City Guide

Things to Do in Glasgow

Ben Maples  · Apr 14th 2023
Glasgow clyde bridge

Glasgow is the most densely populated city in Scotland, and is the third most populated city in the UK and is home to five outstanding universities, one of which, is one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world.

Things to do in Glasgow


Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow has the notable distinction of being at the very cultural epicentre of Scotland as it grows. Glasgow has (according to recent figures) a rough population of 1,680,669 people living in the city alone, making it one of the most vastly populated cities in the whole of Scotland.

Things to do in Glasgow

A good place for university students is the Sub Club, a club located in Jamaica Street. The club has DJ sets and light shows. The club has stood since 1987 and is one of the most popular clubs in the city.

The second place to visit is The Garage. The Garage has a wide-variety in its shows, with everything from live band performances, DJ sets and even the occasional showing of all eight Harry Potter films. The club is open every single day of the year.

For those that are looking for history in the city, the local museums are littered around the city including the Riverside Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, People’s Palace Glasgow and the Scottish Football Museum.

Glasgow also boasts a wealth of various movie theatres in the city. Given the size of Glasgow, it’s impossible to say just how many there are, however, the city does have everything from a Cineworld (with tiered seating) or the Odeon. However, if you’re looking for more independent releases etc., we recommend joining one of the city’s many different film societies.

Glasgow has a number of activities to keep you entertained with some exciting festivals, with everything from the Southside Film Festival, the Piping Live! Festival. Both of which are affordable and accessible for students of all ages. We recommend giving them a look in if you’re looking to enjoy your time in Glasgow.


As the most populated city in Scotland and the third most populated city in the UK, the transport links in Glasgow are outstanding.

The railway services are expansive and wide-ranging, in fact, Glasgow currently has the most expansive rail network in the UK outside of London. Most of the trains running in the country, including Glasgow, are operated by Abellio ScotRail.

There are two main stations in the city, Central Station and Queen Street Station. Central Station runs to most major cities and has a TransPennine Express service that runs to Manchester and CrossCountry services that run to Birmingham, Bristol and Plymouth and other major cities. For services to major cities in Scotland, such as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness, you will need to use Queen Street Station.

The city has a huge number of bus services as well. The city’s buses are all deregulated, which means that there are a huge number of private services and companies that operate within the city’s limits. First Glasgow, McGill’s Bus Services, Glasgow Citybus and Stagecoach West Scotland are all vying for control in the city as the main bus provider.

Glasgow has two major international airports, although some people often regard them as having three as Edinburgh’s Edinburgh International Airport is close enough to count. However, of those that are within the city limits are Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Glasgow Seaplane Terminal. There is also a heliport in the city as well, the Glasgow City Heliport, which is located on the Clyde banks.

Things to do with kids in Glasgow

Universities in the City

There are five different universities in the city. They are:

The University of Glasgow is one of the UK’s oldest universities, is one of four ancient universities in Scotland and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of Universities. The university was established in 1451, over 500 years ago.

The university does not operate one student union, in fact, the university has a number of different unions, guilds and associations working for the benefit of the student body. There is the Students’ Representative Council (SRU), the Glasgow University Union (GUU) (although joining the GUU or the QMU will cost money, unlike most unions) and the Queen Margaret Union (QMU). Both operate a number of live event venues and represent a number of clubs and societies. Mature students are represented by the Mature Students’ Association (MSA).

The sporting side of things is handled by the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) and work closely with the Sport and Recreation Service. Those looking to compete in the university’s sports teams will need to join the GUSA first.

The university also operates a number of different media platforms for students. Glasgow University Guardian, is the student newspaper, Glasgow University Magazine, which is the student magazine, Glasgow University Student Television (GUSTV), the student TV network and Subcity Radio, the university’s own radio station.

The University of Strathclyde was founded originally in 1796, as the Andersonian Institute, and became a university in 1964. Because of the date of its inception, it is the country’s second-oldest university after the University of Glasgow.

The university has over 20,000 students that attend the university every year, a figure that has risen from the mere 4,000 students they boasted at the time of receiving university status.

Glasgow Caledonian University was established in 1875 and became a full university in 1993.

The student body is represented by the Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Association (GCUSA) with all students automatically enrolled beforehand. The union even won Union of the year by NUS Scotland in 2011!

The union runs a number of sports clubs and societies, they are also responsible for The EDIT, the student magazine and Radio Caley, the university radio station. Students are able to qualify for the TOTUM Card through the union as well, as the union is part of the National Union for Students (NUS).

The University of the West of Scotland was started as the Paisley College of Technology in 1897, before receiving university status in 1992, where it was renamed to the University of Paisley and then eventually the University of the West of Scotland in 2007.

The student body has two students associations: The Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) is considered the main university association for the whole university, whereas the Crichton University Campus Association (CUCA) is the main association on the Dumfries Campus, although the SAUWS does also operate there. Both associations are part of the NU and the SAUWS won the NUS Scotland Higher Award for “Higher Education Student Association of the Year” in 2016.

There are a number of sports clubs and societies within the university and the university competes in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) League and the Scottish Student Sport competitions.

The university (known colloquially as TeamUWS), also competes regularly in varsity competitions against Edinburgh Napier University in American Flag Football, Hockey, Football and more.

The Glasgow School of Art was established in 1845 and has been a mainstay of Glaswegian arts and academia. The Glasgow School of Art’s degrees are validated by the University of Glasgow.

Things to do with family in Glasgow


Glasgow and the surrounding area has played host to a number of communities over the years, with a number of people visiting the settlement both as a tourist attraction and as a way of being able to blow off steam, especially as the settlement was so close to the River Clyde, which provided bountiful chances for fishing and swimming.

The Romans eventually built an outpost in the settlement and eventually, the Antonine Wall was built to seperate the Romans from the Celtic and Pictish Caledonia. It's thought that the city was initially founded by Saint Mungo in the 6th Century and established a church in the settlement (where Glasgow Cathedral currently stands).

With the construction and establishment of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and the settlement being granted city status in 1492, Glasgow’s fortunes changed and more people visited the city and more people began to inhabit it.

After the Acts of Union passed in 1707, Scotland was given access to a number of the markets in what was then the British Empire. This meant that Glasgow created a number of john opportunities in the city and was also able to welcome a lot of trade from America, such as sugar, tobacco, manufactured goods and cotton.

By the time 1821 rolled around, Glasgow had overtaken Edinburgh as the most populated city in Scotland, this also saw the introduction of the City of Glasgow Police, one of the first recognised municipal police forces in the world. In fact, the city was thriving so much, it was referred to as The Second City in the Empire. The city began to start helping with the production of textiles, garments, carpet, furniture, pottery, food, drink, cigarettes, chemicals, coal, oil and explosives.

By the time the 20th century hit, the city took a downturn and then upswing. After World War I, the entire country hit the Post-World War I recession and later the Great Depression, both of which hit the city very hard; by the time the city had recovered, World War II broke out. The city was targeted by the German Luftwaffe, especially during the Clydebank Blitz, the city’s fortunes began to change around, though with rivalling industries from Japan and Germany, they never quite reached the sky-high position it once was.


Glasgow has a number of huge sport teams in the city and are one of the countries leading sporting cities.

In terms of football, the city is represented by four teams. Partick Thistle, Queen’s Park FC, Rangers and Celtic, the latter two share a bitter rivalry known as “The Old Firm Game” and is one of football’s oldest and most hotly contested derbies in the history of the sport. Thanks to Celtic and Rangers, Glasgow became the first city in history to have two teams in European finals in the same year, which has since been achieved by Liverpool (Liverpool and Everton), Madrid (Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid), Milan (Inter Milan and AC Milan) and London (Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur). The national football stadium is also held in the city as well at Hampden Park, which also holds the European attendance record for a football match of 149,547, when Scotland beat England 3-1 in 1937. The stadium has also hosted the UEFA Champions League final and the UEFA Cup final.

The city is represented by the Glasgow Warriors in Rugby Union, they play in the European Rugby Champions Cup and in Pro14. The Warriors play at Scotstoun Stadium and are the city's most successful Rugby Union side. Glasgow Hawks RFC also represent Glasgow and play in the Scottish League. Also in the city are Glasgow Hutchesons Aloysians RFC, Cartha Queen's Park and West of Scotland FC. The Easterhouse Panthers represent the city in Rugby League.

The city also has a prominent Ice Hockey team as well, called the Glasgow Clan. The city has a number of ice rinks dotted all around and the enthusiasm for the sport led to the city developing the Glasgow Clan in 2010. The team plays in the Elite Ice Hockey League along with teams from Fife, Dundee and Edinburgh.

Who’s from Glasgow?

Plenty of famous people have come from Glasgow too, including; Frankie Boyle, Kevin Bridges, John Barrowman, Bill Forsyth, Billy Connolly, Jimmy Somerville and Rory McCann.

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