Glasgow is one of the biggest cities in the UK and is even larger than the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. This makes the city the perfect place to explore and discover new places with endless things to do. It has transformed from an industrial city located on the river Clyde to Scotland’s cultural centre with an abundance of excellent museums, art galleries, venues, festivals, and so much more.
The slogan, “People Make Glasgow”, couldn’t be any more accurate as you’ll find yourself having friendly conversations with locals and travellers from all walks of life everywhere you go. Without further ado, let’s dive into the five best things you need to do on your visit to Glasgow.
Tennent’s Brewery Tour
If you know anything about Glasgow, you will know how big the name Tennent’s is. Situated right in the heart of Glasgow, take a tour to discover the inner workings of Wellpark Brewery – home to over 450 years of brewing traditional award-winning beers.
The tour takes you through the rich history of Tennents from the 1500s to the present day. The Tennent’s story will showcase all the behind-the-scenes and work that goes on in the creation of the famous beer – from its origins to production, provenance, and its place in Scottish culture.
You will be guided around the whole brewery and see the ingredients that go into each pint, how it’s brewed, the giant tanks it is stored in, and how each bottle, keg, and can is filled up to be shipped. There is so much to learn on this tour, and it is certainly a day out you will not forget – plus, you get a free taster pint to finish it all off!
Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Situated in the west end of Glasgow, you can find Kelvingrove Art Gallery and museum. Standing for over a century, the building still holds its purpose for what it was initially built for, displaying magnificent architecture and a huge range of exhibit rooms. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s most visited tourist attractions and features 22 themed rooms showcasing over 8000 objects – and best of all; it’s completely free!
The collections include natural history, firearms and armour, art from many different movements, historical items, and so much more; the history you can discover is endless. Seeing the building itself is an attraction, with such amazing, refurbished architecture, and besides the exhibits, the building has a restaurant, café and gift shop to enjoy.
To top it off, Kelvingrove Art Gallery hosts a variety of different seasonal events every year. Depending on when you are visiting Glasgow, you may want to double-check for any events that may be on to really enhance your experience. It’s even used by local skateboarders!
Shop Buchanan Street
This one is for the shopaholics. If you are one of those travellers who feel you must do a bit of shopping no matter where you go in the world, then you will love shopping in Glasgow.
Buchanan Street forms the central stretch of the city’s shopping district, featuring strips of shops in every direction. It offers all kinds of shops that attract both tourists and locals alike, so regardless of how often you visit Glasgow, you will never get bored.
Shoppers tend to spend most of their time in Buchanan Galleries, and there you can find endless amounts of shops like Hollister, Pandora, Millie’s Cookies, and so much more. Regardless of what you’re shopping for (if anything), there will always be something to tickle your fancy.
Open Top Bus
The open-top bus tour is the perfect way to discover Glasgow. You can pack in all of Glasgow’s historical and modern landmarks on a single bus tour. Simply pick a seat in the cabin, or if it’s a nice day, go up to the open-top deck to get the best views of the city. The commentary is recorded and highlights all the key details that you may not know about specific areas of the city.
You aren’t tied down to the whole tour either. The bus goes by a hop-on hop-off procedure, meaning that if a certain landmark tickles your fancy, or if you want a coffee break, then you can do so. The bus will cover all the famous landmarks such as:
- George Square
- Glasgow Cathedral
- Glasgow Green
- Riverside Museum
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
- University of Glasgow
- Sauchiehall Street / The Glasgow School of Art
The sightseeing opportunities on the open top bus are endless and will surely be a day out to remember.
Visit A 100 Year Old Cafe
This is a unique one! Buried in the heart of the West End in Hillhead is one of the oldest cafes in Scotland; the University Cafe. It represents a rich history of Glasgow’s West End cafe scene and was even around when Albert Einstein visited in 1933.
It is a superb place to grab a coffee and a slice of history if that’s your thing. Who else can say they’ve been to a 100 year old cafe?
There’s even a University Barbershop with the same branding and run by the same people – which is also worth a visit if you are into your history.
Take A Walk Down Ashton Lane
This is another well kept secret of Glasgow’s West End that you may not know about. Ashton Lane is a wonderful place filled with bars, restaurants, and even its own miniature (but functional) cinema. There’s plenty to do on Ashton Lane and plenty of choices.
That isn’t to mention how great it is for capturing a few photos. It’s a beautifully aesthetic place, especially in the height of winter with the Christmas decor!
Glasgow is packed with things to do, and it is simply not possible to mention it all in this article. Hopefully, by handpicking a few of the best-rated tourist attractions in Glasgow, you can make an informed decision for yourself and make the most out of your trip to the wonderful city. Enjoy your trip!