Located on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. Home to Scotland’s largest economy, numerous buildings known for their architecture, a number of academic and cultural institutions, contributions to sport, and vast growth during the Industrial Revolution (particularly with regard to shipbuilding), there’s a lot to the city.
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There is a sizeable proportion of people from Asian backgrounds in the city, with multiple different religions also being represented within its populace. If you’re considering venturing into the Highlands, then Glasgow can be a good base from which to start your journey, with the West Highland Line to Fort William and Mallaig being particularly well-renowned.
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Getting to Glasgow is relatively simple. There are frequent trains from London Euston station, with other long-distance services operating from Manchester and Liverpool. If you fancy an alternative method of rail transport, then the Caledonian Sleeper train is well worth considering. If coming from further afield, then Glasgow Airport has flights from a number of European countries, with access into the city via the Glasgow Airport Express bus service.
Alternatively, Edinburgh Airport may be a viable option, with good access into Edinburgh city centre and frequent trains from there to Glasgow. Glasgow has an extensive suburban rail network, with trains serving Glasgow Queen Street or Glasgow Central stations. If you want to get around the city centre, then the Glasgow Subway is well worth considering – it’s Europe’s third-oldest underground rail transit system after those in London and Budapest.
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Scotland does have a reputation for its weather being somewhat unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to ensure you’ve packed for all weathers.
Getting the best-value rail tickets possible is something that we at Trainsplit are sure many people want to do. This can include booking in advance, using a Railcard if you have one, travelling outside peak times, and – of course – splitting tickets via our website. If you’d like further information on any of these, please get in touch, and we’ll do what we can to assist you. We do have a comprehensive guide here at Trainsplit on the booking process, which we hope will be very useful, and we’ve covered some of the main points below.
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Trainsplit is the only site that finds you cheaper alternative journeys not shown on other sites. It's a great way to save money on your train travel, especially if you're flexible with your travel dates and times. To use Trainsplit, simply enter your travel details and it will show you a list of alternative routes with the cheapest prices.
Arguably Scotland’s most well-known sporting rivalry is that between Rangers and Celtic football clubs, known as the ‘Old Firm’. The history goes beyond football, and is well worth learning more about. Tours of each club’s stadium are a great way to learn about the stories of the clubs, and can be found at Ibrox Stadium (nearest stations are Ibrox and Cessnock on the Glasgow Subway) and Celtic Park (nearest station is Dalmarnock). Furthermore, the Scottish national stadium Hampden Park (nearest stations are Mount Florida and Kings Park), which is also home to the Scottish Football Museum, is well worth a visit. Hampden Park also hosts athletics events, and was a key location during the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Are you a Sports Fan? Trainsplit has partnered with Pledgeball, a grassroots charity that rallies fellow fans to take action to protect where we play, making changes that improve our air and our green spaces. It can be as simple as swapping to reusable water bottles or taking the train to a match instead of driving. Fans, players, clubs, grassroots teams – the impact we can have together is game-changing.
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As with many major cities, Glasgow has a wealth and variety of points of architectural interest. A good number of these were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an exponent of the Art Nouveau movement in the UK. Some of his most well-known works are the Glasgow School of Art and Queen’s Cross Church, which is the only church he designed. Also of note is the Victorian-era Alexander Thompson, whose works include the Holmwood House villa. It’s not just 19th and 20th century architecture, though – the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is one such example, opening in 1990. Along the banks of the Clyde are the SEC Centre, the Clyde Auditorium (known as ‘the Armadillo’ for its resemblance to the animal), and the OVO Hydro, which is one of the busiest arenas in the world in terms of ticket sales. Of more recent note is the Riverside Museum, which opened in 2011 and encompasses the Glasgow Museum of Transport, and was designed by the late Zaha Hadid.
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The Trainsplit app is more than just a way to save money on train travel. It's a great way to explore new places and meet new people.
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Arguably Glasgow’s most well-known entertainment venue is the OVO Hydro (nearest station is Exhibition Centre), which has played host to a wide variety of things over the years – from hosting events in the 2014 Commonwealth Games to big names as varied as Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, U2, Bette Midler, Taylor Swift, and stand-up comedians including Kevin Bridges (born in nearby Clydebank). A number of theatres are located around the city, including the Theatre Royal (nearest station is Cowcaddens on the Subway), which is home to both the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet. The city also has a number of concert halls, with the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (nearest station is Buchanan Street on the Subway) being home to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Glasgow City Halls (nearest station is High Street) being home to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Glasgow itself has been home to many musical acts over the years, including Lewis Capaldi, Chvrches, Franz Ferdinand, Amy Macdonald, Gerry Rafferty, Jimmy Somerville (member of the Communards), and many more.
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Many major cities have a number of museums, and Glasgow is no exception, with a substantial variety on offer as well. The Riverside Museum (nearest station is Partick), opened in 2011, is home to the Glasgow Museum of Transport. Exhibits include a number of road & rail vehicles, some ship models, and a recreation of a Glasgow Subway station prior to the system’s refurbishment in the 1970s, with many of the items taken from the defunct Merkland Street station. Also of note is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (nearest station is Kelvinhall on the Subway), located in Kelvingrove Park. This museum houses exhibits from a variety of sources, including the Old Masters, the Impressionists, a preserved Supermarine Spitfire, and more.
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Glasgow and the area along the banks of the River Clyde is well-known for its shipbuilding past, which was at its peak during the 19th and 20th centuries. The shipyards along the River Clyde have been the construction sites for many vessels over the years, with one of the most well-known examples being the RMS Lusitania, which was constructed by John Brown & Co in Clydebank. The ship was sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat in May 1915, with nearly 1,200 lives lost. If you’d like to learn more about Glasgow’s shipbuilding history, then the Fairfield Heritage Centre in Govan (nearest station is Govan on the Subway) is a great place to visit, based in the former offices of Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd.
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As with any major city, Glasgow has a huge variety of places to eat and drink. It is purported to be the place where chicken tikka masala was first invented, though its true origins are perhaps unclear. Before restaurants are mentioned, it would be remiss of us to not mention whisky. Scotland is famous across the world for its huge number of varied whiskies, and you can take a tour of the Clydeside distillery (nearest station is Exhibition Centre) near the OVO Hydro. Here, you can learn about the history of how Clydeside whisky is made, browse the shop, sample what the café has to offer, and maybe even try a few drams. You can find further information HERE.
We have a number of recommendations for food in Glasgow, with a variety of cuisines and price points, which we hope will suit all kinds of budgets and preferences.
A prime example of fine dining in Glasgow, Bilson Eleven (nearest station is Bellgrove) features in the Michelin Guide. The restaurant focuses on Scottish seafood and game, with the tasting menu including scallops with apple, aged soy, pumpkin, and kimchi, a dish of grouse which includes bramble and Jerusalem artichoke, and many more. The tasting menu also has the option for a paired wine selection, which can help to heighten the experience. There’s also a slightly cheaper tasting menu available on some nights of the week, again with an option for a paired wine selection, if you should wish to take advantage of this option on a slightly lower budget. Both menus can take a few hours for the whole experience, so is more recommended for those who have the time to do so.
Dakota Bar & Grill situated within the Dakota Deluxe Hotel, offers a sophisticated dining experience in the heart of the city. The restaurant's contemporary and luxurious ambiance complements its modern British cuisine. From impeccably cooked steaks to fresh seafood, the menu showcases locally sourced, high-quality ingredients. The attentive staff and well-stocked bar enhance the overall experience, making Dakota Bar & Grill a top choice for a memorable evening out in Glasgow. Centrally located at the heart of Glasgow on the corner of West Regent and Pitt Street, Dakota is conveniently situated, less than a mile from both of the city's primary train stations. It's just a brief five-minute journey from the SECC and the Hydro, with on-street parking available in the vicinity of the hotel for added convenience.
Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery, a renowned dining establishment nestled in Glasgow, is a culinary gem celebrated for its classic Scottish fare with a modern twist. Housed in an elegant, Victorian-era building, the restaurant exudes timeless charm and a warm ambiance. Known for its dedication to using locally sourced, fresh ingredients, the menu offers a delightful selection of seafood, game, and traditional Scottish dishes. With a well-curated wine list to complement the cuisine and impeccable service, Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery is a destination for those seeking a memorable and indulgent dining experience in the heart of Glasgow.
Located a short walk from High Street station in the city centre, The Italian Kitchen is relatively self-explanatory in what it serves. There’s a good variety of dishes, with rigatoni Bolognese, spaghetti gamberonio, and penne all’arrabiata being just a few choices on the pasta menu, and plenty of options for pizza, such as the classic margherita, the quattro stagioni, and the primavera. There are also a number of different antipasti options, focaccia, and an impressive wine list.
What happens when you serve Indian food in a similar way to Spanish tapas? You get Murphy’s Pakora Bar. Located on Argyle Street, and a short walk from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Murphy’s has many popular choices from Indian cuisine. There’s a wide variety of pakoras available to choose from, including haggis (a vegan option is available here), many classic curries, Indian fried chicken tenders, and even an Indian take on the British classic of fish and chips. TripAdvisor rates Murphy’s as one of the best restaurants in Glasgow, so it’s definitely worth considering!
Steak is a great choice for a romantic and/or celebratory meal, and Glasgow has an excellent option in the form of Meat Joint Scottish Steak House. The menu is small, but the food quality is very good, with a focus on Scottish-based produce. The steaks themselves are from Scottish Black Angus cattle and dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days. Other items on the menu include haddock caught from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, lamb from Ayrshire, scallops from Barra, and more. The wine list is also varied, and there’s a solid selection of Scotch whiskies from the different whisky regions.
If you like Japanese food, then Sapporo Teppanyaki is well worth considering. Located a short walk from High Street station, there are a variety of dishes on the menu to suit everyone, from gyoza to prawn tempura, a number of different sushi, teppanyaki (known for being cooked in front of customers), and more. Also worth mentioning is its number of Japanese whiskies available to purchase, as well as sake (the popular Japanese rice wine), and many more. There’s also a reasonably-priced set menu available, which could be good for anyone who’s a bit more budget-conscious.
Found in the Merchant City about halfway between Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street, Topolabamba is one of the city’s most popular Mexican restaurants. With a huge variety of tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, burritos, and more, it’s not hard to see why this is the case. The drinks menu is also extensive, with plenty of different margaritas, including some very nice house specials. For those who may be on a tighter budget, the express lunch menu has a good variety of options, and we’d suggest looking into this as a potential choice for food. One of the reasons why Mexican food can be quite popular is that the set-up can be quite social, especially if multiple dishes are ordered for the entire table, giving everyone a chance to get their teeth into a wider variety of dishes than they perhaps ordinarily would – it’s a great idea if you’re in a sizeable group!
Chinese food is very popular in the UK, and Opium (nearest stations are Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street) is an excellent choice in the city centre. The menu does also include dishes from Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, if you fancy something a little bit different. Opium prides itself on sourcing its ingredients from Scotland, which could be an attractive factor if you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint. Part of Opium’s philosophy is that the dishes can be shared among a group of people. There are plenty of options on the dim sum menu, which is highly recommended. Mains include seafood items such as steamed sea bass, XO tiger prawns and scallops, chicken teriyaki, beef massaman curry, sanbei tofu with ginger & sweet basil, and plenty more. The wine list is also sizeable, with a number of cocktails also available, including classics and twists on other classics as well.
The street food scene has taken off in the UK over the past few years, and one option for this in Glasgow can be found at Dockyard Social (nearest station is Exhibition Centre), which is generally open between Friday and Sunday. There are plenty of options available, including Indian, Italian, Greek, Thai, and more. There’s also ice-cream if you have a sweet tooth. Additionally, the site hosts a number of special events, including quizzes, sports event viewings, a number of different events for children, a wealth of different events in the run-up to Christmas, and many more. One of the benefits of street food markets such as Dockyard Social is that if you’re in a group, you don’t have to all go to the same place, and can choose whichever cuisine takes your fancy.
Missoula is a vibrant and stylish venue in the heart of Glasgow, known for its lively atmosphere and unique blend of contemporary and classic design. Situated in the West End, it offers a diverse range of entertainment, from live sports and themed party nights to a delicious menu featuring a variety of dishes to cater to different tastes. With its spacious interior, cosy booths, and an inviting outdoor terrace, Missoula is a popular choice for both social gatherings and casual dining, offering a dynamic experience that captures the spirit of Glasgow's nightlife.
Scran offers a delightful culinary experience that beautifully blends modern Scottish cuisine with international influences. With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Scran presents a diverse menu that showcases the rich culinary heritage of Scotland while introducing innovative and contemporary twists. The restaurant's warm and welcoming ambiance, coupled with its commitment to top-notch service, makes it an excellent choice for those seeking an authentic taste of Glasgow's food scene. Whether indulging in traditional haggis or savoring creative seafood dishes, Scran invites diners to sate their appetites in a setting that captures the essence of Glasgow's diverse and evolving gastronomic culture.
If you fancy a bit of retail therapy, then Glasgow is an excellent place to do this. The city centre is home to a number of shopping areas, with some of the most well-known being Argyle Street, Sauchiehall Street, and Buchanan Street. Also worth investigating is the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre, with a mix of well-known high-street names and independent stores.
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If you want to explore some of the city’s green space, then there are a number of parks to walk through, including Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow Green, Bellahouston Park, Pollok Country Park, Alexandra Park, and more.
If you wish to use the city as a base for exploring Scotland by train, then one particular highlight is the West Highland Line, which runs from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban, and also to Mallaig via Fort William. The portion of the journey from Fort William to Mallaig goes over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, which has featured in a number of films and television series – one of the most notable is its appearance in the Harry Potter film series. There’s also the option in the summer months to take the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig.
We very much hope that we have convinced you to book a journey to Glasgow. If we have, then that’s fantastic! Please make sure to use our website for the best-value train tickets possible, and if you do have any queries about your journey, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Remember, if you have any questions about train travel or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our team. We're here to help you plan a memorable journey.