What would one do in the largest city in Scotland? Well, the city is not quite popular among tourists. While this might make the attractions of the city a bit unknown, it gives Glasgow an advantage like no other. The city’s attractions are usually not crowded which allows visitors to enjoy the city even more.
The city is full of different activities and sights to visit that satisfy every taste and interest. Glasgow is the perfect destination for both solo travelers, groups, and even families. The list of things to do while you explore Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, is a long one for sure.
Planning to explore Glasgow? That’s a great choice!
The city has been rewarded with different names for the various treasures it holds. Glasgow is the “City of Culture”, “City of Architecture and Design”, and “City of Sport”.
To help you put together a good itinerary, we have put together this upcoming list of the places that are worth paying a visit. The list includes all the different types of attractions; museums, art galleries, religious sites, and more.
Here are the most important places to visit in your trip to explore Glasgow:
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has one of Europe’s best art collections. It is the most visited museum in the whole of the United Kingdom. The museum was built back in 1901 and has been catering art loving visitors ever since.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum underwent restorations recently. It reopened again in 2006. After the restorations, the museum was organized in two different sections; Life and Expression.
The Life galleries showcase natural history, human history as well as prehistory. These galleries simply represent life in the big scheme of things. It follows life as we know it from the beginning until now. On the other hand, the Expression galleries have great fine art collections.
A great deal of the paintings collection at the Expression galleries comes from the bequest of Archibald McLellan. The paintings include works of some great painters and artists, such as Monet, Gauguin, and Renoir. The galleries also display famous paintings that include Rembrandt’s ‘Man in Armour’, ‘Christ and the Adulteress’ by Titian and Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’.
Scottish art is another thing to look for at the museum. The collection has paintings by the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys.
The museum has free entry which moves it even further to the top of the things to do when you explore Glasgow. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum opens on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Friday and Saturday, it opens from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The museum is usually closed on the following dates: 24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 and 2 January.
George Square is Glasgow’s main square. It was established in 1781. The square was named after King George III. George Square has a number of statues that make the square very famous. These are dedicated to Robert Burns, James Watt, William Gladstone, Queen Victoria, and Sir Walter Scott.
George Square is located right at the center of the city. The square is the focus of Glasgow’s urban life. To the east side of the square, you can find Glasgow City Chambers along the square.
The square can be reached by walking along some of the city centre’s principal streets. You can also take the Glasgow City Tour bus. George Square is the end point of the bust tour. So, if you take the bus from any point, you will end up at the square.
The square is a common meeting place for residents and tourists alike. So exploring Glasgow would never be complete without paying a visit to George Square.
Glasgow City Chambers
On your quest to explore Glasgow, the itinerary that includes George Square must lead to Glasgow City Chambers. The building is located on the east side of George Square and should be visited right after.
The Glasgow City Chambers is a Victorian-style building that was constructed back in 1888. The edifice has served as a government building since 1889. Nowadays, it is the headquarters of the Glasgow City Council.
The building of Glasgow City Chambers is as beautiful from the outside as it is from the inside. Before entering the Glasgow City Chambers, allow yourself the time to admire the beauty of its outside.
The city offers free tours to the visitors. The entrance shows the city’s coat of arms. During the tour, you will be able to know more about the history of the building and how it functions. The building has beautiful interiors. You will be able to observe the marble staircases, mosaic ceilings, and mahogany paneling.
Glasgow City Chambers gives free tours twice a day from Monday to Friday. The tickets are available at the entrance. The tour is offered on the basis of first-come, first serve. Tours of the City Chambers are available and are conducted twice daily at 10.30am and 2.30pm. You can check when the next free tour is by checking the City Chambers’ website.
The attraction is open on weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. This grand edifice is a symbol of Glasgow’s historic wealth and has, for more than a century, been the headquarters of successive councils serving the City of Glasgow.
Glasgow Cathedral was built to be dedicated to Saint Mungo, the city’s patron saint. This is the reason that, until this day, the cathedral is also known as the Mungo Cathedral. If you decide to explore Glasgow, the cathedral should be on your itinerary.
The cathedral has both brilliant architecture and rich history. Between the bedazzling arches and being built in the 12th century, Glasgow’s iconic Cathedral is definitely worth paying a visit.
Glasgow Cathedral is one of the last standing medieval cathedrals in the UK. Most of the other cathedrals are now only ruins. The Cathedral has been a place of worship for more than 800 years.
Located on a hill, Glasgow Cathedral attracts many visitors annually. Beside being one of the oldest standing cathedrals in the whole of the UK, the cathedral has a great collection of post-war painted glass windows.
The cathedral has an amazing architectural style. The edifice has brilliant hand carved pews and the walls are adorned with memorial pieces dotted on them. Glasgow Cathedral is the most famous monument in the city.
The cathedral has no entry fees. It is open to the public, however, it might be closed during services. Once you are here, you can walk around the cathedral to explore its incredible history and architecture.
The necropolis is a Victorian cemetery that is located right next to the Glasgow Cathedral. The Necropolis are the most popular cemeteries in the whole world. It was modelled on the Parisian cemetery, Pere Lachaise.
The cemetery is adorned with flowers that bloom during summer and attract butterflies and bees. The cemetery covers around 37 acres of land and features 50,000 monuments.
You’re safe to explore for free, and you’re safe knowing that Park Rangers patrol the cemetery on a daily basis. Chances are you’ll recognize an area or two, as The Necropolis has featured in a wide range of television programs and films!
Pollok Country Park
Pollok is the only country park within Glasgow. The park is very popular and has a good reputation. It has been awarded the Best Park in Britain. It has also won the Best Park in Europe.
Pollok Country Park is very large. It stretches over around 146 hectare, located on the south side of Glasgow. The park has a number of open spaces that are used for shooting movie scenes. Some of the most famous scenes shot at the park are the outdoor scenes for Outlanders and the surroundings of Doune Castle.
If you are into physical activities, Pollok Country Park is ideal for cycling. The park has different cycling routes. The various routes offered by the park will take you through the park’s vicinity and woodland. In addition, Pollok Country Park has three mountain bike circuits.
The park was originally a part of the Old Park Estate. It now offers a collection of different activities to its visitors. These activities allow visitors to explore the different parts of the park. The park also offers different courses of mountain biking.
The courses at the park are offered by Cycling Scotland and Glasgow City Council and run by accredited trainers. The courses range from basic training to professional tracks.
The visit to Pollok Country Park is suitable for the whole family. Both children and grown ups will love the park. The green areas are a great place for a relaxing picnic or a nice walk. The park also has different areas that are especially built for children to play at.
Modern Art Gallery
Explore Glasgow’s artistic side!
Located at the center of Glasgow, the Gallery of Modern Arts is the most visited art gallery in the whole of Scotland. The building at which the gallery is located was built in 1778 for William Cunninghame, a wealthy tobacco merchant.
The building has a rich history. It has served as a house, a library, and right now a museum. The building was turned into a museum back in 1996. Ever since, the museum has been housing a great collection of art works by both local and international artists.
Due to its location, the Modern Art Gallery is easily accessible from anywhere in the city. This gallery museum is a perfect place for anyone that enjoys cultural tourism.
In addition to the art inside of the gallery museum, there’s a monument that is worth a look at. Right in front of the museum lies the Equestrian Statue of the Duke of Wellington. This is one of the most iconic landmarks of Glasgow.
The interesting thing about the statue is the long-running placement each evening of a traffic cone on the top of the Duke’s head or his horse’s head (or both!). This long-running prank shows you a little of the local humor.
The museum welcomes visitors for free. The gallery museum is a must see during any visit to explore Glasgow.
The Riverside Museum
Travel back in time with Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and explore Glasgow’s transportation history. The architecturally brilliant museum features a great collection of the different modes of transportation. You can check almost every type of transportation that has ever existed; from prams and skateboards to steam locomotives and rare cars.
The components of the museum are not the only thing that makes the Riverside museum stand out. The building was designed by the brilliant Zaha Hadid. The brilliance and originality of the architecture is worth seeing.
In addition to all of this, the museum also features historical objects and an old cobbled street area that contains shops dating from various points in the 19th and 20th centuries. You can take your time to walk around the area and explore the place.
In 2013, the Riverside Museum won the European Museum of the Year Award. This speaks volumes about the brilliance of the Museum. Your trip to explore Glasgow would never be complete without a visit to the Riverside Museum.
The museum is open to visitors from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. It also opens on Friday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Riverside Museum has free admission, so you can visit at any of its opening hours without worrying about charges.
Kibble Palace is a prestigious and iron structure that dates back to the Victorian era. The palace is home to a breathtaking collection of plants from all over the world. Another marvelous collection of marble statues.
Situated within Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens, the Kibble Palace is the place where the national collection of Australasian tree ferns have been growing for the last 120 years. The glasshouse is unique in its style.
It is structured in the form of a large dome and rotunda connected to a smaller dome by a link corridor. The small dome forms the main entrance area and attached to the north and south are extended transepts.
Kibble Palace and the Botanic Gardens at which it is located are free to visit. They are open all year round to offer a green space for residents and visitors alike. There is also a teahouse on site that serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea if you fancy something to eat or drink after your visit.
The palace and surrounding gardens are very popular. Whether you are a tourist trying to explore Glasgow or a resident looking for a place to blow off some steam. They disconnect you from the madness of everyday life.
Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
We have come down to the most unique attraction in Glasgow, the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. This theater offers a one of a kind show. The show has motorized sculptures, known as kinemats. These kinemats are synchronized to light and sound, specifically the sound of music at the show.
The theater was originally established by a Russian man, Eduard Bersudsky. He created all of the figures at the show. The Kinetic theater was first opened in Glasgow in 1996, when Bersudsky moved from Russia.
The shows at the theater tell stories from the creator’s life, his homeland, as well as stories about life and death. Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre presents various dynamic shows that tell cross-cultural stories with breathtaking visuals.
During the show, the audience moves around, checking the different kinemats as each lights up and performs. The theater also provides handouts that tell information about each kinemat.
The shows presented at the theater are of two durations; 40-minute and 60-minute shows. Tickets should be booked in advance and you must attend before the show starts. To check show times, visit the theater’s website.
Sharmanka Kinetic Theater offers a unique experience like no other. The theater rates high on TripAdvisor. Visitors described the theater and its shows by using comments such as “A must see!”, “gorgeous craftsmanship,” “magical and slightly sinister,”… . A visit to this machine heavy theater must be included on your itinerary to explore Glasgow.
Glasgow Science Centre
Do you want to explore Glasgow with your kids? Glasgow Science Center will keep them interested and entertained!
Glasgow Science Center opened back in 2001 and it has been a favorite place for children ever since. The science center was originally built to entertain as well as teach children.
Glasgow Science Museum gives children insights into science and technology. It features interactive exhibitions to show children cool scientific tricks.
Children under the age of 7 can use the Big Explorer area, where they can use water and operate a crane to keep a pretend cargo ship balanced. If they want, they also can put on their own little puppet show under the sea, while having some fun with a musical shark and a giant walk on piano.
If you have very little children, you should plan to allow them some time at the soft play area on the museum’s ground floor. The museum also features a captivating planetarium that piques the interest of all the visitors, adults and children.
Unlike other museums in Glasgow, Glasgow Science Center charges an entry fee. Check tickets prices and opening hours from the museum’s official website.
At the heart of Glasgow lies the Lighthouse, a place where design and architecture are promoted. The Lighthouse contains a visitor center, an exhibition space, as well as an event venue.
The Lighthouse has multiple floors, each serves a different purpose. The first floor holds alternating exhibitions and events about the way design and architecture impact our day to day lives.
The second floor embraces a library of Scotland’s sustainable building materials. This floor offers visitors a chance to explore various sustainable building materials.
The Lighthouse has four more floors that have multi-purpose spaces. These can be rented out for different occasions; corporate events, evening receptions, or weddings.
If you decide to visit the Lighthouse, you will get the chance to explore Glasgow from a bird eye view. On the top of the building sits a viewing platform. People go up to the platform to get a view of the whole city of Glasgow.
The most famous attraction at the Lighthouse is the permanent Mackintosh Center. It charts the life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh ,who designed the historic part of The Lighthouse. It also allows access to the Mack Tower, providing unrivalled views of Glasgow.
The Lighthouse offers guided tours each Saturday. They are provided on a first come, first served basis. You can check the timings of the tours on the Lighthouse’s official website.
Have a walk through history at People’s Palace. The People’s Palace Museum tells the history of people of Glasgow from the 18th century until the modern day. This free museum offers a great account of the living conditions of Glaswegians throughout the centuries.
The People’s Palace Museum is located in a brilliant building. In front of the museum’s building is located the Doulton Fountain. This terracotta fountain represents the former colonies of the United Kingdom such as South Africa or Australia. It is the largest fountain of its kind in the world.
The museum encompasses a collection of historical artifacts, art, photographs, and other objects that tell the story of Glasgow and its people. Right next to the palace is located the former carpet factory. It is a beautiful multi-colored building that is worth a visit as well.
The People’s Palace Museum is open 7 days a week for all visitors. The opening hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except for Friday and Saturday. On these days the opening hours are 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Scottish Football Museum
This attraction is for the hardcore football fans everywhere. The Scottish Football Museum has a huge collection of football related items.
The focus of the museum is the rich Scottish football heritage. It holds the Scottish Cup, the world’s oldest surviving association football trophy, the English FA Cup.
The museum is open three days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. To check the timings and book tours, check the museum’s official website.
A trip to explore Glasgow’s history, culture, and beauty is sure to be a full one. The city is full of museums, art galleries, and parks that are waiting to be discovered. If you are planning to visit, allow yourself at least three days to be able to explore the city.
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