A tour of Glasgow
Scotland's largest city is a friendly, sassy town steeped in culture, architecture, history and vibrancy.
No stranger to a good time! Amongst the wealth of beautiful buildings, award-winning restaurants, world-class theatres, bustling pubs and an outstanding music scene, Glasgow shines with the sights and sounds to make any stay memorable.
Prepare for a city like no other, with so much to see and explore Holiday Inn Express Glasgow has made it somewhat easier for you to plan a perfect day. Have a look at our visitor guide and sample the Glasgow way of life.
Start your day by heading to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Located in the eclectic West End, the Botanic Gardens have stood like a green oasis, filled with tropical plants and tree from the far reaches of the globe and a striking range of Victorian glasshouses.
With a programme of exciting events every month, the gardens are a perfect place to spend a morning at any time of the year.
Look out for the brilliant Bard in the Botanic performances that are held in late summer near the Kibble Palace.
The elegant Kibble Palace is one of the last remaining Victorian glasshouses in the whole of the UK. The extraordinary iron and glass exterior houses some gorgeous botanical displays, with plenty of space to navigate through and seating on which to relax, soaking in the view. Just wandering through the bright, airy structure is a delight, marvelling as exotic plants spiral up above and the scents relax you.
Children too will be captivated with the arrays that are so close you could touch them...however that might not be so wise, especially in the fascinating carnivorous plant exhibition! The indoor fish pond, populated with beautiful, colourful carp will entertain the little ones and the ice-cream vans outside with make their smiles grow even wider.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
730, Great Western Road
Daytime Snack in an Inspired Eatery
The An Clachan Café is a wee gem. Just a few minutes along from the Botanical Gardens, tucked away in another of Glasgow's beautiful parklands, this cafe offers light lunches and cute cupcakes accented with a bright, fun interior.
Always opting for fresh, organic ingredients the café offers tempting pasta salads, gourmet sausage rolls, veggie burgers, zesty soups, delicious date scones and even an-all day breakfast. For those that might just want a warming coffee and a delicious slice of cake, you won't be disappointed either.
There is indoor and outdoor seating accompanied by kids laughter thanks to the play park right beside the café. As the children spend all their energy on the slides and swings, the grown-ups can top their own levels up with a wee slice of real Glasgow.
An Clachan Café
Kelvin grove Park
It is impossible to hum while your nose is plugged close, 80% of the brain is water and our eyes can distinguish between 500 shades of grey!
The Glasgow Science Centre is as entertaining and informative no matter what your age. Three floors of highly interactive exhibitions, a Planetarium and a state-of-the-art 3D IMAX cinema will dumbfound you with extraordinary facts and fun experiments. You could quite easily spend the whole day in Glasgow Science Centre, the displays are genuinely fun and kids will love them. The staff members are friendly and always willing to help, particularly with children as they are experts when it comes to explaining displays in a way that kids will find interesting and engaging.
In addition, the facilities are also great for your budding scientists, with plenty of areas for them to play in and be mesmerized by. The soft-play area is always a huge hit, complete with a water tray and a large construction area which is almost worth the visit alone with your young ones.
Then again, having Scotland's only IMAX cinema is another reason to plan a day to the Science Centre. To say it is big is a grave understatement; the curved, 3D-screen is absolutely enormous.
To continue the astonishing facts, it is as large as a football pitch and along with the immersive surround-sound you really will feel like you can step into the screen. If you've never seen films in 3D or even if you have, the IMAX cinema experience in Glasgow Science Centre will blow you away!
Glasgow Science Centre
50 Pacific Quay
Let's do Lunch
Not content with having one of the most stunning buildings in Glasgow, WEST Brewery has truly spoiled their lucky visitors with a treasure of a brewery!
In what used to be a carpet factory, WEST is now the only brewery in the UK to follow the German Purity Law, Reinheitsgebot. Now for those unfamiliar with that particular stipulation all you need to know that it ensures you'll be drinking the finest beers this side of Bavaria. A fresh, preservative-free lager the St. Mungo's and the hearty Munich Red are particular standouts, although there are ranges of seasonal ales for those requiring something a bit different.
The food matches up to the tremendous beers equally well. Perfect pub grub is what you'll find at WEST. Successfully mixing tasty, traditional Scottish dishes with authentic German fare such as sausages, stews and of course their perfect beer accompaniment; warm pretzels!
Everyone knows that a delicious, cold beer sat outside on a warm, sunny day goes hand in hand and so it goes WEST Brewery's beer garden over-looking the lovely Glasgow Green is the perfect place to do so.
No matter what time of year, however, it is a great place to visit. Warm and welcoming inside, the roaring fire, popular pints and friendly faces; WEST Brewery has it all.
A Spiritual Sense of the City
A gothic beauty in Glasgow, the Cathedral is a magnificent building with a wealth of history. Outside the ancient, blackened stonework adds to its already imposing stature which has stood and survived since the 12th Century.
Glasgow Cathedral is an impressive sight to spend an hour in. Entry is free however donations are greatly appreciated. The memorials covering the walls they give you an insight into the past and the activity of the many Scottish Clans of this great building and city. The chapel, ancient transcripts and the tomb of St. Mungo (patron saint of Glasgow) all provide a moving experience.
The cathedral's collection of stained glass windows are mighty, awe-inspiring and have to be seen in person to appreciate their sheer beauty.
Venture outside of Glasgow Cathedral to the Oldest House in Glasgow and if you're feeling active and want some fantastic pictures, it is well worth climbing the hill up to the Necropolis.
Heart of the City
The Merchant City is the spot for stylish bars, fine dining, culture and supreme shopping. The always thriving atmosphere makes the Merchant City just the place to spend a special evening in Glasgow's City Centre.
Against the backdrop of exquisite, Victorian architecture the Merchant City provides everything you could need for a lovely evening. There is a great mix of restaurants where you could eat in a different style for every night of the week in the Merchant City. With no shortage of places to wet your whistle for every taste and budget, there are trendy cocktail bars as well as the best pubs to make friends and people watch.
Visit The Tron Theatre and City Concert Halls for diverse, theatrical and orchestral performances from internationally renowned companies. Of course, let's not forget, in the Merchant City there are some of the best selection of independent and high fashion shops in the whole of the UK.
What was once a fruit market in the 1800s, the focal point of the Merchant City is a charming courtyard featuring cobbled pavements, old wooden benches, tall arched ceilings and a twinkling night sky.
If you feel like feasting on something more than just the spending sights, Merchant Square offers some of Glasgow's top eateries and vibrant cocktail bars. Popular in all evenings, Merchant Square is alive with the sound of city locals and visitors laughing and sharing stories in typical Scottish, good-natured fashion. The friendly hum is a character on its own, making the Merchant Square a top spot no matter what your plans are.
Born on the River
Take an evening cruise along the River Clyde - the best way to see the city in all its splendour!
Take the evening cruise to see the City's most famous landmarks illuminated against the atmospheric reflection of the river for an enchanting way to end your day out in the unforgettable city of Glasgow.
The saying "The Clyde made Glasgow, and Glasgow made the Clyde" describes the essence and the history of Glasgow. Mother to 90% of all the worlds' metal ships throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, the River Clyde became the shipbuilding benchmark for quality, producing prestigious ocean-going liners as well as warships, including the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth 2.