The Glasgow city centre mural trail takes walkers on an interesting route through the city centre to view giant public artworks that have been painted on buildings and walls.
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Review of the Glasgow city centre mural trail
Glasgow. The city of shipbuilding, Tennent’s lager, gothic architecture and world-class shopping malls.
There’s certainly a lot to see and do in this remarkable city and in addition to the standard tourist attractions you’ll find an eclectic mix of superb museums and trendy bars, as well as a collection of some of the finest art galleries in Britain.
But did you know you can also experience Glasgow’s vibrant art scene outdoors, within easy walking distance of the city centre?
Well… you can, and if you spend a little time exploring the alleyways and side streets of Scotland’s biggest city you’ll quickly discover an array of murals that showcase the cream of Scottish artistic talent.
These often thought-provoking pieces of public street art have been designed to transform the hidden corners of Glasgow into striking artworks and a walk between each one allows visitors to see parts of the city they wouldn’t otherwise find.
The street murals have also helped to rejuvenate many of Glasgow’s vacant buildings by bringing a splash of colour into areas that have been forgotten about, and the trail is now so popular it has developed into a tourist attraction in its own right.
While it’s certainly possible to wander around the city centre and randomly stumble across the murals it’s a better idea to follow a dedicated route, so you’ll find a mini-map further down this page that pinpoints a few of the most celebrated artworks.
Please bear in mind the mural trail is designed to reflect a mirror on this ever-changing city so as the buildings are upgraded or demolished some of the murals will be lost forever. With that in mind you might like to visit the official City Centre Mural Trail website for an updated map.
Things to do on the Glasgow city centre mural trail
Following the Glasgow city centre mural trail will take you on quite an interesting walk and it’s a great way to experience the city’s culture while also learning a little bit about its history.
Credit has to be given to the city council for allowing these enormous artworks to be painted onto so many unlikely ‘art galleries’ and they really bring the buildings alive in areas that are otherwise a bit run down.
The quality of the artworks is impressive – as is the size of the things – so if you’re intending to follow the trail I highly recommend you take your camera with you because you’ll be presented with umpteen photo opportunities as you make your way around.
Most of the murals are quite Banksy-esque (I think that’s a word) and they’re cleverly done, like the taxi floating on balloons, and Wind Power – the mural shown at the top of this page with dandelion seeds shaped like wind turbines.
There’s some obvious sideways thinking at work here but there are also several murals that follow a more traditional style, like Glasgow’s Tiger which incorporates a crazy level of detail for such an enormous image.
Even if you’re not a big fan of street art I think it’s worth spending some time trying to find these murals hidden down Glasgow’s often-missed alleys and streets, and who knows, you might enjoy looking for them so much you complete the entire trail in one go.
Discover more Glasgow attractions with my Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Glasgow.
- The artworks are a great addition to the city’s streets and as they’re constantly changing there’s always something new to see on a repeat visit.
- The mural trail is a fantastic way to see parts of Glasgow you otherwise might never visit (which to be honest, is the whole point of it).
- Everyone has got their favourites, but you have to check out the Billy Connolly mural off Osborne Street.
- Definitely check out the official website before you look for the murals as it has a handy route map.
- Alternatively, a few of the murals are marked on Google Maps. Don’t forget to check my Scottish Attractions Map to find attractions in each area.
- Still hungry for art? Check out the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art.
About an hour, depending on fitness level. Bear in mind that you will likely stop several times to view the murals, so plan for longer.
Easy. The trail runs through the city centre and is accessible by well-maintained modern roads and footpaths.
Starting at the Hip-Hop Marionettes mural on George Street, follow the road east towards Strathclyde University for the next mural. Then double back and head south down Albion Street, and turn south onto Candleriggs for the Badminton mural, just off the junction of Wilson Street.
Head back to Candleriggs and continue south where you’ll find the Spaceman mural off the junction of Trongate.
Heading back to Candleriggs, follow King Street south towards the River Clyde, where you’ll find the Clutha mural on Bridgegate. A walk west along the river bank will take you to the Tiger mural, where you can then head north up Dixon Street until you reach Argyle Street for the last two artworks.
Either head east to the Argyll street Cafe mural, or head north up Mitchell street to the taxi mural, which is the last one on the trail.
As previously mentioned the murals will change over time so you can follow the route in the google map below or you can head on over to the Glasgow City Centre Mural page and download a pdf file which details all the murals along the trail with information about the artist and nearby attractions you might like to visit.
Photo gallery and video
More places to visit in Glasgow
- The Glasgow Science Centre: Complete Visitor GuideThe Glasgow Science Centre is located in the heart of the city on the banks of the River Clyde – more or less opposite the SECC – and it’s widely regarded as one of the top visitor attractions in Scotland.
- Glasgow Green – Glasgow: Complete Visitor GuideGlasgow is well known for the number of inner-city green spaces it has compared to other British cities and in fact it’s second only to Edinburgh for its parks, gardens and other outdoor areas that allow its residents to enjoy the great outdoors.
- The Hunterian Museum – Glasgow: Complete Visitor GuideWhen you hear the words ‘Museum’ and ‘Glasgow’ I bet the first place that pops into your head is the fantastic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Kelvingrove Park (click the links to read my guides to both attractions).
- Kelvingrove Park – Glasgow: Complete Visitor GuideI’m going to start this guide with a confession. The first time I visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum I left without visiting the park. Not because I didn’t have time but because I didn’t even know it was there.
- The University of Glasgow: Complete Visitor GuideIf you’re thinking about heading to Glasgow to explore it’s tourist attractions I wouldn’t blame you if the last place you’ve got on your to-do list is the University of Glasgow. After all, who wants to walk around a boring university surrounded by a load of dusty old books and smelly students?