It always surprises people when I tell them that Glasgow tops my list of my favorite cities in Scotland. Maybe it’s because they expect me to pick Edinburgh. Everyone else does. Edinburgh has history and beauty, which is wonderful, but Glasgow more of an edge to it. It’s got character. And, if I could describe it as anything, Glasgow would be the person in your friend group who is rough around the edges but is great once you get to know them.
If that glowing introduction alone isn’t enough to convince you to visit or fall in love with Glasgow, I’ve got a list of a few things that might change your mind.
1) Gigs, Gigs, Gigs
Not only is Glasgow the home of Merchant City, but it’s also the UK’s first UNESCO Music City. From indie to hip hop to rock to jazz to all genres in-between, Glasgow has a gig for anyone and everyone 365 days of the year. There are also some fantastic music festivals to look forward to, such as TRNSMT, Celtic Connections, Glasgow Summer Sessions, Glasgow International Jazz Festival, and more. I’ll also add that some of the most memorable gigs I’ve been to were in Glasgow (Father John Misty and Buddy Guy). So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find your next gig.
2) Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
I don’t know about you, but I love a good day or afternoon spent in a museum. You could spend hours in Kelvingrove and still not see everything. There’s just so much to enjoy and take in while you’re there. It’s stunning architecture and 22 galleries featuring animals, art, Ancient Egypt, and more are perfect for both sunny and rainy days. The museum also features special exhibits during holidays and throughout the year, so you’ll always have a reason to return.
3) Architecture and Design
It may not have the classic architecture of Edinburgh, but Glasgow still has its number of iconic sites to visit. Explore the historic Glasgow City Chambers, experience the Scottish Gothic architecture of Glasgow Cathedral, and take a walk through one of Europe’s most iconic cemeteries, The Necropolis. I’d also suggest discovering the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh by visiting Mackintosh at the Willow, The Lighthouse, and House for an Art Lover, just to name a few. Make sure you add The University of Glasgow to your list, too. It’s, in a word, spectacular.
4) Performing Arts
Glasgow is home of five of Scotland’s six national performance art institutions: The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The National Theatre of Scotland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, and Scottish Opera. With all of those options, you’re sure to find something lovely to attend. It’s also an opportunity to experience something new if you’ve never attended any of their performances.
5) Drink Local
If you’re a whisky fan, take a tour of The Clydeside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery located at the famous Glasgow Queen’s Dock. Spend an afternoon learning the history of the distillery, watching craftsmen handmake new make spirit, and tasting a selection of 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskies from the Highlands, Lowlands, and Islay. However, if beer is more your style, consider visiting Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery,where you can take a tour of the brewery and enjoy a pint.
As I’m not much of a drinker, I’d like to give an alternative to the whisky and beer. What’s that you may ask? Coffee! There are several roasters in Glasgow who make some outstanding coffee. I’d highly recommend Gordon St Coffee, Dear Green, and the Papercup Coffee Company, among others. You can also get more coffee in your life at the Glasgow Coffee Festival.
While this is just a tasting of all Glasgow has to offer, it’s a good place to start. Enjoy your next Glasgow adventure and see what more you can discover!