Glasgow’s unique architecture, rich heritage, quirky music venues and traditional warm Scottish hospitality merge to create an exciting city to explore. With so many things to see and do, from visiting vibrant art galleries and museums to dancing the night away, here’s how to make the most of your time in Scotland’s largest city.
Fans of art nouveau will be in their element in Glasgow. The eminent designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh lived here much of his life and left his mark at various points across the city – look out for Mackintosh House, enjoy afternoon tea at the newly-refurbished Mackintosh at the Willow and admire House for an Art Lover in the picturesque surroundings of Bellahouston Park.
A visit to Glasgow’s Tenement House will really give you an insight into life in the city during the past 100 years. Miss Agnes Toward lived here for much of her life, like her mother before her, and neither threw anything away. The result is a practically unchanged Victorian home.
Music fans just have to go to a gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. This legendary music venue saw The Verve, Radiohead and Oasis all play within two weeks in 1993, and it’s where Oasis were first signed to a record label. With live music on most nights of the week covering an array of different genres, there’s something to suit most tastes!
Glasgow has a lively nightlife scene thanks to its music heritage and student population. Check out quirky and vibrant bars like Hillhead Bookclub and Flat 0/1, or traditional pubs like The Pot Still, with the largest collection of malt whiskies in Scotland on offer! The Ben Nevis is another pub with widespread whisky choices, as well as live music on selected evenings throughout the week.
When in Scotland… Taking part in a ceilidh is an authentic Scottish experience not to be missed. This traditional Highland dance is taught at school in Scotland. One of Glasgow’s oldest bars, Sloan’s, holds a ceilidh every Friday night.
Glasgow’s designer shopping offering clusters around the appropriately named Style Mile – so head to the area between Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and the Merchant City to get your fashion fix. As well as independent shops and designer boutiques, a number of weekend markets sell everything from arts and crafts to bespoke jewellery, toys, homewares and local food produce.
One of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, with one of Europe’s greatest art collections, the free Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is home to world-famous artworks, intriguing artefacts, and an excellent programme of special exhibitions.
The striking modern building that houses the free Riverside Museum stands out in Glasgow’s regenerated riverside area. Inside architect Zaha Hadid’s impressive creation you’ll see some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, ship models, trams and locomotives, as well as a historic Glasgow street scene.
Glasgow’s Necropolis is a Victorian cemetery on a hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral. Explore by yourself or on a guided tour. Look out for a monument designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the memorial to the author of children’s nursery rhyme Wee Willie Winkie. Then be astounded by the views back over the city.
In under an hour from Glasgow city centre, you can be amid beautiful Scottish countryside. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is a great introduction to Scotland’s finest landscapes. Explore the park’s many walking and hiking routes, take to the water aboard Sweeney’s Cruises or enjoy a bird’s eye view of the stunning scenery with Loch Lomond Seaplanes, which operate from nearby Duck Bay.