Trains to Glasgow

Glasgow is a city with a big heart, full of vibrant culture, shopping, nightlife and live music.

Around every corner you’ll find something to love. From the striking architecture in the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, to the large green parks, colourful street art and world-class museums, there’s something that will leave a lasting impression on everyone.

In the past couple of years Glasgow has been voted one of the UK’s best city breaks, and also been named the ‘world’s friendliest city’ by Conde Nast, Rough Guides and Time Out Magazine. Step foot in Glasgow and you’ll see exactly what they mean. The warmth and friendliness rings through wherever you go – the shops, bars, restaurants or in the street, you’ll soon feel like a local.

Arriving by train at either Queen Street or Glasgow Central Station puts you right in the heart of the action, and the journey can be part of the fun. Travelling from Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth or Stirling, you can enjoy fabulous scenery. Travelling from London, you pass through both the Lake District and the Scottish Borders, while the short hop from Edinburgh gives you just enough time to check your guide book and maps, to make sure you hit the ground running.

Getting to and from Glasgow by train

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Why choose Glasgow?

George Square in Glasgow

Image credit: © Glasgow Life / Paul Watt Photography

As Scotland’s biggest city, you can rest assured that there is loads to enjoy here, whatever your age and whatever your interests. The city is compact so you can explore the centre easily on foot. And if you want to venture a little bit further afield out to the West End or surrounding neighbourhoods the suburban rail network can take you quickly and easily out of the city centre to fantastic parks, museums and concert venues. There’s also an underground subway system where it’s impossible to get lost – there are two lines, clockwise and anticlockwise.

One of the best things about Glasgow is that you can easily have a fantastic time without spending a lot of money. There are museums, art galleries and parks that are free to visit and can be easily reached on foot or by public transport.

Culture is central to the Glasgow experience, and there's plenty of options for every interest. Pubs and bars regularly host live music, while the 13,000 capacity OVO Hydro hosts music, dance, comedy and a lot more all year round. The King's Theatre is most well known for its laugh-out-loud pantos but also regularly hosts musicals and various shows. Visit in January, and you can enjoy the city’s Celtic Connections Festival, a truly global gathering of traditional music fans.

Once you’ve explored Glasgow, you can easily reach other parts of the country by train. The city provides a gateway to Scotland's great outdoors with beaches, castles and rugged coastlines to discover less than an hour away by train.

Shopping in Glasgow

Princes Square shopping mall in Glasgow

Image credit: © Glasgow Life / Paul Watt Photography

Glasgow has long been heralded as one of the best shopping destinations in Scotland. As soon as you step off the train you’re right next to Buchanan Street, also known as the ‘Style Mile’. The street is full of all the top high street stores you would expect with Buchanan Galleries sitting right at the top. Inside the Galleries you’ll find a range of well-known shops and some lovely independent, creative ones too. Halfway down Buchanan Street, you’ll find Princes Square which is home to twenty shops, restaurants, coffee shops and a cinema. Carry on down Buchanan Street and you’ll come to the St Enoch Centre which again is home to top names and independent shops. You’ll find more shops on Argyle Street and also on Sauchiehall Street, giving you plenty of options for a day of shopping.

Glasgow is a city with a creative heart so it’s no surprise that there’s an abundance of fantastic independent shops all over the city. There are too many to list here so take a look at the article below from People Make Glasgow to discover all the very best and where to find them.

Independent shopping in Glasgow

Eating out in Glasgow

Ashton Lane in Glasgow's West End

Image credit: © Glasgow Life. All rights reserved.

There is so much we could say about eating out in Glasgow. There are lots of fantastic restaurants covering every food possible that it’s really difficult to pick out just a few. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely brunch, a great cup of coffee, a sumptuous afternoon tea, a quick snack or a decadent dinner, you won’t need to look very far in this city.

In the city centre you’ll find popular chain restaurants as well as fantastic independents. Merchant Square in Merchant City is the place to go for independent bars, restaurants and night life. Heading out into the West End either by train, bus, subway or foot, you’re in for a treat with the array of food available. Ashton Lane is a must visit with its cute, cobbled street and delicious restaurants and bars – perfect for an evening out! For foodies, Finnieston is a part of the city you won’t want to miss.

People Make Glasgow have some brilliant guides on their website to help you find the perfect place to indulge while you’re in the city.

Foodie inspiration this way

Outdoor things to do in Glasgow

The Glasshouses at Glasgow's Botanic Gardens

Image credit: © Glasgow Life / Paul Watt Photography

Glasgow’s Gaelic name literally translates as ‘Dear Green Place’ and there’s an abundance of beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy around the city. As well as fantastic parks, there’s beautiful street art to discover, world-class areas for cycling and plenty of fascinating streets to explore. For getting around the city or perhaps for a bit of park-hopping, you can hire an OVO Bike from stations or hire points around the city.

A short walk from the city centre takes you to Glasgow Green. There’s plenty of space here to relax, cycle and enjoy a play in one of the playparks. A short train ride out to Partick in the West End takes you to the stunning Kelvingrove Park (also home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum). At the other end of the West End is Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. This park is a popular picnic spot and a great place to enjoy a wander along the River Kelvin. The Glasshouses are also a perfect place to spend a while admiring the huge variety of flora and fauna.

As soon as you step off the train you’ll no doubt spot the colourful, creative murals brightening up walls and buildings all across the city. Follow the mural trail and discover 31 stunning murals, all with fascinating stories to tell. You can find out more about the mural trail and download a map to help you along the way from the Mural Trail website .

There are so many neighbourhoods to explore around Glasgow, all with their own unique look and feel. If you enjoy walking, take a stroll out to the East or West End, or hop on the train for the short journey.

East End

Glasgow’s East End has many a story to tell of its past but is now a bold blend of creativity and heritage. You’ll find the Tennant’s Brewery here where you can enjoy a tour to learn about its rich history. You can also enjoy cooking classes and drinks masterclasses here too. Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis (which featured in The Batman film) are worth a visit – the Necropolis has fantastic views over the surrounding area.

Discover more about Glasgow’s East End.


The city’s Southside is where you need to head to if you want a selfie with a Highland cow! Home to Pollok Country Park and its herd of ‘Heilan Coos’, this beautiful park is the perfect place to while away an afternoon meeting the local residents, exploring Pollok House or marvelling at the extensive Burrell Collection. Shawlands, a short walk from the park was claimed ‘11th coolest neighbourhood in the world’ by Time Out Magazine in 2022.

Discover more about Glasgow's Southside.

West End

The city’s leafy West End is home to Glasgow University and has a wonderfully relaxed vibe about it. There are lots of fantastic places to eat and drink down quirky lanes. You’ll find lots of independent shops, bars and cafés here, plus a lovely independent cinema – The Grosvenor Picture House. Glasgow Botanic Gardens are in this part of the city, found at the top of Byres Road. You can easily while away an afternoon or a whole day exploring this part of the city.

Discover more about Glasgow's West End.

To discover more outdoor things to do in Glasgow, take a look here .

Indoor things to do in Glasgow

The Burrell Collection

Image credit: © Glasgow Life / Paul Watt Photography

As we all know you can never truly predict the Scottish weather so it’s always good to have some indoor ideas up your sleeve. There are lots of fascinating places to discover around the city that are perfect to enjoy whatever the weather.

Glasgow has an abundance of museums covering every possible interest, and the best thing is that the majority of them are free to visit. The city is home to Europe’s largest civic art collection and an edgy contemporary art scene. For a comprehensive guide to the city’s museums and art galleries, have a read of Glasgow Life’s article here .

The Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park won the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 and is well worth a visit. Explore more than 9,000 objects covering thousands of years of history. Closest station: Pollokshaws West.

The Riverside Museum is home to more than 3000 objects relating to transport and travel including trains, cars and bikes. Take a seat on board an old subway tram and stroll down an old Glasgow street. Closest station: Partick

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum sits in the gorgeous parkland of Kelvingrove Park in the city’s West End. The building itself is a sight to behold and is filled with fascinating exhibits covering everything from animals to art, sea life to dinosaurs and an outstanding art collection. Closest station: Partick.

For rail enthusiasts, a tour of Glasgow Central Station is a fantastic way to spend time during a visit to the city. The approx. two-hour long tour gives you an exclusive, behind the scenes peek into the workings past and present of this beautiful station.

The Glasgow Science Centre is loved by kids, big and small. Located a short walk across the river from Exhibition Centre station, you can easily spend a few hours here playing with all the exhibits, watching a mesmerising science show and exploring the universe in the Planetarium.

As the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow’s music scene covers everything from bagpipes and fiddles to blues and beats, showing the vast talent on offer in this city. While the OVO Hydro is home to big musical acts, there is loads of live music to be found in pubs, bars and smaller venues across the city.

Pubs with free live music

There are big music events on throughout the year in the city. Every January Glasgow hosts Celtic Connections , the UK’s biggest celebration of Celtic Music, bringing musicians together from all over the world. Every August the best pipe bands from around the world descend on Glasgow Green for the World Pipe Band Championships. They’ve been held in the city every year since 1986, and make for a rousing weekend as the sound of pipes can be heard all over the city as bands practice. For more information about where to catch incredible live music in Glasgow, have a read of this article from Glasgow Life.

With multiple theatres around the city, there is always a world-class production to be seen. The Kings Theatre and the Theatre Royal frequently host touring productions of West End shows, comedy, opera and ballet. The annual panto at the Kings is legendary if you’re visiting around Christmas time.

Cycling around Glasgow

People cycling through Glasgow on OVO bikes

Image credit: © Glasgow Life / Paul Watt Photography

Over the years, Glasgow has hosted multiple world-class cycling events with the most recent being the inaugural UCI World Championships in August 2023. These events have left a legacy in the city with fantastic cycling facilities in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, over 9km of mountain bike trails at Cathkin Braes and an Olympic standard BMX track. For younger riders, Cunningar Loop is a fantastic place to hone skills with a balance bike track, a pump track and a skills building trail.

It's not only seasoned cyclists that are catered for in Glasgow. Everyone can enjoy cycling with bikes for hire at various points around the city including at some train stations. Glasgow is also a great starting point for biking adventures further afield. Our Highland Explorer Carriage, with space for 20 cycles, runs from Glasgow Queen Street station to Fort William and Mallaig.

Everything you need to enjoy Glasgow by bike

Days out from Glasgow

In content - Balloch for walking routes around Loch Lomond

Glasgow is the perfect starting point for adventures further afield in Scotland. Whether you want to explore other cities, get away from it all in stunning landscapes, or fancy a day trip that's a bit different, you can easily do all that and more by train from Glasgow. Here are just a few ideas ...

From Glasgow city centre you can be in the heart of our beautiful historic capital in less than an hour. Edinburgh, with its historic castle, medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Scotland’s National galleries, great shops, and historic pubs, no visit to Scotland is complete without day out in Edinburgh.

Glasgow offers easy rail access to the seaside resorts of the Clyde coast. Generations of Glaswegians have enjoyed a trip ‘doon the watter’, to enjoy a day at the seaside, a fish and chips tea, or a ‘pokey hat’ (ice cream). From Central Station, it only takes an hour to reach Largs or Ayr, two of the most popular seaside towns. More adventurous travellers should catch the train to Ardrossan, to board a ferry for the island of Arran. Often referred to as Scotland in Miniature, Arran offers the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow.

Want to enjoy a country walk amongst beautiful scenery, or cruise on one of Scotland’s most famous lochs? Catch a train to Balloch and climb aboard a Sweeney’s cruise across Loch Lomond. You can step off at Balmaha or Rowardennan to join the West Highland Way long-distance walking trail. Walk the Way up to Inversnaid (15 miles from Balmaha, 8 miles from Rowardennan) to catch a Cruise Loch Lomond boat back to Tarbet. Returning on the train from Arrochar and Tarbet, gets you back to Glasgow in time for dinner. If shopping, cycling, or canoeing are more your kind of thing, head for the Loch Lomond Shores visitor centre, which is just a short walk from Balloch Station.

Climb aboard a West Highland Line train from Glasgow and, before you know, you will be enjoying your very own Highland adventure. Head for Oban and, along the way, you will travel through lush glens, by soaring mountains and tranquil lochs – it’s our most popular Great Scenic Rail Journey and frequently voted one of the best railway journeys in the world! Once in Oban, enjoy the freshest seafood Scotland has to offer, or a tour, and a taste, at the local whisky distillery. The town’s harbour, right by the station, is also the departure point for ferries to the islands of Mull, Lismore, Colonsay, South Uist, Barra, Coll and Tiree.

Want to add some magic to your trip? Take the West Highland Line all the way north to Mallaig; en-route you will cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous in the Harry Potter films.

Staying in Glasgow

As with most cities there’s an abundance of accommodation available for a stay in Glasgow. From five-star luxury hotels to cheap and cheerful hostels and everything in between, you’re bound to find something to suit your budget.

Accommodation inspiration from VisitScotland

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Travelling from Glasgow?

Glasgow, as well as being the gateway to the West Highlands and islands, the Clyde coast, and Ayrshire, also offers rail connections to Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and London. It’s also the start of the stunning West Highland Line, one of our Great Scenic Rail Journeys.

Train tickets from Glasgow

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