Taps Oan: 21 things to do on a rainy day in Glasgow
Rainy day

Glasgow residents are painfully aware that the city has has an average of 170 days of rainfall a year, more than anywhere else in Scotland.

To compensate, we’re blessed with having plenty of things to do on those less-than-sunny days, heading indoors to visit a range of entertaining (and occasionally educational) establishments.

Taking you from morning right through to evening, here’s our guide to some of the best known and quirkiest ways to pass your time during a thunderstorm…just don’t forget your brolly.



1. Have breakfast at The Willow Tearooms

A day spent exploring the city should always start with caffeine and if the weather isn’t on your side then what better place to start the day than with a quick visit to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tearooms on Sauchiehall St? Grab a seat by the window, order some breakfast and admire the 1903 designed interiors while you watch the nine to fivers puddle dodge their way to work.

2. Peruse some vintage books at Voltaire & Rousseau

Next make your way to the underground where you are in little danger of getting wet. Once there jump on the famous Glasgow subway to Kelvinhall and then make your way to one of the best hidden gems in the city, Voltaire & Rousseau on Otago Lane. This beautiful second hand bookshop has been around for 40 years and one could easily lose an entire morning perusing the floor to ceiling piles of academia, fiction, literary criticism and rare editions. A geek’s paradise on a rainy day.

3. Grab elevenses at The Hidden Lane Tearoom

No trip to the west end would be complete without a quick visit to The Hidden Lane Tearoom. Situated handily close to the underground this gorgeous little cafe does some of the best cakes in Glasgow. Grab a scone and a pot of tea and warm up before your next stop.

4. Check out the university

Before you head back into town take a wander along to the university. While it might be too wet to really appreciate the beautiful architecture of the university buildings, you can check out The Hunterian Museum which is the oldest museum in Scotland.

5. Buy some bric a brac at The Barras

If that famous Glasgow rain still shows no sign of abating then why not take cover under one of the best indoor markets in the world? The Barras market is the perfect mix of antiques, bric a brac and vintage goods and even if you don’t buy anything a wander around this amazing market place is worth it for the atmosphere alone.

6. Get medieval at the Cathedral

But the east end isn’t just market stalls and boozers. So while here take shelter inside the beautiful interior of The Glasgow Cathedral – a medieval cathedral with some of the finest post-war collections of stained glass windows in Britain.

7. Grab a ghostly drink

In need of a quick refreshment? Then nip across the road for a quick one at The Cathedral House Hotel. Situated directly across from the Necropolis this beautiful hotel, bar and restaurant was originally built as a halfway house for inmates released from the nearby Duke Street prison and is even rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of two young children.



8. Catch a movie at Sloans

If it’s midday and your stomach is rumbling louder than the Glasgow sky then why not make a movie and a munch your next port of call? Sloans bar just off Argyle Street was established in 1797 and heralds itself as Glasgow’s oldest bar and restaurant. Even better, their EatFilm deal offers you the chance to escape the rain and enjoy a movie in their Grand Ballroom along with some lunch and a beer. We can think of worse ways to while away a wet afternoon.

9. Check out the views from The Lighthouse

Want to work off those lunch time calories? Then make a post film dash around the corner to The Lighthouse on Mitchell Street Lane and climb the 134 steps on the spiral staircase that leads you up to the Makintosh tower. Once there take in the breathtaking (if somewhat drizzly) panoramic views of the city. Not feeling energetic? The lazy bones can take the lift.

10. People watch at Central Station

If the hustle and bustle on the streets is too soggy then why not make your way down to Gordon Street and do some people watching in the biggest and busiest train station in Scotland? Beat the mid-afternoon slump with a latte from the famous Gordon Street Coffee guys and then watch the plethora of different characters who stand on the platforms and travel the tracks.

11. Pray for better weather at St Aloysius

If you want to view some impressive architecture from the inside rather than the out then head to St Aloysius church in the Garnethill area of Glasgow and take in the breathtaking renaissance design modelled on the Church of Jesu in Rome. This hidden gem is beautiful both inside and out and most definitely worth a visit on a wet day.

12. Indulge in afternoon tea

All this running around in the rain must be burning some serious calories. So as you’ve earned it, why not head along to The Butterfly & Pig on Bath Street and indulge in one of their legendary afternoon teas? The decor inside is an interesting twist on the traditional tea house and you’ll be treated to an array of fresh sandwiches and cakes complimented by a great range of special teas and infusions.

13. Read up at The Mitchell Library

If the rain is still beating down outside then why not make your way to Scotland’s biggest public reference library, The Mitchell Library on North Street? Once there you can peruse the world’s greatest collection of Burn’s manuscripts or trace your roots in it’s family history centre.

14. Take shelter inside The Winter Gardens

If you still want to enjoy some greenery but don’t fancy getting wet then head to The Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green. This gorgeous structure houses a Zen garden, ponds, tropical fish & birds. You can even take a wander around the free to enter People’s Palace which is attached to this amazing glasshouse.


kings tuts

15. Grab a pint in the Horseshoe

All this exploring deserves a beer and what better place to quench your thirst after a long day of Glasgow culture than with a pint in the famous Horseshoe Bar on Drury Street? This long-standing Glasgow institution has been famous since the early 1900’s and several current regulars caricatures even hang up on the walls. See if you can spot any of them at the bar.

16. Take in a show at The Tron

Make a dash down Argyle Street until you get to Glasgow Cross and then take a right. You will find yourself at The Tron Theatre where you can grab some tickets to an early evening show at this thriving cultural venue. What better way to beat the drizzle than with a cosy visit to the theatre?

17. Sip a pre-dinner cocktail in style

Fancy a champagne cocktail before dinner? The head to Champagne Central within the elegant and iconic Grand Central Hotel. Situated adjacent to the train station, this classy establishment serves some of the best cocktails in the city and was even visited by the likes of Frank Sinatra & Mae West in it’s heyday.

18. Eat a curry at Charing Cross

If Glasgow is the curry capital then Charing Cross is definitely it’s mecca and the area is dotted with some of the best curry houses in the city. What better way to heat you up from a cold and wet afternoon than a healthy dose of South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken? Or even better, why not head to The Shish Mahal and order a Chicken Tikka Masala from the restaurant that actually invented it?

19. Indulge in some dessert at Jelly Bear

Time for some pudding? Then head to Jelly Bear in the Merchant City and take cover from the rain while treating yourself to a rainbow cake or a popcorn sundae at Glasgow’s newest dessert parlour.

20. Play some post-dinner ping pong

Fancy something a little different to the usual pint and game of pool? Then head to Mono Cafe Bar where you can get a game of ping pong instead. This cool quirky pub slash arts venue also offers a good selection of craft beers to keep you satiated while you play.

21. Watch a band at King Tuts

What better way to end a perfect day of rain dodging  than by watching a band at the famous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on St Vincent Street? This popular venue is a showcase for new and emerging talent and is most famous for being where rock legend Alan McGee discovered the world famous Gallagher brothers.

What’s your best tip for spending a rainy day in Glasgow? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.