Things to do in Glasgow

Glasgow has reinvented itself as one of the coolest destinations in Britain. In the early 1900s, a fifth of the world’s ships were built in the ‘Second City of the Empire’. Since its rebirth as a cultural powerhouse in the 1980s, Scotland’s largest city has blossomed into a place that’s every bit as enthralling as its age-old rival, Edinburgh.

 

Think grand Victorian architecture, world-class art and music scenes, fantastic museums, parks, restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping and, above all, the warmest of welcomes. Not for nothing is Glasgow known as the friendly city. Which is just as well because it rains – a lot. Here are ten of the best things to do in town.

 

Cruise the Clyde

One of the best ways to experience Glasgow’s history is from its world-famous river. Cruises down the Clyde sail past landmarks including the Riverside Museum, the working shipyards of Govan, and venues from 2014’s Commonwealth Games. If you’ve got more time, the Doon the Watter cruise heads 22 miles downriver to the historic, castle-topped Dumbarton Rock and back.

 

Go to a gig

In any given week in this UNESCO City of Music, an average of 130 music events take place, from country to classical, electronica to mainstream pop. It’s the atmosphere that makes a Glasgow gig legendary, whether catching indie royalty at East End institution the Barrowland Ballroom or a random tiny (and deafening) gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, hailed as ‘quite possibly the finest small venue in the world’ by the NME. Basically if you haven’t been to a gig in Glasgow… you haven’t been to Glasgow.

 

Check out the contemporary art scene

Glasgow is home to a thriving community of artists and has a reputation for producing some of the most exciting contemporary art in Europe. Exploring some of the smaller and grungier galleries makes for an unbeatable day out. Check out the established Modern Institute, Transmission, and Trongate 103 in the Merchant City, while in north Glasgow the Glue Factory is a newer industrial venue producing work across art, design, architecture, and music. The West End is home to converted warehouse SW3G, renowned for its multi-disciplinary arts programme and hosting more than 120 artists and designers.