Glasgow, Scotland. After spending10 days traveling through rural Scotland and experiencing the extraordinary landscapes and historical sites, stepping off the train in Glasgow was quite a shock to the senses. It was definitely a “we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment.


Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland with a population of 600,000+. The population is highly diverse with multiple languages, and everyone is seemingly super busy. It all felt a bit as if we were no longer in Scotland. The city is both historical and modern with distinctive architecture around every corner. People are on the move in Glasgow. They’ve got places to go, people to see and shopping to do. Glasgow is a shopping mecca. It felt as if the city is trying to define itself and hasn’t quite figured it out. If you’re looking for the charm of Edinburgh, you won’t find it in Glasgow, but you will find many memorable places.

In our three days, we explored the city and we enjoyed some good eats. And, shockingly, we did the most expensive load of laundry in all of our travels at $23 for one load!

Clean, Comfortable and Convenient

We booked a stay at the Ibis Styles Hotel just a couple of blocks from Queen Street Train Station. Ibis is a European chain that offers very small rooms, but they tend to be clean and comfortable with reasonable rates. This particular property was quite nice with a friendly and helpful staff. Not knowing the city, we booked it because it was close to the station. Turns out we were just a couple of blocks off the main shopping avenues, which proved to be most convenient. And, near the station was a Hop On/Off bus stop, which gave us our first look at the city.

Hop On/Off Bus

One of of our favorite ways to get our bearings in a new city is to ride the Hop On/Off Bus. We get on and don’t get off again until we’re back at the beginning. It’s great for getting a feel for the city and to pinpoint places where we’d like to return. Our yellow line tour took us to 19 stops with live commentary and wonderful Scottish accents. There were adapters for multi-languages. Approximately, 90 minutes after our tour started we were back at the beginning near Queen Street Station and our hotel. Perfect.

Yellow Line Tour – Photo credit: CitySightseeingGlasgow
Highlights of the Yellow Line

There were three highlights of the Yellow Line that we earmarked for a visit; the Clydeside Distillery, the University of Glasgow Cloisters and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. There were of course many other places worthy of a visit, but with only three days to explore the city we narrowed our choices. Especially, because we knew we wanted to visit the Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis, and we wanted to have time to just let our feet guide us.

University of Glasgow Cloisters

If you’ve seen any of the Harry Potter movies, you’ll understand when I say visiting the cloisters was a step into Hogwarts. But, apparently no scenes were filmed on the campus although it’s fun to think about.

The university was founded in 1451 and boasts a huge student enrollment of 42,000+. It is truly a beautiful campus, and a bit magical. As it was nearing the end of the academic year, when we visited in late April, there were a few buildings we could not enter. I could see, from the outside, the grand hall would have been spectacular to see.

Clydeside Distillery

If you’re in Scotland, there’s a very good chance you’re going to visit a distillery. Whiskey is the name of the game. Abi enjoys it, I do not. But, I enjoy a good tour so off we went. It was actually very interesting to see and learn about the process. Clydeside offers guided tours with a tasting.

Our tour began with a few short videos and an introduction to the distillery by our guide. As we made our way through each room and step in the process, our guide explained the process and answered questions. The tour ended with a tasting. I took the tiniest of sips so I could say I tried it. Then I passed my glass to Abi. In his opinion, for a young whiskey, it was smooth and full of character.

Clydeside has a cafe, gift shop, restrooms and outside seating. As the distillery is on the waterfront, it’s a very nice spot to sit and relax.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

Located in the West End of the city, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is like no other. Seemingly, it is much more than a gallery and museum, there are a multitude of community programs as well. There are 22 galleries to explore; each impressive in its own right. One of my favorite areas was the grand entry way, it was stunning. An added upside is an organ recital each day at 1:00 Monday – Saturday and 3:00 on Sunday. I have a love of enormous pipe organs so anytime I can sit and listen it’s a win. This pipe organ, which has 2,889 pipes was commissioned for the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1901. It was then moved to the museum which opened in the same year.

Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis

When we travel we will almost always make sure we visit churches, chapels, cathedrals and basilicas. Not for the religious associations, but rather for the history, the art, and the architecture. The Glasgow Cathedral, which belongs to the Church of Scotland, did not disappoint. Dating back to the 1100’s, it is the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland, and the only cathedral to survive the 1560 reformation intact.

Just behind the cathedral on a nearby hill to the east, is the Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery. Although not all plots have markers, or headstones, it is said there are 50,000+ graves in the cemetery. The necropolis opened in the early 1800’s and covers approximately 37 acres with the burial plots laid out in somewhat of a haphazard fashion. Many of the plots have remarkable headstones and monuments. It was the place to be buried back in the day.

Good Eats in Glasgow

If you’re a fan of the Netflix series, Somebody Feed Phil, you most likely appreciate his quirky personality and sense of humor. He travels all over the world sampling the best cuisine while meeting locals and embracing the culture.

Tantrum Doughnuts

Just before we left for Scotland we were delighted to discover Phil had visited Glasgow and Edinburgh. Do you love doughnuts? We do. Our whole family does. I mean, they’re the best. But, we’re talking about good quality doughnuts that make you swoon. Phil visited Tantrum Doughnuts and raved about the doughnuts during his Glasgow episode. We had three mornings in Glasgow, including the day we left for Edinburgh. We went to Tantrum every morning. They were to die for.

I believe they have three locations in Glasgow. The City Centre location wasn’t too far from our hotel, so it’s the first place we went before starting each day. And, we had no problem justifying doughnuts when we were logging 8 to 10 miles of walking each day. Well, truthfully, we would have eaten them even if we hadn’t walked a single mile.


We walked by Paesano’s several times as it was just a few doors down from our hotel. It was always busy, a good sign. Late one afternoon between lunch and dinner we decided to give it a try. A wise decision indeed. By far some of the best pizza we’ve had the pleasure of eating. Funny, they tell you the pizza will look soupy in the middle and they weren’t joking.

When our pizzas arrived, we looked at them thinking they were not cooked, but they were perfect. A side arugula salad was delicious, even more so when we piled the arugula on our pizzas. The only negative is that it was our last day in Glasgow or we most certainly would have returned for round two.

Gyros and Spirits

While out and about near the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, we happened upon a food truck. Mac Tassos. We weren’t starving so we decided to just share a gyros. Wow! It was so good! We found a bench and with a couple of forks we got busy. French fries were inside the wrap. Yum!

After a day of walking, Abi wanted to sit and have a beer. Just a couple of blocks from our hotel we found “our” pub, Drouthy’s. I think we ended up spending a bit of time each day at our favorite table. It was a great place to quench our thirst and just chill out for a bit. And, the locals were fun.

How to Spend Three Days in Glasgow

So, here’s the scoop. I can’t say we fell madly in love with Glasgow, but we did enjoy our visit. Three days was just the right amount of time. It can happen when traveling. Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you don’t. I remember stepping off the train in Marseille and 10 minutes later I was ready to leave again. We didn’t, we spent the day, but I would have left had Abi not convinced me to spend the day.

Click HERE to watch our video of riding the Glasgow Hop On/Off bus. And, please subscribe to our channel and help us grow.

Will we return to Glasgow to explore further? Probably not. But, never say never. With that being said though, if we were in Edinburgh we wouldn’t hesitate to take a 45-minute train ride to Glasgow to have lunch at Paesano’s. And, you better believe we’d have a dozen doughnuts with us on our return to Edinburgh.

Pin it!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for new content notifications.