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14 Amazing Things to do in Glasgow, Scotland

14 Amazing Things to do in Glasgow, Scotland

A port city on the River Clyde, Glasgow is a cultural hub renowned for its architecture, culture, and historical heritage.

Scotland’s largest city is smothered top to bottom with so many wonderful sights, that you’ll never be bored. So, don’t be surprised if you find yourself meeting a 2500-year-old mummy, and marveling at Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross — all in one trip.

Here’s a guide to the top 14 things to do in Glasgow, including visiting top attractions like the Glasgow University, the Hunterian Art Gallery, and more.

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The 14 Best Things to do in Glasgow, Scotland

Check Out The Fine Art Collection At The Pollok House

Pollok Country Park and Pollok House, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Set in the idyllic Pollok Country Park, on the outskirts of Glasgow, the Pollok House is an 18th-century Palladian mansion that was inhabited for almost 700 by the affluent Maxwell.

Donated to the City of Glasgow, and now managed by the National Trust for Scotland, this gorgeous estate shelters an impressive collection of Spanish art. The masterpieces once belonged to Sir William Stirling Maxwell, a Glaswegian shipping magnate, and former resident.

Aside from an impressive collection of Spanish paintings, which includes El Greco’s “Lady in a Fur Wrap”, the mansion also plays host to beautiful antique furniture, silverware, fine art, and ceramics.

The house is surrounded by well-groomed gardens punctuated with more than 1,000 cultivated varieties of rhododendron as well as a heritage beech tree.

Address: Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G43 1AT

Discover Over 9000 Plants At The Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Gardens, in Scotland.

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are home to several glasshouses, which together have a collection of over 9000 plants from around the world.

The garden’s centerpiece is the lovely Kibble Palace, a 19th-century glasshouse often regarded as the city’s most prestigious iron and glass structure from the Victorian era.

Aside from its strikingly beautiful architecture, the Kibble Palace enchants visitors with its whimsical marble statues as well a collection of temperate plants from around the world, including the national collection of Australasian tree ferns that have grown there for the last 120 years.

Address: Botanic Gardens, Glasgow G12 0UE

Hop Aboard A Vintage Train At The Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Located in a cutting-edge building on the banks of River Clyde, Riverside Museum is Glasgow’s award-winning transport museum. The institution displays 3,000 objects, with a focus on historic vehicles — from skateboards and vintage cars to prams and locomotives.

The Riverside Museum also holds a series of interactive displays. Here, you’ll get the chance to walk down an old cobbled Glasgow street with shops dating from 1895 to the 1980s, and climb aboard a vintage train, to get a real feel for old public transport.

Sitting directly outside the Riverside Museum lies the Tall Ship, a three-masted, steel-hulled ship built at Port Glasgow and launched in 1896.

Address: 100 Pointhouse Rd, Partick, Glasgow G3 8RS

See A Dalí’s Painting In The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must-visit Glasgow attraction for art lovers. This prestigious museum boasts 22 themed art galleries filled with 8000 objects, including arms and armory, natural history treasures, and artworks.

Kelvingrove’s most famous relic is The Christ of Saint John of the Cross painting, made by surrealist painter Salvador Dalí in 1951.

After discovering precious artworks and age-old relics, be sure to explore Kelvingrove Park, where the museum is located. This Victorian Park has scenic riverside walks, and children’s play areas, making it a prime place for a lovely afternoon in Glasgow.

Address: Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG

Go On A Journey Through The Solar System In The Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre, in Scotland, at nightime.

Are you visiting Glasgow with your kids? Then don’t miss the chance to check out the Glasgow Science Centre. Situated on the south bank of the River Clyde, this family-friendly museum treats visitors to around 300 hands-on interactive exhibits about science, and the human body.

Some of the award-winning displays you’ll find in this science museum include an immersive space zone, a planetarium featuring a state-of-the-art full-dome digital projection system, and a bio wall: an entire living wall system containing a range of different plant species.

Address: 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA

Marvel At Glasgow Cathedral’s Stained Glass Windows

Glasgow Cathedral, in Scotland.

Built between AD 1136 and 1484, the Glasgow Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland and the oldest building in Glasgow. It was constructed in honor of St Kentigern (or St Mungo), Glasgow’s patron saint, whose tomb lies at the center of the building’s Lower Church.

The Glasgow Cathedral is a breathtaking example of Scottish gothic architecture both inside and out. Some of its highlights are the carved stone bosses on the ceiling of the Blackadder Aisle, and the post-war collections of stained glass windows — the largest in Britain.

Address: Castle St, Glasgow G4 0QZ

Enjoy Amazing Views of Glasgow From The Lighthouse

The spiral staircase in The Lighthouse, in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Lighthouse is Scotland’s national center for design and architecture. Here, visitors are happily surprised to find a rotating program of creative exhibitions and events focused on the impact of design and architecture on our everyday lives

Designed by famous Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the museum’s building is an attraction itself. Once a warehouse at the back of the printing office of the Glasgow Herald, the museum has a prominent tower that offers visitors uninterrupted views over Glasgow’s cityscape.

Address: 1 Mitchell Ln, Glasgow G1 3NU

See The Cloisters Of The University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow, in Scotland.

The University of Glasgow is one of the best Glasgow attractions. Created in 1451, this is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities.

A guided tour is a great way of learning about this prestigious university. Must-see buildings include the University Chapel, dedicated to the university students and staff who died in the First World War; and the Lion and Unicorn Staircase, created in 1690 by stonemason William Riddel.

Another astonishing feature of the University of Glasgow is “The Undercroft”, aka the cloisters. These archways boast fluted columns and transversely ribbed vaults, and due to their magnificence, have been seen onscreen in many films and TV shows including Outlander.

Address: Glasgow G12 8QQ

Meet a 2500-year-old Mummy At The Hunterian Art Gallery & Museum

Hunterian Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.

Located at the heart of the University of Glasgow since 1807, the Hunterian Museum is Scotland’s oldest public museum. The museum complex encompasses the Hunterian Museum, the Hunterian Art Gallery, the Mackintosh House, the Zoology Museum, and the Anatomy Museum.

The founding collection of the museum came through the bequest of Dr. William Hunter (1718-1783) and incorporates a myriad of precious items covering subjects like the history of medicine, history, zoology, and art.

Precious relics harbored by the museum include a 2500-year-old mummy, a 330 million-year-old shark, and a Cleopatra coin!

Address: University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Shop On Buchanan Street

Buchanan Street, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Travelers in need of some retail therapy can head over to Buchanan Street, the main pedestrianized shopping area in Glasgow.

Running from south to north, from Argyle Street, this centrally located shopping street is sprinkled with a myriad of stores and high-end boutiques, making it one of the top retail destinations in the UK.

One of Buchanan Street’s top shopping spots is the Buchanan Galleries, a mall with over 80 big-name stores such as Mango, Hollister, Levi’s, and Victoria’s Secret.

Address: Buchanan Street, Glasgow

Have a Picnic In Glasgow Green

The Glasgow Green, in Scotland, Glasgow.

Established in the 15th century, Glasgow Green is Glasgow’s oldest park. This lush park is located within walking distance of central Glasgow and provides the perfect setting for outdoor activities like jogging, walking, and picnicking.

Aside from verdant lush grounds, Glasgow Green also features beautiful constructions of cultural and historical significance. These include the People’s Palace, which houses Glasgow’s social history collection, and the Doulton Fountain, the world’s largest terracotta fountain. Standing at an impressive 46 feet high and 70 feet across, this French Renaissance-style fountain was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and is beautifully decorated with figures from across the Commonwealth.

Address: Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1AT

Idly Stroll Around George Square

Glasgow City Chambers, Glasgow, Scotland.

The famous George Square is the main civic square in Glasgow. Gloriously located in the Glasgow city center, the square is punctuated with statues dedicated to famous Scottish people like Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir Walter Scott.

On the eastern side of George Square lies the City Chambers, the headquarters of the local government. This Victorian-style building is one of the city’s main cultural assets and a symbol of Glasgow’s historic wealth. The chambers were completed in 1888 and are the headquarters of the Glasgow City Council.

Go on a guided tour to discover the Glasgow City Chambers in all of its glory. You’ll certainly stand in awe with the chamber’s vast range of ornate decorations, such as sculptures and a mosaic of the city’s coat of arms.

Address: George Square, Glasgow

Marvel At Glasgow’s Skyline From The Glasgow Tower

Glasgow Tower, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Standing t 417 ft high — the equivalent of over 30 double-decker buses piled up — the Glasgow Tower is the tallest freestanding building in Scotland. The tower is nestled on the south bank of the River Clyde and has a platform offering 360° views of the city.

Curious fact: the Glasgow Tower holds a Guinness World Record for being the tallest fully rotating freestanding structure in the world (the whole structure is capable of rotating 360 degrees!).

Explore Treasured Objects At The Burrell Collection

Top view of The Burrell Collection museum, in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Burell Collection is home to the treasured art collection of Sir William Burrell, which was a successful shipping merchant who loved to collect antiques.

Recently reopened after a significant £68.25m refurbishment and redisplay the museum is home to precious 9,000 objects that’ll take you on a tour of 6,000 years of history.

While browsing through the museum’s 24 galleries, you’ll come across artworks by Rodin, Degas, and Cézanne, as well as late medieval, Chinese, and Islamic art.[

Address: Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Bellahouston, Glasgow G43 1AT

FAQ

Is Glasgow worth visiting?

Yes. Filled with historic buildings, beautiful squares, and wonderful museums, Scotland’s biggest city is definitely worth visiting.

What is Glasgow known for?

Elected the European Capital of Culture in 1990, the city is notable for its architecture, culture, music scene, and transport connections.

How many days are enough in Glasgow?

Plan for at least 2-3 days in Glasgow, so you can visit the city’s fantastic museums, parks, and historic sites.

What are the top attractions in Glasgow?

The top 17 attractions in Glasgow are:

  • Glasgow Botanic Gardens;
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum;
  • Glasgow Science Centre;
  • Pollok Country Park and Pollok house;
  • Glasgow Cathedral;
  • Riverside Museum;
  • University of Glasgow;
  • Glasgow City Chambers;
  • The Lighthouse;
  • Royal Exchange Square;
  • Hunterian Art Gallery & Museum;
  • Buchanan Street;
  • Glasgow Green;
  • Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow;
  • George Square;
  • Glasgow Tower;
  • Trossachs National Park.

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