Glasgow is a growing city in Scotland, United Kingdom. With its oceanic climate, Glasgow has a variety of interesting things to offer and attracts more tourists every year. The city is also recognised as Scotland’s music capital by UNESCO.
Glasgow, located on the River Clyde, is Scotland’s largest seaport. It is well known for its Art galleries, Architecture, Culture and is the best destination for the art lover and home to numerous theatres. The site is great for shopping, eating and drinking too.
In this article, some places to visit in Glasgow are discussed.
How to Explore
Glasgow is easily accessible via road, air and sea from the UK as well as overseas. The city is easily explorable on foot, or you can rent a cycle or take public transport.
Walk around the city, drink, taste delicious foods, and make memories. For renting e-bikes, various schemes are available. You can rent anywhere any time OVO bikes station is set up all across Glasgow. Make use of Subway, which is the easiest. You can find a train every 4 minutes. Buy a Subway Smart Card if you are planning a long stay.
Glasgow Central station links south, and Glasgow queen street station links the north mainly to Edinburgh. If you are taking the bus, various ticket schemes are there. Buy a weekly ticket or day ticket according to your stay. The best way to reach Glasgow airport in 15 minutes is to take the express service provided by the first bus.
Open-top City Sightseeing Bus Tour is the best way to enjoy the city centre. This tour takes 1 hour and 25 minutes approx to complete where they stop in all the famous iconic places including the Riverside Museum, Glasgow Cathedral and many more.
Places To Visit In Glasgow
1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
This spot is one of the top places to visit in Glasgow, the top tourist attraction of Europe with world-class art galleries and museums. This art gallery is one of the interesting and entertaining museums with ancient history to modern art, including Egyptian Artefacts and many other impressive collections. It is situated on Argyle street, the West end of the city, on the banks of River Kelvin.
Kelvingrove was designed by Sir John W Simpson and E.J Milner Allen and opened in 1901, extended over an area of about 125ft featuring 22 themed art galleries displaying over 8000 objects. The famous architect Charles Rennie mackintosh work can be seen in the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum. Make sure to look upon the central hall, where you can find the pipe organ constructed by Lewes & co.
West court of the museum displays a variety of animals in which ‘Sir Roger’ the elephant, ‘Dippy’ the Dinosaur is famous artefacts which stand for more than 100 years. You would also find “Christ of St John of the Cross”, a famous art piece by Salvador Dali, in the museum. Make sure you click all the memories. It is also a dog-friendly Museum with a bowl and water available.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum offers free entry; however, parking is charged.
When is open: You can visit it from Monday to Thursday and Saturday 10 am-5 pm. For Friday and Sunday, 11 am-5 pm.
2. Glasgow Green
Glasgow Green is one of the very oldest parks, situated at the east end of Glasgow on the north bank of River Clyde. In 2011, the Green Flag was awarded to the park for its quality. It has attracted more tourists among all the places to visit in Glasgow.
The park is situated closer to the city centre, and you can reach the park by walk. It is a very vast area where you can do so many activities and spend the day. Walking on the pathway along the riverside, jogging, Multi-use gaming area, Playing area, Flower garden are some of the things to do.
The Nelson’s Monument, St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge, People’s Palace, Winter Gardens, Templeton on the green, beautiful McLennan Arch, Glasgow green Football centre are some of the famous landmarks located in the park. Doulton fountain is located inside the park, the world’s largest terracotta fountain. Rock music festivals and several other festivals are held every year in Glasgow Green.
Park is open to visitors all day; however, some facilities are subjected to the opening timings. Do check its official website before you visit.
3. Glasgow Cathedral
Glasgow Cathedral stands tall near the heart of this largest city, Castle-street, famous among all the places to visit in Glasgow, dedicated to Saint Mungo. It is the most significant oldest building known for its medieval and fine architecture. People also call it the ‘high kirk of Glasgow’ or ‘St. Mungo Cathedral’.
Visiting Glasgow Cathedral is one of the top free attractions and a must-visit to explore the historical architecture of the 12th century.
Not to mention the St.Mungo Museum of religious life and art, situated next to the Glasgow Cathedral, showcases world religions, including the mummies of Egypt, statues of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains.
4. Glasgow Necropolis
Necropolis is adjacent to the Glasgow Cathedral is a Victorian garden cemetery, 37 acres wide with over 50,000 burials and 3500 tombs, including the war graves. In 1825 a monument to John Knox, founder of the presbyterian church Scotland was established.
It is a historic site with fascinating stories and Stunning architecture. You will also find a guided walking tour to explore.
5. Glasgow Science Center
One of the popular places to visit in Glasgow is the science museum is on the south banks of River Clyde. Queen Elizabeth II opened it in 2001. It is a paid attraction place and is walkable from the city centre. The visitor centre of the Whitlee Wind Farm of Eaglesham Moor is managed by Glasgow Science Centre. The main three buildings are the Science Mall, Glasgow Tower, Imax cinema.
The architectural beauty of the science mall is designed like a canted ship hull. Exhibiting over 250 science learning things in a 3-floor building offers an interactive learning experience. The night sky is projected on a dome in the Glasgow science centre planetarium. Visit the science show theatre and ‘The Big Explorer’ exclusively designed for kids.
Take part in ‘Bodywork’, an interactive exhibition about human health and wellbeing and get a live laboratory experience. Various other interactive exhibitions and special events are also there to explore.
It is an observatory tower and the city’s tallest freely 360-degree rotating tower. View the beauty of the city from the Glasgow Tower.
It is the Scotlands first Imax cinemas with a capacity of 370 seats and telecast 3D and 2D cinemas. A movie named ‘Dolphins’ was first premiered in IMAX Cinema.
6. Royal Exchange Square
Among the six squares in the city centre, one of the fine places to visit in Glasgow is the Royal Exchange Square, well known for its distinguished architecture. It lies between Queen Street and Buchanan Street. In earlier days, it is used as a meeting place for trade and exchange by business people. It is now the home of a Modern Art Gallery. A fun-filled great place for people to watch and go shopping all day.
7. George Square and Merchant City
George square is in the centre of the city, named after King George III, one of the finest civic buildings and historical places to visit in Glasgow. It is a place for all events, light shows, gatherings, events surrounded by statues and important historical figures, including Poet Robert Burns, inventor James Watt, Sir Robert Peel and Sir Walter Scott.
8. Gallery of Modern Art, i.e. GoMA
The gallery is located in the city centre, is one of the architectural marvel places to visit in Glasgow. It displays collections from all over the world with lots of paintings from local and international artists. It is a place to see, share and learn—a very interesting place to provoke new thoughts in Modern Art. A must-visit site for all art lovers around the world.
Explore all the four Galleries and Libraries. Purchase interesting things from the shop and fill your stomach in the Cafe.
When is open: Open to the public from Monday-Thursday, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and from 11 am – 5 pm on Friday and Sunday.
9. Riverside Museum
Riverside Museum is built in a zig-zag pattern using a zinc-clad roof overlooking the River Clyde. It is a hyper-modern transport museum displaying more than 3000 historic vehicles and art. European museum of the year was awarded in 2013. Watch the historical vehicles, Powerful Locomotives, Skateboards, Vintage Cars, Paintings and much more. Learn through the interactive exhibits and know the story behind them.
When is open: Free entry to the public on Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm, and on Friday and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
10. The Tall Ship Glenlee
The Tall Ship, Glenlee is situated just outside the Riverside Museum and attracts more one day trip visitors. Explore the Restored historic sailing ship, tour the maritime-themed exhibition and mini theatre. It is a must-take place for children. The experience on the ship will take you back in time. There is a cafe on board. Entry is free and will be a worthwhile day out. Find more details from here.
11. Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum
It is located at the University of Glasgow avenue. William Hunter formed the basics of the Hunterian Museum. It is the oldest public museum with millions of extraordinary art and artefacts with natural history.
It includes collections from various departments, scientific instruments, mummies, and famous artworks by Rubens, Rembrandt, and Reynolds. Salvador Dali’s Christ Painting is a notable one to explore. Hunterian zoology museum displays various animals, insects, worms and much more. Mackintosh house is permanently displayed here.
Visit the official website for the opening and closing hours of the museum.
12. Pollok Country Park
Pollok Country Park, Britain’s best park, is situated in Pollok, Glasgow. With over 360 acres of the land, it is full of green to the eyes- best known for its scenic beauty. Earlier, the park was a part of the old Pollok Estate, which includes the Pollok House and later donated to the Glasgow Corporation. Inside the park is the Burrell Collections, where the fascinating art and antique are displayed.
Visit the Wildlife Garden and walk along the riverside. Park is open to the public throughout the day; however, the opening hours of some facilities may vary and can be checked on the official website.
13. Glasgow Botanic Garden
Covering over 27 acres of land is home to more than 9000 plants located on the West end of Glasgow. River kelvin flows along the north side of the garden. It is a Green Flag awarded garden for its quality in 2011.
Visit the Rose Garden area, Children Garden, Herb Garden inside. Explore various glasshouses in the garden. Among all the glasshouses is the Kibble Palace, a notable one. The structure of Kibble Palace is made of curved wrought iron and glass supported by cast iron is home to large collections of orchids, 120-year-old tree ferns and carnivorous plants. Make sure to look at the ceiling of the Kibble Palace.
14. Kelvingrove Park
On the West end of Glasgow is Kelvingrove Park, home to various wildlife and beautiful birds, which includes the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of the great places to visit in Glasgow. The park is located on the River Kelvin. It also has various statuses, including Lord Kelvin and a War Memorial and is famous among joggers, dog walkers, tourists since it can be easily accessed.
15. Buchanan Galleries
Buchanan Street is one of the best shopping places to visit in Glasgow. It can be easily accessed via road, train or subway. Paid parking is available for visitors. The vast shopping hub is located at the end of Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Everything can be shopped here, from beauty products to gadgets, Branded wears to Household items. Over 80 shops Buchanan Galleries are the best place to purchase. Various food and snacks outlets are there to taste and take a break. Make sure you pay a visit.
16. Hampden Park
Hampden Park, with a huge iconic stadium, is one the top places to visit in Glasgow for all football fans. Hampden Park is the national stadium of football of Scotland located in Mount Florida, Glasgow. It is also a place for musical concert venues and other sports.
This Scottish Football Museum has collections of over 40,000 football related objects from 1867, including the stadium architecture, photographs, shirts, trophies, Scottish cup and much more.
It is open to the public subject to the events. Visit the official website to know more.
17. Glasgow Film Theatre
Glasgow film theatre is at the City Center, opened in 1939 as an individual cinema in Glasgow. GFT currently has three screens displaying international cinemas, foreign language cinemas, documentaries, classical cinemas. It hosts various film festivals like Glasgow Film Festival, Youth Film Festival, Short Film Festival. You can join in various activities like film discussion groups and clubs.
18. The National Piping Center
The Museum of Piping at the National Piping Center, McPhater Street, is one of the incredible places to visit in Glasgow. Watch and learn the three-hundred-year-old heritage of Bagpipe, Scottish tradition. It displays the pipes of famous John MacColl, John Ban MacKenzie, Medals of famous Major Robert Reid, various other countries, including Spain, Hungarian, Italy Bagpipes and other Artefacts. Demonstration of pipe making and Bagpipe music is also there for display.
The National Piping Center is one of the paid attractions, but concessions can be availed for senior citizens and students.
When is open: It is open from Monday to Friday, 9 am-5 pm and closed on Saturday.
19. Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is UK’s top Art School. This iconic building holds the largest research community in Art and Design. Archives and Collection Center welcomes tourists all the year; however, Entry is restricted to some of the buildings. Make sure to see the official website before paying a visit.
More Places To Visit In Glasgow
Besides the top attractions, there are numerous places to visit in Glasgow, such as Victoria Park, Queen’s Park, Linn Park, Cathkin Braes country park, Cunningham Park, Tollcross Park.
- Visit the Glasgow Police Museum, an unusual hidden attraction by volunteer Ex-police Officers.
- While you walk in the city centre, huge paintings adorn the wall of the buildings with vibrant colours called the ‘City Centre Mural Trail’.
- The city of art also has thrilling adventure activities offered in Play Port. Some of the adventures include Stand-up paddleboarding, Skateboarding, BMXing and much more.
- Have fun with kids at the Freewheel North Cycle Centre, where you can enjoy tandems, trikes and go-karts. At Linn Park, electric bikes are available for kids and adults with separate tracks for beginners and experts.
- Visit the Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Center, Flip out adventure and trampoline park, Tree climbing adventure, Dinosaur themed mini-golf called the Jurassic Parr and give your kids fun-fulfilled adventure.
- Glasgow is a city of festivals and programmes. Make sure to check for them to get a live experience when you are there.
- Beautiful Horse-Drawn carriages are in use in Glasgow, in and around the city for various occasions like Marriage, Birthdays, Funerals.
Glasgow is the best family-friendly city to explore. Art galleries and museums with age-old history keep the kids interesting and curious—a heavenly place for all the art lovers. For staying and sightseeing, Glasgow offers various hotels suitable for your budget. Budget to posh hotels, Mid-range hotels, and pet-friendly hotels offer high-quality stays.
Explore near Glasgow
A day trip is sufficient to explore Scotland top attractions near Glasgow. Visit the largest freshwater island in the UK, Island of Inchmurrin, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, tour the Inveraray Castle. Britain’s largest lake, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, is a short drive from Glasgow. Kids will be entertained at the SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bag and head to Glasgow, the city of Art and Architecture that gives you a lifetime Memory.