The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow has historically been Scotland’s industrial centre, but in recent times has transformed itself into a cosmopolitan, cultural destination. It has the vibrant feel of a modern European city, but retains much of its Scottish identity. Food, shopping, and that “Glaswegian Charm” make for an unforgettable experience.
All tourists should start their visit in the imposing George Square. Flanked by beautiful architecture on all sides, including the wonderful City Chambers, the square is a wonderful introduction to Glasgow. Many of the double-decker bus tours depart from here.
Art lovers cannot miss Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum , not only for its wonderful collection of arts but to see the exquisite Victorian architecture. The site has recently undergone refurbishment to return the inside of the gallery to its former glory.
Near by the Kelvingrove is the Provand’s Lordship , Glasgow’s oldest remaining house built in 1471. Touring the house will give visitors a feel for life in the city in the 1700s.
Further up Byres Road is a wonderful village-within-a-city along the picturesque Ashton Lane. This postcard perfect alley was formerly home to artisan workshops but is now a bustling nightlife hotspot, full of bars busy both day and night.
Glasgow, known for its long history of architectural excellence, warmly embraces the modern Clyde Auditorium , calling it ‘the armadillo’. This space is part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center.
Glasgow’s stellar shopping coverage is only topped in the UK by London. Argyle Street, Buchanan Street, and Sauchiehall Street are the main shopping avenues, ensuring an uninterrupted shopping spree if required. Princes Square, the Buchanan Galleries, and the Saint Enoch Centre (Europe’s largest glass roofed structure) are all malls along these streets, further reinforcing Glasgow’s shopping status.
Where To Stay
Scottish Youth Hostel Association has listings for the best hostels in Glasgow.
Otherwise, head for the West End and enjoy the stylish Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens .
Where To Eat
Near Kelvingrove Park is gastropub Stravaigin (Gibson Street), well known locally for innovative drinks, ambient atmosphere, and tasty food.
To complete your Ashton Lane visit, enjoy the cinema-inspired setting at the The Loft Café Bar.
Glasgow Up Close
For years, Glasgow has been home to a thriving music scene and live music can be found somewhere in the city every night of the week. Research a venue or genre on The List.
Just a couple of blocks from Central Station is the Pot Still which stocks over 300 single malt whiskies.
Enjoy nature with a visit to Loch Lomond and take a boat trip, go cycling, or climb Ben Lomond for impressive views (appropriate footgear/wet weather gear required).
Walk part of the West Highland Way, one of the most famous and popular walking routes in Scotland.
Interesting and informational websites:
11 George Square
Telephone: 0141 204 4400
It is important to note that the public and bank holidays are different in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. You may also find that many banks in Scotland follow the English calendar, but all tourist attractions / bus service / pubs / restaurants stick to the Scottish calendar. Few places close, but opening hours may be reduced.