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.