1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is undoubtedly the jewel in the city’s cultural crown. First opened to the public in 1901 and refurbished in 2006, Kelvingrove is Scotland’s most visited attraction. Major highlights include: Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross; Rembrandt’s Man in Armour; masterpieces by Van Gogh, Whistler, Monet and Botticelli; the Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Glasgow Style Gallery plus its unique arms and armour collection. Like all the city’s civic museums and galleries, admission is free.
2. Walk this way
Fittingly for a city whose name means The Dear Green Place, Glasgow has over 90 parks and gardens within the city boundaries. Why not take a stroll through Glasgow Green, the city’s oldest park; Kelvingrove Park or the Botanic Gardens?
3. Experience Mackintosh
Charles Rennie Mackintosh is perhaps Glasgow’s most famous son. A designer and architect, Mackintosh’s Art Nouveau style can be seen throughout the city, although his most celebrated work, The Glasgow School of Art, was badly damaged by fire in May 2014 and then again in 2018. The Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery, the Willow Tea Rooms and House for an Art Lover are among other must-visits for anyone wishing to truly experience Mackintosh.
4. Glasgow Science Centre
Glasgow Science Centre is one of the city’s most family-friendly venues. Allowing children to experience science in a hands-on way, it offers three floors of fun and games. The Centre also includes a planetarium and an impressive IMAX cinema.
5. Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)
Housed in an elegant neoclassical building in the heart of Glasgow city centre, GoMA displays work by local and international artists and also offers a thought-provoking programme of temporary exhibitions and workshops.
6. The Necropolis
Situated next to the Gothic Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis offers stunning views out over the city. It also features monuments designed by some of Glasgow’s most famous designers and architects, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, the city’s other great architect.
7. The Merchant City
Formerly home to the city’s wealthy Tobacco Lords in the 18th century, the quarter housed the city’s fruit, vegetable and cheese markets a century later. Now characterised by busy bars, award-winning restaurants, a thriving arts scene and some of the city’s most impressive architecture, the Merchant City is the perfect place to enjoy the Glasgow vibe.
8. Listen up!
With an estimated 127 music events taking place in Glasgow on a typical week, why not go to a gig or attend a concert? The city’s legendary music scene stretches across the entire spectrum from contemporary and classical to Celtic and Country.
9. Glasgow Film Theatre
The Glasgow Film Theatre was first opened as The Cosmo in 1939. Today, the GFT remains Glasgow’s torchbearer for art house cinema and it retains the same art deco style it did when it first opened more than 70 years ago.
10. The Old Fruitmarket and City Halls
Once home to vendors and greengrocers, The Old Fruitmarket now plays host to live music and other events. Its period charm has been retained and includes its lofty vaulted roof, cast iron columns and balcony making it one of Glasgow’s most atmospheric venues. The City Halls, built in 1841, sit next door and is Glasgow’s oldest purpose-built performance and meeting space. The traditional shoebox-style auditorium is renowned throughout the world for its acoustics.
11. Retail therapy
Glasgow city centre is a square mile of shopping nirvana, where visitors will find everything – from Armani to Zara and Primark to Prada – all in a compact, walkable space. The cutting-edge Merchant City and bohemian West End meanwhile are only a minute’s stroll or a short Subway ride away.
12. The Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour
The Glenlee first set sail in 1896 and has since circumnavigated the globe four times. Now docked permanently on the River Clyde, The Glenlee is central to The Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour visitor attraction.
13. People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
The People’s Palace at Glasgow Green is the city’s social history museum, charting the story of the people and city of Glasgow from 1750 to the present. Attached to the People’s Palace is the Winter Gardens. Relax among the tropical plants and enjoy the cafe in this elegant Victorian glasshouse.
14. St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
Based in a faux-baronial building at the cathedral precinct in the East End, St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art aims to promote understanding and respect between people of all faiths, but also to explain religion in West-Central Scotland.
15. Ashton Lane
A cobbled mews lane tucked away behind bustling Byres Road, Ashton Lane lies at the heart of Glasgow’s West End. Especially busy at weekends, the tiny lane is packed to the brim with excellent bars, restaurants and clubs.
16. Botanic Gardens
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the west end of the city include a series of impressive glasshouses, most notably the iconic Kibble Palace. The Kibble Palace has been in the gardens since the 1870s and underwent a multi-million pound regeneration in 2006 to improve the Grade A-listed structure.
17. Hop on a sightseeing bus
Giving visitors a good overview of the city’s main attractions including Glasgow Cathedral and the Botanic Gardens, City Sightseeing Glasgow operates a hop-on-hop-off service. Regular departures from George Square throughout the year.
18. Uisghe Beatha (or The Water of Life)
Glasgow boasts two whisky distilleries situated just outside the city: Glengoyne near Killearn and Auchentoshan at Old Kilpatrick. Both offer fascinating tours and tastings. And on the historic Queen’s Dock in Glasgow, Clydeside Distillery offers visitors interactive whisky tours, alongside a shop and cafe.
19. The Waverley
The world’s last ocean-going paddle steamer, the Waverley remains on the Clyde during the summer months, allowing visitors to explore the islands of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae.
20. The Scottish Football Museum
The Scottish Football Museum, at the national stadium Hampden Park, documents the country’s football heritage through a collection of over 2,500 sporting objects and memorabilia, including the world’s oldest national trophy, the Scottish Cup.
Everything you need to know about Glasgow
Where to eat in Glasgow
The best days out in Glasgow
Your guide to arts and culture in Glasgow
The best shopping in Glasgow
The best nightlife in Glasgow