Eating & drinking
Glasgow is packed full of excellent restaurants to suit every budget, and if you want to sample the very best, head to The Ubiquitous Chip – a multi award-winning restaurant with a menu inspired by Scotland’s natural larder.
And of course, you can’t visit Glasgow without a tour of a local distillery. At the Glengoyne Distillery, the whisky is distilled slower than any other single malt Scotch whisky, giving it a subtle, complex flavour. True whisky lovers will love The Masterclass – the most in depth and comprehensive distillery tour in Scotland.
The trendy locals aren’t the only reason Glasgow is known as Scotland’s style capital. Even the buildings here are stylish, and they have Glasgow’s most famous son – architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – to thank for that. A trip to the Glasgow School of Art for a glimpse of his famous Art Nouveau style is a must.
The city is also home to over 20 museums and art galleries, including the award-winning Burrell Collection, the huge Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and the Riverside Museum, a radical space designed by Zaha Hadid for the city’s transport heritage.
Arts & culture
Wherever you are, you won’t be far from the arts and culture highlights that earned Glasgow the European City of Culture title. You’ll find Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work dotted all over the city, but architecture fans will also love The Lighthouse, Scotland’s national centre for design and architecture.
And if you’re looking for an unforgettable performance, you’re in luck. Glasgow is the home of both the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet, so there really is no better place to indulge your inner culture vulture.
Music & nightlife
The music scene in Glasgow is red hot, and if you want to spot the next big thing, get in line at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. It’s here that Oasis were famously spotted and signed in 1993, and the venue supported the likes of Radiohead, Florence & The Machine, and Biffy Clyro from the start of their careers.
But if bonding with the locals over a pint is more your scene, head to Glasgow’s upmarket West End, where you’ll find everything from traditional pubs to clubs and bars.
It’s not just grown-ups who get to have all the fun in Glasgow, there’s plenty to keep the little ones happy too. If they’re into science, they’ll love the Glasgow Science Centre, home to hundreds of hands-on exhibits, interactive workshops, a Science Show Theatre and Scotland’s biggest IMAX cinema.
Football is an important part of Glasgow’s history. The first ever international football match was held here, and it’s home to Scotland’s largest football stadiums: Hampden Park, Celtic Park and Ibrox Stadium. The Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park is a must-see for any football fan. Discover the story of Scottish football and explore the 2,500 plus exhibits that make up the most impressive collection of football memorabilia in the world.
Shoppers beware: a shopping spree in Glasgow may lead to excess baggage on the return flight. Glasgow is second only to London as Britain’s most important shopping city, and the place to be if you want to shop till you drop is the Style Mile. There’s something to suit every budget here, from popular high street shops to fancy designer outlets and independent boutiques selling lesser-known labels.
Take in some local culture over lunch at the Oran Mor pub in Glasgow’s West End. A Play, a Pie and a Pint is a ground-breaking theatre programme showing lunchtime plays by some of the UK’s best-known writers and new and exciting theatrical voices. As you may have guessed, you get a drink and a pie with your theatre ticket.
Glasgow Science Centre and IMAX
Glasgow Science Centre is a visitor attraction located on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. It is a purpose-built science centre composed of three principal buildings which are the Science Mall, an IMAX cinema and the Glasgow Tower. The Scottish tourist board, Visit Scotland, awarded Glasgow Science Centre, located in the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration area, a five star rating in the visitor attraction category.
The Science Mall is a titanium-clad crescent shape structure. In architectural terms it represents the canted hull of a ship, a reference to the adjacent ‘canting basin’, where vessels were brought to have the marine growth removed from their hulls. The building houses three floors of over 250 science-learning exhibits, themed around three concepts, being ‘explore and discover’, ‘science in action’ and ‘science and you’. As is usual for science centres, the exhibits aim to encourage interaction, and can be used or played with as part of the informal learning experience the centre aims to deliver. Visitors can access a Science Show Theatre and the Glasgow Science Centre Planetarium. The planetarium contains a Zeiss optical-mechanical projector that projects images of the night sky onto a 15m diameter dome.
The IMAX cinema was the first IMAX cinema to be built in Scotland. The single auditorium seats 370 in front of a rectangular screen measuring 82 feet by 62 feet (25 m by 18.9 m) and has the capability to show 3D films as well as standard 2D films in IMAX format.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe’s great art collections. It is amongst the top three free-to-enter visitor attractions in Scotland and one of the most visited museums in the United Kingdom outside of London.
Blair Drummond Safari Park
Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park and experience one of the best value for money days out Scotland has to offer. From the Wildlife Animal Reserves to the Adventure Playground and many more attractions, there is plenty of fun and excitement for all the family. Wild Animal Reserves, Adventure Playground, Boat Trip around Chimp Island, Pets Farm, Lemur Land, Flying Fox, Giant Astraglide, Sea Lion Shows, Bird of Prey Centre & Displays & Pedal Boats.
M&Ds – Scotlands Theme Park
Now recognised as Scotland’s Theme Park, M&D’s is unique in Scotland. With 5 terrifying white-knuckle rides, over 20 kids’ rides, 18 hole miniature golf, ‘glow in the dark’ indoor bowling, a massive indoor complex including a gigantic soft play area, bars and restaurants and My Pawfect Bear Factory. You can also discover AMAZONIA, Scotland’s only indoor tropical rainforest packed with exotic animals, birds and insects!
Willow Tea Rooms
Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904, the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street, remains one of the city’s major attractions for both local and overseas visitors. See the Room De Luxe and Gallery and marvel at the many original features still on show today. The Tea Rooms are centrally located on Glasgow’s Style Mile and provide a mouth-watering range of traditional food and drinks. They also serve a range of daily specials at both Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street. In Anne’s Kitchen you will find a selection of their most popular dishes, including our famous Willow Meringues. Visit the gift shops and choose from a wide selection of Mackintosh and Glasgow products, many of which are designed in-house. The range includes jewellery, tote bags, scarves, candles, glassware, household products, gift sets, pens, compacts, pill boxes, mugs, cards and books … just some of the many items they have on sale.
House For An Art Lover
The idea of House for an Art Lover was to create an elegant country retreat for a person of taste and culture. Mackintosh’s imaginary client was someone who enjoyed lavishly entertaining his guests in sophisticated surroundings and in great style. The exterior character of the building exhibits an absolutely original character unlike anything else known. In it we shall not find a trace of the conventional forms of architecture to which the artist, as far as his present intentions were concerned, was quite indifferent. These were the words with which the German Architect Hermann Muthesius hailed Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s competition entry to design a House for an Art Lover. The competition was run by the German Magazine “Zeitschrift Für Innendekoration” in the winter of 1900 and the brief was to design a grand house in a thoroughly modern style. The drawings which Mackintosh produced, although very detailed for a competition entry, were not intended as technical plans from which the house would be built. Work began on building the House in 1989.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens, situated in the West End of the city, lies beside the River Kelvin. At any time of the year there are pleasant riverside walks, peaceful woodland copses and exotic tropical places to explore, just minutes from the heart of the city. Thomas Hopkirk, a distinguished Glasgow botanist, was the founder of the Botanic Gardens and with the support of a number of local dignitaries and the University of Glasgow the Gardens were set up in 1817. These days the gardens are maintained by The Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens. The Friends was established as a charitable organisation in the early 1990′s and formally their aim is
“the enhancement of education for the public benefit by supporting and furthering the activities of Glasgow Botanic Gardens as a centre for education, research and public amenity”. The Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens have a simple wish – that you enjoy the Gardens as much as they do.
Glasgow is the perfect place to shop – as the UK’s largest and most successful shopping location outside the London’s West End, Glasgow is home to every fashion thrill, from niche to mainstream, from unique designer show spaces to flagship stores for every major British retailer. The Style Mile refers to the square mile in the very centre of Glasgow which houses the most extraordinary concentration of shops. Over 200 stores, many exclusive to the Style Mile are now open until 7pm every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (with most open until 8pm on a Thursday).
University of Glasgow
Discover Over 550 Years of History. Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. Originally located on High Street in the city centre near Glasgow Cathedral, in 1870 it moved to the stunning collection of buildings perched upon Gilmorehill today, where it continues to watch over the bustling city and picturesque tenements of Glasgow’s West End. The second largest example of Gothic Revival architecture in Britain (after the palace of Westminster) today the University of Glasgow is renowned not only as a site of remarkable intellectual, scientific and medical achievements, but also as an international tourist attraction, due to its collection of over 100 listed buildings. The walking tours last approximately one hour and will take you on a fascinating journey around some of the University’s most significant spots – from philosopher Thomas Reid’s tombstone and the atmospheric cloisters, to the very same staircase Lord Kelvin would take from his house to his laboratory. Discover the connections between James Watt, Adam Smith and Isabella Elder, whose names are all inscribed on the University’s Memorial Gates. The University of Glasgow dominates the artistic, literary and student-centered West End of Glasgow. With stunning views overlooking Kelvingrove Museum and Kelvingrove Park, the tour is an essential part of any visitor’s experience of Glasgow.
The Riverside Museum
Riverside is home to some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, ship models, trams and locomotives. Interactive displays and the hugely popular historic Glasgow street scene bring the objects and stories to life. The multi-award winning Riverside Museum is home to over 3,000 objects that detail Glasgow’s rich past from its days as maritime powerhouse to a glimpse into daily Glasgow life in the early to mid 20th Century. Amongst the objects on display are everything from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams, velocipedes to voiturettes, vintage cars to a stormtrooper, there really is something to delight visitors of all ages.