5 Things to do in Glasgow – Scotland

While Glasgow, Scotland may live in the shadow of its more well-known rival, Edinburgh, it certainly shines brighter than the capital.  But, Glasgow has not always been the jewel in Scotland’s crown.  For much of the 20th Century, it was a run-down, rough and tumble city with an industrial background and a high murder rate.  It took more than a little TLC and a lot of hot young talent staying put, but Glasgow has slowly transformed into a artsy, hip, and vibrant city.

A trip to Scotland nowadays is not complete without a visit to Glasgow.  Many travelers regret not spending a day or two there after they hear about all that the city has to offer.  Here are five things to get your explorations of this amazing city started!

kelvingrove museum photo
Photo by Shaun Killen

1 visit The kelvingrove museum

A trip to Glasgow is not complete without a visit to the city’s most impressive museum, The Kelvingrove.  Located within the grounds to Kelvingrove Park and just below the University of Glasgow, in the West End, the museum is one of the world’s most intriguing museums.  With an eclectic collection that ranges from taxidermied animals to a Dali painting, from rooms that highlight the Jacobite rebellion to rooms focused on Egyptology, the museum caters to everyone. Admission is free.

2 explore the  nightlife

There are several pockets of good nightlife in Glasgow.  They range from the Merchant City, chock full of bars filled to the brim with the city’s young professionals, to Bath and St Vincent Streets, mainly low-key bars and late night cafes. If travelers are keener to dance the night away, the clubs on Sauchiehall Street are open late and always packed, while the West End’s Ashton Lane is full of students and everyone else.  Go for dinner and stay for late night drinks.

buchanan street glasgow photo
Photo by Charles Hamilton Photography

3 People watch on buchanan street

Buchanan Street may well be the epicentre of life in the city.  It’s definitely the tourism centre and a shopping mecca, but it’s also the place to go to watch some of the city’s street talent.  From random drum circles to solo guitarists to mimes to full on bands, there’s always entertainment here.  Stake out a table at a street cafe and watch what happens.

4 ride the clockwork orange

Don’t miss the chance to ride on one of the more unique subways in the world.  Glasgow’s metro system is two tracks: one inner circle and one outer circle.  Plenty of interesting things can be found at most subway stops.  A day pass ensures that travelers can hop off and on the trains, which means that riders interested in doing the Subcrawl have more money to spend on drinks.

nice n sleazy photo
Photo by TGKW

5 dive into the music scene

Glasgow has a fantastic music scene, and a lot bands got their start here: Franz Ferdinand, Oasis, The Fratellis, to name just a few.  The music venues tend to be underground, but some of the big ones include King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Nice n Sleazy, and Stereo.

Have you been to Glasgow?  What would you add to this list?  Comment below!

Photo by midge 1971

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