Off-The-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland

Advisor - Bijoy Shah
Curated By

Bijoy Shah

Icon Share


  • Scotland

  • Glasgow

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • International Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Culture

  • Hidden Gems

man standing in street next to buildings during daytime
Curator’s statement

Scotland's largest city is full of history, lore and magic. Glasgow has many cool features that may go unnoticed by the casual tourist. The City Chambers contain more marble than the Vatican, the underground railway system is known as The Clockwork Orange and Chicken Tikka Masala was invented here (yes, really), just to name a few. Here are some cool off-the-beaten-path things to do that I think are worth the visit.

The Fora Difference

Book with Bijoy to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Glasgow, Scotland

Crossbasket Castle

A 17th-century castle turned into a luxurious hotel with Victorian-style design and amenities worthy of a royal.

Fora Perks
  • Welcome amenity

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Virgin Hotels Glasgow

Refined hotel in Glasgow with a trendy restaurant and bar, plus an intimate lounge.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Malmaison Glasgow

Contemporary hotel with a punch of color and an array of bespoke suites.

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

Unlock perks by contacting Bijoy to book your trip.

Things to do in Glasgow, Scotland

large building with cloudy skies

St. Valentine's Bones - A wealthy French family donated a little wooden box marked "Corpus Valentini Martyris" or "the Body of Saint Valentine" to the Franciscan church in 1868. In 1999 it was moved to Blessed St John Duns Scotus, where it has been given a place of honor at the church’s entrance. You can visit the remains of this Patron Saint of Love whenever the church is open.

Glasgow's "Stone of Destiny" - All British monarchs since King Edward I have been crowned sovereign over a slab of rock known as the Stone of Destiny. Originally, it was used to ordain Scottish kings until 1296, when King Edward I took it to show his authority over Scotland. in 1950, four students from Glasgow University stole it and brought it back over the border. It was eventually found several months later in Arbroath Abbey. It was eventually returned in time for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. But some people think that a fake was returned to the throne. The four culprits insist that the REAL Stone of Destiny lies in a west-end pub near the University of Glasgow, The Arlington Bar. Open after 4pm daily, you can visit this storied stone!

Rottenrow Gardens - The Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital, colloquially known as "The Rottenrow," was formerly located in Rottenrow Gardens. The name of the street where the hospital once stood, Rottenrow, dates back to Glasgow's early medieval era. Today, the gardens offer a quiet and tranquil respite from the Glaswegian hustle & bustle. It's a great place to relax for a bit, between bouts of exploration.

The Glasgow Necropolis - Yes, this is quite popular, but it's not to be missed! In April 1833 the Victorian Glasgow Necropolis officially opened and was an interdenominational burial ground. Now, over 50,000 bodies are buried over these 37 acres. It opens at 7am and provides a great place for a stroll through history.

Sir Thomas Lipton’s Grave- There's another Necropolis just South of the main Necropolis and it holds one of the world's greatest names in tea. Lipton was born in Glasgow. After purchasing a Ceylon tea farm, therefore keeping production and packaging costs down, Lipton was able to keep the retail price of his tea low. He made a luxury now available to the masses.

St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art - This Glasgow museum is likely the only one in the world to focus not on one religion but all of them. The museum explores the history of religion itself by presenting a collection that spans not only time but also the entire world. This is also the home of Britain's first permanent zen garden. If the exploration of faith is in your wheelhouse, this is a must-see!

Day Trips from Glasgow

Scotland's relatively small and easy-to-navigate size makes short trips from Glasgow something that's quite easy to take.

  • Take a quick drive north to Oban, the beautiful seaside town that's home to one of Scotland's most famed distilleries along with many nice eateries. Visit McCaig's Tower & Dunollie Castle for some spectacular views. The cafe at Dunollie Castle is rather good, as well.

  • Visit Stirling Castle for a taste of Scottish royal magnificence and history. Game of Thrones, Outlander and many other programs and movies have been filmed here. Until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, almost every Scottish monarch had either lived in the castle or been crowned or died there.

Places to eat & drink in Glasgow, Scotland

street lined with buildings during daytime

Drygate Brewing - An exceptional small brewery near the Glasgow Necropolis, this family-friendly, delicious brewery has one of the finest burgers in Scotland.

Panther Milk Bar - The name is oddly accurate for this purveyor of "panther milk." While Spanish troops valued the recipe’s bare-bones ingredient list - condensed milk, gin and water, this bar has twisted the original, offering variations that are both seasonal and magical. However, the lactose intolerant will have no drink options here.

Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor - Every city has a nice cafe and a worthy ice cream shop, but Glasgow offers something very special. In 2018, Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor made the news for a flavor called Respiro del Diavolo, or “Devil’s Breath.” You must be 18 to try what is purportedly the spiciest ice cream in the world.

Mowgli - A street food and homestyle approach to Indian food that is simple, tasty and approachable. Mowgli does an exceptional job of being transparent about allergens, which makes it a very friendly place for everyone.

The Hanoi Bike Shop - Casual, delicious Viet food. Dependably good food that can make for a perfect feast after a day of exploration.

The Ubiquitous Chip - One of the best Glasgow eateries since 1971. Honestly, this is *the* spot for Scottish food in Glasgow.

Need to Know

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

Travel Advisor

Bijoy Shah

Get in touch with Bijoy

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Bijoy within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Scotland.