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) | J