Did you read my post on how I fell in love with Glasgow? It’s true, I love it!
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, but is often overlooked for its posher and more historical little sister Edinburgh. It’s understandable (I personally do prefer Edinburgh) but Glasgow is amazing and worth the visit. This western city is less obvious in its beauty, you need to know where to look and you need to catch it on a good day. Then it’s fabulous!
I often hear visitors to Glasgow say (and I was guilty of that on my first visit) that the city is a bit rough, that they only stayed in the city centre and that they wonder what there really is to this city. That is why today I’m sharing 15 of my top attractions in Glasgow to help you in your future visit to Scotland. And bonus, most of them are free!
1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Free)
Kelvingrove is an iconic Sandstone building situated in the east end of Glasgow. It’s one of Scotland’s most visited museum – it’s gorgeous and free! This museum is easily accessible by taking the ‘clockwork orange’ aka the subway.
2. University of Glasgow (Free)
If you’re a bit of a nerd like me, I would highly recommend you pass by the Glasgow Uni campus. It’s situated in the gorgeous West End area of town (easily accessible by subway) and is truly iconic. It’s a simple walk down to access the Kelvingrove.
3. Glasgow Cathedral (Free)
Within walking distance of the city centre you have the beautiful Glasgow Cathedral which is lovely to visit. It’s very impressive and you can even go under the cathedral and explore.
4. Necropolis (Free)
I have no idea why but when I heard of the Necropolis it really appealed to me. It’s truly a lovely walk around the cemetery. You go up the hill and get beautiful views over the city.
5. Science Mall, Planetarium & Tower (£-££)
The Science Mall is super fun! You’ll feel like a child again with all its interactive activities and experiments. If it tickles your fancy you can also go visit the Planetarium or go up the Glasgow Tower, the tallest rotating free-standing structure in the world.
6. Glasgow Botanics (Free)
While less impressive than the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, the Glasgow Botanics is worth a visit if you’re staying in Glasgow for a few days. It’s a walk along the lush greeneries.
7. Glasgow Green (Free)
Glasgow Green is a lovely green escape from the bustling and grey city centre. It’s nice if you’re looking for somewhere to sit down and read or have a picnic (if the weather is nice).
8. People’s Palace & Winter Gardens (Free)
Within the Glasgow Green, you’ll find the People’s Palace. It’s another iconic and lovely building which plays host to many artefact and exhibitions about the life of Glaswegians across different eras.
9. Mitchell Library (Free)
I went by the Mitchell Library for the first time last year to attend a talk for the Aye Write Book Festival. Not only is it an absolutely beautiful building, but it is an actual library, and one of Europe’s biggest public libraries at that!
10. The Lighthouse (Free)
Straight in centre of town, down an unsuspecting alleyway, you’ll find the Lighthouse. It hosts Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture and was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a famous Scottish architect and designer. It has exhibitions all year long, but definitely walk up to the top of the tower to admire the gorgeous views.
11. Eat and drink out in Merchant City (£-££)
Merchant City is the cool part of the city centre, it’s full of bars and restaurants and always brimming with young people. I definitely recommend going out to a bar or just go along for dinner in one of the many hip places.
12. Gallery of Modern Art (Free)
GoMA as they affectionately call it in Glasgow is a gallery right in the city centre. It’s a lovely building and worth the visit if you do like weird and wonderful modern art.
13. Riverside Museum (Free)
This will probably be of interest for all the travelettes out there, but this museum is all about transport and travel. It looks mostly at the maritime history of Glasgow, as well as the different modes of transportation that have influenced the way of life in Scotland and Britain.
14. Shopping on Buchanan Street (Free…depending on you)
You probably won’t miss it, but the Buchanan High Street is a nice and busy one, especially on sunny Saturday afternoons. It’s perfect for a little shopping, people watching and even for catching some good buskers.
15. Burrell Collection (Closed)
So the Burrell Collection was on my original list, but it seems it has closed since I left the country last October. It will only reopen in 2020, so I wouldn’t plan on visiting it if you’re coming in the next few years.
Have you ever visited Glasgow? What would tickle your fancy the most?xx