Glasgow Travel Guide

Activities & Events

There are many nightclubs, concerts and festivals in Glasgow.


Glasgow's been famous for its music scene(s) for at least 20 years, with some top acts literally queuing to play at venues such as the Barrowlands or King Tut's. There's plenty of venues where you're likely to see a good band (and lots of bad bands too); on any day of the week there should be at least several shows to choose from throughout the city, with the number increasing to an even greater variety on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. In no particular order, here follows some pop/indie/rock-orientated venues:

Nice 'n' Sleazyon Sauchiehall StOpen until 03:00 every night of the week, with bands on practically every night also. Gigs are downstairs and bar upstairs plays a variety of alternative/rock/punk. Over 18's only (both bar and gigs).
The Barrowland BallroomThe Barrowlands, as it is commonly known, is arguably the city's most famous and most respected live venue - famous for its sprung floor and excellent acoustics.
King Tut's Wah Wah Huton St Vincent StWhere both Oasis and local favourites Glasvegas were discovered.
ABCon Sauchiehall St
13th Noteon King St
Maggie May'sPub/restaurant with a lively programme of up and coming bands.
The Cathouseon Union St
The Riverside Club33 Fox StreetGlasgow's top ceilidh (Scottish country dancing) venue on Friday and Saturday nights.
StereoCity Centre venue with regular indie gigs downstairs, bar and cafe upstairs.
Glasgow O2 Academyon Eglinton St
The Archeson Argyle StRunning one of the UK's best techno nights; Pressure. Note: this is also a theatrical and arts venue, a pub and restaurant.
Sub Clubon Jamaica StRecently celebrated 20 years, rated one of the best clubs in the world from house to techno to whatever takes your fancy.
The Tunnelon Mitchell StreetWith the Sub Club and the Arches one of Glasgow's premier dance clubs: frequently hosts top DJ's from round the world, although doesn't quite have The Arches' or the Sub Club's 'underground' reputation.
The Soundhaus47 Hydepark StreetUnderground techno and house.
The Valeon Dundas St
QMUat University Gardens
The Classic Grandon Union Street/Jamaica StreetA former adult cinema now re-purposed as an alternative music venue. Serves the rock/metal/punk/alternative scene 4 nights a week with drinks as low as 1.

The Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (rail: Exhibition Centre) is the city's premier music venue for major headline acts, even if the acoustics of the halls have always been questionable. More intimate gigs are held in the neighbouring Clyde Auditorium (the armadillo-shaped building). SECC Tickets sells tickets for these.

Arts and theatrical venues
Glasgow Royal Concert HallSauchiehall StreetThis is the home of The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, one of Europe's leading symphony orchestras. It also produces the world famous Celtic Connections Festival every January.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS)100 Renfrew StreetPrimarily a teaching college but is also Glasgow's busiest performing arts venue, hosting over 500 events a year. Primarily classical and contemporary music, ballet and dance, musical theatre, and contemporary drama.
The Theatre Royal282 Hope StreetFirst opened in 1867, it puts on mainly 'serious' theatre, opera and ballet.
The Tron63 TrongateSpecialises in contemporary works.
St Andrews in the SquareSt Andrew's SquareA restored 18th-century church turned arts venue that puts on classical music and folk.
Citizens Theatre119 Gorbals StreetOne of the most famous theatres in the world, and has launched the careers of many international movie and theatre stars. It specialises in contemporary and avant-garde work.
The King's Theatre297 Bath StreetGlasgow's major 'traditional' theatre. It is over 100 years old, and in the midst of a major refurbishment.
The Pavilion121 Renfield StreetThe only privately run theatre in Scotland. It was founded in 1904 and has seen many of the greatest stars of music hall perform there: most famously Charlie Chaplin. Nowadays it features mainly 'popular' theatre, musicals and comedy.
Britannia Panopticon Music Hall113-117 Trongate, G1 5HDPhone: +44 141 553 0840Hours: until 02 Nov: Th-Sa 12:00-16:00Price: Free admission but donations to support refurbishment are most welcomeThe oldest surviving music hall in the world, having opened in 1857, in response to the entertainment needs of a growing working class population with pennies in their pockets. It most famously held the dbut performance of Stan Laurel (of silent movies, slapstick comedy duo Laurel and Hardy fame in 1906), but also hosted Jack Buchnanan and Sir Harry Lauder and a zoo! Acts needed some intestinal fortitude before they trod its boards, since Glasgow audiences were notorious for leaving no turn un-stoned - toilets only arrived in 1893 and young boys used to favour the front of the balcony because from there they could urinate on the heads of the performers on the apron! Electricity and moving pictures arrived in 1896 but by 1938, the Panopticon could no longer compete with more modern Cinemas and less vulgar Variety Theatres and was re-cycled into a tailors shop and factory. It now shows mainly music hall orientated shows: e.g. magic, burlesque and comedy, but also occasionally puts on classical and world music. There's no heating, so dress accordingly. No wheelchair/disabled access.
Oran Mor731 Great Western RoadRestaurant, pub, nightclub, theatrical and music venue. Due to its late opening hours, this venue now lies at the heart of the West End social scene.
The Glasgow International Jazz Festival is held every year in June. Other arts or music festivals of note include The West End Festival, the Merchant City Festival and numerous others. As always, consult the listings magazine The List for further details.

There are two main venues for stand-up comedy in Glasgow.

The Stand on Woodlands Road (West End)
Jongleurs in the City Centre

Although other pubs and clubs frequently hold comedy events: see the listings magazine The List for details.

CF also the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival held yearly thoroughout March/April.


The most interesting films in Glasgow are shown at:

Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT)12 Rose StPhone: +44 141 332-8128Excellent choice of classics, as well as art and foreign-language movies.
The GrosvenorAshton Lane
CCAon Sauchiehall StShows films, though it's primarily an art gallery.
Mainstream films can be seen at the Cineworld on Renfrew St, which is the tallest cinema in the world.

Glasgow also has the 3 biggest football stadia in Scotland. The major events in the football season are the clashes between the two Premier League clubs; Celtic and Rangers. Known as the "Old Firm", with their sectarian undertones, these 90 minute matches produce a profound effect on the city, occasionally, but less frequently in recent times; resulting in violent clashes during or after the game. The Old Firm Derby is generally considered to be one of the best derby matches in the world, in terms of passion and atmosphere generated by both sets of fans, and is considered by many neutrals to be the most intense rivalry in all of Britain. The match itself is always highly anticipated and much talked about before and after. Cup (non-league) ties between these two giants are quite frequent, raising the tensions further. Be aware that getting tickets for "Old Firm" games can be difficult and cup ties near impossible. If you do go to one of these matches it is advised that you do not wear team colours (blue/red/white or orange for Rangers, green/white for Celtic) after the match.

Hampden ParkScotland's national stadium, capacity 52,063, hosts many large sporting events and concerts and also houses the Scottish Football Museum. The Scottish national football team plays its home games here. Is also home to Queen's Park Football Club. It is probably most famous for hosting the 1960 European Cup Final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt. In more recent times, the UEFA Champion's League Final was held in 2002 between Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen and the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 between Seville and Espanyol. It is possible for visitors to have a tour of the stadium and the Scottish Football Museum.
Celtic ParkKerrydale Street, ParkheadHome of the Football Club, the stadium has a capacity of 60,832, making it the biggest "club" stadium in Scotland and the second largest in the UK, behind only Manchester United's Old Trafford ground. By visiting the Celtic Visitors' Centre, you can take a guided tour of the stadium as well as learn about the history of the club through various informative and impressive exhibitions and an auditorium. The guided tours are available daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1.45pm and 2.30pm (except home matchdays). Saturday matchday tours are available at 9.30, 10.00, 10.30 and 11.00. Adults 8.50, Concessions 5.50 Family Ticket 20 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) Under 5s are admitted free.
Ibrox StadiumThis is the home of the Rangers Football Club, capacity 51,082. Ibrox tours run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (non match days only!) and are priced at 5.50 for kids, 8 for adults and 24.50 for a family group (2 adults and 2 children). On the Ibrox tour, you get access to the home dressing room and hear a recorded message from Walter Smith and Ally McCoist before climbing the marble staircase, visit the illustrious trophy room, the blue room and the manager's office. Tickets, except for matches against Celtic, are available online from the club's website, ticket centre at the stadium and club outlets at JJB Sports Stores in Glasgow city centre. Club merchandise is available from the JJB Rangers Megastore located at the stadium and JJB Sports stores in Glasgow, with unofficial merchandise readily available in the environs of the stadium on matchdays. Food is available at the stadium in the Argyll House restaurant and the various burger stands in and around the stadium concourses. The Sportsmans Chip Shop on Copland Road adjacent to the stadium is also popular with the supporters. There are various bars beside the stadium, with the Louden Tavern on Copland Road being the closest. Along Paisley Road West are numerous bars sympathetic to the Rangers cause, such as the Louden Tavern, the Grapes Bar, District Bar and the Kensignton Bar to name but a few.
FirhillHome of the Partick Thistle Football Club, also known as "the Jags" (and not actually in the suburb of Partick - the club is actually located in Maryhill). The stadium has a capacity of 10,887. Partick Thistle matches are a good way to see the Glaswegian passion for 'fitba' (football) without the unpleasantness of the Old Firm rivalry, or the high prices for their games.

source: Wikivoyage

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