Things to Do in Glasgow

A plethora of parks, some of the best shopping in the UK, a world-class arts scene and lively bars are just some of the lures of this down-to-earth city. See our list of top things to do in Glasgow.
By: Aefa Mulholland

Photo By: iStock

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: iStock

Photo By: Ed Webster, flickr

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Burrell Collection

Gallery of Modern Art

The diminutive but fascinating GOMA is tucked neatly into a former Carnegie Library in the heart of Glasgow's Merchant City district. Four floors offer changing exhibitions of Scottish and international works, from Andy Warhol to David Hockney to local celebrity Jim Lambie and rising Glasgow star Victoria Morton. The most popular modern art gallery in Scotland, it also has a great café, library and store.

Secrets of The West End

The leafy West End is home to the University of Glasgow, which opened its doors in 1451. Divided into several different areas, top West End stops are shopping and café hub Byres Road and up-and-coming Finnieston. Just off Byres Road, and tucked behind the station for Glasgow's tiny subway system, quaint cobbled Ashton Lane is crammed with bars and restaurants. Hidden down a covered alleyway off a social stretch of Argyle Street, Finnieston's Hidden Lane is a brightly colored warren of artists' studios with a secret gem tearoom.

Take the High Road to Loch Lomond

It's the biggest stretch of freshwater in the UK and it's just 20 minutes drive north of Glasgow, making it the city's backyard. Now part of a 720-square-mile national park, Loch Lomond is a wonderland for picnicking, waterskiing, hiking and fishing.

A River Walkway

The name "Glasgow" is the Scottish Gaelic for "dear green place," so it should come as no surprise to find the city has so many great public parks. The best ones -- the Victorian-era Botanic Gardens and 34-acre Kelvingrove Park -- are in the West End, linked by the wandering riverbank River Kelvin Walkway.

The Merchant City

For designer wears, the Merchant City and its main thoroughfare, Buchanan Street, are the top shopping destinations in Scotland. Among the best spots to stop, the stylish, covered courtyard mall Princes Square has lovely Parisian details - and a smorgasbord of places to enjoy tea and cake.

The Burrell

Sprawling across a lush, grassy estate on the south side of the city, which is also home to Pollok House, White Cart River and 100 hairy Highland Cows, the modern Burrell Collection displays the artworks collected by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell. Burrell’s collection of items ranges from 5,000-year-old Egyptian jewelry to ancient Chinese pottery and 19th century French paintings.