Things to do in Glasgow

Things to do in Glasgow

Glasgow, Scotland – a bustling and unique city on the Scottish Mainland that seamlessly combines a cosmopolitan outlook with a warm and welcoming atmosphere!

This cultural hub is filled with iconic landmarks that tell the story of Glasgow’s vibrant past and progressive present – from Victorian to art nouveau architecture, art-filled museums to wonderful outdoorsy green spaces, and colourful nightlife to unique food and drink spots.

In a city with so much to offer, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the most important Glasgow attractions.

That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate list of all of the best things to do in Glasgow, Scotland, to make sure you can enjoy the attractions that match your travelling interests in this special city.

Pollok Country Park & Pollok House

Pollok Country Park & Pollok House

Pollok Country Park has something for everyone if you’re looking for things to do in Glasgow!

Nature lovers can enjoy the greenery, scenery and tranquillity; photographers will get incredible snaps of the lush flora and wildlife, adventurists can embark on one of many mountain biking trails; children can make the most of the play park and the open spaces; couples can indulge in a romantic riverside picnic; and

Art enthusiasts and history buffs will have their share of spoils with a stop at the famous Burrell Collection and a tour of Pollok House, an amazing art collection by Sir William Burrell that shows off a wide range of cultural artworks, including Chinese and Islamic art and one of the finest collections of Spanish paintings in Britain.

Pollok Country Park is not only a Green Flag park, but it was awarded the titles of Britain’s Best Park and Europe’s Best Park in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Needless to say, this park is a must-see in Glasgow!

Glasgow Botanic Gardens & Kibble Palace

Glasgow Botanic Gardens & Kibble Palace

For those who appreciate green spaces in a city, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens will not disappoint.

Not only is entrance free to all of the gardens and glasshouses but while at the botanic gardens, you can also visit the famous Kibble Palace and follow various self-led trails for children and adults alike, displaying trees, birds, unique plants and colourful flowers.

Kibble Palace was designed by former curator John Kibble and is home to the national collection of tree ferns. It stands next to a lovely tea room with a beautiful view of the gardens, showing off the natural beauty of Glasgow, Scotland.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Glasgow

In the heart of Glasgow, you can find the Lighthouse visitor centre, exhibition space, and venue. It’s the premier location for Glasweigan creatives to come together and collaborate. You could almost say that it’s a ‘beacon’ for new and innovative ideas.

The Lighthouse has three stories with a permanent display of amazing art, as well as a few temporary exhibitions that focus on the role of architecture in our lives. As the stories continue, you can learn about sustainable practices that surround art and architecture or grab a bite to eat at the Doocot Cafe.

The Lighthouse is Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture and one of the best museums and visitor centres you can see during your time in Glasgow, so be sure to set aside some time to get clued up about architecture.

Glasgow Cathedral & The Necropolis

Glasgow Cathedral & The Necropolis

Can you imagine what the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland is like?

Glasgow Cathedral is both that and the oldest building in Glasgow! This historic monument is next to the Necropolis, a Victorian garden cemetery on a hill offering a variety of architecture and sculptures.

With both the Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis being free to visit, travellers can enjoy walking tours at their own pace, experiencing the Gothic architecture, walking by Glasgow City Council, and interesting tombs and history that these icons of Scotland represent.

People’s Palace

People's Palace

A trip to Glasgow doesn’t get more Glaswegian than a visit to the People’s Palace.

Through historic artefacts, artworks, photographic and video evidence, and interactive digital displays, you can discover the story of Glasgow and its people – how the city came about and how its residents have lived and changed over the years. Social history at its finest!

Embrace your inner Glaswegian at the People’s Palace in Glasgow, Scotland.

Do a Brewery or Distillery Tour

A tour of a Glasgow-based brewery or distillery is multi-faceted.

On one hand, you get to find out how your choice of tipple is made. On the other hand, you can buy a bottle or two to take home and enjoy long after your travels are over, to sip on as you reminisce on your time in Glasgow.

While many big names are found in other regions, there’s just something special about an inner-city brewery or distillery, making a tour like this one of the top things to do in Glasgow, Scotland.

Drygate Brewery

Drygate Brewery

Drygate Brewery has a beer for every level of enthusiast – from beginner to beer buff.

A tour of the brewery will give you an incredible insight into what goes into producing their fine range of craft beer. While visiting, you can also enjoy a beer and food pairing while overlooking the brewery at the on-site brasserie.

Please note: As of 28 February, tours are not being conducted. If tours have commenced once again, give us a nudge, and we’ll remove this notice.

The Clydeside Distillery

The Clydeside Distillery

The Clydeside Distillery on the banks of the River Clyde will be at the top of the list of things to do in Glasgow for any whisky lover.

Known for their delicate Lowland single malt scotch whisky, a tour at this scenic distillery promises an immersive journey including a guided whisky tasting, a story-telling of the history of the distillery and the role it has played in Glasgow’s whisky tradition, and much more!

Our personal favourite is the chocolate and whisky tour, which pairs decadent chocolate and Clydeside’s finest drams.

Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery

Tennent's Wellpark Brewery

Home to one of the biggest and most loved beers in Scotland, Tennent’s Brewery is a jewel in Glasgow’s crown!

The tour includes a walk-through of the heritage centre and of the current brewery processes, as well as a fresh pint, poured straight out of the famous copper tanks. Other tours you can book in conjunction with a Tennent’s brewery tour include bike, music and Celtic Park stadium tours.

Glasgow Distillery Company

Glasgow Distillery Company

Referring to themselves as contemporary urban distillers, Glasgow Distillery Company is also the first new independent single malt whisky distillery in Glasgow in over 100 years!

Let heritage and progress blend together as you explore their wide and award-winning range of spirits, including both single malt and blended whisky, gin, vodka and spiced rum.

Needless to say, there is something for everyone at this authentically Glaswegian distillery.

Please note: As of 28 February 2022, physical tours have been replaced with virtual tours. If this has changed, give us a nudge, and we’ll remove this notice.

Wester Distillery

Wester Distillery

A charming microdistillery with a knack for producing no-nonsense spirits, Wester Distillery is a must-do in Glasgow for all those with rum as their chosen tipple.

With flavours that range from coffee and chocolate to pineapple and spiced rum, this makes for one of the most unique attractions in Glasgow, Scotland.

Book a tour to learn how they produce their rum and enjoy a complimentary sample and cocktail masterclass.

Glasgow’s West End Whisky Tour

If you can’t quite choose between the options above, why not do the renowned West End Whisky Tour, which will walk you through some of the best-hidden gem bars in town?

In under three hours, you will learn both about the city and about whisky culture, visiting four of the coolest bars and tasting a selection of truly unique whisky along the way.

These tours are one of the top things to do in Glasgow because they allow you to embrace what Scotland is so famous for while doing it the Glasgow way.

Explore Glasgow’s History, Arts & Culture

In this special cultural hub, history is on display as much as the city’s progressive nature.

Finding a museum in Glasgow, Scotland, is as easy as finding an espresso in Italy. And so is finding exceptional art and architecture!

Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a name that every Glaswegian will know, as he is credited with much of Glasgow’s most iconic architectural works – so in your quest for the city’s most authentic historical, artistic and cultural records, you are sure to get more than acquainted with Mr Mackintosh.

Have a look at some of the best places to go in Glasgow for the art lover or history buff.

Hunterian Art Gallery & Museum

Hunterian Art Gallery & Museum

The Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum was initially established after anatomist and physician William Hunter bequeathed his collection to the University of Glasgow.

Today, the Hunterian Museum is not only the oldest museum in Scotland, but it is also completely free to visit and has grown to include the Hunterian Art Gallery and the Mackintosh House – a replica of the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margarate MacDonald.

A visit to the Hunterian Museum and Hunterian Art Gallery promises an unparalleled insight into the history of Glasgow and its icons like James McNeill Whistler and Antonine Wall. It’s an intellectually stimulating addition to your list of things to do in Glasgow, Scotland with one of the largest collections in Scotland.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

If it’s quantity and variety along with intrigue and enlightening discoveries that you’re after, then a must-see Glasgow is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Kelvingrove Park.

The magnificent building is one of the most popular free attractions in Glasgow and in Scotland, offering something completely different to the Hunterian Museum. The gallery to 22 themed galleries boasting works by Rembrandt, Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, and even Salvador Dali. If you’re a fan of Scottish colourists and French impressionists, this place is for you!

In addition to fine art, there are natural history collections that will educate and delight. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow has it all!

Street Level Photoworks

Street Level Photoworks

If Glasgow’s past doesn’t interest you as much as its present, then a visit to Street Level Photoworks should do the trick!

With free entry, this artistic haven was founded in 1989 and has been providing visitors with opportunities to engage with the distinctive local photography talent of the Scottish city ever since. Hosting everything from workshops and exhibitions to talks and a variety of other events and popular attractions, you could add this to your to-do list every time you visit Glasgow and see something different each time.

The Scottish Football Museum

While Glasgow may be divided between green and blue based on their world-famous football clubs, at the Scottish Football Museum, you’ll learn everything there is to know about where Scotland fits in the history of the beautiful game.

For example, did you know that the first ever international football match officially recognised by FIFA took place in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1872? It was between England and Scotland and was watched by 4000 spectators and ended in a nil-nil draw.

Immerse yourself in the Scottish Football Museum to discover a little-known perspective on footballing history.

Mackintosh Walking Tour

If you haven’t already realised, Charles Rennie Mackintosh holds a great place in Glasgow’s heart – past, present and future.

Swap the indoor museum feeling for something more on the ground with the enchanting Mackintosh Walking Tour, one of the top things to do in Glasgow, Scotland. Enjoy the feeling of wonder as you wander the streets of a city shaped by a designer, architect and artist like no other.

Your expert guide will help you explore the city attractions with a new lens, showing you what to see in Glasgow to really get to know the foundation on which the arts and culture of the Scottish city are built on.

Gallery of Modern Art

Gallery of Modern Art

If you’re less interested in early history and more interested in artworks originating around the 20th century, you will enjoy a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) on Buchanan Street.

Not only is this the most visited gallery in Scotland, GoMA is located in the heart of the city and certainly shows off the heart of both Glasgow and the rest of the world through contemporary art. The Gallery is housed in the Royal Exchange Square, an impressive Neoclassical building with gorgeous architecture.

Don’t miss the statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the gallery – usually wearing a traffic cone hat, courtesy of the people of Glasgow.

St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art

St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art

While this museum may be named after Glasgow’s patron saint, credited with introducing Scotland to Christianity in the 6th century, its focus is more on art and lifestyle than faith.

Located next to the famous Glasgow Cathedral, here you can enjoy a tour that takes you on a journey through an impressive collection of displays, artworks and artefacts representing the story of culture and religion, promoting understanding and respect between people of all faiths and no faith. The grounds are also home to Britain’s first-ever Zen garden!

Nothing encompasses the Glaswegian spirit more than the inclusive and family-friendly St. Mungo Museum – making it a very special addition to any open-minded traveller’s list of things to do in Glasgow.

Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum

There is no lack of architectural brilliance in gorgeous Glasgow!

The Riverside Museum is found where rivers Kelvin and Clyde meet and was designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid.

At the award-winning Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, with its scenic water views, you will find over 3000 objects representing the city’s transport journey – from skateboards to drams – and showing off the way that Glasgow has continuously shown engineering excellence and innovation.

The Glenlee – The Tall Ship

The Glenlee - The Tall Ship

Perfectly situated next to the Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel is a magnificent three-masted steel-hulled barque – ideal for those looking for nautical-themed things to do in Glasgow.

Known as the Glenlee or ‘the Tall Ship’ and originally built in 1896, this beauty has been restored and is open to the public to board and view, learning about its maritime story, transporting you to a time when high seas were a part of everyday life in Glasgow, Scotland.

City Centre Mural Trail

Glasgow is the artist’s dream! And you need barely go indoors to find some of the city’s best artworks.

The streets of the city itself are some of the biggest attractions in Glasgow – and this mural and street art trail through the city centre is proof. The St Mungo Mural Trail takes you past some famous attractions, too, including St Enoch Centre and the Buchanan Galleries.

The street murals found throughout the Glasgow city centre in these guided expeditions have elevated old buildings and given artists a canvas on which to express their love for the city along with their talents.

House for an Art Lover

House for an Art Lover

Charles Rennie Mackintosh originally designed this special Glasgow attraction as an elegant country retreat, but it has since become a multipurpose indoor and outdoor park venue popular for weddings and events, exhibitions, artists’ studios, and more!

There’s a quaint cafe on-site that realises Mackinstosh’s original theme of country park living, and a day out to House for an Art Lover promises an inspiring adventure for all.

Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre

When it comes to the best things to do in Glasgow for visitors, young and old, the Glasgow Science Centre offers an exciting outing to delight and enlighten.

Here, you’ll find a planetarium and ‘Space Zone’, an interactive biology and anatomy section, and much more. The philosophy of the Glasgow Science Centre is that everyone is a scientist – and they encourage everyone to indulge their curious mind with their immersive exhibits.

Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers

The Glasgow City Chambers or Municipal Buildings may not sound like one of the most exciting things to do in Glasgow, but it certainly opens a window to Scottish political and civic life past and present that will intrigue and fascinate visitors from near or far.

Now the headquarters for the City Council of Glasgow, the City Chambers was built at the height of the British Empire with impressive architecture and interiors. Enjoy this historical glimpse into the foundations of a city like Glasgow.

The City Chambers comes with a range of bonus attractions by means of its central location. It is located on George Square, a famous open-air square named after King George III and embellished with 12 statues and monuments dedicated to important figures in Scottish history, such as Robert Burns, Thomas Graham, James Watt, Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria.

Keep your finger on the pulse before your visit to find out if there are any exciting events being hosted at George Square during your stay.

Escape Glasgow

In Glasgow, what to do is just a matter of what your interests are and how adventurous you are – because this bustling city has something for everyone!

Escape Glasgow is a stimulating escape room experience for 2 to 6 people. Choose a theme based on your favourite fictional settings and see if you and your team can escape within 60 minutes.

And if you need any motivation to escape, let it be the wonderful city attractions that await at your exit – for example, the Glasgow Cathedral is a mere 1.1 miles away!

Glasgow Women’s Library

Glasgow Women’s Library

While most tourists wouldn’t consider a library high on their list of what to visit in Glasgow, the Glasgow Women’s Library is unique in that its full collection of material is by, for and about women.

In celebrating the lives and achievements of women who might not be found in the standard history book, Glasgow’s commitment to equality shines through here. The library also often hosts events and activities.

So if you’re looking for a truly unique outing that cannot be compared to anything else in Scotland, the Glasgow Women’s Library should be one of the top things to do in Glasgow for you.

Indulge in Music, Theatre & Unique Cinema

Did you know that Glasgow has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Music?

You won’t be lacking options of where to go in Glasgow if it’s high-quality music, theatre or cinema you are after.

Have a look at some of the top things to do in Glasgow, Scotland, to keep up with the tune of this upbeat city.

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

One of the most unique things to do in Glasgow is to visit the exceptional Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre.

A sculptor-mechanic, a theatre director and a light and sound designer collaborated to create this theatre movement in St Petersburg, officially founded in 1990 and moving to Glasgow in 1996. The productions display a mechanical movement of kinematics supported by music, light and shadow play to tell engaging stories.

When in Glasgow, things to see don’t get more unusual and memorable than this.

The Barrowland Ballroom

The Barrowland Ballroom

Showing off a side of Glasgow attractions that combines its rich history with its cultural music scene, the Barrowland Ballroom is a live music venue that promises both locals and travellers a special evening.

At this dance hall in Glasgow, what to see varies from pop and rock to hip hop and indie with performers including Alt J, Tones and I, Run the Jewels, UB40, The Wombats, Yungblud, Postmodern Jukebox, and much more.

The popular tour stop for musicians from Scotland, the UK and Europe is a symbol of resilience and musical prowess – a must-have on your Glasgow things-to-do list.

Glasgow Film Theatre

Glasgow Film Theatre

Bring the magic back to an outing to the cinema with a visit to the Glasgow Film Theatre.

Known as the home of film in Glasgow, this independent cinema and registered charity is the most diverse and best publicly attended independent cinema in Scotland, hosting an array of annual film festivals and showcasing classics, independent films and documentaries, foreign language films, new releases and more.

Glaswegians are known for their love of good cinema, so you can rest assured that catching a flick at the GFT is one of the best things to do in Glasgow, Scotland.

Britannia Panopticon

Britannia Panopticon

While every museum in Glasgow shows off a piece of its history, you can immerse yourself in a piece of its musical history with a visit to the Britannia Panopticon – the world’s oldest surviving music hall.

Built in 1857, this music hall stands testament to the open and progressive nature of Glasgow, Scotland. Shows include fundraisers, silent films, drag and burlesque performances, stand-up comedy, sing-alongs and more, with an on-site bar, gift shop and private tours available as well.

As far as what to do in Glasgow goes, it doesn’t get more quirky and delightful than this!

The Citizens Theatre

The Citizens Theatre

A flagship theatre in Scotland, the Citizens Theatre provides tourists with one of the top things to do in Glasgow – presenting everything from new Scottish dramas to classic plays with a modern twist.

Through various programmes, audiences are educated and thrilled with the outstanding quality of classes, workshops and productions put out by this much-loved space which first opened as a theatre in 1878.

Other Things To Do in Glasgow, Clyde & Ayrshire

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