Tourist attractions in and around the city
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Welcome to Glasgow! Edinburgh might grab the bulk of the tourists but visitors to Glasgow can find plenty to do, see and marvel at. In Glaswegians, you will find a warm, friendly welcome. They love showing off their city.
We’ve pulled together a top 10 list of things to do in Glasgow. From walking tours to dining out, museums, stunning sites and more…
Want to get an overall feel for the city, its history and the attractions you might fancy visiting later? The bus tour is your first port of call. Like most bus tours of a city, you can hop on and off as the bus passes by stops outside most of the major attractions.
An audio guide by the throatily-voiced Neil Cox provides the commentary in English, and the guides are also available in seven different languages.
The hardy can choose the open topped bit of the bus. But as this is Glasgow, a city where the average rainfall is 1171mm a year and the average temperature a mere 8.5 degrees, we advise you opt for the covered up bit...
Need some refreshment to accompany your sight-seeing? The Red Bus Bistro offers food and drink while you take in the best bits of old Glasgow. Why not try their afternoon tea version?
Outlander fan? The scenes in the 18th century Parisian hospital where Claire worked when she and Jamie Fraser tried to stop Culloden were filmed in Glasgow Cathedral. Open to visitors year-round (though admission times differ in summer and winter), the building was consecrated in 1197 and has been used for worship for more than 800 years.
Volunteer guides offer free tours (though donations are welcome) and you can also visit the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art nearby to get a true flavour of Scotland’s sometimes turbulent religious history.
Okay, this one is an add-on should you choose to visit the Kelvingrove Museum. On any day someone will play the magnificent organ that has been displayed in the central hall since 1902. Recital times are 1-1.30pm Monday to Saturday and 3pm Sundays.
While you’re waiting for the recital to begin or afterwards, why not take in the museum’s extensive displays? Refurbished in 2006, the museum covers Glasgow’s long and varied history. From wildlife to artefacts of early Bronze Age/Iron Age populations, 22 galleries provide something for everyone, no matter their area of interest.
The Kelvingrove also doubles up as an art gallery, perhaps most notably famous for Salvador Dali’s awe-inspiring Christ of St John of the Cross, and its collection of the Glasgow Boys and Girls’ paintings.
As is the case with all Glasgow museums, the Kelvingrove is free.
Now well established in its new home right next to the Clyde, Glasgow’s transport museum is another stop on the bus tour. Here you will find displays of old motorbikes, cars, trains, trams and more. For a flavour of Glasgow’s industrial past, walk down the model of an old cobbled Glasgow street with shops dating from 1895 to the 1980s.
Not in Glasgow, but that not far away either—a trip to Glasgow wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. The UK’s largest lake by surface area, Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch (25 miles from Glasgow and also do-able by train) lets you see the loch up close. There are boat trips, boat and bike hire, shops, places to eat, a bird of prey centre, a farmer’s market if you visit on certain Sundays and an aquarium.
When the great Cunard liner the Queen Mary was built on the Clyde in the 1930s, a restaurant was refitted using the same Art Deco style. Rogano’s, handily located in the city centre, specialises in fish and seafood. Embrace the decadence with oysters and a glass of champagne.
Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the UK’s fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and the Tuesday to Sunday walking tours at 11am and 2pm take in the architectural elements that make the university so recognisable. Harry Potter films, anyone? And Outlander too. The cloisters are perhaps the university’s most recognisable feature. Look out for the unicorn, as he dates back to the 17th century when the university was located in the east end.
There are lots of pubs and restaurants on nearby Byres Road and Great Western Road if you’re hungry afterwards.
The old Templeton’s factory produced carpets once upon a time. These days, this iconic building is home to a mico-brewery—the West Brewery. You can take a tour of the brewery (and receive vouchers for pints) and then indulge in some sausage love via the restaurant where hearty German food made with Scottish produce is the order of the day. Order a sausage platter. We dare you...
Need to walk it off afterwards? No problem. West Brewery sits at the top of Glasgow Green and it’s also a dog-friendly pub so you and your pooch can enjoy quality time together.
All Glasgow’s main shopping areas are concentrated together in one area — Sauchiehall, Buchanan and Argyll Streets, and the Buchanan Gallery, St Enoch and Princes Square malls. You’ll find the big names there, while the Princes Square mall offers access to the more upmarket retailers such as Reiss, Whistles, Ted Baker and more.
The Glasgow Film Theatre is a local institution, known for its broad selection of indie films. Its Glasfow Film Festival has launched many fabulous Scottish and international films. There are two fully licenced bars where you can buy drinks and snacks (and you can take those drinks into the cinema).
Once a week, the cinema offers a 'pay what you decide' day, where you help support independent cinemas by visiting and paying what you want for the films that are included.Read More