Top 5 Things to Do in Glasgow
If you are planning a trip to Scotland the chances are you will either visit or pass through Glasgow. This is a city with an interesting history, Glasgow was booming during the industrial revolution but fell on hard times shortly after. Recently thought thecity has been reinventing itself and offers more to tourists than you may think. View our top recommendations for things to do in Glasgow, which are perfect for a weekend visit or longer...
History & Beginners Guide to Glasgow
Once the second most important city of the British Empire after London in the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th, Glasgow went through very difficult times with the concurring ends of the industrial era and the Empire ("on which the sun never sets"). Yet, despite the post-industrial misery, it is still today a Behemoth of a town and Scotland's largest city (Edinburgh is the capital) as well as the UK third biggest.
Massive edifices here and there (such as museums, banks, the cathedral, the uni, the graveyard) are the obvious remains of this past "grandeur", but are thankfully not the only interesting aspects of Glasgow.
Although Edinburgh has some of the most famous attractions, a lot of people don't know much of all that much before going to Glasgow or that this city was the birthplace of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the worlds great designers and architects and who still has nowadays a neat series of the buildings he designed spread in and around Glasgow.
More importantly, over the three last decades, the city has finally started to reinvent itself and is today a kind of funky place with a real art scene and cool music venues. Glasgow is one of the best places to see in Scotland and definitely a place where you might want to check out in the near future.
If you are researching a trip to Scotland we highly recommend booking a tour with Haggis Adventures who offer great value small group tours to destinations throughout the country.
Here are our list of the 5 best things to add to your Glasgow travel itinerary:
1. Explore the City on a Guided Tour
You can walk around Glasgow with a map or join one of the many tours on offer which range from sightseeing bus tours to free city walking tours. You can also go on a campus tour of the University of Glasgow which is over 500 years old, maybe people find this tour one of the highlights of the city. There are also lots of outdoor green spaces, parks and neighbourhoods worth visiting in Glasgow, we recommend spending time in the West End area of the city or going shopping on Buchanan Street.
2. See the Historic Architecture
Glasgow has some stunning buildings from a bygone era, the world famous designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh has buildings dotted around the city include the Glasgow School of Art is a spectacular one to see. There is a really nice blend of the old and the new in Glasgow, modern buildings are being constructed all the time but there is still lots of old buildings taking centre stage in the city. Although not as unique as Edinburgh's gothic architecture, Glasgow's buildings are still great for photos especially if you are not from the UK.
3. Watch a Live Football Game
Football is one of the local passions in Glasgow and managers like Alex Ferguson were born in this city. Glasgow is home to Celtic and Rangers, which are Scotland's premier football teams with a long established and celebrated history of winning trophy's both in the UK and Europe.
Celtic play their football at Celtic Park which is located in the Parkhead area of Glasgow whilst Rangers play at the Ibrox stadium, in the Ibrox region of Glasgow. You can buy tickets and go and watch a live game with at the moment is currently very easy, both teams have big stadiums with over 50,000 capacities which are rarely full so it is very easy to get tickets in advance or on the day.
4. Take in the Local Culture
In 1990 Glasgow was voted to be the European capital of culture, today over 25 years later you can still soak up the culture of the city by visiting one of the various museums and art galleries. There is a lot of choice including the Riverside and Transport museums, Burrell Collection, Gallery of Modern Art and if you are interested in sport the Scottish football museum.
The Riverside Museum, Glasgow's new Museum of Transports was designed by the famous Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and adds a much needed contemporary touch to a city otherwise dominated by Victorian architecture (indeed, Glasgow's many Victorian landmarks, while certainly still reminiscent of the city's glorious past, are not exactly representative of the modern city it claims to be).
Located quite far from the city centre in the West side of the city and along the banks of the Clyde river the area where the Museum is situated is in the middle of a big industrial waste land and you might get lost trying to find it. Interestingly enough, all Glasgow's newer main buildings have been built in the same area like the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the Glasgow Science Centre.
Research all museums before deciding which ones are right for you.
5. Enjoy the Nightlife & Entertainment
Glasgow is a huge city with over 500,000 inhabitants making it the most populated area in the whole of the northern United Kingdom. There are lots of night time activities including nightclubs which run till the early hours, live jazz clubs, local pubs, stand up comedy and also theatre shows.
There are things for all ages groups and tastes so you are sure to find something to enjoy and match your tastes. Glsagow has a bustling food scene at the moment and there is a revolution of vegan cafes and restaurants with amazing reviews.
You can also sample some of the local drinks, there are over 500 hundreds of watering holes in Glasgow which serve local and international beers and ales. Head to Bath street for modern bars or the West End for the best of the nightlife.