Top 10 Things to See and Do in Glasgow
Merchant City Music Walking Tour
Explore the music scene of Glasgow during this two-hour tour with a professional guide who will tell you the history of the music of the city. The tour takes small groups, which allows the guide to give a lot of attention to every person while visiting such places as the Barrowland Ballroom or the Britannia Panopticon.
City Sightseeing Glasgow Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
This tour gives the freedom to hop off at any of the multiple stops and gets you fast to the many attractions of the city. There is also a recorded commentary on the bus, which informs you about the city and its history.
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Having both three-day and seven-day options, this explorer pass provides free entry to as many as seventy-eight different heritage attractions in Scotland. Many of the attractions are placed in the vicinity or near the city of Glasgow, and you also get a 20% discount on various audio tours, maps, and souvenirs.
Celtic Park Stadium Tour
A sixty-minute-long guided tour of the Celtic Park Stadium in Glasgow, which is a must-see for football enthusiasts who decided to choose Glasgow for their vacations. You get to see the dressing rooms, dugout, as well as behind-the-scenes, all the while learning about the legacy of famous football players of Scotland.
Tennent’s Heritage Walking Trail
This comprehensive tour starts daily at 10 a.m., outside the main door of Glasgow Cathedral. Make sure to dress appropriately, as the tour takes place almost entirely outside. The tour will take you for a walk that takes two hours, and a guide will tell you the history of the highlights of Glasgow’s Old Town.
Oban, Glencoe and West Highland Castles Day Trip
Taking a full day of your time, this exclusive tour will take you aboard a climate-controlled bus to see the most famous sights of Scotland. The trip will take you along Oban, Glen Coe, Loch Lomond and a few historical castles, where you can fully admire the marvellous landscape of the West Highlands while learning their history.
Half-Day Private Glasgow Must-Sees Tour
Visit all of the most notorious sights to see in Glasgow in only half a day with this unique tour, which will take you along the downtown of Glasgow with a local guide. You can customise the tour, which comes with a private guide, to suit your needs and make sure to visit everything that you want to.
Kelpies and Falkirk Wheel – Half Day Tour
Take a four-hour bus tour which will take you to the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel, starting from the city of Glasgow. The two gigantic horse head statues are a sight worth seeing and are located by the Forth and Clyde canals. The tour also takes you along the Helix Park and the Falkirk Wheel, which links the two canals.
Hampden Park Stadium and Museum Tour
A must-visit tour for soccer fans all over the globe. This tour will take you through the Hampden Park Stadium and allow you to experience it to the fullest, just as the players do on their match day. This two-hour tour will also show you the museum, underground roadway, and you even get to strike a ball in the Hotshots gallery.
Glasgow Whisky Tour
The city of Glasgow is widely known for its exquisite whiskey, as is Scotland in general. Join the owners of the most famous distilleries in Glasgow, who will take you to the most prominent bars and restaurants in Glasgow city centre, where you can hear the history of whiskey, as well as taste some free samples.
Other Things to See and Do
If you’re looking for a point to start your sightseeing in Glasgow, this is surely the one to try. The George Square features a bunch of statues of great Scottish personas, such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, James Watt, and even Queen Victoria. The square also features the City Chambers, which have free tours too.
The cathedral is placed near the city centre, just a little to the east, and is one of the oldest buildings in Glasgow. The building is said to stand where Saint Kentigern, who is the patron saint of the city, built his first church. A free tour is provided to everyone in the cathedral, and donations are welcome but not required.
This Victorian cemetery might sound like a grim place to visit but is actually quite picturesque. There are plenty of different tombstones and graves, adorned with statues sculpted by famous artists, as well as a great view of the cityscape of Glasgow from its hills. There are even free tours which take place several times a month.
Being one of the few pre-Victorian buildings in the city of Glasgow, the Tolbooth Steeple is placed at the entrance of the Merchant City, a district of the merchants who built their wealth by trading tobacco, sugar, and tea. The building today is a marvellous site to see, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafés placed near.
University of Glasgow
Being probably the most beautiful of the universities in Glasgow, and maybe even in all of Scotland, the University of Glasgow is a must-see when visiting the city. The university is free to visit by everyone all year, and you may even attend a free lecture or two that are held each month, or take a free guide on the site.
Visit the hidden streets and alleys of Glasgow on the street of Byres Road, which is located close to the University of Glasgow. There are plenty of small-time pubs and bars which provide a cosy atmosphere and low prices, and during nighttime, you may walk through the streets which are adorned with fairy lights.
The riverside of the eight longest river in the United Kingdom is an important historical place, as it is the spot where merchant ships moored from their visits to the British colonies, and where hundreds upon hundreds of ships were built in shipyards. Though most of those are now closed, some are still held as heritage sights and are free to visit.
This disused giant crane is placed in the centre of Glasgow, near the River Clyde. While no longer operational, the crane is still retained as a symbol of the city’s history. It was used to load and unload cargo containers from merchant ships, and now can be admired from afar or up close in all of its glory.
The Forth and Clyde Canal
Opened in 1790, the canal was built as a way to quickly cross central Scotland by ship. It provides a route between the Firth of Forth, placed in the north of Edinburgh, and the Firth of Clyde, which resides in the west of Glasgow. Although it does not lead right through Glasgow, it has a basin just north of it.
Gallery of Modern Art
The gallery is open all week to every customer, and there is no admission fee so you can come in for free. In front of the gallery resides the well-known statue of the Duke of Wellington, which you might recognise from having a traffic cone on its head, which is an additional attraction.
While there is no actual lighthouse in Glasgow, the Lighthouse is a centre for architecture and designs, with rotating exhibitions featuring the most prominent architects of Scotland. There are many contemporary projects and artworks, some of them created by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Centre of Contemporary Art
Being one of the many cultural hubs in the city, the Centre of Contemporary Art, or just CCA, provides hefty exhibition space to many aspiring modern artists. Not only do they have a wide collection of art, but there is also a renowned bookshop, a cafe bar, a cinema and a theatre on the premises of the building.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
This one is a must-see for any archeology lover, so come in if you liked the Indiana Jones movies. The museum and art gallery has a huge collection of fossils, dinosaur bones, minerals, furniture and curiosities, all brought from across the world. There is even an original Salvador Dali painting.
If you’re looking for something more eclectic, the Hunterian is a good place to visit during your stay in Glasgow. The museum is located inside of the University of Glasgow and can be visited for free. It holds a vast collection of rare gemstones, scientific instruments, ancient artifacts, and minerals for you to see.
Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel
The museum is a marvel even from the outside, as the building itself was designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid, and resembles a sailing ship with its unique shape. On the inside of the museum, there is a wide variety of old-fashioned, antique trains, trams, cars, motorcycles, and even a replica of the Glasgow subway.
Fairfield Heritage Centre
Take a trip to the home of shipbuilding in Glasgow, which has been a huge part of the city’s history in the past. The Centre produced some of the best liners, steamships, and other naval vessels, and to this day holds a few reminders of its glorious past. It is also one of the most admired buildings in the city.
Scotland Street School Museum
Being quite a unique and unusual museum, the Scotland Street School Museum tells the history of education in Scotland from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. With various reconstructions of old-fashioned classrooms, the museum shows what it was like to attend school in Victorian times and during the war.
People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
Located at the edge of Glasgow Green Park, the museum retells the social history of the inhabitants of Glasgow and showcases their personal experience and memories inside of their households through vivid exhibits. There is also a glasshouse with a café inside of it, with lots of lush greenery.
Saint Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art
This museum is dedicated to showcasing the teaching and dogmas of different religions around the world. Almost every religion has been covered in this museum, with the major ones having huge exhibitions. There is even a Britain’s first Zen garden on the premises of the museum, so make sure to stop by.
Make sure to visit the oldest building on all of Glasgow, dating as far back as 1471. The Provand’s Lordship lies just next to the Glasgow Cathedral and is thought to have been the house of clergy and staff of it. Nowadays, the building is decorated with 17th-century furniture, but the walls of the building are still original.