Few travelers have unlimited time, and so some suggested itineraries for 3-day and weeklong visits to Glasgow may be helpful. These ideas will also help you to plan your time if you want to venture further afield to see the outstanding sights in the areas around Glasgow.
These itineraries highlight major sights, such as Edinburgh's Royal Mile, but also direct you to less celebrated spots, such as Alexander "Greek" Thomson's Holmwood House on Glasgow's Southside. The pace may look a bit breathless for some visitors. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, then skip an attraction or two: These plans are suggestions, not requirements. You may also mix bits of one itinerary with highlights of another.
Note: Visiting most attractions in Glasgow can be done on foot and by using public transportation; excursions outside the cities may well require a car.
If You Have 1 Day
From George Square, the city's main plaza in front of Glasgow City Chambers, catch one of the open-topped tour buses. The trip, from historic Glasgow Cathedral in the east to Glasgow University and trendy Byres Road in the west, can be as entertaining as it is informative. It's also the best way to get oriented. Tickets are valid for 24 hours, and you can get off and on as much as you desire. Visit at least one of the city-run museums (they're free) and a bona-fide Glasgow pub, such as the Horse Shoe.
If You Have 2 Days
Try to take in a bit of real Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture, whether an organized tour of the Art School on Garnethill or a visit to the interiors of his family house reconstructed at the Hunterian Art Gallery. Spend more time in the West End and check out the recently renovated Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Or go south and visit the vaunted Burrell Collection. Its art and artifacts from ancient to modern are the pride of the city, housed in an attractive, contemporary building amid verdant Pollok Country Park.
If You Have 3 Days
Architecture buffs should discover more about Alexander "Greek" Thomson, who preceded Mackintosh by two generations and was equally innovative and important. Try Holmwood House on the city's Southside. After London, Glasgow is the second city of shopping in the entire U.K. But don't be content with the familiar department stores: Seek out the designer labels in Merchant City or some funky shop off Byres Road in the West End. God after Mammon, so don't miss the Cathedral, and if the weather's fine, hike around the nearby Central Necropolis. The city's main graveyard occupies a hill, so the views are grand.
If You Have 4 Days or More
Those more interested in social history might visit the People's Palace museum, while those attuned to contemporary arts have not only the CCA but also the Arches and Tramway to consider. On the weekend, lovers of flea markets owe the Barras stalls a visit. An excursion away from the city is in order, either down the Clyde toward the sea and across to the Western peninsulas and islands, or up the road to Loch Lomond and the beginnings of the Highlands. In most directions, it takes less than 30 minutes to find wide-open countryside.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.