Glasgow has an amazing array of street murals, and no visit to the city is complete until you have found some, you will stumble upon them even if you aren’t setting out to look for them, as these huge pieces of art adorn many buildings, walkways, and streets. Of course, if you do want to set out on purpose looking for the murals then read on to see our guide for catching the best murals around.
These super impressive, fun and quirky creations were the initiative of Glasgow City Council who wanted to ‘rejuvenate streets and revitalise buildings and vacant sites that looked a bit tired’ and it is totally working- instead of noticing a derelict site or plain wall, your eyes dart across these massive works of art which bring colour and vibrancy to the streets. The works are also helping support local artists (and those from further afield) by providing a space for their unique creations.
The entire trail can be completed on foot and there is a dedicated City Centre Mural Trail Map published by Glasgow City Council, however, as is the nature of murals, more have been added to since the website was published (and some now gone) We used the mural trail as an inspiration for our work and found out some of the stories behind the murals but we have changed our guide, so it encompasses more spots and also a good walking route to see the rest of the city
The first mural was commissioned in 2008 and at present there are over 30 pieces of art, but this is forever changing as the city grows and redevelops
You may not see all of them, or all of them at the one time. If you walked the route we have suggested below, it would take over 2 hours to walk.
You could combine your mural trail with a tour of Glasgow on the “City Sightseeing Glasgow Hop-on hop-off” bus tour, this way you get to hear information of Glasgow and you can hop on and off at each mural.
Click here to read our Soaring Through The Sky Glasgow Mural Bus Tour
Let’s start the journey of the Mural Trail at Glasgow Central Station, head out of the main entrance and through the gorgeous restored green and gold gates, you’ll be on Gordon Street now, at the crossing head to the left, up Union Street for under 1 minute, the street on the left is Renfield Lane and you will have found our first mural
The Frenchie, The Girls and The Bubbles | Rogue One and Art Pistol Projects | Renfield Lane
These two murals appeared late October 2019 and straight away become one of my personal favourites, both sides of Renfield Lane have been filled with colour, with two girls blowing bubbles (the girls are the artists friends’ daughters) and a cute French bulldog having fun with the bubbles
Turn back where you came from and at the traffic lights cross back onto Gordon Street this time head past the stunning Co-Op building and take the next right you will now be on Mitchell Street where the first of 4 (!!) murals are… You will soon reach a red sandstone building- this is The Lighthouse and totally worth a visit! Take a left down here where there are neon signs overhead, and now spot the Glasgow Panda
Glasgow Panda | James Klinge | Mitchell Lane
Edinburgh may have Tian Tian and Yang Guang at the zoo, but Glasgow also has its own Panda. Located on Mitchell Lane off one of the city’s busiest streets Buchanan Street you will also find The Lighthouse designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Turn back onto Mitchell Street and you’ll have found mural number 2
Wind Power | Rogue-One and Art Pistol | Mitchell Street
Wind Power celebrates the diversity of sustainable energy production within the Glasgow area and Scotland nationally
Walk down Mitchell Street (which does feel a bit like a back alley- but hey that’s why the murals are popping up everywhere, to brighten up the space) for less than 60 seconds and you are at your 3rd mural, its behind you by the way
Honey… I Shrunk The Kids | Smug | Mitchell Street
A colossal image of a girl with a magnifying glass, it is best portrayed from afar so walk back far enough and try to capture a fellow passer-by as they walk past, and it may just look like she is trying to pick them up!
If you walked back far enough to get the whole image, you will have reached the 4th mural
The World’s Most Economical Taxi | Rogue-One | Mitchell Street
Join in and hail a taxi headed to soar into the sky, which is set against a painted brick wall… on a real brick wall
You are now on Argyle Street- to the right is the other end of Glasgow Central Station, so turn left and head along the busy shopping area and keep an eye out on the left of the street, walking for 1 minute will lead you to the next mural
Are Ye Dancin’? | Conzo Throb in collaboration with Art Pistol and Ciaran Globel | Sloans Bar, Argyle Street
Situated just off Argyle Street, down a lane on your way to Sloan's Bar and Restaurant, this playful addition is one not to miss. “Are Ye Dancin’?” Is a Scottish phrase used by famous Scottish comedians Francie and Josie
Walking for a few more minutes now in the pedestrianised zone you will see the next mural still on the left side of the street
Argyle Street Café | Smug | Argyle Street
A fun piece of art adorns a corner in Glasgow’s bustling Argyle Street, the café depicts a number of animals enjoying a drink and something to eat.
*Currently scaffolding is covering this great piece and cannot be fully viewed.
Keep walking and Argyle Street turns into the Trongate, be sure to look around here at the Trongate steeple and further down the Merchant City Clock Tower, look out for a lane on the right hand side of the road as this is where the next mural is located
Space Man | Recoat and Ali Wylie | New Wynd
This installation brings a pop of colour to this city centre lane with inspiration from Japanese culture, Pop, graphic design and geometric patterns
After studying the Space Man head up the adjacent road onto Candleriggs to the next mural (this walk will have taken around 4 minutes from Argyle Street Café mural)
Badminton | Guido van Helten and Art Pistol | Wilson Street
Installed as part of the promotional campaign for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, this mural is part of a series depicting various sports. The Badminton mural includes action shots of Scotland player Kieran Merrilees.
Walk through Candleriggs to the top of the street and you will the massive and amazing next mural
Fellow Glasgow Residents | Smug | Ingram Street Car Park
Ingram Street car park was just once that, a car park on waste ground, now thanks to Smug’s imagination, it is a stunning space filled with a giant kilted man alongside many woodland creatures. Best viewed from afar as this piece is massive, but also best viewed close up to see all the intricate details
From here, walk along Ingram street until it turns into High Street and follow the road up the hill, you are now heading towards Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis- definitely worth visiting! You are now walking away from our next mural and one of the most recognisable ones, and one you shouldn’t miss, so turn your head back and spot the mural of the gable end of the tenement building.
Saint Mungo | Smug | High Street
The most photographed mural in Glasgow is of a modern day St Mungo- the patron saint of Glasgow
You will now carry on to the cathedral or turn back on yourself, as you get to the traffic lights crossing George Street take a right, and your next mural is looming above you on the gable end
St Enoch and Child | Smug | George Street
Just around the corner from the modern day St Mungo, Smug has created another fantastic piece of work to complement the above, this mural is a contemporary interpretation of the of mother St Enoch cradling her beloved baby boy St Mungo
In front of you as you walked to St Enoch and Child you will have already spotted the next mural, which is actually a series of murals covering the façade of Strathclyde University
Strathclyde University | Art Pistol, Rogue-One and Ejek | George Street and North Portland Street
The Strathclyde University “Wonderwall” covers more than 1,000 sq. metres and is the UK’s largest mural. The mural celebrates students’ achievements and is depicted from a photograph from the 1920’s and has been updated to include present day students. The mural is over 200 metres long and also depicts the Dansken equatorial telescope featured, which was once used to teach nautical astronomy. And the Land-Ship was a mock up navigation bridge on the roof of the School of Navigation in the Royal College, used to teach the principles of compass adjustment.
Detour- There are many more murals located throughout the city in different suburbs, we would recommend you visit SWG3 and Partick if you have the chance.
This is well worth a visit, but a bit out of the way, we suggest jumping on the train from Queen Street (near Strathclyde University) and taking the 12 minute train ride out, plus a 10 minute walk to the venue. As well as SWG3 from the train platform you will also be able to see more murals from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (If you do wish to walk it is a 30 minute walk from ‘The Swimmer’ mural)
SWG3 | Various Artists | SWG3
The SWG3 complex has a diverse range of venues for hire. The multi purpose facility caters to the needs of the music industry, events company, artists, commercial & corporate clients and TV & Film industry. The walls around SWG3 are covered in murals from various artists and set adjacent is the Railway Arch project
Commonwealth Murals | Guido van Helten and Art Pistol | Partick
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games commissioned a series of murals across Glasgow to help celebrate and support the Games, in addition to the Badminton mural in Wilson Street there are a series of murals at Partick bus station located adjacent to Partick train station and represent hockey, netball and rugby
Back in the city centre- not on the mural trail but still with actual murals is Tennent’s Brewery which is located 7 minute walk from St Enoch and Child (when you are facing the mural) Also stop in at the brewery for a tour of Scotland’s finest lager
Tennent’s Lager/ Wellpark Brewery | Smug | Duke Street
Wellpark brewery is where Scotland’s finest lager is produced, stop in for a tour of the brewery and note the outside walls in which every inch has been covered with illustrations of the Tennent’s history. Also, for Outlander fans or just Sam Heughan fans he once was their poster boy and features on the wall
From here we will start heading down to the Clydeside, following High Street down past the Merchant City Clocktower and taking a left at Gallowgate, walking under the bridge you should start to see the next mural which is the first of three specially commissioned pieces for Sir Billy Connolly’s 75th Birthday, located on a gable end just passed Barrowland Park
The Big Yin | Rachel MacLean | Gallowgate
“The Big Yin" by Rachel Maclean shows Billy Connolly in a Bonnie Prince Charlie-inspired outfit, which includes references to some of his most famous jokes, including 'bike parked in bum’ epaulettes. This mural was created on a vinyl transfer
Carrying on down Gallowgate you are now heading for The Barras market, a famous Glasgow institute, also located nearby is the famous Barrowland Ballroom, now used as a music venue. This mural is not to be missed as there is a lovely story behind its image
The Barras Pirate | Rouge- One | Barras
Looking out from one of the old walls at the side of Glasgow’s marketplace is a cute girl in a pirate’s outfit holding her toy monkey. The little girl is 6 years old local Lola Murphy who's family are friends with artist Rouge One, and the inspiration came from Lola wearing a pirate inspired outfit!
Also be sure to check out the murals by Conzo Throb and Ciaran Globel
That may have seemed a little of the way but I hope it was worth it, as we now double back on ourselves and head towards St Andrew’s In The Square which is to the other side of the Barrowlands park, head onto London Road then turn into James Morrison Street, you will no doubt fist notice the impressive building that is St Andrew’s In The Square and then look out for the next mural (this walk will have taken 6 minutes)
Study Of A Woman In Black (2) | James Klinge and Art Pistol | Bridgegate
Using intricate stencilling this piece is one of two of an image of a woman portrayed in black and white
Head down the nearby St Andrew’s Street and onto Saltmarket where the second (or first) related mural is located
Study Of A Woman In Black (1) | James Klinge and Art Pistol | St Andrew's Street
The second in the series of the woman in black, with stunning detail that looks like a picture
From Saltmarket we will now head towards the second Billy Connolly mural which is located on Osborne Street, this walk will take around 4 minutes (you may spot the Space Man mural again as we are now at the other side of New Wynd)
Walking update- From the “Glasgow Panda” to the “Study Of A Woman In Black (1)” without stopping this walk would have taken around 1 hour and around 3 miles. Here is a good time to stop for a coffee break (This does not include the detour)
Billy Connolly | Rogue- One | Osborne Street
For Billy Connolly’s 75th Birthday, this is the second installation created and is based on John Byrne’s “Billy Connolly” portrait
We are now heading towards the massive glass building, which is St Enoch’s Centre, a large shopping mall with food courts, restaurants and cinema. Turn left down Stockwell Street which is leading us towards the River Clyde. We have reached our next two murals
Charles Rennie Mackintosh | Rogue- One and Art Pistol | Clyde and Gorbal Street corner
To commemorate the trailblazing architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, on his would be 150th birthday this mural was commissioned and depicts the famous Glaswegian icon and his distinctive art deco and rose motif style
The Clutha | Rogue- One, Art Pistol and Ejek | Clyde and Gorbal Street corner
In November 2013 tragedy struck the popular Clutha Bar when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the bar. Rogue-One, Art Pistol and Ejek skilfully combined to create a mural which pays homage to the history of the area, as well as celebrating a variety of famous faces who visited this iconic location, famous for its atmosphere and live music.
From the site of the old Clutha Bar we head along the walkway next to the Clyde as hiding down by the river side is our next mural
Glasgow’s Tiger | James Klinge and Art Pistol | Clyde Walkway
Street art is forever changing and adapting, on this site a large strolling tiger once dominated this wall at the Clyde Walkway, now James Klinge has collaborated with Art Pistol to re-imagine the original tiger design with a massive tiger’s face
Head up the nearby steps back onto the Clyde Street and head up the nearby Dixon Street where you will see a pub with outdoor seating, and this is the Hootenanny pub which has the third Billy Connolly Mural
Dr Connolly I Presume | Rogue- One | Dixon Street
The 3rd commemorative for Billy Connolly is a reproduction of the Jack Vettriano painting from the comedian’s World Tour of Scotland series in 1994 titled “Dr Connolly I Presume” and features a windblown Billy on a storm-lashed coast near John O’Groats
We are now heading back towards Glasgow Central Station, through Jamaica Street and turning at the railway bridge at Midland Street This next mural is so new, that it isn’t actually even finished yet! This walk will have taken around 4 minutes
Midland Street Portraits | James Klinge | Midland Street
The latest addition to the murals is in Midland Street, under Glasgow Central Station, and is a series of portraits by Klingatron. Currently, there are three portraits which have been completed; the first, a self-portrait of the artist himself, and the others are DJs who have performed at or were regular attendees of the former nightclub, The Arches, which is located here.
Coming out the other side of the bridge head up Oswald Street until it becomes Argyle Street. Turn left and a few streets down you should spot the next mural on the corner
The Gallery | Smug | Argyle and York Street corner
The boarded-up exterior of a former store on Argyle Street now features interpretations by Smug of famous paintings. Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Munch’s The Scream, Dali’s melting clocks and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon are all on display.
*In September 2019 it was unveiled that a new development was to start on this boarded up building- so this piece may not be around for long
Head along a few streets to Brown street for the latest mural
Cobolt Collective | Brown Street
A short walk from The Gallery is the latest mural to be unveilved in September 2019, it is to celebrate 30 years of Doors Open Day- a Scottish festival opening doors for free that normally have a charge or are not open to the public, and the work has been produced by several women (quite a rarity to have women artists in Glasgow) showcasing Glasgow buildings and a lovely poem
We are now heading west of the city head down Brown Street and walk along the Broomielaw / or wander down to the pedestrianised / bicycle zone by the Clyde for a leisurely 10 minute stroll when you are approaching a large bridge crossing over you (Kingston Bridge) you will find your next mural, cross over to the other side of the road as this is a big one
The Swimmer | Smug | Kingston Bridge, Broomielaw
Beneath the Kingston Bridge, a concrete wall is emblazoned with huge Commonwealth swimmers This is one of the first murals to be commissioned in the city back in 2008
From The Swimmer we are now heading on a 15 minute walk straight up North Street. You are walking alongside the main roads in and out of Glasgow and heading for Charing Cross
Glasgow Crocodile | James Klinge and Art Pistol | North Street / Woodside Crescent
Like a real crocodile hiding in the shallows- this piece is at first hard to notice, as it hides underneath a well-used bridge, the crocodile has a 3D effect as it is wrapped around the corner of the walkway and from certain angles looks like it’s coming for you. Note the crocodile’s eye which has been strategically placed in a gap of the brick work to give the full eye effect!
Near to the Glasgow Crocodile on the bridge supports you will find your next murals
Charing Cross Birds | Art Pistol and Little Book Transfers | Charing Cross
Something a little different was created by Art Pistol and Little Book Transfers, this series depicts birds, foliage and fruit together
Detour- From the bridge head towards Kelvingrove Park, the trendy area of Finnieston is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, boutique shops, art galleries, museums and another mural 20 minutes one way
Glasgow Council Worker | Fintan Magee | Purdon Street
Part of the commissioned work for the 2014 Commonwealth Games shows a worker seeing the beauty of the flowers around her
Nearby is the hip and busy area of Byres Road, visit cobble stoned Ashton Lane for a drink or food and spot the next mural
Tartan Paint | Glöbel Bros Sign, Conzo Throb and Art Pistol | Cresswell Lane
This is a fun mural portraying Tartan Paint, that amazing colour of paint!
From the Charing Charing Cross Birds and Glasgow Crocodile you will want to cross over the bridge or road until you are at the far end of Sauchiehall Street, at a lovely red and white art deco building trun right into Elmbank Street for the next mural which is hiding down Sauchiehall Lane
The Lost Giant | Stormie Mills | Sauchiehall Lane / Elmbank Street
An artist we haven’t yet mentioned on the trail, Stormie Mills brings a different type of mural than we have seen so far. The Lost giant series is found in various major towns and cities all over the world and now Glasgow has its very own, complete with a tartan scarf
Big Heids | Panda | Various
On your walks you will no doubt have noticed these pieces of street graffiti art, they are on Queen Street, Sauchiehall Street and near The Birds and Glasgow Crocodile to name a few, Panda has a unique style that we haven’t seen throughout the rest of the mural trail, these ‘Big Heids’ (big heads) are cute and fun as you unwittingly walk by
Head back out onto Sauchiehall Street and enjoy the newly developed avenue, and spot one of the ‘Big Heids’ then at Wellington Street turn down to Sauchiehall Lane
The Musician | Rogue-One and Art Pistol | Sauchiehall Lane
Rogue-One collaborates again with Art Pistol, taking inspiration from the local live music scene to create the stunning image of the musician
Moving back into the famous Sauchiehall Street you will soon spot your next mural; this one was created in 2018 following a fire in the surrounding buildings which have since been knocked down
Crazy Cat Lady | Rogue-One | Sauchiehall Street
One for cat lovers (and even those that are more of a dog person) A number of cats play and nap around their owner’s cat slipper’d feet
From Sauchiehall Street you will want to visit the cutest of all the murals, located an 8 minute walk away towards Cowcaddens, this mural is located in an underpass and sure helps brighten up the area
Shadow Hand Puppets | Rogue-One and Art Pistol | Cowcaddens Underpass
Located at Cowcaddens subway station in an in otherwise gloomy, well used underpass, this walk way is now adorned with hand shadow puppetry, bringing life back into the area. Evoke your childhood memories by recreating the shadow hand puppets!
Bath St Burger | Rogue-One | 22 Bath Street
You are finished with your mural trail, and if you are anything like us- you will be hungry. We suggest visiting Bath St Burger which serves up awesome burgers and tasty shakes, there is daily specials with burgers for under £5. Oh and Rogue-One has worked his magic inside this restaurant too. Come in and see!
Walking update- From “A Study OF A Woman In Black” to Bath St. Burger this part of the route will have taken under 1 and half hours and you will have covered a further 4 miles. (This does not include the detour)
How long does it take to walk the Glasgow mural trail?
We actually work in the city and regularly walk past these murals on our lunch break so have never completed the trail all in one go. The way we have set out the guide means you can easily split it into different days or even break for lunch. Google maps works out that from point to point will take around 2 and half hours, and you will cover around 7 miles but of course you will stop and take photographs and examine the pieces. Many of the murals are close to one another but you will be covering some distance.
Or of course jump of the “City Sightseeing Glasgow Hop-on hop-off” bus tour
What to wear and what to bring
It is Scotland, it may rain, in any month of the year. It may also be warm. Layer up for the weather changes and bring an umbrella. (Check out our umbrella as it is clear and doesn’t get in the way when looking up at all the murals) And bring your camera!
All the amazing artists mentioned and their instagram handles
Smug- (Sam Bates) @smugone
Rogue-One - (Bobby McNamara) Glasgow @rogueoner
James Klinge - (Klingatron) @jamesklinge_art
Art Pistol @artpistolprojects
Ejek Glasgow @ejek98
Conzo Throb @conzo_throb
Ciaran Globel / Glöbel Bros Sign @ciaranglobel
Guido van Helten @guidovanhelten
Rachel Maclean @rachela_maclean
Little Book Transfers @littlebooktransfers
Stormie Mills @stormiemills
Fintan Magee @fintan_magee
Cobolt Collective @coboltcollective
*First published, prices and art correct as of September 2019 / Updated November 2019
Read more on our Glasgow Blog posts!
We were offered complimentary tickets for the City Sightseeing Glasgow Bus, which we warmly received. Our content is purely our own ideas, and our own opinions. We live in Scotland and work in Glasgow, so we are genuinely passionate about the city.