Best Things To Do in Glasgow
Although Glasgow tends to be overshadowed by eastern city Edinburgh, professional travelers say Scotland's largest city is not to be overlooked. With an out-of-this-world shopping scene that features everything from couture items to thrift-shop steals (and all that lies in between), as well as a hot live-music scene, Glasgow offers an abundance attractions to more than fill a vacation. Recent travelers especially recommend touring the City Chambers, Museum of Transport and shopping in the Barras Market.
Updated January 29, 2016
- #1View all Photos#1 in GlasgowMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Travelers express astonishment at this museum's near pitch-perfection. The Burrell Collection's glass walls not only encase a variety of objects and artworks, but they also usher in the surrounding woodlands. In the collection, donated by the late millionaire Sir William Burrell, you'll find everything from Chinese ceramics to Rodin sculptures. And once you're done with the art, you can wander about the surrounding Pollok Country Park.
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After a perusal through the vast and varied art assemblage at the Burrell Collection, you might want to rest your eyes in the green and leafy Pollok Country Park. Comprised of about 360 acres, the park makes for a peaceful retreat -- one that is peppered with grazing Highland cattle, formal gardens and long expanses of unadulterated Scottish greens. If you're in the area, recent travelers highly recommend taking a walk through the Pollok Country Park (which is open daily from sun up to sun down).
- #3View all PhotosfreeCity Chambers#3 in GlasgowSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Accommodating some sort of governing body since the late 1800s, the Victorian-style City Chambers today hosts the Glasgow City Council. You'll find the impressive building on the east side of George Square, and if you take one of the building's free guided tours, you'll view an ornate entrance hall, banqueting hall and some sumptuous staircases, among other features. Open weekdays, the City Chambers are free to tour.
- #4View all Photos#4 in GlasgowChurches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Dedicated to the city's patron saint, St. Mungo, the Glasgow Cathedral was consecrated in the 1100s but was finished around 300 years later. Of almost equal delight -- to experts and travelers alike -- are the cathedral's architecture (the nave, crypt, chapel) and the legends surrounding St. Mungo's life. And in fact, the symbols found on Glasgow's Coat of Arms relate directly to the St. Mungo legends, including the tree, bird, fish and bell.
- #5View all PhotosfreeRiverside Museum#5 in GlasgowMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
This free museum displays the city's transportation history. One neat exhibit showcases a 1938 Glasgow street scene "with period shop-fronts, era-appropriate vehicles and a reconstruction of one of the Glasgow Underground stations," according to Frommer's. Some travelers highlight this exhibit, while others really enjoyed the Clyde Room's model boats. Visitors were also highly impressed with the in-house café.
- #6View all PhotosfreeKelvingrove Park#6 in GlasgowParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
If you're planning to spend an afternoon at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, you should also allot some time for lounging in the lush Kelvingrove Park. You can walk along the River Kelvin, which meanders through the park, or stroll by the duck pond and numerous monuments before stopping by the park's open-air theater to see if anything is on. "The park also houses recreational tennis courts, a skate park, playground, and lawn bowling green," Frommer's says. "Don't be surprised to hear bagpipes played by shirtless, bearded college students." Travelers highly enjoy this park for its variety of things to do.
- #7View all Photos#7 in GlasgowSportsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDSportsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Recent travelers -- especially those with families -- are in love with the Glasgow Speedway. Open on late-afternoon Sundays, families can cheer on the ferocious Tigers, who ride high-speed motorbikes 'round and 'round the racetrack. One Yelp user likes the way the Glasgow Speedway showed another side of the city: "I came here with a young friend, and I felt like I had found a part of Glasweigan life I had never seen before. … I couldn't recommend it as a good weekend day out to entertain the kids more." Previous visitors also like the admission prices: Kids under age 12 get in for free.
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The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is another favorite museum (that's also free!). Built at the turn of the 20th century to resemble a Renaissance-style castle/cathedral, the museum was closed for about three years in the early 21st century for major renovations. Now, the Kelvingrove is the most visited gallery and museum in Scotland. Amongst its collection of European masters such as Botticelli and Monet, you'll discover exhibits on Mackintosh, Scottish storytelling and Scottish armory, among others.
- #9View all Photos#9 in GlasgowWineries/BreweriesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDWineries/BreweriesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
What's more Scottish than some Scotch whisky? For a reasonable price, visitors can learn how the spirit is made and enjoy a complimentary dram or so. Recent visitors thought very well of the Glengoyne Distillery, saying the guided tour was very interesting and informative and that the taste test was very smooth.
- #10View all PhotosfreeBarras Market#10 in GlasgowShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Some recent travelers disappointingly note that the Barras Market had really gone down in quality. However, the majority of visitors seemed to enjoy their few hours digging through piles of flea market goods and haggling in the market. Get to the market off the Argyle Street train station, or you can hop on a bus that drops off at Glasgow Cross. Open on the weekends, travelers say the Barras really gets going about 11 a.m. and ends about 5 p.m.
- #11View all Photos#11 in GlasgowParks and Gardens, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
The Botanic Gardens are yet another free attraction in Glasgow. Bursting with colorful flora and fauna along the River Kelvin, the gardens also encase a number of greenhouses including the fantastic Kibble Palace, which contains a very rainforest of tropical plants and trees. Botanic Gardens make a good reprieve from the city, especially if you're on your way from buzzy Byres Road's restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. One TripAdvisor traveler recommends entering the gardens in the West End at Great Western Road or from the top of Byres Road. Open daily, the gardens offer shortened hours in the colder months.
- #12View all Photos#12 in GlasgowMuseums, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Located on the Glasgow Green, the free People's Palace is a museum dedicated to the city's social history of normal folk. For instance, one of the exhibits details Glasgow's interesting vernacular, while another displays the desk of political activist (and Glasgow resident) John MacLean. Adjacent to the museum are the Winter Gardens -- a greenhouse that acts as a cozy reprieve for people and tropical plants alike. Stop in for a coffee at the in-house café before venturing on. One Yahoo! Travel user recommends combining your museum visit with a stroll through the coffee shops and galleries of nearby Glasgow Green. The museum is closed on Mondays, but the Winter Gardens are open each day of the week.
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If you have small kids in tow, consider a trip to the Glasgow Science Centre. However, this museum wasn't a favorite of teenagers or adults. The high price of admission was the other gripe recent tourists had with the centre. Yes, you can spend half a day at the Glasgow Science Centre, but you'll need to do just that to get your money's worth.
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