If you’re visiting Glasgow, you’ll be surprised by just how much there is to see and do here. Glasgow has lots of fascinating opportunities for the casual visitor or the holidaymaker. The biggest question is always where to start!
Of course, it all depends what are you interested in. So here’s 10 things to do in Glasgow, organised by activity, so you can pick things that interest you personally.
Buildings and Architecture
1. You can’t really visit Glasgow without taking in the beautiful sites of the stunning local architecture and buildings of Glasgow. At the top of the list should be the work of famous Glaswegian Charles Rennie Mackintosh. You can visit his architectural designs at Glasgow School of Art, the beautiful and traditional Willow Tea Rooms, and the home of contemporary architecture The Lighthouse.
2. Glasgow is famous for a number of sporting achievements and famous teams. Celtic and Rangers Football clubs, the “Old Firm Friends” are famous all around the world, especially after Celtic won the European Cup in 1967. You can also visit The Scottish Football Museum to learn more about the history of Scottish football. All over the city, there are still signs of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which brought 5000 athletes to compete in 267 events. The city plays host to a number of international sporting events each year from the International Badminton Championships in 2017 to the European Championships in August 2018.
History and Culture
3. No visit to the city would be complete without tasting some of its history or culture. The beautiful Glasgow Cathedral is said to be the burial place of St Mungo’s holy remains and for those interested in choral music, the city’s choir is a professional ensemble and sings at the two regular Sunday services. So if you’re close to the Cathedral and you want to get a flavour of the traditional religious music of the city, you can visit during services.
4. Glasgow University, which began within the grounds of Glasgow Cathedral is one of the oldest universities in the world. Its main building on University Avenue is nicknamed ‘Hogwarts’ after its likeness to the school of wizardry in the Harry Potter books and movies. The University also houses The Hunterian Museum, Scotland’s oldest museum with fascinating collections related to: Roman Scotland, Egypt, Science, Medicine and Zoology to name but a few subjects.
5. Glasgow’s Transport Museum is housed in the impressive Riverside Museum building on the River Clyde designed by famous Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. See the history of transport laid out before you with boats, planes, trams, trains, cars, bikes and buses. Step onto a Glasgow bus or tram and see what life was like before modern transport filled the city’s streets.
Science and Technology
6. No trip to Glasgow is complete without visiting the Glasgow Science Centre. Sticking up out of the city’s landscape like a needle, the Science Centre is located where hundreds of years of Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage was once based. With hundreds of fun experiments for adults and children alike, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon and keep children (and husbands) amused while you enjoy a little of what’s below...
7. Glasgow is now as famous for its shopping districts as it is for anything else. Visitors travel from all over the world to experience the Golden Z of three intersecting streets called Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall (Sock-ee-Hall) Street. The giant Buchanan Galleries is an indoor mall on three levels linking Buchanan with Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow is the second largest retail centre in Britain after London. Fashion, jewellery, sporting goods, cosmetics, books, art - Glasgow has something for everyone.
Food and Drink
8. The city has a huge range of tasty treats for visitors. From the infamous and crazy local delicacy of deep-fried Mars Bars (try the fish and chip shop under Glasgow Central Station) to the famous Indian dish of Chicken Tikka Masala which was invented in the city of Glasgow! For high end diners, there’s a top class range of restaurants in the city centre - but look to Princess Square - with its luxurious shops and giant peacock on Buchanan Street. For a more modest budget, there’s every type of fast food, sushi, noodle bar, Indian, Thai, and pizzerias. Perhaps you’ll try Haggis, which is traditionally made from the leftover parts of a sheep. You’ll usually have it with Neeps (Swede or yellow turnip) and Tatties (Potatoes). Don’t forget a wee dram (of whisky) with it to help it go down.
9. Whisky and beer are famously produced in Scotland. A brand new visitor attraction on the River Clyde is the Clydeside Distillery, marvel at how single malt whisky is made - and have a wee dram too. You can also see how beer is made at the Tennants Brewery which gives walking through Glasgow Green its particular smell!
Tours of Glasgow
10. There are lots of ways to see Glasgow from the open top buses that show visitors all the sites in one long continuous hop on/hop off experience; to the private tour experiences that Glasgow Private Tours provides. Discover the city on foot or by car with a knowledgeable, experienced and friendly local guide. Explore the city with an expert revealing all about this intriguing city and its incredible history.
However you decide to see the city, there’s plenty to see and do and you won’t be bored for a minute!