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Great days in Glasgow

The eyes of the world have been on Glasgow in Scotland recently, as global leaders gathered for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, but what does this dynamic city offer the visitor? Now’s the perfect time to find out!

Glasgow_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgClyde Waterfront, Glasgow © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

The largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the United Kingdom, Glasgow is one of the most exciting cities you’ll come across. Packed with striking architecture, spacious parks and public spaces, fascinating museums and inspiring art galleries, Glasgow has something for everyone.

Glasgow city centre is one of the top shopping destinations in the UK outside of London's West End, and there is a diverse culinary scene, which will suit food lovers down to the ground. Glasgow boasts a dynamic cultural offering, from football to opera, as well as an abundance of pubs and bars and some of the UK's best music venues. In fact, in 2008 Glasgow was named the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music.

What’s more, Glasgow is surrounded by the fine Scottish countryside and, as a port, is nestled on the River Clyde, only miles from the coast. For many people, Glasgow is the gateway to Scotland and the perfect starting point for a tour of the lochs and the spectacular Highlands.

Here is just a handful of our favourite things to see and do in Glasgow!

George Square

Right in the heart of the city, historic George Square has been a focal point for the city for generations, and is the perfect place to begin your exploration of Glasgow. Beautiful buildings line the square, none more majestic than City Chambers.

George_Square_and_City_Chamber_c_Visit_Scotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgGeorge Square and City Chambers © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

The streets of the city centre are an attraction in their own right due to their architectural grandeur. Head in any direction from George Square and stumble upon one elegant street after another, each lined with some of the UK's best-preserved Victorian architecture.

Just around the corner from George Square is Royal Exchange Square, a great space for enjoying alfresco dining. The centrepiece of the square is a fabulous neo-classical building which now houses the wonderful  Gallery of Modern Art

The architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

One of the world’s most celebrated 20th century architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born, and lived for most of his life, in Glasgow. He built a beautiful and lasting legacy in his home town and some of his most memorable buildings can be seen to this day.

VB34169012.jpgThe Hill House near Glasgow © Glasgow Mackintosh

Mackintosh famously designed several tearooms in the city and the splendid Willow Tea Room has been restored to its former glory – now the ideal space to enjoy afternoon tea, lunch or a drink on the rooftop terrace! Other Mackintosh highlights include: The Hill House – a perfectly preserved masterpiece just outside the city; the reconstructed House for an Art Lover; the meticulously restored interiors of the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Museum, and The Lighthouse – Scotland’s national centre for design and architecture.

VB34169019.jpgThe Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Museum © Glasgow Mackintosh

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which was included in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List for 2020, is one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, featuring 22 state of the art galleries displaying over 8,000 objects. The extensive collections include natural history, arms and armour, and one of Europe’s finest art collections, featuring art from many movements and periods of history.

Kelvingrove_Museum_c_Visit_Scotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Dating back to 1901, the museum is housed in a majestic red sandstone building overlooking the delightful Kelvingrove Park. Highlights of the eclectic collections include Salvador Dali’s masterpiece ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’, Sir Roger the Asian elephant, and there’s even a Spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling of the west court!

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Perfect for getting away from the buzz of the city for an hour or two, Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a sublime collection of over 9,000 plants displayed in temperate and tropical glasshouses as well as across 50 acres of landscaped grounds on the banks of the beautiful River Kelvin.

Kibble_Palace_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgKibble Palace at Glasgow Botanic Gardens © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Located in Glasgow’s fashionable West End, the gardens contain a variety of plant collections, woodland and riverside walks as well as the famous Kibble Palace, a magnificent recently-restored glasshouse designed by 19th century engineer John Kibble, which houses the Scottish national collection of tree ferns.

Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel

On the banks of the River Clyde, the Riverside Museum is an award winning transport museum with over 3,000 objects on display, with everything from skateboards to steam locomotives, and push bikes to prams.

Riverside_Museum_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgRiverside Museum © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Opened in 2011 and designed by world-famous architect Dame Zaha Hadid, the museum is now a landmark in the Clyde Waterfront area of Glasgow, along with other modern buildings such as Glasgow Science Centre (another of Glasgow’s must-see attractions!), the OVO Hydro arena as well as the 150 ft (46 metre) Titan Clydebank industrial crane dating back to 1907 and now a tourist attraction in its own right.

Visitors to Riverside Museum can climb aboard a train, tram or bus to experience public transport as it used to be, discover Glasgow's rich shipbuilding history, trace the history of automotives through vintage cars and motorbikes, and even walk down a cobbled Victorian street with shops dating from 1895. Berthed outside is the stunning Tall Ship Glenlee, the UK's only floating Clyde-built sailing ship.

Glasgow_Cathedral_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgGlasgow Cathedral © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Some of our other recommendations for Glasgow include picturesque Pollok Country Park, just a stone’s throw from the city centre, 12th century Glasgow Cathedral famed for its impressive collection of post-war stained glass windows and nearby Glasgow Necropolis, an atmospheric cemetery dating back to 1833 and inspired by the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Glasgow is a city of football lovers, so soccer fans can immerse themselves at the Scottish Football Museum, or enjoy a match at one of the city’s rival teams, Celtic and Rangers. The People’s Palace, situated within the vast expanse of Glasgow Green, tells the story of Glasgow and its people from 1750 to the present day, the City Centre Mural Trail highlights the city’s colourful street art and a tour of The Clydeside Distillery is a must for whisky lovers!

If you or your group would like to enjoy a visit to Glasgow as part of a tailor-made tour of Scotland or the United Kingdom, please do contact our friendly team. We can put together the perfect itinerary to meet your needs, with the finest accommodation and delicious meals in the best restaurants.

Tags: Glasgow  Scotland  Scottish Tours  

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