As cities go, Glasgow is contained and compact. It's set up on a grid system, so it's easy to navigate and explore, and the best way to tackle it is on foot. In the eastern part of the city, start by exploring Glasgow Cathedral and other highlights of the oldest section of the city, then wander through the rest of the Merchant City. From there you can just continue into the City Centre with its designer shops, art galleries, and eateries. From here you can either walk (it takes a good 45 minutes) or take the subway to the West End. If you walk, head up Sauchiehall Street. Once in the West End, visit the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow University, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. A walk through Kelvingrove Park will being you to the Finnieston area. You can take a taxi to the South Side to experience Pollok House. For Glasgow’s East End, walk down High Street from the cathedral to the Tron Cross; from there you can walk to the Barras market and Glasgow Green.

Sort by: 46 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
  • 1. Botanic Gardens

    It is a minor Glasgow miracle how as soon as the sun appears, the Botanics (as they're known to locals) fill with people. Beautiful flower displays and extensive lawns create the feeling that this is a large back garden for the inhabitants of the West End's mainly apartment homes. At the heart of the gardens is the spectacular circular greenhouse, the Kibble Palace, a favorite haunt of Glaswegian families. Originally built in 1873, it was the conservatory of a Victorian eccentric. Kibble Palace and the other greenhouses contain tree ferns, palm trees, and the Tropicarium, where you can experience the lushness of a rain forest or see its world-famous collection of orchids. There is a tearoom, and in June and July the gardens host presentations of Shakespeare's plays (

    730 Great Western Rd., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G12 0UE, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 2. City Chambers

    Dominating the east side of George Square, this exuberant expression of Victorian confidence, built by William Young in Italian Renaissance style, was opened by Queen Victoria in 1888. Among the interior's outstanding features are the entrance hall's vaulted ceiling, sustained by granite columns topped with marble, the marble-and-alabaster staircases, and Venetian mosaics. The enormous banqueting hall has murals illustrating Glasgow's history. Free guided tours lasting about an hour depart weekdays at 2:30 pm; tours are very popular, so pick up a ticket beforehand from the reception desk. The building is closed to visitors during civic functions.

    82 George Sq., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G2 1DU, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed weekends
  • 3. Culzean Castle and Country Park

    The dramatic cliff-top castle of Culzean (pronounced ku-lain) is quite a long drive from Glasgow, but it's the National Trust for Scotland's most popular property. Robert Adam designed the neoclassical mansion, complete with a walled garden, in 1777. The grounds are enormous and beautifully kept, combining parkland, forests, and a beach looking out over the Atlantic Ocean; the surprisingly lush shrubberies reflect the warm currents that explain the mild climate. There are caves in the cliffs; tours are occasionally available. In the castle itself you can visit the armory, luxuriously appointed salons and bedchambers, and a nursery with its lovely cradle in a boat. Adam's grand double spiral staircase is the high point of its design. There's a free audio tour, and guided tours are available daily at 11 and 2:30. A short walk through the woods brings you to the visitor center with shops and a restaurant.

    Off A719, Glasgow, Glasgow City, KA19 8LE, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £9.75, Castle closed Nov.–Mar.
  • 4. Glasgow Cathedral

    The most complete of Scotland's cathedrals (it would have been more complete had 19th-century vandals not pulled down its two rugged towers), this is an unusual double church, one above the other, dedicated to Glasgow's patron saint, St. Mungo. Consecrated in 1136 and completed about 300 years later, it was spared the ravages of the Reformation—which destroyed so many of Scotland's medieval churches—mainly because Glasgow's trade guilds defended it. A late-medieval open-timber roof in the nave and lovely 20th-century stained glass are notable features. In the lower church is the splendid crypt of St. Mungo, who was originally known as St. Kentigern (kentigern means "chief word"), but who was nicknamed St. Mungo (meaning "dear one") by his early followers. The site of the tomb has been revered since the 6th century, when St. Mungo founded a church here. Mungo features prominently in local legends; one such legend is about a pet bird that he nursed back to life, and another tells of a bush or tree, the branches of which he used to miraculously relight a fire. The bird, the tree, and the salmon with a ring in its mouth (from another story) are all found on the city's coat of arms, together with a bell that Mungo brought from Rome.

    Castle St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G4 0QH, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, but donations welcome
  • 5. Glasgow Necropolis

    A burial ground since the beginning of recorded history, the large Necropolis, modeled on the famous Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, contains some extraordinarily elaborate Victorian tombs. A great place to take it all in is from the monument of John Knox (1514–72), the leader of Scotland's Reformation, which stands at the top of the hill at the heart of the Necropolis. Around it are grand tombs that resemble classical palaces, Egyptian tombs, or even the Chapel of the Templars in Jerusalem. You'll also find a smattering of urns and broken columns, the Roman symbol of a great life cut short. The Necropolis was designed as a place for meditation, which is why it is much more than just a graveyard. The main gates are behind the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. The Friends of the Necropolis run regular and informative tours, but booking ahead is essential; the tours are free but donations are welcome.

    2 Castle St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G4 0UZ, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Hunterian Art Gallery

    West End

    Opposite Glasgow University's main gate, this gallery houses William Hunter's (1718–83) collection of paintings. You'll also find prints, drawings, and sculptures by Tintoretto, Rembrandt, and Auguste Rodin, as well as a major collection of paintings by James McNeill Whistler, who had a great affection for the city that bought one of his earliest paintings. Also in the gallery is a replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's town house. Between 1906 and 1914, famed architect Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald lived at 78 Southpark Avenue, just one street away from where their house has been faithfully rebuilt as part of the gallery. Its stunning rooms contain Mackintosh's art nouveau chairs, tables, beds, and cupboards. The upstairs sitting room, with its famous desk, echoes the Japanese motifs so popular with his generation. Free guided tours are available.

    Hillhead St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G12 8QQ, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free; Macintosh House £6, Closed Mon.
  • 7. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

    Worthy of its world-class reputation, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum attracts local families as well as international visitors. This combination of cathedral and castle was designed in the Renaissance style and built between 1891 and 1901. The stunning red-sandstone edifice is an appropriate home for works by Botticelli, Rembrandt, Monet, and others, not to mention the collection of arms and armor. The Glasgow Room houses extraordinary works by local artists. Whether the subject is Scottish culture, design, or storytelling, every room entices you to look deeper; labels are thought-provoking and sometimes witty. You could spend a weekend here, but in a pinch three hours would do one level justice—there are three. Leave time to visit the gift shop and the attractive basement restaurant. Daily free recitals on the magnificent organ (usually at 1) are well worth the trip.

    Argyle St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G3 8AG, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free (some special exhibitions require admission)
    View Tours and Activities
  • 8. National Museum of Rural Life

    Set in a rural area, this lovely museum exploring every aspect of the country's agricultural heritage is slightly off the beaten track but well worth the trip. It is a whole day out. In a modern building resembling a huge barn you learn about how farming transformed the land, experience the life and hardships of those who worked it, and see displays of tools and machines from across the ages. Take a tractor ride to a fully functioning 1950s farmhouse. There are also some great exhibits geared toward children and a range of summer events.

    Philipshill Rd., East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, G76 9HR, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £8
  • 9. New Lanark

    Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, New Lanark was home to a social experiment at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Robert Owen (1771–1858), together with his father-in-law, David Dale (1739–1806), set out to create a model industrial community with well-designed worker homes, a school, and public buildings. Owen went on to establish other communities on similar principles, both in Britain and in the United States. Robert Owen's son, Robert Dale Owen (1801–77), went on to help found the Smithsonian Institution.  After many changes of fortune, the mills eventually closed. One of the buildings has been converted into a visitor center that tells the story of this brave social experiment. You can also explore Robert Owen's house, the school, and a mill worker's house, and enjoy the Annie McLeod Experience, a fairground ride that takes you through the story of one mill worker's life. Other restored structures hold various shops and eateries; one has a rooftop garden with impressive views of the entire site. Another now houses the New Lanark Mill Hotel. It's a good idea to book your ticket ahead in summer to avoid lines. The River Clyde powers its way through a beautiful wooded gorge here, and its waters were once harnessed to drive textile-mill machinery. Upstream it flows through some of the finest river scenery anywhere in Lowland Scotland, with woods and waterfalls.

    New Lanark Rd., New Lanark, South Lanarkshire, ML11 9BY, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £12.50
  • 10. Riverside Museum

    Designed by Zaha Hadid to celebrate the area's industrial heritage, this huge metal structure with curving walls echoes the covered yards where ships were built on the Clyde. Glasgow's shipbuilding history is remembered with a world-famous collection of ship models. Locomotives built at the nearby St. Rollox yards are also on display, as are cars from every age and many countries. You can wander down Main Street, circa 1930, without leaving the building: the pawnbroker, funeral parlor, and Italian restaurant are all frozen in time. Relax with a coffee in the café, wander out onto the expansive riverside walk, or board the Tall Ship that is moored permanently behind the museum. Take Bus 100 from the City Centre, or walk from Partick subway station.

    100 Pointhouse Pl., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G3 8RS, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 11. Scottish Maritime Museum

    On the waterfront in the coastal town of Irvine, this museum brings together ships and boats—both models and the real thing—to tell the tale of Scotland's maritime history, as well as chronicle the lives of its boatbuilders, fishermen, and sailors. The atmospheric Linthouse Engine Building, part of a former shipyard, hosts most of the displays. The museum also includes a shipyard worker's tenement home that you can explore. In Dumbarton, 35 miles to the north, you can visit the Denny Tank (part of the museum), where ship designs were tested. Children are admitted free.

    Harbour Rd., Glasgow, Glasgow City, KA12 8BT, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £10.50
  • 12. Tenement House

    This ordinary first-floor apartment is anything but ordinary inside: it was occupied from 1937 to 1982 by Agnes Toward (and before that by her mother), both of whom seem never to have thrown anything away. Agnes was a dressmaker, and her legacy is this fascinating time capsule, painstakingly preserved with her everyday furniture and belongings. A small museum explores the life and times of its careful occupant. The red-sandstone building dates from 1892 and is in the Garnethill area near the Glasgow School of Art.

    145 Buccleuch St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G3 6QN, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £8.50
  • 13. Auld Kirk Alloway

    This small ruined church is famous for its role in Burns's epic poem, "Tam o' Shanter," which many Scots know by heart and is often recited at Burns Suppers. In the poem, the kirk is where a rather drunk Tam o' Shanter unluckily passed a witches' revel—with Old Nick himself playing the bagpipes—on his unsteady way home. In flight from the witches, Tam managed to cross the medieval Brig o' Doon (brig is Scots for bridge; you can still see the bridge) just in time. His gray mare, Meg, however, lost her tail to the closest witch. (Any resident of Ayr will tell you that witches cannot cross running water.)

    Murdoch's Lone, Alloway, South Ayrshire, KA7 4PQ, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 14. Central Station

    It was the railways that first brought hordes of Victorian tourists to Scotland, and the great station hotels were places of luxury for those wealthier Victorian travelers; Central Station and its accompanying hotel are excellent examples of this. The Grand Central Hotel (once the Station Hotel) demonstrates how important this building was to the city. It remains a busy active train station from which to travel south to England or west to the Ayrshire coast and Prestwick Airport. The Champagne Bar in the Grand Central Hotel is a good vantage point for watching the station concourse and its comings and goings. The railway bridge across Argyll Street behind the station is known as the Highlandman's Umbrella because immigrants from the north once gathered there to look for work in the early 20th century. Tours of Central Station are an entertaining way to learn not only about the rich history of the station but also of Glasgow itself. Among one of the most popular tourist activities the city has to offer, even locals could learn a lot from the station's fantastic tour guides.

    Gordon St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G1 3SL, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours £15
  • 15. Compass Gallery

    City Centre

    The gallery is something of an institution, having opened in 1969 to provide space for young and unknown artists—a role it continues. It shares space with Cyril Gerber Fine Arts, which specializes in British paintings from 1880 to the present.

    178 W. Regent St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G2 4RL, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 16. Dumfries House

    Built in the 1750s by the Adam brothers, Dumfries House has preserved the living conditions of the landed aristocracy of the time. The restored house contains a large collection of furniture by Chippendale that is original to the property, as well as pieces by other great designers of the period. Run by a charity headed by Prince Charles, the surrounding 2,000-acre estate is currently in development as a site for an eco-village and centers practicing historic crafts. Entry is by guided tour only; booking ahead is essential. There are 22 guest rooms, some cottages, and a restaurant on the property as well.

    Cumnock, East Ayrshire, KA18 2NJ, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Guided tour £12; extended tour £16, Closed weekdays Nov.--Mar
  • 17. Gallery of Modern Art

    One of Glasgow's boldest, most innovative galleries occupies the neoclassical former Royal Exchange building. The modern art, craft, and design collections include works by Scottish conceptual artists such as David Mach, and also paintings and sculptures from around the world, including Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Each floor of the gallery reflects one of the elements—air, fire, earth, and water—which creates some unexpected juxtapositions and also allows for various interactive exhibits. In the basement is a café, a tourist information center, and an extensive library. The building, designed by David Hamilton (1768–1843) and finished in 1829, was first a meeting place for merchants and traders; later it became Stirling's Library. It also incorporates the mansion built in 1780 by William Cunninghame, one of the city's wealthiest tobacco lords. Standing proudly in front of the gallery is the now-iconic Duke of Wellington statue, rarely seen without a traffic cone (or two) on his head, a playful reflection of the Glaswegian sense of humor.

    Queen St., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G1 3AH, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
    View Tours and Activities
  • 18. George Square

    The focal point of Glasgow is lined with an impressive collection of statues: Queen Victoria; Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns (1759–96); the inventor and developer of the steam engine, James Watt (1736–1819); Prime Minister William Gladstone (1809–98); and, towering above them all atop a column, Scotland's great historical novelist, Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832). That column was originally intended for George III (1738–1820), after whom the square is named, but when he was found to be insane toward the end of his reign, a statue of him was never erected. On the square's east side stands the magnificent Italian Renaissance–style City Chambers; the handsome Merchants' House fills the corner of West George Street, crowned by a globe and a sailing ship. The fine old Post Office building, now converted into flats, occupies the northern side. There are plenty of benches in the center of the square where you can pause and contemplate. Glasgow's Queen Street Station is on the western corner.

    Glasgow, Glasgow City, G2 1DU, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 19. Glasgow Cross

    East End

    This crossroads was the center of the medieval city. The Mercat Cross (mercat means "market"), topped by a unicorn, marks the spot where merchants met, where the market was held, and where criminals were executed. Here, too, was the tron, or weigh beam, installed in 1491 and used by merchants to check weights. The Tolbooth Steeple dates from 1626 and served as the civic center and the place where travelers paid tolls.

    Intersection of Saltmarket, Trongate, Gallowgate, and London Rds., Glasgow, Glasgow City, G1, Scotland
  • 20. Glasgow Green

    Glasgow's oldest park has a long history as a favorite spot for public recreation and political demonstrations. Note the Nelson Column, erected long before London's; the McLennan Arch, originally part of the facade of the old Assembly Halls in Ingram Street; and the Templeton Business Centre, a former carpet factory built in the late 19th century in the style of the Doge's Palace in Venice. There is an adventure playground for kids and a small cycle track beside it, with children's bikes for rent. Don't miss the People's Palace and the Doulton Fountain that faces it. The Green also hosts the World Piping Championship in summer and a major firework display for Guy Fawkes night (November 5).

    Glasgow, Glasgow City, G1 5DB, Scotland

No sights Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Sights in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Recommended Fodor’s Video