Scotland’s biggest city is an energetic mix of arts, culture and hospitality. In Glasgow, what you see is what you get – and what you get are genuinely brilliant experiences. But what makes Glasgow even more of a standout destination is its absolute and undying love for music. Glasgow wholeheartedly embraces creativity – making it one of the best UK cities to visit.
Kick off your trip in George Square which is the geographical heart of the city. From here you can easily get to the Gallery of Modern Art to see weird and wonderful exhibitions and can also meander around the old library within. Close by you’ll find the Lighthouse, a 7-storey architecture and design centre with some of the best views over the city. Don’t miss Merchant City, one of the oldest quarters of the city, for all the best independent stores and bars.
Near the historic campus of University of Glasgow, you’ll find even more cultural gems. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, is set within a stunning Spanish Baroque-styled building. The permanent collections are some of the greatest and most eclectic in Europe. Nearby is the Hunterian Art Gallery and Mackintosh House – a must see for architecture lovers.
And you have to make time for Glasgow’s expansive green spaces. Take a short train ride to Pollok Country Park and feel like royalty as you walk around the grounds. Glasgow Green is the place to be in summertime when you’re looking for outdoor gigs and festivals. At the edge of the park is the gorgeous People’s Palace and elegant Winter Gardens glasshouse.
Most of Glasgow’s local art and trendy shops are in The Hidden Lanes in Finnieston. It’s best to get lost wandering around here on a Saturday when a lot of the studios open their doors to the public. Also check out Barras Flea Market for more art and random vintage finds.
Out and about
Glasgow’s nightlife is legendary. Catch a gig music at King Tut’s Wah Hut, the Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, The 78 and Ben Nevis. The list goes on and on, with more than 100 music events each week. Boogie on down at underground dance clubs The Sub Club, Òran Mór and SWG3.
Foodies should try out Ranjit’s Kitchen for brilliant Punjabi food, Julie’s Kopitiam for authentic Malaysian cuisine and Rogano for fine dining in a luxurious location. For more traditional Scottish grub head to Ubiquitous Chip. Don’t miss out on their famous venison haggis!
A perfect base to embrace Glasgow’s creative side is the bold, stylish Radisson Red hotel. Enjoy the incredible views and delicious cocktails at its glass-walled rooftop bar. For a boutique hotel on a budget, book a room at centrally located Ibis Styles.
Dates for the diary
Glasgow International Comedy Festival, March
Said to be the largest of its kind in Europe, this event attracts the best comedians from around the globe for a three-week long festival of laughs. Over 400 shows take place in pubs, theatres, comedy clubs, community centres and even old swimming pools.
Merchant City Festival, August
Merchant City was once the main business district of Glasgow but has since been transformed into a cultural hub. For a whole week, visitors can experience all sorts of street art, music, theatre, comedy, dance, fashion, food and family-friendly events. Merchant City Festival is full of fun stuff.
Glasgow is in Scotland, a four hour and 40 minute journey by train from London and one hour from Edinburgh. It also has its own international airport.
- City Snapshot: Glasgow