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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.
Locations visited
Merchant City
Britannia Panopticon Music Hall
Barrowland Ballroom

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.

  • 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

  • Small group size ensures an intimate atmosphere

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1 - 5 of 26 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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 3 weeks ago

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 4 weeks ago

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 4 weeks ago

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

Reviewed 21 June 2018
A whole new and wonderful way of looking at Glasgow

Did this tour as I am a huge fan of lots of bands from Glasgow and it was all that I expected and more. Fiona, a professional music journalist with a huge wealth of knowledge, guided me though the city's East End and Merchant City...More

Thank pcuni
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2018

Thanks pcuni. Lovely review. We like to think that we can show guests parts of the city that are sometime overlooked. We love the Pots too. All the best, Jonathan

Reviewed 18 June 2018
Excellent walking tour, give it a go

We recently did a walking music tour in the New York's East Side, so when we saw this we had to try it! As I'm from Edinburgh my knowledge of the music scene in Glasgow is (or was) poor to say the least! If i...More

Thank Spencemarc
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2018

Hi Spencemarc. Thanks for your review. Glad you enjoyed the tour despite the weather. We'll see you on the Music Mile tour the next time you are in town! All the best, Jonathan

Reviewed 29 May 2018
So good that we booked for the afternoon tour!

Phil was a delightful guide and full of great information and anecdotes. I love being a tourist in my home city. Weather helped out too! Will be revisiting Barrowland albums installation and hope that it can be saved past 2019.More

Thank Bar67
Jonathan_GCMT, Manager at Glasgow Music City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2018

Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Bar67. Yep, Phil is a star and he loves his music. The sun always shines in Glasgow, doesn't it? Thanks again and extra thanks for coming out on both tours in one day. That is...More

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