Why Glasgow is a must see city?

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is a vibrant tapestry woven with the threads of history, culture, and modernity. Known for its rich heritage, dynamic music scene, and architectural splendour, Glasgow beckons travellers with experiences that are as diverse as they are engaging. Whether you’re marvelling at mediaeval cathedrals, rocking out to live music, indulging in global gastronomy, or exploring world-class museums, this city offers a treasure trove of activities that won’t cost a fortune. Here’s why Glasgow should be at the top of your must-see list.

Key Takeaways

  • Glasgow’s historic sites like the Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis offer a glimpse into the city’s past without any expense.
  • The city’s live music venues, such as the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, provide a pulsating atmosphere and a rich musical heritage.
  • Architectural wonders and cultural festivities abound, with landmarks like George Square and the city’s status as the 1990 European Capital of Culture.
  • Museums like the Glasgow Science Centre and the Riverside Museum showcase innovative exhibits and celebrate Glasgow’s industrial history.
  • Glasgow’s culinary scene is a paradise for foodies, offering an array of international cuisines alongside traditional Scottish dishes.

Uncover Glasgow’s Rich History Without Spending a Penny

Uncover Glasgow's Rich History Without Spending a Penny

Discover the Mediaeval Splendour of Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s mediaeval past, inviting visitors to step back in time without the need for a ticket. Built in the 12th century, this historical edifice has been a cornerstone of Glasgow’s religious and cultural life for over 800 years. Its Gothic architecture and the intricate stained glass windows are a marvel, reflecting the artistic and spiritual heritage of the city.

The cathedral’s atmosphere is steeped in history, with every corner telling a story of faith, community, and resilience.

Visitors can explore various parts of the cathedral, each with its own unique features and historical significance. The Blackadder Aisle, for instance, boasts a ceiling constructed around 1500 by Archbishop Blackadder, showcasing the craftsmanship of the era.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

  • The awe-inspiring nave, where generations have gathered in worship
  • The post-war collection of stained glass windows, among Britain’s finest
  • The Blackadder Aisle, a testament to the architectural prowess of the late Middle Ages

Stroll Through the Victorian Necropolis for Panoramic City Views

The Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian marvel, offers more than just a final resting place for the city’s notable figures. It’s a historical tapestry woven into the city’s landscape, providing a serene environment to reflect on the past. As you ascend the winding paths, the city unfolds beneath you, offering unparalleled views and a peaceful escape from the urban bustle.

The Necropolis is not only a testament to Glasgow’s rich history but also a showcase of architectural artistry. Among the ornate mausoleums and statues, you’ll find the imposing figure of John Knox, standing tall at the summit. This garden cemetery, established in 1831 by the Merchants House, is a journey through time, with each monument narrating a unique story of Glasgow’s heritage.

The tranquillity of the Necropolis contrasts with the ever-changing city skyline, reminding visitors of the timeless beauty that history bestows upon us.

For those interested in the evolution of Glasgow’s transport, the Necropolis offers a glimpse into the city’s taxi history, from horse-drawn cabs to the modern motor taxis that now navigate the surrounding streets.

Follow in the Footsteps of Daniel Defoe’s 18th Century Glasgow

Walking the same streets as the famed author of ‘Robinson Crusoe’, Daniel Defoe, one can’t help but feel transported back to the 18th century. Glasgow’s rich history is palpable in its cobbled lanes and historic pubs. Defoe, who visited Glasgow in the early 1700s, described it as ‘the cleanest and beautifullest, and best built city in Britain, London excepted.’

To truly appreciate the city as Defoe did, consider embarking on a historical audio tour or joining one of the many themed walking tours available. These tours not only illuminate Glasgow’s past but also highlight how the city promotes cycling and walking with events, enhancing its commitment to sustainability.

While taxis in Glasgow can be pricey, impacting tourism, the city offers a plethora of cost-effective transportation options. Public transportation is extensive, and ride-sharing services provide an affordable and convenient alternative.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the historical tours you might enjoy:

  • The Walter Affair: A playful escape game that takes you through Glasgow’s storied streets.
  • Private Glasgow Dark Side Walking Tour: Uncover the city’s mysterious history.
  • Merchant City and East End Music Walking Tour: A journey through Glasgow’s vibrant music scene.

Each experience offers a unique perspective on Glasgow’s storied past, ensuring that history enthusiasts and casual explorers alike can follow in the footsteps of figures like Defoe.

Experience Glasgow’s Legendary Live Music Scene

Experience Glasgow's Legendary Live Music Scene

Rock Out at Iconic Venues like King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Glasgow’s reputation as a live music powerhouse is epitomised by the iconic King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. This venue has been the launchpad for numerous illustrious careers, including the legendary moment when Oasis were discovered and signed. The energy and history contained within its walls make it a pilgrimage site for music lovers.

The Pollstar rankings also featured strong showings for Glasgow’s other key live music venues, in their respective categories, for OVO Hydro, 02 Academy, the Barrowland, and more, highlighting the city’s diverse and vibrant music scene.

Here’s a snapshot of Glasgow’s live music venues:

  • King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut: A titleholder in the world-beating music scene.
  • OVO Hydro: A modern arena hosting international stars.
  • Barrowland Ballroom: A historic venue with a neon-lit legacy.
  • 02 Academy: A hotspot for a variety of musical acts.
  • The Garage: Scotland’s largest nightclub and a hub for up-and-coming talent.

Each venue offers a unique experience, from the intimate settings of King Tut’s to the expansive arenas like the OVO Hydro. Whether you’re a fan of indie, rock, pop, or electronic music, Glasgow’s live music venues cater to every genre and preference.

Explore the Diversity of Genres in Glasgow’s Music Venues

Glasgow’s music venues are a testament to the city’s eclectic taste and passion for live performances. From the intimate bars to grand concert halls, each venue offers a unique experience, catering to fans of all music genres. Whether you’re looking to headbang to the latest rock bands, sway to soulful jazz, or be moved by classical symphonies, Glasgow has a spot for you.

Glasgow is not just about the quantity of its music venues, but the quality of the experiences they provide. Here’s a glimpse into the variety you can expect:

  • King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut: A legendary venue known for its rock and indie acts.
  • The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Home to classical music and grand performances.
  • Bar Bloc: Awarded the SLTN Music Pub of the Year, a hub for local musicians.
  • The Barrowland: A historic ballroom that’s now a live music staple.

Embrace the vibrant atmosphere and let Glasgow’s music scene take you on an unforgettable journey.

With venues like The Hydro and the SECC hosting international stars, and smaller venues like Stereo and Nice N Sleazy supporting up-and-coming talent, the city’s music scene is both dynamic and inclusive. The diversity of Glasgow’s music venues ensures that every night offers a new opportunity to discover something spectacular.

Glasgow’s Architectural and Cultural Highlights

Glasgow's Architectural and Cultural Highlights

Admire the Georgian Elegance of George Square

George Square sits at the heart of Glasgow, offering a spacious sanctuary amidst the bustling city streets. With its oblong shape and historical significance, the square is a testament to the city’s Georgian elegance. Surrounded by grand buildings and adorned with statues of notable figures, it’s a place where locals and visitors alike can pause and appreciate the architectural beauty.

  • Review score: 4.0 of 5 bubbles
  • Landmark type: Points of Interest & Landmarks
  • Location: City Centre
  • Accessibility: Open now

The square is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s a hub of activity, where something is always happening. From the casual observer to the detailed topographical guide for Glasgow taxi drivers, George Square is a pivotal point in understanding the city’s layout and history.

George Square offers a tangible sense of space and history, making it a must-see for anyone exploring Glasgow.

Indulge in the Arts at the European Capital of Culture

Glasgow’s designation as the European Capital of Culture in 1990 was a testament to its vibrant arts scene, which continues to thrive today. The city’s galleries and museums are a testament to its cultural richness, offering a plethora of exhibitions and events that cater to all tastes. For instance, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must-visit, with its extensive collection featuring works by Salvador Dali and Vincent van Gogh.

Glasgow’s cultural landscape is as diverse as it is dynamic, with a calendar brimming with artistic events. One such highlight is the ‘East Park: 150th Anniversary Exhibition’, marking a significant milestone in the city’s history.

The city’s commitment to the arts is evident in its numerous venues that offer free admission, ensuring that culture is accessible to everyone. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply curious, Glasgow’s art scene is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Glasgow’s Museums: A Treasure Trove of Wonders

Glasgow's Museums: A Treasure Trove of Wonders

Be Inspired by the Avant-Garde Glasgow Science Centre

The Glasgow Science Centre stands as a beacon of modernity on the banks of the River Clyde, inviting visitors of all ages to delve into the wonders of science. Rated 5 stars by VisitScotland, this cutting-edge facility offers a plethora of interactive exhibits spread across three floors, ensuring an educational experience that is both fun and engaging.

BodyWorks delves into the fascinating science behind human health, while Powering the Future confronts the challenges of our energy-hungry world with innovative solutions. The Centre’s commitment to making science accessible is evident through its diverse programmes, including the captivating Science theatre and the awe-inspiring Planetarium.

The Glasgow Science Centre is not just a museum; it’s a hub of inspiration and discovery, where every visit ignites a spark of curiosity.

Accessibility is a priority, with cycle stands, car parking, and public transport links ensuring that the Centre is within easy reach. For those preferring a scenic route, a leisurely 15-minute walk along the Clyde from the City centre is all it takes to embark on this scientific adventure. The Centre’s dedication to education extends beyond its walls, with schools and outreach programmes that bring the excitement of science into the community.

Explore the Eclectic Collections at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Nestled in the heart of Glasgow’s West End, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum stands as a testament to the city’s cultural wealth. Free to enter, this beloved institution is Scotland’s most visited free attraction, drawing art lovers and history buffs alike with its 22 themed galleries and a staggering collection of over 8,000 objects.

The museum’s offerings are as diverse as they are impressive, featuring everything from Renaissance art to modern masterpieces. Among the highlights are the works of Salvador Dali and Vincent van Gogh, which sit alongside a myriad of historical artefacts that tell the story of Glasgow’s past.

The Kelvingrove is not just a museum; it’s a journey through time and creativity, a place where every visit can offer a new discovery.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

  • A rich array of European art, including the famed ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’ by Salvador Dali.
  • A natural history section that brings Scotland’s wildlife into the heart of the city.
  • An armoury that showcases the evolution of warfare and weaponry.
  • Interactive displays that engage visitors of all ages, making it a perfect spot for families.

Delve into the City’s Maritime Past at the Riverside Museum

Opened in 2011 on the waterfront, the Riverside Museum, previously known as the Transport Museum, is a modern homage to Glasgow’s industrial legacy, particularly its shipbuilding prowess on the Clyde. Explore the evolution of transport in a space where history and modernity converge, offering a dynamic journey through time.

With over 3,000 objects, from skateboards to locomotives, the museum is a treasure trove for enthusiasts of all ages. Interactive displays, including a recreated Glasgow street complete with shops and a subway, bring the city’s past to life. Visitors can climb aboard historical vehicles, and engage with touch screens that reveal the stories behind the artefacts.

The Riverside Museum isn’t just about observing; it’s an immersive experience where you can help put out a fire with an interactive fire engine or marvel at the car and motorbike walls.

Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:

  • A vast collection of transport memorabilia
  • Interactive exhibits for hands-on learning
  • Insight into Glasgow’s shipbuilding history
  • Engaging stories and films via touch screen panels

The museum’s innovative approach to storytelling and its focus on visitor interaction make it a standout attraction. It’s a place where memories are made, and history is appreciated in a new light.

Gastronomic Delights and Global Cuisine

Gastronomic Delights and Global Cuisine

Savour the Flavours of the World in Glasgow’s Restaurants

Glasgow’s culinary landscape is as diverse as it is delicious, offering a taste of global cuisine right at your doorstep. From the aromatic spices of Indian curries to the rich, hearty flavours of Italian pastas, the city’s restaurants serve up an international dining experience that is both accessible and authentic.

  • Ashoka in Finnieston
  • Mother India
  • Moskito Bar
  • Brett
  • Dakota Glasgow
  • Bawarchi Indian Restaurant
  • The Grahamston

For those who relish the fusion of flavours, Glasgow’s dining scene will not disappoint. The city’s best ethnic restaurants, as highlighted by TheFork, include a variety of establishments that have earned their stripes by providing exceptional culinary delights.

Embrace the opportunity to indulge in a gastronomic journey, where each meal is an adventure waiting to be savoured.

Whether you’re in the mood for a casual bite or a fine dining experience, Glasgow’s restaurants cater to all palates and preferences. With options ranging from budget-friendly eateries to upscale establishments, every food lover can find their perfect spot to dine.

Experience the Local Culinary Scene and Traditional Scottish Fare

Glasgow’s culinary landscape is a vibrant tapestry of flavours, where traditional Scottish fare meets global gastronomy. Indulge in the rich tastes of Scotland at a fraction of the cost, as the city boasts an array of budget-friendly eateries. From the hearty haggis to the comforting neeps and tatties, Glasgow’s Merchant City is a hub for affordable dining experiences.

Glasgow’s presence in the culinary world extends beyond its local dishes. The city is a melting pot of international cuisines, ensuring that there’s something to satisfy every palate. Whether it’s the spicy allure of a curry in Finnieston or the rustic charm of Italian cuisine, the options are endless. The city’s transportation network, including the iconic Clockwork Orange tube, makes it easy to explore these culinary delights.

For those with a taste for spirits, a visit to the Clydeside Distillery offers an authentic Scottish experience. Here, you can witness the fusion of tradition and modernity, and enjoy a glass of single malt whisky with views of the Queen’s Dock.

Embark on a culinary journey with our ‘Gastronomic Delights and Global Cuisine‘ section, where we serve up a feast of articles that tantalise your taste buds and inspire your next meal. From the comfort of your home, explore the diverse flavours and cooking traditions from around the world. Don’t just read about it, taste it! Visit our website for more delicious content and transform your dining experiences into global adventures.


In conclusion, Glasgow is not just a city; it’s a vibrant tapestry of culture, history, and modernity woven together to create an unforgettable experience. From the echoes of its industrial past to the pulsating rhythm of its contemporary music scene, Glasgow offers a unique blend of attractions that cater to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re marvelling at the architectural splendour of the Kelvingrove Museum or soaking in the local history at the Necropolis, there’s a sense of discovery around every corner. Daniel Defoe’s 18th-century praise of Glasgow’s beauty holds true today, as the city continues to charm visitors with its dynamic spirit and warm hospitality. So, whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply in search of a lively night out, Glasgow is a must-see city that promises a rich and rewarding journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Glasgow Cathedral a must-see historic site?

Glasgow Cathedral is a must-see due to its stunning mediaeval architecture dating back to the 12th century. It’s a testament to the city’s rich history and offers visitors a glimpse into Glasgow’s past.

Can I enjoy panoramic views of Glasgow for free?

Yes, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city for free by visiting the Victorian Necropolis, a historic cemetery located on a hill adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral.

What unique experience does the Kelvingrove Museum offer?

The Kelvingrove Museum offers a unique experience with its eclectic collections ranging from dinosaur fossils to Dutch masterpieces. A special feature is the 1 O’Clock organ recital, making it a memorable visit.

Where can I experience Glasgow’s live music scene?

Glasgow’s legendary live music scene can be experienced at iconic venues like King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, which has hosted some of the biggest names in the industry.

What gastronomic experiences does Glasgow offer?

Glasgow offers a diverse gastronomic experience, catering to just about every cuisine in the world. From local culinary delights to traditional Scottish fare, there’s something for every palate.

Is there a best time to visit Glasgow?

The best time to visit Glasgow is subjective, but considering its status as the European Capital of Culture and its numerous events and attractions, any time of year can be ideal for different visitors.