Once a small fishing village, today one of the most impressive port centres. In 2019, the European Commission recognized Glasgow as the most cultural and creative city in Great Britain.
The west bank of the River Clyde houses a giant blue Titan. The crane was built in 1907 and was used to lift engines and boilers of huge merchant ships. Today, Titan is a symbol of the city’s historic industrial power. Further on the riverside you can find the Scottish Event Campus and the SSE Hydro – the city’s most popular concert hall. Every year events are held there with the participation of the most outstanding international stars.
DEAR GREEN PLACE
In Celtic, Glasgow means “an expensive green place”. There are over 90 parks and gardens here. Despite the ever-changing Scottish weather, the green areas are always full of strollers. It is worth going to Pollok Country Park located in the southern part of the city – you can ride a bike here, visit Pollock’s house, and even meet a herd of shaggy Scottish cows. The perfect place to enjoy the city panorama will be Queen’s Park. Also noteworthy is the botanical garden with impressive greenhouses and an extensive collection of tropical plants.
SCOTTISH ART NOUVEAU
One of the leading representatives of Art Nouveau in the UK is Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a designer, architect and painter born in Glasgow. He is known primarily for the Mackintosh Building – the design of a new building for the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) completed in 1909. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed in a fire in June 2018. Charles Mackintosh is also a valued creator of furniture characterized by raw, geometric shapes and restrained form. Architecture and art enthusiasts should take part in one of the organized city tours, during which they will be able to learn curiosities from the artist’s life, see the mural dedicated to him on Bridgegate Street and visit the buildings designed by him, such as the Willow Tea Room or Queen’s Cross Church, known as the “Mackintosh Church”.
ENTERTAINING WEST END
West End streets are full of cafés, bars and restaurants. For those who get hungry in the vicinity of Ashton Lane, a good place to grab a snack will be Ubiquitous Chip, which serves, among others, homemade haggis (traditional delicacy made from sheep offal). A visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must. An enormous collection of natural history exhibits, one of the greatest collections of arms and armour in the world, as well as the priceless works of world famous artists have been gathered there. West End is also the birthplace of higher education in Glasgow. The university located here was founded in 1451 and is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the world.
HAVE FUN WITH THE LOCALS
The original Scottish experience can be enjoyed by visi- ting one of the city’s oldest venues – the Sloans bar and restaurant. On Friday evening, you can expect dances until the morning. If you want to wind down, go to one of the pubs such as Ben Nevis, Babbity Bowster or the Cluth and toast a glass of whiskey while listening to traditional Scottish folk. The most fashionable gastronomic district is Finniestone, which brings together original shops, bars and restaurants.
Remains of the medieval fortress are located 20 minutes by car from the city centre and bring to mind the turbulent times of rivalry between Scottish and English kings and clans. The fortress was built in the 13th century and remembers the time of a long war with England. Bothwell Castle played a key role in the Scottish Revolutionary Wars.
The historical heart of the city – centrally located square. There are monuments and plaques dedicated to the most outstanding figures, including James Watt, the creator of the steam engine, or writer and poet Sir Walter Scott. It is a real time capsule commemorating Glasgow's rich history.
CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY
The neoclassical building once belonged to a wealthy tobacco lord. It houses a rich collection of modern art. The entrance to the building is "guarded" by a sculpture of Prince Wellington sitting on the back of his faithful steed. Noteworthy is the monarch's hat looking like a traffic cone – it is an example of the Scots' humorous approach to authorities. It has become a tradition to equip the prince for any contingency.
CATHEDRAL AND VICTORIAN CEMETERY
The spires of Glasgow Cathedral tower over the north-eastern part of the city. Many impressive movie productions were shot in this impressive building from the 12th century. Medieval arches allow you to travel back in time by 800 years. On the hill behind the cathedral, there is an old Victorian cemetery full of intricately carved sculptures, with about 50,000 remains of worshipers buried there.
Good to know
In the city
The most important attractions of the capital are scattered over a fairly large area. Therefore, if you do not have time for walks of several kilometres, it is best to use public transport. You can travel around Glasgow by subway – the network consists of two lines and 15 stops. This is the third oldest subway line in the world after London and Budapest.
Glasgow has nearly 20 museums and art galleries. Admission to most of them is free. The city is also full of impressive street art. It is worth going on an organized murals trail tour with a local guide.
The fastest way to get from the airport to the city centre is the Glasgow Airport Express bus, which leaves from stand 1. Journey to the centre takes 15 minutes. The cost of a round trip ticket is GBP 14.