Discover Glasgow's hidden gems

Last updated: Thursday, 29 June 2023

Explore more on your next trip west.

With ScotRail you’ll be whisked like a Queen to Queen Street in no time at all, but when you arrive in the Dear Green Place what should you do? There’s loads to discover in Scotland’s biggest city and here are a few of our top picks for your next visit – some well known, others a little off the beaten path.

Best of all, with our great value fares including Off-Peak Day Return from Edinburgh for just £13.30, it needn't cost the earth to visit them all.

Ashton Lane

Ashton Lane

Tucked away behind Byres Road in the West End, the cobbles of Ashton Lane are well-trodden for many Glaswegians but less well-known to visitors.

It’s home to a hefty array of bars, restaurants and an independent cinema and is a favourite spot for lovers of people watching, beer gardens or a Saturday night out.

At The Ubiquitous Chip you’ll find fine dining and the highest-quality Scottish produce, or you could try Brel to sink a craft beer and a pot of their famous mussels.

If the sun has gone down and Ashton Lane’s fairy lights are shining, then for party animals Vodka Wodka does exactly as it says on the tin.



Argyle Street Arches was once a clubbing mecca but has since been refurbished and reborn every weekend, bringing together some of Scotland’s tastiest street food traders all under one cavernous roof.

The range of eats on offer changes weekly and expect to munch on everything from jerk chicken to fish tacos, pork katsu and sliders.

With an onsite Innis and Gunn bar and brewery, live DJs and an ever-changing street food lineup, Platform has slotted itself in very nicely to the Glasgow weekend scene. It’s open 12pm – 12am Friday and Saturday, and 12pm – 6pm Sunday.

It’s dog-friendly too, so you won’t need to leave Rover at home.

Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail

Glasgow Mural Trail

Wear some comfy shoes and get ready to wander. The mural trail is a great way to explore the city and see some pretty incredible art.

The first mural went up in 2008 and since then a steady stream of new pieces have appeared all over the city centre, showcasing some incredible work by artists from Glasgow and beyond.

Whether your artistic tastes are classical, cartoonish or outright surreal, you’ll find something to impress you on the route.

There are around 25 murals to discover and you can hunt them down on this handy map. Alternatively, why don’t you try to discover them for yourself? Be warned, some can be tricky to find.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

Nestled down a lane just off the Style Mile in Buchanan Street, The Lighthouse acts as a focal point for design and architecture with a varied programme of exhibitions, events and performances.

Fans of the city’s most celebrated architect will have a field day at The Lighthouse’s Mackintosh Interpretation Centre, which features a narrative tour and celebrates the life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Elsewhere, you’ll find an ever-changing array of exhibitions showcasing some of the best and most exciting in design and architecture, new and old.

No visit is complete without a trip atop the viewing platform. Here you’ll get what is widely considered to be the best view of Glasgow’s skyline in the whole city.



Quite literally ‘House of Tea’ and a rite of passage amongst students from the university round the corner, Tchai-Ovna has been brewing away in a quiet corner of the West End for nearly 20 years.

There’s around 100 teas to choose from including the eye-popping Spice Master’s Special, as well as a menu of locally-sourced veggie treats and cakes to keep you going. It’s one of the most unique and relaxing places in Glasgow to while away a few hours catching up on gossip, reading a book or playing a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit.

The venue also hosts occasional exhibitions, regular live music and is home to a resident cat, who might give you a warm welcome if you’re lucky.

Discover Glasgow's hidden gems
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