Scotland's second city, Glasgow's gothic architecture and alternative culture has made it a must-visit destination. Yet with so many attractions and areas to explore, how can you make the most of your couple's weekend in Glasgow? This 48-hour itinerary will highlight some of the best spots to see, eat and drink on your weekend break in Glasgow.
Whether you arrive in the late morning or just after lunch, head from Glasgow Central Station to your hotel or B&B to drop your bags and wrap up warm. With temperatures rarely reaching above 20C and rain showers being a common occurrence, it's key that you're prepared for Glasgow weather before you head out exploring. Get your bearings by taking a stroll down the quirky and cool West End neighbourhood (Byres Road is a must-visit destination) or head over to the leafy South Side for the perfect start to a leisurely afternoon.
Explore Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Start your weekend by getting a sense of the city's culture at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Opened in 1901, Kelvingrove's unique architecture, amazing gardens and 22 galleries make it a favourite location amongst both locals and visitors. With artefacts and exhibitions that explore historical eras from Ancient Egypt up to the modern day, it's a great place to get a sense of Glasgow's eclectic history and culture.
Take a drink on Ben Nevis
Take a seat, warm up and enjoy a wee dram from behind the bar of the Ben Nevis pub. Thought to be one of the city's oldest drinking establishments, it's one of the best places to sample the country's famous beverages, with approximately ten feet of whiskeys to choose from. A cosy and friendly pit stop - you might even be lucky enough to catch some live Scottish music here too.
Taste the best of Scotland
Glasgow's food scene offers some of the best and most unusual cuisines in the UK, which visitors can sample regardless of their budget. If you're looking for a treat to kick off your weekend, then Michelin-starred The Gannet is one of the city's finest examples of modern Scottish cuisine. Alternatively, Bentley's Grill serves up local favourites in a relaxed and friendly location, making it an ideal place to finish off your first day in the city.
Enjoy Glasgow's music scene
Don't want your first day to end? As UNESCO's first UK city of music, Glasgow has live music events running all week long. For a great night out dancing at an iconic venue, book tickets for an event at Barrowland Ballroom (they tend to sell out way in advance). Or, if you're an indie lover, then King Tut's Wah Wah Hut has been named one of the UK's best music clubs and has acts from across the country performing every night.
Once you've rested up from your night out or a few too many whiskeys, set yourself up for another day of exploring with a Scottish breakfast at the Hyndland Cafe or a dish of shakshuka at theSingl-end Cafe and Bakehouse. Then, wrap yourself up again and get stepping.
Climb the Necropolis
Set at the top of a hill just to the east of the city centre, the Necropolis is a Victorian cemetery and an iconic example of the city's Gothic architecture. The final resting place of some of the city's most prominent historical figures, it's worth exploring for an hour or two alongside the nearby Cathedral. Then, once you've built up an appetite walking across the city, head to Scran> (named after the Scottish word for food) for a tasty bun or toastie or dive into the E-Street Cafe for some tasty vegetarian or vegan lunch options.
See plenty of Mackintosh
Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of the city's most famous designers and architects, with much of the city being built under his artistic influences. To find out all about this figure and his impact on Glasgow's architecture, the Lighthouse has a visitor centre dedicated to his life and works alongside several other exhibition and artistic spaces. Alternatively, you can discover some of the city's newest artists at the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art where exhibitions run throughout the year.
Start the evening with a pint
As evening draws in, enjoy a pint of the best and a tasty snack at the Scotia or Bon Accord pubs. Scotia was opened in 1792, making it the perfect place to drink in the city's history and Bon Accord has a selection of more than 800 beers for visitors to choose from. If you'd prefer to find out more about the history behind one of Scotland's favourite beer makers, then a tour of theTennent Caledonian Breweries will be a great way to start your evening.
Try Glasgow's favourite cuisine
With one of the country's biggest Indian communities, Glasgow is home to some of the best curry houses in the UK. A long-standing favourite for locals and visitors, Obsession of India restaurant is well-renowned and highly rated. Or, for a taste of delicious and traditional Punjabi food, head to family-run Ranjit's Kitchen for a relaxed and enjoyable end to your Glasgow weekend away.
Head into the Highlands
Though your trip to Glasgow may be at an end, your Scottish experience doesn't have to be. With Avanti West Coast, you can continue your adventures towards Edinburgh, Loch Lomand or the Trossachs National Park in complete comfort. Simply book your train tickets in advance and you could be exploring the streets of the capital or experiencing Scotland's wild side within a couple of hours of leaving Glasgow Central station.
Book your trip to Glasgow
So, have you decided where to go for a day out in England, Scotland or Wales? Whatever city’s independent shops you’ve got your heart set on, Avanti West Coast can take you there. You can book any train journey through our Journey Planner, even if the stations and services aren’t run by Avanti West Coast.