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Merchant City Music Walking Tour of Glasgow

  • Get off the tourist path with this music-focused tour

  • Led by local guides, including music writers

  • Learn about Glasgow’s music scene, including venues and musicians

Merchant City Music Walking Tour of Glasgow
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
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Merchant City Music Walking Tour of Glasgow

Learn about Glasgow’s vibrant music scene with this guided walking tour of Merchant City and the East End. Led by enthusiastic music fans and writers, this tour includes concert venues both old and new along with stories of the musicians that helped to build Glasgow’s notable cultural life. Limited to a small group, this tour explores some of the oldest streets and legendary pubs of Glasgow.

What to Expect
Walk the oldest streets of Glasgow with the Merchant City Music – Past and Present tour.

Avoid the usual tourist trails and share musical memories on this guided walking tour of the musical hot spots in Glasgow's East End and Merchant City. 

Spanning 150 years of great music, the tour features tall tales, funny stories and fond recollections of the amazing gigs which have helped make Glasgow a UNESCO City of Music.

The tour starts outside The Clutha, one of Glasgow's best loved live music pubs. The Clydeside bar is covered with murals which showcase the diversity of the city's music scene through the years.

Britain’s oldest surviving music hall

The next tour location is the venerable Britannia Panopticon – Britain’s oldest surviving music hall. Still a working venue, this atmospheric, hidden gem has seen stage legends from Cary Grant to Stan Laurel.

Next stop is The City Halls and Old Fruitmarket. Over the years, these unique venues have been the location for many a memorable gig, including The Stranglers concert which led to punk rock being banned in Glasgow.

A short stroll takes your group to the Tron. Now a leading theatre and concert venue, this building's history includes a devastating date with the notorious Hellfire Club.

Brilliant Barrowland stories

The Barrowland Ballroom and the Barrowland Pathway artwork are much loved by Glasgow gig-goers. And from The Smiths and Simple Minds to David Bowie and Bob Dylan, we have brilliant stories about many of the big names who have played here.

Our next stop is St Andrews in the Square, a beautiful 18th century church turned live music venue.

We finish on King's Court where your guide will reveal our theories about why Glasgow evolved its own, unique music scene. From Postcard Records to The 13th Note and Mono Bar, this is an area rich in stories about Glasgow's past and present music scenes.

During the tour, hear the story of the veteran venues which have found a new lease of life; the fertile relationship between the city’s visual arts community and its musicians; the legendary pubs frequented by folk music giants, and the newer, noisier upstarts that keep the grassroots scene growing.

The tour finishes at the hip and happening Mono Café Bar where customers can enjoy a 25% discount on food.

See a different side of Glasgow

You don't need to be a music expert to enjoy the tour and even if you are, you may still learn new things. Jam-packed with anecdotes, the tour is designed to show a different side of Glasgow to both visitors and locals. 

Join us as we lift the lid on the sights and sounds of the Merchant City.
Reviews (29)
1 - 5 of 29 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
Brilliant tour

This is hands down one of the most informative and brilliant walking tours I've ever been on. Didn't think I'd learn a lot given I've been to many a gig in many a different venue, boy was I wrong. Saw venues I've only heard of...More

Thank Laura M
Reviewed 3 September 2018
Informative and enlightening

This was an amazing tour. Phil was extremely knowledgeable, clearly passionate about music and Glasgow's musical history and encouraged interaction from the guests. The time passed very quickly as there was so much to hear and see.

1  Thank Di-Wishaw
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2018

Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Di-Wishaw. We really appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed your afternoon and I'll make sure that Phil reads your kind comments.

Reviewed 26 August 2018
Quite simply . . . pure dead brilliant!!!

Merchant City Music Walking Tour of Glasgow I got this tour as a gift from my partner who always picks excellent gifts and this was no exception. The tour guides, Phil and Alison obviously have a wealth of knowledge about the venues, the musicians, groups,...More

Thank John W
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2018

'Pure dead brilliant!!!' We can't say better than that. Thanks so much John W. I'll make sure that Alison and Phil see you kind words. We like to think that we can tell even the most keen music fan something they didn't know and it's...More

Reviewed 29 July 2018 via mobile
Walking, music and history of Glasgow these are some of my favourite things

In a word musictastical! Alison and Fiona’s friendly and knowledge of Glasgow and it’s music scene makes the few hours of walking, despite the rain, go so quick. Stop off at the Panoptical music hall was fascinating and another ‘must do’ off my list. Highly...More

1  Thank happycoupleGlasgow
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2018

Hello happycoupleGlasgow. Walking, music and the history of Glasgow are at the top of our favourite things list too. So glad you enjoyed the tour, especially the Pots and Pans. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review. We really appreciate it....More

Reviewed 24 July 2018

If you're a music lover, or even if not, do yourself a favour and make sure to do this tour. Expertly and passionately presented, a wealth of information about Glasgow's music history and culture. Interesting detail that would be so easily missed without a guide,...More

1  Thank Graeme L
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2018

Hello Graeme L. Thanks for leaving such a lovely review. We like to think that the tours are geared up to be fascinating for music lovers but also interesting for people who simply want to see Glasgow in a new light. Fiona and Alison will...More

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