasshoppers is an independent penthouse hotel offers great views over the Glasgow Central Station. It is independently owned and has just 30 rooms. Don’t miss their famous scrambled eggs at breakfast.
For a very cool design heavy option check out Citizen M Hotel. Modern Danish style and a futuristic theme provide a modern boutique hotel experience.
This one isn’t for your parents. Citizen M Hotel has a good location in the North of the city so all the key sites are walkable.
Something Special – Cromlix House
If you’re after something truly memorable when you visit Glasgow I highly recommend Cromlix House. This stunning property is about a one hour drive from Glasgow near the town of Dunblane.
One of the reasons Cromlix House Scotland is well known is because its owner is world-famous tennis player Andy Murray, who grew up in the area.
The other reasons are all about brilliant food, beautiful grounds, stunning rooms and friendly service. Visiting Cromlix House genuinely feels like visiting a friend’s unbelievably gorgeous country estate.
Everything is so beautifully done yet it is very relaxed. My stunning suite at Cromlix House was larger than my flat and considerably better furnished.
The highlight of the highlights for me (if I can say that) was the food. Cromlix House features a Chez Roux restaurant housed in a light and airy conservatory.
My 3-course dinner at Chez Roux Cromlix was absolutely sensational – heavy on local ingredients and beautifully plated. Breakfast was just as good – scrambled eggs with trout and caviar – and everything is very Instagram friendly.
Top Tip – Cromlix House offers fantastic value in its 3-course dinner and lunch menus – check them out online before you go.
Who Paid for What in this Post
Luxury Scotland was kind enough to host my stay at Cromlix and cover my car hire. However, as always my opinions are my own. I covered the cost of my flights to Glasgow and the tours and activities in Glasgow.
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.
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