How to Spend 48 hours in Glasgow
A trip to Scotland isn’t complete without a visit to Glasgow. So, whether you’re short on time or have booked a spontaneous Scottish city break, here’s our suggested itinerary for what to do in Glasgow in 48hrs (with all the best bits included!).
2 Days in Glasgow: Day 1
Morning: Head to the West End and visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
For art in Glasgow, don’t miss out on the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. With over 8,000 objects covering art, archaeology and natural history set in a grand Victorian sandstone building, it’s a popular visitor attraction in Glasgow’s West End.
Enjoy a leisurely walk through Kelvingrove Park, which surrounds the art gallery and museum. The park spans 85 acres, and includes beautifully landscaped gardens, a bandstand, a skatepark and bowling greens. This sprawling public park offers peace and tranquillity in the heart of the city at any time of year.
Afternoon: Byres Road
Byres Road flows through the heart of Glasgow’s West End. This bustling street is home to a huge selection of bars and restaurants, so it’s a great spot to stop off for lunch. There are also many independent shops here, selling everything from clothes and accessories to books and records.
From Byres Road, you can easily walk up to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, too. Featuring a huge collection of plants housed in several glasshouses – the most famous being Kibble Place – it’s well worth a visit if you have the time.
Evening: Glasgow by Night
Whether you head over to Ashton Lane, explore the Finnieston area, or go to the heart of the action in the Merchant area, you’re bound to find something to suit your tastes!
Ashton Lane is a cobbled backstreet in the West End of Glasgow featuring a large choice of restaurants and bars. From a romantic dinner to live music, enjoy the vibrant nightlife and culinary offerings Glasgow presents here.
Catch the lights hanging over the lane in the early evening before stopping for a pint at one of the lane’s longstanding favourites, Jinty McGuinty’s. The Irish bar has become somewhat of a household name in its 23 years of service, serving lunchtime classics and holding live music events every night.
Hot on Glasgow’s tourist trail is the Finnieston area, voted as one of the “hippest places to live” in the UK by The Times. Find artisanal coffee bars and trendy restaurants in this culinary hub, enjoy a craft beer at a chic bar or sample Scottish whisky at a traditional pub.
Step back in time at one of Glasgow’s oldest quarters dating back to the 1750s. Merchant City is known for its array of bars, boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. Visiting in the summer? The annual Merchant City Festival in takes place in July/August which offers some of the best Scottish and international art and entertainment as well as family activities, so there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for things to do in Glasgow at night, there’s plenty to choose from. With a famous live music scene, many theatres and lots of bars and clubs, you’re truly spoilt for choice. In fact, Glasgow’s nightlife is so extensive, it may well be one of the highlights of your trip.
2 Days in Glasgow: Day 2
Morning: City Centre – Gallery of Modern Art
If you’re looking for things to do in Glasgow city centre, soak up some culture at the Gallery of Modern Art. The gallery is housed in a stunning neoclassical building in Royal Exchange Square, and contains four galleries in total, as well as a shop and café. Showcasing modern and contemporary artworks from around the world, it’s well worth a visit during your 48 hour stay.
Afternoon: City Centre – The Lighthouse
Looking to find some great views of Glasgow’s skyline? Head to The Lighthouse’s viewing platform, Scotland’s national centre for design and architecture. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Scotland’s most influential creative figures, The Lighthouse is a diverse exhibition and events space offering guided tours for just £5.
To see more of Mackintosh’s architecture in Glasgow, head south of the river Clyde and explore the works of one of the city’s favourites at House for an Art Lover. Or, why not enjoy the ultimate Charles Rennie Mackintosh experience by dining at the Willow in the original Willow Tea Rooms? You’ll find this famous building at 217 Sauchiehall Street, with a Visitor Centre next door. Opened in 1903, these buildings are important contributors to the architectural and cultural heritage of Glasgow. They’re the only surviving tea rooms that Mackintosh designed for local entrepreneur and patron Kate Cranston, a leading figure in the development of tea rooms.
Evening: Catch a gig or concert
Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music, with a vibrant music scene that’s well worth uncovering.
Catch a concert in Glasgow at one of the many venues: SSE Hydro (for the big names), Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (for the classical), or King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (for the up-and-coming). You’ll also find plenty of live music on offer in the city’s many pubs and bars, and some top festivals in Glasgow’s parks.
Never short of offering visitors a variety of things to do, Glasgow is the ideal city break for anyone looking for a combination of culture, history, and a buzzing nightlife. To be right at the heart of the action, book yourself a comfy night’s sleep at easyHotel Glasgow City Centre.