9 reasons to visit Glasgow before the year ends

Awe-inspiring buildings, fascinating tales of an industrial past and a fabulous foodie and music scene are all part and parcel of Glasgow’s energetic vibe. A true culture capital, city breaks in Glasgow are always glorious; but the latter part of the year is an especially sublime time to visit.

Read on for reasons why you should check out Scotland’s biggest city before the year is out.

1. See the city come alive with colour


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The autumn yellow, gold and ruby hues make Glasgow's public spaces particularly picturesque at this time of the year. In Kelvingrove Park, stroll along walking trails and gaze at statues dotted throughout the park, before wandering past some of the West End’s impressive Glasgow University buildings. 

Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery has everything from Monet and Van Gogh masterpieces to organ recitals and designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 

Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery

2. But first, the coffee


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Glasgow loves a cup of coffee and there are plenty of amazing cafés to curl up in and watch the world go by. In fact, the city even hosts its own coffee festival - the first coffee festival to ban all disposable coffee cups.  

Warm up with a delicious brew from the Dear Green Coffee Roasters in the East End, true experts who roast their own coffee, and learn more about making the perfect espresso in one of their weekly classes.

Dear Green Coffee Roasters

3. Coffee isn't the only thing brewing


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There’s also a beer or two to be had in this city. When you join a distillery tour of the Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery, you’ll learn all about Scotland’s most-loved pint of lager and see why this beer been such a large part of Scottish culture for generations.

The gift shop also has an amazing range of goodies and gifts for all the beer lovers in your life. You’ll get to try a wee taste too, so what are you waiting for?

Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery

4. Catch the boat to the Isle of Bute


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You might not realise it, but in Glasgow you are only 1 hour and 45 minutes away from an incredible Scottish island. Discover the history of the isle at the Bute Museum and admire the 13th century Rothesay Castle. Simply catch the train to Wemyss Bay from Glasgow Central, then step aboard the Calmac ferry to the Isle of Bute, where you can spend the day discovering Rothesay, the island’s biggest town.

Isle of Bute

5. The city’s nightlife is second to none


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Glasgow’s reputation for live music is legendary; so much so that the city has been given UNESCO City of Music status. 

Why not catch a gig or a concert in one of its amazing venues, such as the Barrowlands or King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, or visit a pub with folk music regulars? The Butterfly & the Pig or the Babbity Bowster are both top toe-tapping choices.

In the West End, there are lots of amazing cocktail bars, craft beer haunts and traditional pubs if you’re looking for a quieter evening out.

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

6. Stop for ‘A Play, A Pie & A Pint’ at lunch


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At the top of Byres Road in the West End, formerly the Kelvinside Parish Church, Òran Mór’s name comes from the Gaelic for ‘great melody of life’ or ‘big song’.

Catch A Play, A Pie & A Pint at lunchtime from Monday to Saturday. There’s also live music, wall murals from local artist Alasdair Gray, and two bars serving a fine selection of whiskies and cocktails.

Òran Mór’s

7. Try a few vegan delights


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Famed as one of the UK’s most vegan friendly cities, Glasgow has plenty of delicious veggie and vegan eateries to choose from.

Just off Argyle Street in the trendy area of Finnieston, the 78 is a lovely spot to grab a bite with vintage armchairs and an open fire to keep you cosy. Try a scrummy serving of the jackfruit shawarma or a vegan burrito, as well as a great selection of vegan beers.

The 78

8. Glasgow has one of the best shopping areas in the UK


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As the end of the year approaches and the weather starts to change, perhaps it’s time for a new wardrobe. 

Stroll through Glasgow’s Style Mile, the area between Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and the Merchant City, and fill up your bags with a combination of high street fashion and designer favourites, or hit Byres Road and try and source a few second-hand bargains and vintage finds in the West End.

Buchanan Street

9. A ceilidh is good for the soul


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As the days shorten, a trip to the oldest pub in Glasgow, Sloan’s Bar, will brighten up your nights with dancing and merriment, all set within in a gorgeously restored Parisian-style building, which started its days as a coffee shop back in 1797.

Join in an energetic ceilidh and boogie the night away (traditional Scottish style) or settle down with a classic movie on film nights in the Grand Ballroom.

Explore more Glasgow hidden gems or stay longer and explore the surrounding area with easy day trips from Glasgow.

For further ideas and inspiration to plan your visit now, see visitscotland.com/glasgow

Sloan's Bar
23 Dec 2019(last updated)