Scotland's largest city, Glasgow is renowned for its vibrant arts, music and culture scene, rich architectural heritage and world-class shopping. It’s also rich in architectural gems: look out for the Victorian splendour of Glasgow City Chambers, the art nouveau style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's renowned Glasgow School of Art, and the ultra-modern spikes of Zaha Hadid's new Riverside Transport Museum.
A UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow stages an average of 130 music events in the city every week. It's also considered a place to discover new talent: bands hailing from, or starting their careers here include famous names like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Belle & Sebastian, The Vaselines, Arab Strap, Mogwai and Camera Obscura.
Here are some suggestions to make the most of your time in this fantastic city:
Led by students of the Glasgow School of Art, the award-winning Mackintosh at the GSA Tour provides a unique insight into the life and work of renowned Scottish designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The hour-long tour examines the exterior details of his iconic Mackintosh building, and explains the important restoration work currently in progress. There's also a chance to see the GSA's remarkable collection of original Mackintosh Furniture in the new furniture gallery.
The neighbourhood that includes the University of Glasgow and Ashton Lane is known as Glasgow's West End. This bohemian quarter of ornate sandstone tenements and cobbled streets is well worth exploring. A fantastic range of vintage and design stores, cafés, bars and specialist delicatessens can be found here. It's also home to the picturesque Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park, as well as Charles Rennie Mackintosh's distinctive and stylish Mackintosh House.
Also located within Glasgow's West End is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Built in 1901, this grand red brick building displays one of Europe's greatest and most eclectic art collections, and is one of Scotland's most popular free-to-enter visitor attractions. Highlights include Salvador Dali's iconic painting Christ Of St John Of The Cross, plus Scottish history and archaeology, dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, arms and armour, and Dutch Old Masters.
Glasgow is designated UNESCO City of Music thanks to its thriving music scene and multitude of live music venues. King Tut's Wah Hut is consistently named Britain's best small live music venue, or there's the legendary Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom in the east end of Glasgow, plus the area's latest offering Saint Luke's, an exciting new music and arts venue in a restored former parish church.