Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, with a population of roughly 630,000 and a further million people living in the greater Glasgow area. Even though it’s the biggest city in Scotland, Edinburgh holds capital city status. The name Glasgow came from the middle Celtic language known as Cumbric and means ‘green valley.’
Glasgow is situated on the river Clyde, the 9th longest river in the UK, and was an incredibly important trading port. With massive trading routes to and from the Caribbean and North America, Glasgow became known as the ‘second city of the British Empire.’ From the 18th century onwards Glasgow became a hub of ship building, chemical imports, textiles and marine engineering equipment. As with all empires there was a dark side, as Glasgow played a huge role in the transatlantic slave trade. Legendary comedian Billy Connolly grew up in Glasgow in the 1950s and worked as a welder in the shipping yards. He really put Glasgow on the map culturally, and is one of the most notable Glasweigens, loved by millions nationwide. He started out as a folk singer with rock star Gerry Rafferty until the 1970s when he started a roaring career as a banjo picking comedian. The Commonwealth Games were hosted in Glasgow in 2014, which was a massive boost to their sports infrastructure. Historically, the huge rivalry between local football teams Rangers and Celtic is legendary: their football matches were often accompanied with huge riots, with intense hatred between the Catholic Celtic fans and Protestant Rangers fans. These days things have calmed down and Glasgow is the 5th most popular city for tourists in the UK. Glasgow is blessed with some astoundingly beautiful countryside within walking distance of the city. The Kilpatrick Hills to the north offer some magnificent views of the city and there are also some great trails along the river Clyde, for those in search of some peace and quiet. The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and today there are a total of 4 universities in the city. The student population is thriving and the nightlife is therefore booming, with everything from LGBT friendly events, techno raves, concerts every night and loads of quirky bars and cafes. The city centre is on the northern bank of the river Clyde and has been designed in a grid system, making it really easy to find your way around. The vibrant central Buchanan street has even been nicknamed ‘style mile’ because of the abundance of retail stores and brand names. Buchanan street is pedestrianised and has a great atmosphere, and we highly recommend checking out George Square, named after George III. It’s also a really great photo opportunity. Glasgow boasts being home to the largest public reference library in Europe, the Mitchell Library. They have around 1,300,000 books to choose from and the largest collection of the world famous Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. You can go and chill in their cafe, take in the atmosphere or make use of their numerous study spaces. It’s a really impressive building, built in 1910 and really worth a visit. For those of us with curious minds the Glasgow Science Centre is full of amazing interactive exhibitions, and it can take up to 4 hours to see everything. The super futuristic looking building is worth checking out on its own! It isn’t expensive to enter, and it’s the perfect place to take your kids for a day trip. You’re guaranteed to walk out feeling totally inspired.
There’s so much to do in Glasgow and it’s no secret, with over 3,000,000 tourists visiting each year. As you can imagine, parking can be tough, so read on for all of the best free and paid parking options below. We’ve also added more interesting attractions you can see in different areas of the city.
Free Parking in Glasgow
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Free, unrestricted street parking
These days we are all trying to save money, so why not cut out paid parking altogether? We’ve found every single free residential street parking option available in Glasgow, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. You have just as much right to park there as the locals, and there aren’t any time limits or parking inspectors to worry about. A mile or 2 is nothing for a fit and healthy person to walk, and it will give you a better perspective of the city’s layout. Stay fit and save money!
Using free street parking is all about respect, and how you park your vehicle. Although we always update this site and check the parking locations, you should always look out for any new parking enforcements or signs the neighbours have left. Please remember to leave plenty of space for other cars, and stay well clear of turns in the road and people’s driveways. Try to make as little noise as possible and you won’t have any problems. Last but not least, if you have anything extremely valuable in your car you might want to consider secured paid parking options. Free residential street parking is at your own discretion. All of the following locations are measured by their distances to Glasgow central train station.
If you’re planning on driving down from Loch Lomond there are plenty of free parking options available in the north of Glasgow. We highly recommend you walk down the Speirs Wharf canal and check out the narrowboats and small yachts on your way to the centre. You can cross the canal over the loch bridge and then you’ll have to cross the M8 motorway. You’ll pass the National Piping Centre, which is a bagpipe museum. When in Scotland! The city starts to look a lot nicer by that point, and there are lots of different shops and cafes to stop off in if you are in need of a break.
● Cedar Street G20 7NR – 1.4 miles
● Pinkston Road G4 0LP – 1.5 miles
● Grovepark Street G20 7LR – 1.3 miles
● Fountainwell Drive G21 1RR – 1.5 miles
● Huntingdon Road G21 1RS – 1.7 miles
● Edington Street G4 9RD – 1.1 miles
● Barr Street G20 7LR – 1.4 miles
Those of you who plan on driving in from the easterly Cumbernauld or Edinburgh directions can use the following street parking locations, which are only 30 minute walk to the centre. You can walk straight down Duke street and pass right by George Square. If you fancy a sit down, there’s the beautiful Ramshorn Church with Glasgow’s oldest graveyard. It’s just down the hill from Rottenrow Gardens, which is another nice quiet green space amongst all of the epic grey stone buildings. By this point you might be in need of a stiff drink, and possibly a confrontation, so why not check out Flight Club? Jokes aside, it’s an awesome bar, and really well designed.
● Claythorn Avenue G40 2HX – 1.0 mile
● Dunchattan Street G31 2NH – 1.5 miles
● Broompark Drive G31 2DP – 1.5 miles
● Onslow Drive G31 2QA – 1.9 miles
● Gadshill Street G21 2NS – 1.6 miles
● Rhymer Street G21 2AB – 1.6 miles
If you’re coming up from Kilmarnock along the M77, or up from England on the M74, there are some decent residential parking spots available here too. You can cross the river Clyde over the Albert bridge where you’ll find the Glasgow Green on your right. It would be a crime to miss this lovely open space, and the botanical gardens are also worth checking out. It’s not often you’ll find palm trees in Scotland. The walk towards the centre along Clyde street’s quite charming, and there’s also a lovely foot bridge that’s worth checking out.
● Watt Street G5 8RR – 1.0 mile
● Cumberland Street G5 0SH – 1.1 miles
● Ballater Street G5 0YP – 1.0 miles
● Admiral Street G4 1HU – 1.3 miles
● Old Rutherglen Road G5 0UU – 1.2 miles
Free after 6pm & Overnight Parking
The following streets are perfect if you want some free parking in central Glasgow, but make sure you get away before the traffic wardens start patrolling the next day to avoid penalties.
● St Vincent Place G2 5UB – 0.4 miles
● West George Street G2 2LW – 0.3 miles
● Bath Street G2 4TP – 0.5 miles
● West Regent Street G2 2SG – 0.4 miles
● Lister Street G4 0BZ – 1.1 miles
● Cochrane Street G1 1GW – 0.6 miles
● West Campbell Street G2 5NW – 0.2 miles
● Wellington Street G2 5SG – 0.2 miles
● St James Road G4 0NT – 1.0 miles
Park and Ride Services
● Shields Rd Park & Ride G5 8QF – south of Glasgow
● Kelvinbridge SPT Park and Ride G4 9HG – northwest of Glasgow
● Bridge St SPT Park & Ride G5 9NR – central Glasgow
Cheapest Paid Car Parks
If you aren’t trying to save money, or want somewhere with more safety then you can use the following paid parking options.
● Q-Park Jamaica Street G1 4NL – £4.00 for 2 hours
● Q-Park St Enoch G1 4EQ – £3.80 for 2 hours
● Brown St Car Park G1 4RU – £4.00 for 2 hours
● 53 Washington St G3 8AZ – £4.00 for 2 hours
● Washington Street Car Park G3 8AZ – £3.00 for 2 hours
● Buchanan Galleries Car Park G1 2FF – £3.80 for 2 hours
● Bridge Street Underground Station G5 9NR – £2.70 for 2 hours
Free short-term parking (2h or less)
The following addresses are commercial centres which allow you to park for up to 2 hours. It’s essential that you leave before your time is up to avoid penalties as they have cameras.
● The Quay G5 8NP
● Crown Street Retail Park G5 0TG
● 87 St John’s Quadrant G41 5SU
● Glasgow Green Football Centre G40 1HB