Glasgow Travel Guide
Introduction to Glasgow
While Edinburgh steals the spotlight as the nation’s political and cultural capital, Glasgow is Scotland‘s largest city, with just over two million people in its metro area. With an abundance of universities supplying it with a surplus of young people and considering its position at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, this metropolis has an energy that will inspire you to stay for a day or two longer than you planned.
Cultural Experiences in Glasgow
When it comes to learning and cultural institutions, there is no place better than Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in all of Glasgow.
With a collection of fine artwork from many well known European artists such as Dali, Van Gogh and Rembrandt, and natural and human artifacts from Scotland’s past, it combines creative expression with natural and human history in a way that gives those looking to feed their mind a buffet that few other museums in Europe can match.
With free admission, it is the most visited museum in the UK outside London, so be sure to drop by early in the morning or late in the day, or on weekdays to beat the crowds.
If you are in the mood to consume more art after your time at the Kelvingrove, then make sure you check out the Burrell Collection.
Named for Sir William Burell, a shipping magnate who used his wealth and worldly connections to amass a diverse array of art from around the globe, it was donated to the city in 1944, who then housed them far away from the city centre as per his request.
This was to protect them from the high levels of air pollution that were common in that age; while this is no longer the case, visiting these works will still require you to head five kilometres (less than the 26 kilometres that it used to be situated before being moved closer in 1969) out from the centre of the city.
Despite this hardship, it is still well worth the effort, as medieval weaponry sits alongside Chinese and Islamic art pieces and artifacts in this gallery … with over 8,000 objects in their collection, there is much to see, making it a worthwhile item on your Glasgow travel itinerary.
With a sizable population of university students, Glasgow’s nightlife scene is filled with venues that play host to a wide variety of live acts.
The Barrowland Ballroom is well loved for its pindrop crisp acoustics, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut was the place where Oasis was discovered by the mainstream music industry, and the Sub Club has regularly appeared on lists of the world’s best dance music clubs over its 20 year existence.
No matter what your tastes are, there’s bound to be a joint in Glasgow that’s right for you.
Other Attractions in Glasgow
Located on a hill east of the Glasgow Cathedral, the Glasgow Necropolis is a legitimate city of the dead, the likes of which are often hard to find in the United Kingdom and other Western nations like the United States and Canada. With large monuments instead of the standard gravestones that one is used to seeing in your average cemetery, and a configuration that makes it out to be more like a park rather than the orderly grid formation that governs the layout of most graveyards, it will be one of the more intriguing strolls you’ll take on your travels in Scotland.
Need a dose of nature even when the weather isn’t at its best? The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are the best place to go on those days (and it’s a wonderful place to be when the sun is shining as well!). With an arboretum with plants from around the globe, and exterior gardens that are ablaze with a variety of different flowers during the warmer months, it is a spot that any avid botanist will appreciate.
Finally, don’t head off to your next destination without going on a tour of the Glengoyne Distillery. Unique in that it produces single malt whiskey that is matured in the lowlands instead of the highlands unlike most other major producers, it provides a place where those on a quick trip to Scotland can sample of some this nation’s most famous drink without having to choose an isolated spot in the Highlands to go to. Despite the ease of access, the liquor that this distillery pumps out is award-winning, with critics from San Francisco to Stockholm pinning blue ribbons on its single malt bottles over the years.