15 Best Things to Do in Glasgow (Scotland)

When it comes to city reputations, Glasgow has secured its place as one of the UK’s premier locations. As Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow has become the hub and heartland of modern Scottish culture, welcoming visitors from both the UK and the rest of the globe.

Nestled on the banks of the Clyde, Glasgow was once the epicentre for shipbuilding in the United Kingdom. Since then, the city has gone through a full-circle transformation, like a phoenix from the flames. From a period as a shipbuilding powerhouse through to one of post-industrial urban-decay, and right up to its modern renaissance Glasgow has experienced many faces over the past thirty years.

Experience the joys of the Glasgow patter with this list of 15 things to do in the city.

1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and MuseumSource: cornfield / shutterstock
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of the city’s most popular attractions, and it is easy to see why. First opened in 1901, the museum is constructed in the Spanish baroque style from red sandstone. The fantastic architecture alone makes a visit here worth it, yet the magic begins when you walk through its century-old doors.

The museum is made up of twenty-two galleries, each of which contain a variety of renaissance art, taxidermy and artefacts from across the ancient world. Specific galleries dedicated to Scottish art are unique to the museum and give it that edge to competing galleries in the city.

Website: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/kelvingrove-art-gallery-and-museum

2. Drygate Brewery

Drygate Brewery, GlasgowSource: Reading Tom / Flickr | CC BY
Drygate Brewery, Glasgow

Opening its doors just under ten years ago, Drygate Brewery has cornered the market in the community-focused brewing industry. With brewing taking place exclusively on-site, and the finished product sold on site, visiting the Drygate Brewery is a dream come true for any purist beer lover.

Located In a former 1930s box factory not far from the Tennent’s brewery on Duke Street, Drygate Brewery is amongst the right company. Take a tour of the brewing process and learn how this golden drink is produced. After the tour, you can taste a sample from over 26 beers off the tap and many more bottled varieties in the brewery bar

Website: https://www.drygate.com/brewery-and-tours.

3. The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse, GlasgowSource: GertCornelis / shutterstock
The Lighthouse, Glasgow

No, it’s not a ship guiding beacon on the shoreline, The Lighthouse Glasgow is actually Scotland’s centre for architectural design. Opened when Glasgow was christened as the ‘City of Architecture and Design in 1999’, the city has enjoyed twenty years of its fantastic exhibitions.

The Lighthouse building also provides fantastic cityscape views of Glasgow. Simply climb to the viewing platform at the very top of the building using the winding helical staircase.

Website: https://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/visit

4. The Riverside Museum of Transport

The Riverside Museum of TransportSource: cornfield / shutterstock
The Riverside Museum of Transport

Located along the banks of the Clyde, the Riverside Museum of Transport is a testament to the transport industry within the city of Glasgow. Opening its doors in 1964, it is considered one of the most popular museums of its kind in all of the UK, attracting more than half a million visitors a year.

Amongst the museum’s collections are the oldest surviving pedal cycle and the world’s leading collection of Scottish-built cars and trucks. Another popular exhibition is the museum’s collection of over 250 ship models, a tribute to the thousands that were built along the river Clyde. This a great day for not only transport lovers and petrol heads, but for those looking to learn a little more about this iconic city’s past.

Website: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/riverside-museum

5. Celtic Park

Celtic ParkSource: EQRoy / shutterstock
Celtic Park

Glasgow Celtic is one of two professional football clubs that represent the city, and there is no more intense footballing derby than between the two teams. Fans of Celtic and football in general, should not leave the city without taking a tour of the famous football ground, Celtic Park.

This 60,000 seater stadium has been home to Celtic since 1892 and is arguably one the most atmospheric stadiums in football. A tour of the stadium is a delight for any Celtic fan or fan of top-tier football in general. Take a tour of the backroom staffrooms, the changing rooms and the proudly displayed trophy cabinet.

Website: https://www.celticfc.net/pages/tours

6. Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow CathedralSource: Tanasut Chindasuthi / shutterstock
Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral, or St Mungo’s Cathedral as it is also known, is the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland and is the oldest building in Glasgow. Built during the 12th century, it is a fantastic example of Scottish Gothic architecture and medieval masonry. Visiting the iconic cathedral should be on your list of must-see sites when in the city.

The nearby Glasgow Necropolis is also worth a visit. Located on a small yet prominent hill east of the cathedral, the necropolis is home to over 50,000 burials, many of which are of Glasgow’s Victorian elite. This is a true step back in time to Glasgow’s pre-modern past.

Website: https://www.glasgowcathedral.org/

7. Sub Club

Night ClubSource: Pressmaster / shutterstock
Night Club

With a reputation for being one the party capitals of Europe, it is no surprise that Glasgow is home to some fantastic nightclubs. There is no more well-known club than the city’s Sub Club, located on Jamaica Street. First opening its doors in 1987, Sub Club is the longest-running underground dance club in the entire world.

A favourite of world-class DJ’s, Sub Club’s popularity has never wavered over the decades and you are guaranteed a fantastic atmosphere, whatever night you choose to go out. For all the party animals and good-time seekers out there, there is no better venue than Glasgow’s Sub Club.

Website: https://subclub.co.uk/

8. Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic GardensSource: TreasureGalore / shutterstock
Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Located on the northern edges of the city, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of inner-city Glasgow. The gardens feature several glasshouses built of wrought iron frames, the most notable of which is Kibble Palace. As you wander around, you will notice that the gardens are a structural delight as well as a floral one.

The botanical gardens have a wide variety of temperate and tropical plants, alongside a plethora of herbs, making it a must-visit for any keen horticulturist. A visit here will leave you with an overwhelming sense of tranquillity, allowing you to carry on your Glasgow citywide visit with ease.

Website: https://www.glasgowbotanicgardens.com/

9. Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science CentreSource: AAR Studio / shutterstock
Glasgow Science Centre

One of the city’s most popular attractions, the Glasgow Science Centre welcomes thousands through its doors every year. Located along the river, the Science Centre was at the very heart of Glasgow’s Clyde Riverfront Regeneration project during the early 2000s. Before you even enter the centre, it is instantly recognisable by its unique architectural design, like a silver shell-like creature rising from the ground.

The centre is home to a number of floors, each one hosting its own exhibition or display. Exhibitions include a mind-blowing planetarium and huge display exploring the human body. Hours can be spent getting lost in the world of science, brought to you through fun and interactive exhibition spaces.

Website: https://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/

10. Ibrox Stadium

Ibrox StadiumSource: Thomas Gilfeather / shutterstock
Ibrox Stadium

Although we may have already mentioned a football stadium tour in our list, no visit to Glasgow would be complete without visiting the home of Rangers Football Club, another of Glasgow’s top-tier football clubs. The bitter rivalry between Celtic and Rangers has propelled the Rangers-Celtic derby into being the most heated football match in all of the game.

Set this rivalry aside for the day and take a tour of the Ibrox Stadium, located in the Ibrox area of the city. Soak in the enormous 50,000 seated captivity before taking a tour of the trophy room which is home to one of the largest collection of professional football trophies in the game.

Website: https://www.rangers.co.uk/

11. The Barrowland Ballroom

The Barrowland BallroomSource: Ravid_C0hen / shutterstock
The Barrowland Ballroom

The Barrowland Ballroom, or Barrowlands as it is also known, is one of the most iconic music venues, not only in Glasgow but in the entire UK. Barley altered in style and architecture, the Barrowland Ballroom has been passed down since the 1930s to different owners, yet has managed to retain its independent charm.

Stop by the Barrowlands and catch the next big thing in music, or opt for for a stand-up comedy show. The repertoire os shows here is vast and diverse. A visit to this famous venue is unmissable for any devote British music fan, young or old.

Website: http://barrowland-ballroom.co.uk/

12. Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

Sharmanka Kinetic TheatreSource: Stinglehammer / Wikimedia | CC0
Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

The Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre is home to one of the most unique theatre shows in the world. Using hundreds of carved figures and pieces of old scrap, the theatre choreographs dance routine to haunting music and synchronised light shows.

Originally founded in St Petersburg in the late 1980s, this unique theatre experience makes for an incredible evening, whether you are an avid theatre-goer or not.

Website: http://www.sharmanka.com/

13. Mono

Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins @ MonoSource: Tom Brogan / Flickr | CC BY-ND
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins @ Mono

Mono is a venue, unlike anywhere else. Imagine a vegan cafe, bar, record store, music venue and art gallery all under one roof. Gathering a cultish following, Mono has been on everyone’s must-visit list in Glasgow, and it is easy to see why. With vegan food at its very heart, Mono has been championing unique recipes and menus for the vegan community for many years, guaranteeing a great dining experience.

Alongside the food, Mono has solo acts, bands, and performing artists performing here on a regular basis. Stop by Mono and see an intimate gig as you tuck into the finest vegan food.

Website: http://www.monocafebar.com/

14. Street Level Photoworks

Street Level PhotoworksSource: Loneydear14 / Wikimedia | CC0
Street Level Photoworks

Based in the cultural quarter of the Merchant City area of Glasgow, the Street Level Photoworks is one of the go-to places for the city’s creative community. The gallery is the perfect cradle of photographers and photographic work, showcasing the best of what this median has to offer.

With an ever-changing array of photography work, the Street Level Photoworks is a gallery like no other and well worth a visit when in the centre of the city. The independent and grassroots feel of Street Level Photoworks keep the faith in the independent arts alive.

Website: http://streetlevelphotoworks.org/

15. Cail Bruich Restaurant

Cail Bruich RestaurantSource: www.cailbruich.co.uk | CC0
Cail Bruich Restaurant

Located in Glasgow’s West End, the Cail Bruich Restaurant offers award-winning contemporary Scottish food with an eclectic mix of wine and drinks. In a city with no Michelin starred restaurants, Cail Bruich is surely fighting for that all-star recognition and deservedly so.

Creating a menu based on seasonal Scottish produce has long been Cail Bruich’s calling card, and it is here that you are sure to find that irresistible taste of Scotland. Whether it be Orkney scallops, Highland salmon or Argyllshire caught crab, Cail Bruich is the place to try it all.

Website: https://www.cailbruich.co.uk/

15 Best Things to Do in Glasgow (Scotland):

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
  • Drygate Brewery
  • The Lighthouse
  • The Riverside Museum of Transport
  • Celtic Park
  • Glasgow Cathedral
  • Sub Club
  • Glasgow Botanic Gardens
  • Glasgow Science Centre
  • Ibrox Stadium
  • The Barrowland Ballroom
  • Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
  • Mono
  • Street Level Photoworks
  • Cail Bruich Restaurant