Glasgow is all too often overshadowed by Edinburgh’s castles and cadavers but Glasgow is a whole other animal. It’s a grittier alternative but no less exciting. This is the place to see what hot in the Scottish art scene. The best part? You can experience this city without spending a single penny.
Sights and museums
People’s Palace – There’s no better place to learn about the history of Glasgow than at the People’s Palace. It’s packed full of artefacts, painting and photographs from the city’s social and cultural history since 1750.
The Lighthouse – This stunning building used to be the home of the Glasgow Herald in the 19th century and was left to rot until 1999 after a multi-million pound regeneration project. Today it’s the Centre for Design and Architecture and the perfect place to pick up the Charles Rennie Mackintosh trail.
Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery – Operated and run by the University of Glasgow, the Hunterian is the oldest public museum in Scotland. It first opened more than 200 years ago and features an impressive collection of rare works of art and fossils like a Triceratops skull. Many of the items on display were part of Dr William Hunter’s original collection.
Gallery of Modern Art – Glasgow has always been the hub of Scotland’s art scene and the centre of it is without a doubt the GoMA. There’s always something interesting and cutting edge on show.
Necropolis – Although a bit macabre, this colossal Victorian garden cemetery features some incredible Gothic sculptures.
Glasgow’s free museums:
- Burrell Collection
- Glasgow Art Gallery
- Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum
- Riverside Museum
- St. Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art
- Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery
- Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art
- Scotland Street School
Parks, gardens and nature
Winter Garden – Next door to the People’s Palace, Glasgow’s Winter Garden will transport you to another world… a more tropical one with palms and tropical flowers.
Victoria Park – Victoria Park is one of Glasgow’s best green spaces. The 50-acre park is home to a war memorial, 19th century clock tower (that still works!), an arboretum and two curling rinks but best of all… a Fossil Grove which features the remains of a 330 million year old forest. See the 11 fossilised tree stumps up close daily between April and September.
Getting out of Glasgow
Glasgow is in the perfect location for exploring other parts of Scotland. If you hire a car in Glasgow, Loch Lomond should definitely be at the top of your list. Pack a pair of hiking boots, lunch and rain gear and spend the day hiking the hills near the lake.
Stirling is just a 28 mile trek north of Glasgow and was home to a few of Scotland’s national heroes: William Wallace and Robert The Bruce. The city’s castle is also worth visiting.
Go to the seaside! There are a ton of charming towns along the Ayrshire coast like Largs, Ardrossan, Troon, Prestwick and Ayr. Sure, most Glaswegians will choose the Mediterranean over the Scottish coast but there’s something old school and charming about the region.
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