The city of Glasgow began life as a makeshift hamlet of huts centred around a sixth-century church, and was first known as ‘Glenschow’ – meaning ‘beloved green place’ in Celtic. After the cathedral was founded in 1136, and the university established in the fifteenth century, the city was flourishing by the Middle Ages and it became a royal burgh in 1454. Today, what started as a small hamlet has a population of 633,120.
Start planning your next journey with these 10 must-visit spots in Glasgow:
1. Glasgow Cathedral
Glasgow Cathedral is the only Scottish mainland medieval cathedral to have survived, complete, the Scottish Reformation. This cathedral has one of the finest post-war collections of stained glass in Britain.
2. Glasgow Necropolis
An impressive Victorian burial ground laid in 1853 on a prominent hill near Glasgow Cathedral. Around 50,000 people have been buried there, including many illustrious Glaswegians from the nineteenth century. Guided walks are available.
3. Glasgow School of Art
The Glasgow School of Art is the only self-governing art school in Scotland to offer university-level programmes and research in design, architecture and fine art. The school is partly housed within Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 architectural masterpiece, the Mackintosh building; this structure confirmed the designer’s reputation as one of the great names of the Art Nouveau Movement.
4. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
This is one of Scotland’s most popular free attractions since its reopening by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2016. The museum includes twenty-two themed galleries displaying around 8,000 objects on a wide range of areas, places and periods of History, from paintings to clothing and furniture.
5. University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451, which makes it one of Scotland’s four ancient universities and one of the oldest in the English-speaking world. The university tours will allow you to discover more about its 570 years of history. If you’re an Outlander fan, you will enjoy visiting the iconic cloisters, where part of the series was filmed – as did many other TV shows and movies, such as Cloud Atlas.
6. Riverside Museum & Tall Ship
The Riverside Museum houses a collection of vehicles that display the history of travel on land and sea. This extensive collection includes horse-drawn carriages, fire engines, steam locomotives, vintage cars, and much more, as well as a recreation of a typical 1938 Glasgow Street. Next to the museum is the Glenlee, a restored three-masted sailing ship built in 1896. There are only five ships afloat in the world that were built on the River Clyde, and the Glenlee is one of them.
7. Glasgow Science Centre
The Glasgow Science Centre hosts a wide variety of hands-on exhibits, workshops and activities to explore the world of science, as well as a science theatre, planetarium and IMAX cinema. The building itself is impressive: it rises up from the Clyde waterfront like a futuristic ship’s hull.
8. Pollok House
Built in 1740, this grand country house is set in scenic Pollok Country Park, and home to an extensive collection of Spanish artworks.
9. Glasgow Botanic Gardens
They were originally founded in 1817 to provide plant material for use in teaching medicine and botany at the University of Glasgow, and moved to the current site in 1839. Today, the glasshouses contain many specialist plant collections, from exotic Australian tree ferns to tropical begonias.
10. People’s Palace and Glasgow Green
Laid out in 1662, Glasgow Green is the oldest of the city’s parks. Among its attractions is the People’s Palace, a museum opened in 1898 which tells the story of the city and its impact on the world from 1750 to the present day. Adjoining the museum are the Winter Gardens, a large glasshouse which houses a collection of tropical and tender plants.
Planning a trip to Glasgow? Discover everything this city has to offer with our fully updated Glasgow Pocket Map, only £3.99.