24 Must-See Attractions in Glasgow for an Unforgettable Trip

Visitors At Kelvingrove
Visitors At Kelvingrove | Courtesy of Glasgow Life
Tori Chalmers

With Scotland’s largest city comes an appealing array of attractions. Glasgow, with its quintessential Scottish charm and magnificent architecture, is a cultural playground. Medieval buildings, raved about art collections, marble staircases and cracking music venues — the city ticks every box. Here, we round up 24 of the most desirable spots worth exploring.

1. GoMA

Building, Art Gallery

Scotland’s most visited modern art gallery, GoMA is a resplendent display of contemporary artworks from across the world. Housed in the same spot as the city library, this vibrant artistic hub is a great place to gather your thoughts and explore some stunning masterpieces. Expect a smashing array of ever-evolving multifaceted displays.

2. Glasgow Science Centre


Glasgow Science Centre
© Jean-Pierre Dalbera /Flickr
A little pocket of nerdy fun situated on the south bank of the River Clyde, the Glasgow Science Centre boasts three buildings and is Scotland’s own Millennium Dome of sorts. Over 250 exhibits, most of which have a hefty interactive element, await exploration in the science hall alone.

3. Mural Tour

Architectural Landmark

A telling portrayal of Glasgow’s glistening art scene, the art and mural tours are your chance to meander around the city streets appreciating local artists such as Rogue One and Smug. From balloon-led taxis to massive tigers, Banksy has some serious Scottish competition.

4. Glasgow Necropolis


Tombs and statues on top of a hill, Glasgow necropolis, Scotland
@winstontjia / Unsplash
An oasis of calm within an urban jungle, the Glasgow Necropolis is both historic and intriguing. The perfect way to learn about a bygone past, this Victorian cemetery sports numerous monuments, sculptures, tombs and mausoleums. After all, it is the resting place of over 50,000 people.

5. The Corinthian

Bar, Brasserie, Restaurant, Nightclub, Contemporary, European, British

Strategically located in the hip Merchant City area, The Corinthian boasts all the bells and whistles! From the pukka interior accents and lavish cocktails at the Tellers Bar to the Harlem Jazz-era feels of the casino, more-ish food, and hypnotic live music nights, there’s no bad hand with this one. Swanky beyond belief.

6. Kelvingrove

Art Gallery, Building, Museum

There’s tourist attractions and then there’s local institutions that quite frankly blow your mind — Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum falls into the latter category! This striking Spanish Baroque Locharbriggs edifice plays hosts to a covetable arms and armour collection and incredible European artworks, including Dali’s iconic Christ of Saint John of the Cross.

7. People’s Palace And Winters Gardens


Peoples Palace And Winter Gardens
Courtesy Of Glasgow Life
When it opened in 1898, People’s Palace and Winter Gardens was declared ‘open to the people for ever and ever’. Built as a means to add a dose of charm to a supposed undesirable area, this museum and glasshouse is an enchanting vehicle to preserve imperative social narratives belonging to Glaswegians from the 1700s onwards. A true time capsule set in Glasgow Green, the oldest park in the city.

8. Provand’s Lordship


A true treat for historians, The Provand’s Lordship is the oldest house in the city and one of four surviving medieval buildings. This proud house museum sports historic royal portraits, immaculate 17th-century furniture courtesy of Sir William Burrell, and interior accents from the 1500s and 1700s. Don’t leave without appreciating the accompanying St Nicholas Garden, a medicinal herb garden.

9. Riverside Museum


Riverside Museum
Courtesy Of Glasgow Life
An architectural wonder, the Zaha Hadid designed Riverside Museum can keep even the most inquisitive of souls entertained for hours. Bestowed with many awards and laden with over 3,000 objects, this icon of a building takes visitors on an epic journey through Glasgow and Scotland’s rich transport history.

10. Britannia Panopticon

Music Venue

Britannia Panopticon
© TomGough/Flickr
As the world’s oldest surviving music hall, the Britannia Panopticon deserves a standing ovation, with many a bouquet being flung! Built in 1857, it garnered quite the reputation as an unmitigated pleasure palace filled with music (including some of the most celebrated music hall circuit names), performance art, and more. Visit today, have a gander at any upcoming shows and hear the walls divulge tales from the past.

11. City Chambers


Glasgow City Chambers
Courtesy Of Glasgow Life
Glasgow’s own Statue of Liberty, surpassing a free tour of the City Chambers should the chance arise would be sacrilege. Queen Victoria had the honour of opening this building, which is graced with ethereal looks and elaborate accents, in 1888. The fairytale staircase, made from Italian Carrara marble, is the largest marble staircase in Western Europe.

12. Fossil Grove


Petrified trees at Fossil Grove, Victoria Park Glasgow, Scotland GB UK
© Mike Booth / Alamy Stock Photo
Lurking within Victoria Park basks a mystical ancient forest kingdom in the form of petrified tree stumps. Unearthed in 1887, after being excavated from swathes of sandstone and shale, all 11 stumps are extinct Lepidodendron trees that formed in the Carboniferous era 325 million years ago.

13. Glasgow Cathedral

Cathedral, Church

Green roofed Cathedral, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
@by_abigailkelly / Unsplash
Not just any old church, historic Glasgow Cathedral marks the spot where Saint Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint, built his first church back in the day, and his tomb now resides in the lower crypt. A stunning example of Scottish Gothic architecture, this Kirk was mentioned in Rob Roy, a novel by Sir Walter Scott.

14. The Barras


Although its heyday is arguably now a figment of the imagination, The Barras is an integral part of Glaswegian culture. A muckle street and indoor market that at the weekend still relives its glory days with stalls upon stalls and bargains galore, it’s perfect for people-watching and landing that one-off statement home piece.

15. The Hunterian Museum


Esteemed Scottish anatomist and physician William Hunter was quite the collector. Thanks to his heart of gold, he left all of his collections, which range from archaeological to anthropological, zoological, anatomical and geological, to the University of Glasgow in his will. Since 1783, these intriguing artefacts have captivated hoards of curious people.

16. The Waverley


The Waverley | © Steve Hodgson/Flickr
© Steve Hodgson/Flickr
Famous and timeless, PS Waverley is the world’s last passenger-carrying paddle steamer to take to the sea. This impeccably restored beauty, which was named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, was built in 1946. Work on those sea legs (she regularly departs from Glasgow) and embark on a sea adventure of the enchanting Scottish isles and lochs.

17. The Mackintosh Trail

Hiking Trail

Mackintosh House | Courtesy Of Glasgow Life
Courtesy Of Glasgow Life

If time permits, a tour of the works of Glaswegian architect, designer and all around creative Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is advised. The Lighthouse (his first public commission), Mackintosh House, House For An Art Lover, Glasgow School Of Art, Scotland Street School Museum and The Hill House all possess his iconic stamp.

18. Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

Art Gallery, Theater

Small animated wooden painted figure of a man holding a winch that turns a selection of gears in the background
© Matt Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
A dream fusion of theatre and mechanics, Sharmanka (Russian for barrel-organ) Kinetic Theatre is the brainchild of theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya and sculptor-mechanic Eduard Bersudsky. As trippy as it is enlightening, expect an unrivalled artistic performance featuring enigmatic creatures moving to create narratives about the pros and cons of what it means to be human.

19. Botanic Gardens And Kibble Palace

Botanical Garden

A statue inside the Botanic Gardens, Great Western Road, Glasgow, UK
@lauraemma_d / unsplash
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens, created in 1817, are a welcomed splash of green in a concrete jungle. Tour the world via their myriad of plant species and admire the breathtaking glass-domed Kibble Palace wonderland of a glasshouse.

20. WEST Brewery

Brewery, Building

Brewery | © Pexels
© Pexels
Described as having a ‘Glaswegian heart and a German head’, WEST Brewery is a land of endless boozing opportunities. The mighty building is a work of art, the too-delicious-for-words traditional German food is authentic and the artisan lagers and wheat beers add that extra pep in your step.

21. University of Glasgow

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

The University of Glasgow has a rich history, claiming status as the fourth oldest university in the anglophone world, one of Scotland’s four ancient universities— and it counts historic economist Adam Smith, two British Prime Ministers, and seven Nobel laureates among its alumni and former staff. Stop by for a stroll around the gorgeous Gilmorehill campus in Hillhead and admire the view of the city from the hilltop. Recommended by Madeleine Bazil

22. Pollok Country Park


This 146-hectare park in Pollok, south Glasgow, is an oasis of nature in the bustling city. In 2006 it was named the best park in Britain, and until 1994 was the largest urban green space in all of Europe. Formerly part of the Old Pollok Estate, owned by the Maxwell family for 700 years, it was gifted in 1966 to Glasgow Corporation under the condition that the land remain a public park. Today it houses delightful walking trails, three mountain biking routes, a fold of Highland cows, a bowling club, a cricket club, and the Burrell Collection, a museum containing the antique and art collection of William Burrell. Recommended by Madeleine Bazil

23. The Tenement House

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

A must-visit attraction for anyone wanting to delve right into the local history. The Tenement House in Garnethill is a wonderfully restored example of a middle-class Glaswegian tenement house from the late 19th century. Step into a bygone past that’s suited and booted with original fittings and fixtures, such as the coal-fired kitchen range, and learn about Miss Agness Toward, the shorthand typist who resided there between 1911 and 1965. Dig deeper than the remaining possessions and explore what it meant to be an independent woman during that era.

24. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Music Venue

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Courtesy of Glasgow Life
Glasgow, as a UNESCO City Of Music, holds its fair share of music traps. Arguably the most iconic, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is a local institution. Praised by all who visit, this cracking bar and live venue is renowned for hosting some big-name bands for their first Scottish appearance and as a platform for new talent too. Oasis, The Verve, Radio Head, The White Stripes and Beck are just a few.

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