Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati
Glasgow Music Scene
Once a wee rural settlement on the River Clyde, Glasgow is now the largest seaport in Britain. It’s also A UNESCO City of Music, hosting about 130 music events every week in various venues, like SSE Hydro, the Barrowland Ballroom and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – the city’s best-know music venue. They host a large number of annual music festivals, including, Jazz, Folk, World Pipe Band and the Celtic Connections, the largest of its kind, held every January.
Live Music Venues
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (consistently voted top live music venue in the UK) is a little venue renowned for smaller indie acts and has a history of hosting up and coming bands ready to break-through. It’s a quintessential rock ‘n’ roll venue promoting acts at the club level and showcasing them with gigs seven days a week. There’s a bar downstairs with the music venue up, and an intimate atmosphere that’s hard to beat – they have a reputation for booking new talent and consistently bring fans a cross-section of different styles. Located at 272 St. Vincent St., Glasgow G2 5RL
The Sub Club, one of Scotland’s most famous electronic music venues, is the longest running underground dance club in the world. This is a basement (read subterranean, student packed and hot) club with an amazing sound system and a wide range of entertainment. It occupies 3,500 sq.ft. of basement space that legally holds 410 people dancing to house, techno, electro, disco, bass and other genres. They also get special DJ’s doing sets when they swing by Glasgow. It’s big with the art school set so expect a trendy vibe. Located at 22 Jamaica St., Glasgow G1 4QD
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is a multi-purpose arts venue with a busy programme of music, events and conferences. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a prestigious venue hosting around 250 performances a year by renowned jazz, pop, rock and folk artists. This beautiful, curved stone building has 6 performance spaces with a variety of capacities; from the 40 person VIP Room, and 100 person Strathclyde Bar to the Main Auditorium which seats 2475. Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall also hosts the annual ‘All Scotland Dancing Championship’. Located at Buchanan Galleries, 2 Sauchiehall St., Glasgow G2 3NY
Tip: There are 3 hotels within a mile of the Concert Hall; Hilton, Marriott and Novotel.
O2 ABC was built in 1875 this venue has had many lives. This one-time Ice Skating Palace was a movie theatre, dancehall and at one time, housed a circus. It’s now a nightclub and rock n roll music venue hosting pop and rock acts on their way up as well as heritage groups. This spacious club is served by 4 bars carrying a great range of single malts whiskies. Located at 300 Sauchiehall St., Glasgow G2 3JA
Brel Bar, a former coach house, is now a Belgian bar serving cold Belgian beers and really good gastropub grub. In the evening it’s a hipster-cool club with an outdoor seating area. Their live music is varied from jazz to acoustic folk. Located at 39 Ashton Lane, Glasgow G12 8SJ
When You Go, Don’t Miss
The Riverside Museum and Tall Ship
There’s a fabulous museum in Glasgow that’s definitely worth the visit. The Riverside Museum and Tall Ship, a striking modern building, that has 3000 objects on display, all related to transport: marvelous old cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes and trains. There are over 90 touch screens with images re the collections and over 20 interactive hands on exhibits. Another part of the museum, to explore is the Tall Ship ‘Glenlee’, a steel-hulled sailing ship built in 1896, moored at the site. Located at 100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum
This is the most visited museum in the United Kingdom, one of the reasons would be the price of admission – there isn’t one, it’s free. The other reasons are the 22 themed galleries with 8,000 pieces of art, including one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world and an outstanding collection of European artworks, with many pieces by the Old Masters. Located on Argyle St., Glasgow, G3 8AG
Directly across the road from the Art Gallery/Museum is a classic example of a Victorian park, Kelvingrove Park, running along the banks of the River Kelvin. These 85 acres of beautiful urban park are a haven for small wildlife. Its location makes it a popular route for visitors and locals to the city centre; taking you quickly from the west end to the city centre at Charing Cross while avoiding all traffic.
Love Music at 34 Dundas St., for Rock CDs, DVDs and vinyl; it’s a small shop packed with stock.
Mixed Up Records at 18 Otago Lane, with tons of vinyl and new titles being added every day.
Browse tours that suit your interest:
Where to Stay
The CitizenM: This trendy city centre hotel is just a short walk from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, rail stations, shopping, restaurants and bars. This is not an opulent property, the rooms are on the small size it you’re staying for a long period – but the beds are big and very comfy. The don’t have some of the little niceties like a pants press or a bell hop but they have very reasonable rates, a 24 hour canteen/bar, and wonderful friendly staff. Located at 60 Renfrewstreet, Glasgow G2 3EW
Apex City: This is a new contemporary hotel in the centre of Glasgow, just a 4 minute walk to metro station, 7 minutes to Royal Concert Hall and near shopping, bars, restaurants and clubs. The rooms are modern, though on the small side, they’re very comfortable. They have a coffee/tea facility and breakfast is included with the room. The staff is friendly, very helpful and the hotel rates are very reasonable. Located at 110 Bath St., Glasgow G2 2EN
Glasgow is built on a grid system. It’s compact and easy to navigate, either on foot or public transport.
By Bus: The bus service is good and you can buy tickets on boarding, but with most, you need exact change. The best rate if you plan to move around a lot is the day ticket (4.50), which is good until 1: am or a weekly ticket (15.50)
Train: The network of trains runs in and around the city. Tickets can be purchases at the station if it’s staffed, if not the conductor.
Underground: The underground has 15 stations, centre, west and south of the city. Underground connects with the train at Buchanan Street. *Note, the underground shuts down at 6: pm on Sunday.
Airport: Glasgow International Airport is close to the city centre and serviced by several bus lines, which run (among others) into the main station at Buchanan. You can also take a taxi, rent a car or walk.
For more information about getting around Glasgow visit: People Make Glasgow.