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Town Hall, George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Scotland Travel Guide

Glasgow Travel Guide   by Direct Line Travel Insurance

Glasgow Featured Hotels

There is so much to see and do in Glasgow; you are literally spoilt for choice. By day, you can soak up the Victorian architecture (Glasgow has the best-preserved Victorian city centre in the UK) and visit a number of impressive architectural wonders, museums, art galleries, theatres, parks and river walkways. Glasgow also has a reputation for the best shopping outside London. By night, you can eat, drink and enjoy a variety of live entertainment.
Glasgow's treasures

Glasgow is a treasure trove of art and architecture. Home to contemporary artists like Jim Lambie and David Shrigley, Glasgow has made a name for itself in the international art world.

The Glasgow School of Art is famous for its prestigious alumni and its Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture - a powerful influence for Art Nouveau and for the Modernist movement. If you are a fan of Mackintosh's style, visit The Hill House, The Willow Tearooms, the House for an Art Lover and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - this houses one of the greatest civic art collections in Europe, including works by Botticelli, Rembrandt and Dali and many Scottish artists.

City Chambers, George Sq. Glasgow, Scotland
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Retail therapy

Glasgow is a shopper's paradise. It is the second-largest shopping centre in the UK with arcades, open-air markets and shopping precincts. The main shopping area is in the heart of Glasgow and is for foot traffic only. Browse the shops at your own leisurely pace in Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street. If you are looking for the perfect piece of jewellery to add the finishing touch to your outfit, head to the Argyll Arcade. It has over 30 jewellery stores and is one of Britain's oldest covered arcades. If you prefer to do your shopping all under one roof, the Buchanan Galleries is your best option.

For the latest fashion trends visit Exchange Square, Ingram Street and Princes Square. If you are shopping for antiques, visit the Barras open-air street market in the East End and De Courcy's Antique Craft Arcade in the West End.

Where to go for a good time

You will never be short of entertainment options in Glasgow. A number of musicians, bands, comedians and entertainers have graced the city's nightspots including Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand and Billy Connolly. If you fancy going to a gig or concert, the Barrowlands, Arches, Bartly and Glasgow Academy and any number of pubs and bars offer live entertainment.
Festivals are also popular in Glasgow. You can visit the Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow River Festival, West End Festival, Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival or Aye Write Book Festival.
The Clyde Auditorium, Known as the Armadillo, Designed by Sir Norman Foster, Glasgow, Scotland
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A weekend escape

If you only have a long weekend to discover Glasgow's magic, here is an itinerary to make the most of your time.

Day 1
If you go in mid-July head for the Glasgow River Festival. The festival celebrates the River Clyde and you can enjoy boat trips, dingy rides and tall ship displays. If your trip does not coincide with the festival you can explore the riverside history of Glasgow on foot or by bicycle. Just follow the Clyde from the centre of town to Glasgow Green, stop off for a look at the People's Palace social history museum and finish the day off with a fish supper at Roganos - a renowned Art Deco restaurant.

Day 2
Hit the shops on Saturday or Sunday with an early morning visit to Barras Market. It has been selling a variety of bric-a-brac since the turn of last century. Some of the market stalls are set up under the Barrowlands - a famous music venue. After your visit to the market head into the city centre to trendy Ingram Street in the Merchant City. Take time out for a cultural experience at the Gallery of Modern Art. Round off Day 2 with a trip to the Uisge Beatha (meaning 'water of life') whisky specialist.

Day 3
Time to visit the park but not just any park, Kelvingrove. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, Kelvingrove consists of 34 manicured hectares of pristine Victorian gardens. You can also visit the recently refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It houses a Rennie Mackintosh gallery, a collection of Egyptian treasures and over 8,000 works of art.

Getting there

Travelling by road

If you plan to drive, the road links to Scotland are first rate, traffic permitting of course. If you are driving from Edinburgh the trip should take about one hour, from Manchester - three hours 50 minutes and London - seven hours.

If you do not mind sitting for about 10 hours, you could travel by coach. It is probably the cheapest option although it does take the longest.
Travelling by train

If you have the time, take the scenic route to Glasgow by train. Glasgow's two main train stations, Central and Queen Street, connect you with Strathclyde, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire regions with First ScotRail, and London and other major UK cities via west and east coast routes with National Express and Virgin.

Travelling by plane

You can catch a direct flight to Glasgow from London airports, provincial UK airports and Ireland. Glasgow International is 10 minutes away from the city and Prestwick is 30 minutes away. Prestwick also has its own dedicated train station.

Interior of Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow, United Kingdom
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You can fly with BA, easyJet, BMIbaby, FlyBe, Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Loganair. For more flight options, visit

Guidebooks are another useful source for ideas, suggestions and travel tips. Try:

  • The Glasgow Footprint Pocket Guide
  • The Rough Guide to Scotland
  • Scotland Lonely Planet Country Guide
Travel insurance

Unfortunately, Glasgow does have a reputation as a crime capital. However, the city is as safe as any other city in Western Europe so long as you are careful. Take care when visiting markets, tourist attractions and shopping precincts as pickpockets and thieves may be on the lookout for an easy target. Take extra care at night. For complete peace of mind, get travel insurance cover for all your valuables and personal possessions before you go. Whether you are planning a weekend break or a longer holiday, there are short and long-term travel insurance policies available to suit your needs. Most travel insurance companies offer quick and easy travel insurance quotes online. For a travel insurance quote and more information about the types of travel insurance available visit Direct Line Travel Insurance.

Top  -  Glasgow Featured Hotels

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Crowne Plaza Hotel Glasgow
The mirror-like tower of Crowne Plaza Glasgow soars into the sky above the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of the River Clyde. Let our Front Desk staff handle your luggage while you enjoy pre-concert drinks or take in the view from our glass lift on the way to your elegant room or Suite. Crowne Plaza Glasgow is 15 minutes' drive from Glasgow International Airport with plenty of parking. The Exhibition Centre rail station opposite the SECC connects to Glasgow Central rail station in the heart of the city's financial district. Stroll a few minutes to nearby Glasgow Science Centre, BBC Scotland or BAE Systems. You're a 5-minute walk from Ibrox Stadium, home to Rangers football club.
Hilton Glasgow
Stay at the centrally located Hilton Glasgow hotel for intimate dining at Camerons restaurant and cocktails at The Bar. Just 8 miles from Glasgow Airport, the hotel is 10 minutes from the city's shopping district. All rooms have high-speed internet access. Guests in Executive Rooms enjoy sweeping views of Glasgow and gain access to the Executive Lounge. Sip cocktails in The Bar, dine in style at Camerons or pile your plate high from the carvery at Minsky's Restaurant. Get fit in the 15-metre swimming pool or fully equipped fitness center. Find time to explore nearby Glasgow attractions, including golf courses, shopping and Glasgow Science Center. 
Holiday Inn Express City Centre, Glasgow
Ideally situated in the upmarket and trendy city centre district known as Theatreland, the hotel is only a few short steps form the city's theatres, best shops, and restaurants and is within easy access to all transport links - road, air, rail or bus. A hotel in Glasgow city centre that offers high quality accommodation with fresh, modern, clean and very comfortable rooms, a bar and a private meeting room, the Buchanan. Our great value bed and breakfast accommodation rates are always inclusive of a large continental buffet breakfast, and now hot menu items have been added to our already excellent free breakfast. Family rooms are also available on request. 
Jurys Inn Glasgow
Jamaica Street, where Jurys Inn Glasgow hotel is situated, is adjacent to Central Station and within five minutes of Queen Street Station. The hotel in Glasgow is also within convenient distance of The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. When it comes to hotels in Glasgow city, it's an ideal base to explore the business side of Glasgow and see its incredibly varied cultural highlights too. Our spacious and comfortable rooms are all en-suite and can accommodate three adults, two adults and two children, or just one person in complete comfort. Our bar is the ideal spot for a quick lunch or to grab a bite to eat with colleagues and friends.
Marks Hotel Glasgow
Marks Hotel Glasgow offers boutique hotel styling in the heart of Glasgow’s vibrant city centre, and more precisely in the Theatreland district. For guests searching Glasgow city centre hotels, the excellent Marks Hotel is most definitely a popular choice for hotels in Glasgow.  Marks Hotel Glasgow combines boutique styling and personalised service with 103 stylish guestrooms, including spacious executive rooms and 5 unique duplex suites, with rooms located at the front of the hotel featuring floor to ceiling windows providing breathtaking views across the city. The unique features of the Marks Hotel Glasgow put the hotel ahead of other Glasgow hotels. 
Millennium Hotel Glasgow
At the very centre of the city’s cultural and retail activities, this Glasgow hotel is a striking Victorian building with its impressive façade and offers modern amenities and impeccable service. Savour the delights of this Glasgow hotels close proximity to various museums and galleries or take a trip out of the city to Loch Lomond, The Trossachs or Ayrshire coast. Glasgow has the best selection of retail outlets in the UK after London including Armani, Versace and many more. The Brasserie on George Square offers relaxed dining in uniquely impressive surroundings. The restaurant places a strong emphasis on locally produced food with an array of seafood dishes using seasonal produce and melt in the mouth Scottish Beef, specially selected and 35 day aged. 
Thistle Glasgow
Located in Glasgow's city centre, near the Central Train Station, Thistle Glasgow is an ideal base for exploring the many galleries and museums. The Hotel is near Princes Square as well as near Hampden Park for football or music events or The Armadillo at SECC, making it the perfect hotel for concerts in Glasgow. Thistle Glasgow Hotel offers first-class rooms and services at affordable room rates and is conveniently situated for business meetings and events in Glasgow's city centre. Our contemporary designed Annlann Restaurant has an enticing menu featuring home-cooked British and Continental favourites, complemented by an extensive wine list. Meanwhile, our Cabin Bar serves a wide range of drinks, snacks and light meals in informal surroundings.
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