Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland. For kids, it’s awesome. We spent 10 days there with our kids in March 2018 and absolutely loved it! So here’s our guide of Glasgow with kids – Scotland for families.
Glasgow felt less touristic than Edinburgh and more like a place where people live – which is great. We like that feeling. Plus, it’s still compact and easy to travel around, so very doable even for big families!
A family friendly place to stay in Glasgow for kids
Glasgow is bigger, therefore, there are many different neighborhoods around the city. You can choose to stay at the city center, where it’s convenient but more expensive, or you can stay in one of the neighboring neighborhoods and walk or take the train to the city and pay a bit less.
We spent our days in this apartment and we LOVED it! It’s big, super well equipped, warm, and Tara is just great. She even left food for us and it was great not having to go out on the first day to get food on the first day.
And, let’s be honest, when you rent a place from an actual person (and not some investors), things are so much better and it’s way more responsible.
What to do in Glasgow with kids
The UK is just so expensive, our budget for activities was basically ZERO. Well, we were doing archery in Northern Ireland and the Loch Ness tour, so we basically had nothing to spend in Glasgow. Therefore, this list contains only the free things to do with kids in Glasgow.
Spend an afternoon at Kelvingrove Park and Museum
Kelvingrove Park is huge, beautiful, and it gives the most stunning views of the city. It’s just perfect and great for families. And then, when you’re tired, you can go to the Art Gallery and Museum, which is, by the way, incredible.
The Art Gallery and Museum deserve a visit because it’s beautiful and it’s incredibly rich. When we were there, we were lucky enough to be in time for an organ concert and it was great.
Don’t miss it, even if you’re tired of museums (like us) or you’re not going to the park.
Visit the University of Glasgow
This is something I wouldn’t miss for the world. It has all the Hogwarts feel to it and it’s just stunning!
I mean… just look for yourself in the photos around this post. It’s a dream.
We took a look at the towers, the yard, the halls, and it’s just so Hogwartsy.
Definitely one of the fun things to do in Glasgow with kids.
They were all like ‘Oh WOW, there’s a dungeon!’.
By the way, it’s super close to Kelvingrove Park, you can do it all in one day. In a few hours, if you go fast.
Take a walk by the riverside
I just love rivers and all waterbodies. And one of the things I enjoy most is to watch the sunset around them. So one day, we just went to the riverside and it was sheer luck that it was time for the sun to set. It’s beautiful and I really enjoyed the pinkish colors of that sunset.
There’s a water bus if you want to, but we didn’t try it.
Cross the bridge, cycle, run, walk, or just be. You can cross under the bridges, over them, around them.
Explore the Downtown
It’s more crowded, more commercial, but still beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed walking around the city center, be it by day or night. There are buskers playing, which is great and fairly inexpensive, beautiful lights, good coffee, good restaurants, fun shops, and more.
While there, don’t miss Buchanan Street – where no cars are allowed, so a great place to let kids run for a bit. We spent a long time inside a store called Forbidden Planet with its huge collection of Funko Pops. The biggest we’ve ever seen!
Climb the stairs of the Lighthouse
It’s a good place to get panoramic views of the city. To be really honest, the view isn’t the best – Glasgow is best seen from the ground BUT the stairs are gorgeous. I loved it.
And after that, you can learn a bit about the architecture in the area on the small museum.
We had fun that day and we should now have some really strong legs – 140 steps up, 140 steps down. More or less.
Glasgow Central Station
Have the camera ready as the train approaches the station because the station is lovely. I could never do it, always in awe every single time the train entered it – it left me entranced.
Eating out with kids in Glasgow
Even though our budget was extremely limited, we had to try a few things and, sometimes, we were too hungry to wait until home. So below are the few restaurants we recommend for families in Glasgow.
It’s found in a lot of places around the world, but we’ve only seen it in Canada. We liked it, especially the generous amount of chips, so we went again.
Yes, we still like it but it’s not very cheap. £80 for a family of 6 is a bit on the pricey side for us, but it’s the regular price in the UK. We found very few places where we paid less.
Hard Rock Cafe
It was one of the kids’ request, so we abide. We enjoy junk food and I enjoy the salad options that are tasty, fresh, and not boring.
This Hard Rock Cafe had the BEST service we’ve encountered around the world. The manager came to ask if everything was OK if he could do anything, and to pick the bad I’d dropped from the chair – seriously, when does it happen? Our waitress was great and came often – we were never without drinks.
The problem, besides the price tag, is that the refill drinks were all diet and we don’t really like them.
If I could tell you one place you need to eat, it’s this one.
Vegetarian Indian food, SUPER affordable, and scrumptious! We ate so much we couldn’t finish the desserts – it just never happens.
Super close to Queen’s Park, just go and eat – thank me later.
Or take away and eat at the park if it’s sunny. Perfect day out!
Just bear in mind that it’s a bit on the spicy side. My kids said it was spicy but they ate a lot.
Things to do with kids near Glasgow
We have a whole post about the best day trips in Scotland here. It’s in more details and depth, so definitely check it out if something interests you below.
If you weren’t planning to see Edinburgh, I’d suggest you do. It’s a dream of a city, let me tell you, and it’s so compact, it’s easily done in a day. Around 40 minutes away by train, it’s easy and straightforward.
You can go see Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town, Victoria Street, explore the closes, or even have a guided tour.
It’s worth it!
Visiting Loch Ness
Well, just can’t miss, right? It’s not close – around 5 hours away, but it’s easy to do with a tour. They depart every day. We loved it but it’s a full day, so rest well before and after.
By the way, skip the boat tour – not worth it.
This was, by far, my favorite day trip. Linlithgow Palace is dreamy, and there’s no how to not love it.
OK, they’re the ruins of the castle – no roofs, no furniture, no fancy stuff. But it’s stunning. We had a great time roaming around the castle, climbing stairs, taking a peek at dungeons, and having fish and chips by the lake – oh, I’m sorry, the loch, feeding the swan flock and the 2 disguised geese.
This is a great, very enormous, important, and educational castle to visit. It’s really big, you can easily spend a day there. There are exhibits, living quarters with actors, kitchen with smells and (fake) food, it’s worth it.
Transport options for families
We used mostly trains due to the price: kids go free on most trains and it was fast, reliable, safe, and easy to use.
Sometimes we used Uber and taxi because they were cheaper than the bus (yes) and it was raining…
The subway, called Orange, is a circular line. We only used it once and it was so noisy (train noises, not people noises) that we couldn’t have used it again. But well, if you’re not sensitive to noises, it should be fine. Kids don’t go free there, they pay half price.
It’s cute and comfortable – except for the noise.
To finish it…
Well, I’m guessing you know we loved Glasgow and I think you’ll love it too.
It’s a bit more affordable than Edinburgh, and it’s just as beautiful. It lacks Victoria Street, but it has Glasgow Uni.
Definitely, pay it a visit!
- City / Country
- Minimun Stay
- $ ~ $$$
- Best local transport option
- Do we recommend it?
- Glasgow / Scotland
- 2 days
- SUPER child friendly
- the trains!
- Perfectly safe
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