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Glasgow’s city centre is very easy to get around, with excellent public transport within a roughly two square mile grid layout on the northern side of the River Clyde. This can be seen on this Glasgow tourist map of the central city that is very useful for new visitors.
I find that when I am new to any city, the easiest way to see the main sights and get my bearings is to join a hop on hop off bus tour. In
Glasgow, this is especially true, as the guides are local folk (not a recording) who will regale you with both their knowledge and humour.
Central points to join the hop on-hop off route are either the western end of George Square, or near the Radisson Blu hotel on Argyle Street near Glasgow Central station. The Glasgow hop on hop off map, together with our suggested walking tour helps you plan ahead where you wish to spend more time and where to rejoin the bus (pictured above), which can booked in advance of your trip. Note that TripAdvisor is one of our advertisers and should you purchase something there, at no additional cost to you we will receive a small compensation that helps us to keep this site running. There is no obligation to use this link, but we appreciate your support when you do.
The commuter rail system is very good and provides a quite comprehensive network in and around the city centre. Central points to catch trains from are Central Station (trains from south and Edinburgh) and Queen Street station (near George Square, also from trains to Edinburgh and other places north of both cities).
Glasgow's underground is sometimes referred to as the Clockwork Orange – so named after the colour of the carriages and the fact that all of the railway is contained in twin underground tunnels, allowing clockwise circulation on the 'outer' circle and anti-clockwise on the 'inner'. The surprisingly small trains provide a very convenient way of moving around the extended city areas.
The ease of getting around means that active folk may prefer to walk rather than catch a bus (at least part of the way). My list of things
to see in Glasgow by either bus or by foot could easily get quite long, but for practicality, I have kept my list to two dozen (ish), while
for simplicity I have divided the routes into Glasgow central, West End and City East, with bonuses of Clydeside (best accessed via the bus
tour) and Southside (accessed by rail from Central Station or underground from either St Enoch or Buchanan Street).
Two landmarks easy to locate are Central Station and George Square which are not far from each other, so we will start with them.
Note that as the city centre runs downhill south to the River Clyde, the easiest way by foot is clockwise when going east of George Square and anti-clockwise when heading west of the square. Alternatively, the hop on hop off bus travels a full loop in a clockwise direction.
Having been a city in medieval times, much has happened in the history from its establishment by St Mungo c. 518 AD and its evolution has
not always been smooth. A quite detailed source of information on the history and development of Glasgow is The
This will provide good context to the places to see during your visit.
Perhaps Combine them
As the hop-on-hop-off bus only covers the north side of the River Clyde, to see the Southside attractions, use of commuter transport is needed. Rail is easiest, mostly because using the commuter bus will require exact fares (so carry a good supply of 50p coins).
Whatever your preferred means of transport, join us at Glasgow Central Station for the first of our four-staged tour of this great city.