Some might argue that Glasgow is somewhat overshadowed by Scotland’s capital and tourist hub city, Edinburgh. While the country’s capital should not be missed on any trip to Scotland, the same goes for Glasgow. The largest city in the country, Glasgow offers visitors a diverse range of literally everything – you’ll never be bored! The skyline boasts a mix of both historic sandstone buildings and unique, modern architecture, while the streets are lined with plenty of award-winning museums, live music venues, quirky shops and innovative restaurants.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Scotland’s former industrial city, now dubbed the city of culture, these are some of our recommendations of not-to-miss activities!
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
One of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Opened in 1901, the Gallery-Museum took a 3-year hiatus before being reopened in 2006 after restorations were made. Kelvingrove is made up of 23 galleries, where visitors can experience everything from animals to art to Ancient Egypt and Salvador Dali and so much more.
Explore the West End
Glasgow’s West End is one of the most hip, vibrant parts of the city. Be sure to take a wander down Byres Road, where the bustling area is filled with quirky cafes, bars and boutiques. If you’re after a little bit more history, the West End is also home to the Mackintosh House, which was home to Glaswegian architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, or head over the the Hunterian Museum nearby; it’s the oldest museum in Scotland! Of course, no exploration of the West End would be complete without a wander down the Hidden Lane, where a community of artists, designers, musicians and more sell their goods.
Glasgow Mural Trail
As you wander about Glasgow, you’d find it pretty hard not to notice all of the street art that adorns buildings and different parts of the city. As part of a rejuvenation project, the city council embraced street art. The street murals are unique pieces of art that can be easily followed using the Street Mural Map.
Once upon a time, when the city of Glasgow was a huge industrial hub, Scotch Whisky was often transported from the very port that the Clydeside Distillery now sits. While having only opened in 2017, the Clydeside Distillery comes packed with whisky-related history. You can learn all about the local history while on a whisky tour.
University of Glasgow
While you may feel a little out of place amongst the University students as they hurry from class to class, a visit to the University of Glasgow is a must. Aside from being one of the top Universities in the world and the fourth-oldest English-speaking University, the buildings that adorn the university grounds are a work of art within themselves. A favourite with visitors and locals alike, is the beautiful vaulted Cloisters, which date back to the 1860’s and were inspiration for some of the buildings in the Harry Potter films.
See live music
In 2008, Glasgow was recognised as a UNESCO City of Music, so it goes without saying that seeing live music is an absolute must when visiting the city. With over 130 live music sessions taking place a week, you won’t be short of options either. As well as regular pubs and bars, you can also see live music at a variety of venues ranging from large arenas to small, intimate venues like the St Luke’s converted church which plays host to gigs, weddings and political events!