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Reasons to visit Glasgow

Top 10 reasons to visit Glasgow

Top 10 reasons to visit Glasgow

Glasgow recently topped Condé Nast Traveller’s list of best cities to visit in 2021 and if that’s not enough to make you want to book a break, here are some more great reasons to visit.

1. World-class museums and attractions

Two people walking through Royal Exchange Square outside the Gallery of Modern Art
A side view of the Riverside Museum building and the Tall Ship on the River Clyde

The city has world-class museums, galleries and attractions including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. There are also hidden gems like the Britannia Panopticon - the oldest surviving music hall in the world. Families will enjoy Glasgow Science Centre or Riverside Museum and if cutting-edge art is your scene then check out Tramway or the Gallery of Modern Art. Link to Museums and Galleries page.

2. Iconic music scene and live entertainment

Glasgow has it covered when it comes to entertainment. It has a legendary music scene with many celebrated independent venues and an exciting calendar of world-class festivals and events. As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow is a creative and cultural hub, home to all but one of Scotland’s national performing arts organisations. For listings visit our what's on section.

3. Dear Green Place

Two people sitting on a bench in Kelvingrove Park on a sunny day

Meaning ‘Dear Green Place’ in Gaelic, Glasgow has over 90 parks and gardens to enjoy. Discover Pollok Country Park and its fold of Highland cattle, visit Kelvingrove Park, set on the banks of the River Kelvin, or Glasgow Botanic Gardens, known for its impressive glasshouses and tropical plant collections. Visit glasgow.gov.uk/parks to find out more about the city’s green spaces.

4. First for friendliness

Glasgow regularly tops the charts as ‘world’s friendliest city’, most recently in a 2021 poll by Rough Guides. People really do make Glasgow, from taxi drivers to tour guides, whether chatting to creators at weekend markets or to locals in whisky bars – you'll discover a distinctive personality that is rooted in earthy Scottishness and energised with a progressive urban outlook.

5. Scottish experiences

Musicians performing on stage at Celtic Connections festival

Credit: Gaelle Beri

two people taking a photo of Highland Cow in Pollok Country Park

Visit Glasgow for the ultimate Scottish experience. Enjoy a distillery tour followed by a dram in a whisky bar; take a whirl at a ceilidh or tap your toes to some live traditional music in a local pub or at a festival such as the world-renowned Celtic Connections or spectacular Piping Live!. Discover a taste of Scotland with a meal at a Scottish restaurant, be fitted for a kilt or have your photo taken with a Highland cow!

6. Ever-evolving food scene

Glasgow was named one of the 'top 5 cities for food and drink in the UK' (May 2021) by Which? thanks to its ever-evolving food and drink scene with a tempting mix of cool, quality and affordable venues. From brunch to afternoon tea, street food to Michelin star dining, the finest locally-sourced Scottish seafood to tasty plant-based menus, the city has plenty of tantalising options. Visit our eat & drink pages for some inspiration.

7. History and heritage

Two people and a tour guide during a Glasgow Music City Tour

Glasgow is a city steeped in history and a great way to learn some fascinating facts is on a guided tour. There are lots of walking tours on offer themed around everything from food and music to history and architecture. You can also take guided tours of many of the city’s venues, including Tennent's Brewery and Glasgow Central Railway Station. Check out our tours page for more details.

8. Architecture and design

You only have to walk around to appreciate Glasgow’s rich architectural heritage. From the neo-Gothic University of Glasgow to the Art Nouveau wonders of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Discover the city's flair for design through the work of the amazing makers at weekend markets and in creative hubs like The Hidden Lane or Scottish Design Exchange. You'll also find stunning urban artworks wherever you go. Find out more from our City Centre Mural Trail article and Contemporary Art Trail page.

9. Neighbourhoods

A nighttime view of people eating and drinking at tables outside a busy restaurant
two people walking arm in arm through the archway at Royal Exchange Square

As Glasgow is a compact city and easy to get around, you can explore more than one neighbourhood in a day. From the buzz of the city centre to the laid-back vibes of the west end, each neighbourhood has its own distinct character. There is the historic east end and the leafy southside while the north is an urban playground. Visit our neighbourhoods pages to find out more.

10. Unmissable day trips

Glasgow is the gateway to Scotland's great outdoors, with beaches, castles and rugged coastlines to discover. Experience unmissable day trips less than the average daily commute away – from the historic Stirling to the breath-taking bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, there are legends and adventures to uncover.

Article last updated: September 2021

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