Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Glasgow
Glasgow has shed its past as an industrial city to the cultural centre of Scotland. Here, you’ll find amazing art galleries, concert venues, festivals, and so much more. The Gaelic translation of Glasgow means “lovely green place.” And the name is appropriate, as the city offers 70 parks and open spaces.
The city has something for everyone, from major cultural events to sports and more. We’ll take a look at some of the top-rated tourist attractions in the beautiful city of Glasgow!
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1. Glasgow Cathedral
The building of Glasgow Cathedral started in 1136 and took about 350 years to complete. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Kentigern (or St. Mungo), who was a Christian missionary in the area during the 6th century AD.
When you see the church inside and out, the appearance almost looks like the cathedral was made from a giant mould. This is a building that offers clear lines without all the excessive ornaments found in other churches of the same period.
You may be surprised to learn that the grandest room of the cathedral is the crypt. It houses the tomb of St. Mungo, who founded the bishopric and was buried in the church in 603 AD.
The good news is that tours of Glasgow Cathedral are free, though donations are always welcome.
Next to the cathedral, you’ll find the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art. The museum takes a look at the world religions, their rites, and how each one deals with the doctrines of life and death. You’ll find Egyptian mummies, Hindu statues, and more here at the museum.
2. Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is next on our list of top sites in Glasgow. The museum offers a fine collection of British and continental paintings, including works from Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, and more.
Some exceptional galleries include the Glasgow School of Art, where you’ll find complete furnished rooms, furniture, pottery, metalwork, and more. The school also features Scottish archaeological finds such as Bronze Age tools and jewellery from Kintyre, Glenluce, and Arran.
Other exhibits you may find interesting if you’re into medieval armour. The exhibits feature helmets, crossbows, and swords from the 15th and 16th centuries, along with Flemish tapestries, jewellery made in Glasgow, silverware, glassware, and pottery from famous historical periods.
3. Walk through the Necropolis
If you enjoy a little bit of the macabre yet enjoy beautiful works of art, consider taking a walk through the Necropolis. The Necropolis is found near Glasgow Cathedral and is a Victorian cemetery that covers 37 acres that’s been described as a “city of the dead.”
Here, you’ll find beautiful memorial stones, sculptures, and buildings designed by famous Glasgow artists, including Charles Rennie and Macintosh.
The site offers everything from weeping angels (if you love Dr. Who, this may remind you of some great episodes), to Celtic crosses and more. The walks are tree-shaded and beautiful, offering views to the city and more.
4. Riverside Museum & Tall Ship
The Riverside Museum is home to previous exhibits from the city’s former Transport Museum. You’ll see everything from model shops, locomotives, trams, horse-drawn carriages, and more. Most of these transportation means were built in Glasgow.
The museum also includes a wonderful reconstruction of a 1938 Glasgow street that offers displays and exhibits on immigration and disasters and even features the sinking of the Lusitania. You can also explore the Glenlee, a tall ship built in Glasgow. The three-masted ship has been carefully restored and offers guided tours and even costumed guides on occasion.
5. Glasgow Science Centre & Glasgow Tower
We must also mention the Glasgow Science Centre, which is a great place for families to visit. The centre is located on the waterfront area near the Riverside Museum and is housed in an amazing titanium-clad building that’s shaped like the hull of a ship. Here, you’ll find all kinds of things to explore and fun activities.
Exhibits include human health, technology, and general scientific principles. You’ll also find lab-type stations that allow kids hands-on experience with practical experiments based on the knowledge they acquire from the museum. And we can’t forget to mention the planetarium, the museum’s Imax cinema, and the science theatre.
Also near the museum is the Glasgow Tower, the tallest building in Scotland. The tower is 127 meters (417 feet) high and offers panoramic views of Glasgow and the surrounding areas. What’s more, the entire structure rotates a full 360 degrees! It was designed this way to withstand strong winds and is the tallest building of this kind in the world.
6. Kibble Palace & Glasgow Botanic Gardens
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens have offered a beautiful green oasis in the city’s West End for over 200 years. It was originally founded in 1817 and started out as a conservatory for students attending the University of Glasgow.
The Kibble Palace is the main attraction in this area and is one of the largest glasshouses in Britain. The structure was built in 1872 and contains collections of rare orchids, tree ferns (from Australia & New Zealand), plants from Africa, and more. The structure was built with wrought iron and glass, making a beautiful setting for the plants it contains. The site also contains other glass houses filled with tropical plants you can see year-round.
While you’re visiting this area, be sure to check out the outdoor gardens, including the World Rose Garden and the Children’s Garden (you’ll find a playground here). Enjoy the walking path designed for families. And be sure to visit the Heritage Trail that leads to the Kelvin Walkway.
Summing It Up
These are only a few of the sights you’ll enjoy in Glasgow. The city has a wealth of sites that are perfect for everyone in the family! We’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed when you plan a visit to the beautiful, delightful city of Glasgow.
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