If you’re visiting Scotland, a trip to Glasgow is a must. The city has experienced a renaissance in recent years, and is now one of the UK’s hottest travel destinations. From great cultural treasures to a world-class live music scene, Glasgow has put itself on the map and isn’t backing down.
To help you decide where to go and what to see while you’re visiting, here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Glasgow.
Take a Tour of the Glasgow School of Art
One of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings, the Glasgow School of Art was designed by Scotland’s most famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A pioneer in the Art Nouveau movement, his work is known for exhibiting some of the finest examples of the style in the world. Tours of the Glasgow School of Art are a must for any lover of art or architecture, as well as those that want to get a better idea of Glasgow’s culture and history.
Explore George Square and the Merchant City
Named after King George III, George Square is the most important public square in Glasgow, and one of the focal points of the city centre. No trip would be complete without a visit to the square to soak up the atmosphere and admire the historic buildings that surround it. The adjacent Merchant City is worth a wander, too. Its abundance of beautiful architecture and great restaurants, bars, and cafes make it one of the liveliest places in the city.
Have Dinner in Finnieston
One of the most up-and-coming areas of Glasgow is Finnieston. Centered around Argyle Street to the west of the city centre, the neighbourhood is becoming increasingly trendy, with a great selection of bars and restaurants. Head to the Kelingrove Cafe for a cocktail before going to dinner at Ox and Finch, one of the area’s best restaurants.
Visit the Glasgow Necropolis
For those interested in dark tourism, the Glasgow Necropolis is a beautiful Victorian cemetery that will certainly tick that box. Located on a hill near Glasgow Cathedral, it is home to 50,000 graves. Many of the gravestones are works of art in their own right, making the necropolis a popular place to visit.
Go out in the West End
Glasgow’s West End has long been one of the best places in the city for nightlife, not least because the student population from the nearby university ensures that the area is lively every night. No visit to the city would be complete without experiencing all the West End has to offer. There’s no better place to do it than on the famous Ashton Lane, a cobbled backstreet full of restaurants and bars.
Walk around the University of Glasgow
One of the most beautiful places in Glasgow is the university. One of the oldest in the country, it was founded in 1451 and features some of the most beautiful architecture in the city. It is also home to several museums, including the Hunterian Museum, Scotland’s oldest public museum, which is home to a collection of rare minerals, dinosaurs, fossils, and cultural objects. Additionally, the Hunterian Art Gallery has masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Whistler, and other artists, and the The Mackintosh House features the reassembled main interiors of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s home.
Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has one of the top art collections in the UK, and features works by the Dutch Old Masters, French Impressionists, and best known Scottish artists. It is free to enter, and is one of the most visited museums in the country outside of London. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum offers exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to discover.
See Live Music
Glasgow is one of the best places in the world for live music, and many famous bands and artists have gotten their start here. Whatever your preference, you can find something to your taste. If you only have time for one gig, make sure you go to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. It is the most famous live music venue in Glasgow, and is consistently voted the best in the UK.
Go Whisky Tasting
Scotland is known for whisky, and having a tipple is a must on any visit. There are plenty of places to go whisky tasting in Glasgow, but for a truly authentic experience it’s best to take a day trip to a whisky distillery in Scotland. One of the closest and most accessible from Glasgow is the Glengoyne distillery. Just 14 miles (23km) north of Glasgow, it is easily accessible by bus, car, or organised day tour.
Go to the Riverside Museum of Transport
The Riverside Museum of Transport is one of Glasgow’s newest museums. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the building is as stunning from the outside as it is from the inside. The museum offers free entry, and is home to all things transport, including cars, bicycles, ship models, trams, and trains.