20 Best Places to Visit in Glasgow: A Journey Through Culture, History and Innovation

Places to Visit in Glasgow

Located on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is a vibrant blend of history, contemporary arts, and innovative attractions. As a former European City of Culture and a UNESCO City of Music, the range of places to visit in Glasgow is extensive, from world-class museums and galleries to beautiful parks and architectural marvels.

Glasgow, known for its rich history and dynamic cultural scene, is a city of discovery. Its Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture, impressive array of museums and galleries, and sprawling parks provide countless places to explore. The city’s cultural offerings are as diverse as they are impressive, ensuring that the list of attractions to visit in Glasgow is long and varied, catering to the interests of every visitor.

Best Time to Visit Glasgow

Places to Visit in Glasgow

Determining the best time to visit Glasgow largely depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to do. However, here is a general seasonal guide to help you make an informed decision:

  • Spring (March to May): Spring in Glasgow can be quite lovely, with mild temperatures and the city coming alive with blooming flowers. This is an excellent time for visiting parks and gardens. There are also fewer tourists compared to the summer months, meaning fewer crowds at popular attractions.
  • Summer (June to August): This is the most popular time to visit Glasgow, thanks to the warmer weather (temperatures usually range from 15°C to 20°C) and longer daylight hours. Many festivals take place during this time, including the Glasgow Mela, West End Festival, and Pride Glasgow. Do keep in mind that popular attractions may be crowded and accommodation prices could be higher due to increased demand.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn is a relatively good time to visit Glasgow. The weather remains fairly mild, especially in September, and the city’s parks and gardens burst into a range of beautiful autumnal colours. The city also hosts the Glasgow Oktoberfest and the GlasGLOW light festival during this period.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters in Glasgow are typically cold and damp with shorter daylight hours. However, if you enjoy festive lights and Christmas markets, December could be a wonderful time to visit. Indoor attractions like museums, art galleries, and shopping centres remain open and are less crowded. Just make sure to pack warm and waterproof clothing.

Best Tourist Attractions in Glasgow

1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Dušanka Mlakar

An integral part of Glasgow’s rich cultural fabric, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, tops the list of places to visit in Glasgow. Housed in a striking Spanish Baroque-style building, the museum is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions, boasting 22 state-of-the-art galleries that feature over 8,000 exhibits.

The museum’s vast collection spans various periods and styles, with notable displays of works from renowned artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Salvador Dali. Visitors can also explore exhibits related to archaeology, natural history, and arms and armour. The magnificent central hall, dominated by a large organ, hosts daily recitals, adding a unique auditory experience to the visual feast. The best part is that admission to this cultural gem is free!

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, United Kingdom.

2. Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park
Photo: Google Maps/Maureen Moore

For those seeking a blend of natural beauty and history, Kelvingrove Park is a must-visit place in Glasgow. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, this classic Victorian park offers a tranquil haven in the heart of the city. Spread across 85 acres, the park features a variety of flora, scenic walking paths, a skate park, and a bandstand that often hosts concerts and events.

Prominent monuments and statues pepper the park, including the Stewart Memorial Fountain and a statue of Lord Roberts. Overlooking the beautiful River Kelvin, the park also offers stunning views of the University of Glasgow’s spires, making it an ideal spot for relaxation, picnics, and leisurely strolls.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Park Terrace, Glasgow G3 6BY, United Kingdom.

3. Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Juan Bautista Piquer Pons

If you’re interested in transport and technology, the Riverside Museum is a fascinating place to visit in Glasgow. As the city’s award-winning transport museum, it offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of transport, with over 3,000 objects on display. This includes everything from skateboards to locomotives, vintage cars to a reconstructed Glasgow street from the early 20th century.

Housed in a distinctive building designed by the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, the museum is a testament to Glasgow’s industrial past and innovative spirit. Visitors can explore old subway stations, step aboard a vintage tram, or even experience what it was like to walk the streets of Glasgow centuries ago.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 100 Pointhouse Rd, Govan, Glasgow G3 8RS, United Kingdom.

4. Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre
Photo: Google Maps/Monika Pachla

For those with a keen interest in science and technology, the Glasgow Science Centre is a must-visit destination. Located on the south bank of the River Clyde, this interactive museum is dedicated to making science accessible and fun for all ages.

The Science Centre includes hundreds of hands-on exhibits across three floors, where visitors can explore the world of science and technology in an engaging, interactive way. It also houses a planetarium, an IMAX cinema, and the Glasgow Tower – the tallest fully rotating freestanding structure in the world. From the mysteries of the cosmos to the wonders of biology, the Glasgow Science Centre makes learning a thrilling adventure, firmly placing it on the list of exciting tourist attractions in Glasgow.

Entry Fee: GBP 14.00; Location: Check Map
Address: 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA, United Kingdom.

5. Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Photo: Google Maps/Raja Vijaya Saradhi Ch

Another gem in Glasgow’s green crown is the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. This horticultural haven, located in the heart of the city’s West End, is home to a variety of plant species from around the world. The gardens are renowned for the Kibble Palace, a large glasshouse filled with tropical plants and historic statues.

Walking paths meander through the gardens, past themed garden areas, woodland copses, and along the banks of the River Kelvin. It’s an ideal place for a peaceful walk, a picnic, or even just a quiet moment amidst beautiful surroundings. Whether you’re a nature lover or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to visit.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE, United Kingdom.

6. George Square

George Square
Photo: Google Maps/David Niv (Dudi)

In the heart of Glasgow city centre, you’ll find George Square, a vibrant public square that’s one of the city’s main hubs. Surrounded by important buildings such as the Glasgow City Chambers, George Square is known for its statues and monuments, including those dedicated to Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Walter Scott, and Queen Victoria.

Throughout the year, the square plays host to various public events, including concerts, cultural celebrations, and Glasgow’s annual Christmas market. Its central location and significance to Glasgow’s social and political history make George Square a key point of interest for visitors to the city.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Glasgow G2 1DH, United Kingdom.

7. The Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection
Photo: Google Maps/Faisal Madanat

Last but certainly not least on our list of places to visit in Glasgow is The Burrell Collection. This art collection is one of the most significant collections ever amassed by one person, shipping magnate Sir William Burrell. It comprises over 8,000 objects, including a vast array of items from medieval art to Chinese and Islamic art.

After extensive refurbishment and redisplay, the collection is housed in an award-winning building located within Pollok Country Park. The collection, alongside the serene woodland setting, offers a unique cultural experience. With its variety of artefacts spanning different cultures and periods, The Burrell Collection offers a journey through the art of different civilizations.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Bellahouston, Glasgow G43 1AT, United Kingdom.

8. Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green
Photo: Google Maps/Aneri Vyas

Glasgow Green, established in the 15th century, is the city’s oldest park and holds a special place in the list of attractions to visit in Glasgow. This historic riverside park, situated in the east end of Glasgow, has been a venue for numerous political rallies, concerts, and sporting events throughout the years.

The park is home to several notable landmarks, including the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, which provide a fascinating insight into Glasgow’s social history. The park also boasts the stunning Doulton Fountain, the world’s largest terracotta fountain, and the Nelson’s Monument. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk, a picnic spot, or a dose of local history, Glasgow Green offers it all.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Greendyke St, Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5DB, United Kingdom.

9. Pollok Country Park

Pollok Country Park
Photo: Google Maps/May Alhusari

Pollok Country Park, located on the outskirts of Glasgow, offers an expansive natural retreat within the bustling city. Covering 146 hectares, this park is a mix of woodland, gardens, and pastoral land, offering a peaceful haven for nature lovers.

One of the highlights of the park is the Pollok House, a grand country house where visitors can explore a vast collection of Spanish art. As mentioned earlier, the park also houses the Burrell Collection, a museum showcasing the extensive art collection of Sir William Burrell. With walking trails, a fold of Highland cattle, and a variety of wildlife, Pollok Country Park provides a perfect escape from the urban landscape.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Bellahouston, Glasgow G43 1AT, United Kingdom.

10. Celtic Park

Celtic Park
Photo: Google Maps/Celtic Park

For football fans, a visit to Celtic Park, also known as Paradise, is an absolute must among places to visit in Glasgow. It’s the home of Celtic Football Club, one of the most successful and popular football clubs in Scotland.

With a capacity of over 60,000, it’s one of the largest football stadiums in Europe and offers an electrifying atmosphere during matches. Visitors can take a stadium tour to explore the dressing rooms, tunnel, dugouts, and boardroom, and get a sense of the rich history and achievements of the club.

Entry Fee: GBP 39; Location: Check Map
Address: Janefield St, Glasgow G40 3RE, United Kingdom.

11. Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral
Photo: Google Maps/Edward Brunton

No visit to Glasgow would be complete without exploring the Glasgow Cathedral, one of the city’s most historic and significant landmarks. Also known as St. Mungo’s Cathedral, it’s the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland and the oldest building in Glasgow.

Visitors can admire the cathedral’s splendid Gothic architecture, beautiful stained-glass windows, and the tomb of St. Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint, located in the crypt. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery, offering stunning views over the city.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Castle St, Glasgow G4 0QZ, United Kingdom.

12. Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis
Photo: Google Maps/Harald Farstad

Among the historic places to visit in Glasgow, the Glasgow Necropolis is a compelling site. Located on a hill east of the Glasgow Cathedral, this Victorian cemetery offers a unique view of the city’s history. More than just a burial ground, the Necropolis is a significant cultural landmark showcasing exceptional funerary art and architecture, reflecting the wealth and ambition of the Victorian era.

The Necropolis is the final resting place of many of Glasgow’s most prominent citizens. It features a network of paths leading past ornate mausoleums, monuments, and tombs—each telling a unique story about the city’s past. The cemetery’s elevated position also provides panoramic views of the city, making it a fascinating spot for history enthusiasts and those seeking a different perspective on Glasgow.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Castle St, Glasgow G4 0UZ, United Kingdom.

13. Hunterian Art Gallery

Hunterian Art Gallery
Photo: Google Maps/Phromthep KhanKaew

Art lovers exploring places in Glasgow should not miss the Hunterian Art Gallery. Part of the University of Glasgow, the gallery hosts one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland. It was founded in 1807 when William Hunter, a pioneer anatomist and collector, bequeathed his substantial collections to the University of Glasgow.

The gallery features an extensive collection of works by James McNeill Whistler, the largest single holding of the Scottish Colourists, and a significant number of works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School. Beyond paintings and sculptures, the Hunterian also houses a wide range of other artifacts, including coins and medals, geological specimens, and ethnographic objects.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom.

14. People’s Palace

People's Palace
Photo: Google Maps/Cherry Yung

If you’re keen to understand the social history of Glasgow, the People’s Palace is an essential place to visit. Located in Glasgow Green, this museum provides a vivid picture of the city’s past, detailing the stories of the people of Glasgow from 1750 to the present day.

The displays and collections cover a variety of themes, including work, leisure, religion, politics, and health. You’ll find historical artifacts, photographs, prints, and film, offering insights into how Glaswegians lived, worked, and played in different eras. The adjoining Winter Gardens, a large Victorian glasshouse, is home to a collection of tropical and subtropical plants, providing a tranquil retreat.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Green, Templeton St, Glasgow G40 1AT, United Kingdom.

15. The Tall Ship Glenlee

The Tall Ship Glenlee
Photo: Google Maps/Joshua Archer

Finally, another intriguing place to visit in Glasgow is The Tall Ship Glenlee. Moored beside the Riverside Museum, the Glenlee is one of only five Clyde-built sailing ships still afloat in the world, and the only one in the UK.

Visitors can explore the ship, climb the rigging, ring the ship’s bell, and even visit the captain’s cabin. The ship’s story is told through interactive exhibits, displays, and activities that bring the history of this restored Victorian tall ship to life. Whether you’re a maritime history enthusiast or a family seeking a fun, educational outing, the Tall Ship Glenlee offers an unforgettable experience.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 150 Pointhouse Rd, Stobcross Rd, Govan, Glasgow G3 8RS, United Kingdom.

16. Tollcross Park

Tollcross Park
Photo: Google Maps/Jennifer Baird

Tollcross Park is a fantastic destination in Glasgow for nature lovers and families alike. Spanning over 83 acres, this Green Flag awarded park boasts a mix of historical features and recreational facilities.

The park is home to the Tollcross Winter Gardens, an impressive glasshouse that showcases a wide range of exotic plants. Children will enjoy the play area and visitor farm, which hosts a variety of animals including highland cattle, sheep, ponies, and more. With beautifully landscaped gardens, a rose garden, and woodland walks, Tollcross Park offers a delightful natural retreat within the city.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 254B Wellshot Rd, Glasgow G32 7AX, United Kingdom.

17. Barras Market

Barras Market
Photo: Google Maps/Jean Baptiste Dunaud

For those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of local markets, a visit to the Barras Market is among the unique things to do in Glasgow. The Barras is a traditional street market with a history dating back to the early 20th century.

Every weekend, vendors sell an array of items from second-hand goods, antiques, and collectables to clothing, food, and more. Located in the city’s East End, the market is renowned for its lively atmosphere, banter-filled stalls, and colourful characters. Exploring the Barras Market provides a glimpse into Glasgow’s distinct culture and offers a unique shopping experience.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: 244 Gallowgate, Glasgow G1 5DX, United Kingdom.

18. Victoria Park Pond

Victoria Park Pond
Photo: Google Maps/Joe

Located in the heart of Victoria Park, the Fossil Grove and Pond are worth exploring when visiting Glasgow. The park, spread over 20 hectares, features a variety of facilities, including tennis courts, a bowling green, and a children’s play area.

But the main attraction is undoubtedly the Fossil Grove, where you can view 330-million-year-old fossil trees, providing a fascinating insight into the prehistoric landscape of the region. The tranquil pond, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, offers a peaceful setting for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Glasgow G14 0UN, United Kingdom.

19. Bellahouston Park

Bellahouston Park
Photo: Google Maps/Hugh Brown

Bellahouston Park, one of the most significant parks in Glasgow, offers visitors a range of attractions. It features extensive grounds perfect for a variety of sports, from running and cycling to bowls and skiing at Glasgow’s only dry ski slope.

The park is also home to the House for an Art Lover, a venue inspired by designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the striking modernist building of the Glasgow Club Bellahouston. The park’s walled garden and beautiful flower beds offer a quiet retreat away from the active spaces.

Entry Fee: GBP 1.95; Location: Check Map
Address: 16 Dumbreck Rd, Bellahouston, Glasgow G41 5BW, United Kingdom.

20. Linn Park

Linn Park
Photo: Google Maps/Dhananjay Joshi

Last but not least on our list of attractions to visit in Glasgow is Linn Park. As the second largest park in the city, Linn Park spans over 200 acres, offering a wide range of amenities including woodland walks, an orienteering course, a golf course, and a children’s play area.

The park is also home to the beautiful Linn waterfall and the historic Linn House. Visitors can enjoy picturesque walks through the park’s varied habitats, which include woodland, river, grassland, and heathland. A visit to Linn Park provides a wonderful opportunity to appreciate Glasgow’s natural beauty.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Glasgow G44 5TA, United Kingdom.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the array of places to visit in Glasgow is as diverse as the city itself. Whether it’s exploring the vast collection at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the historical significance of Glasgow Green, the social narratives of the People’s Palace, or the natural beauty of Tollcross Park, each location offers a unique perspective of Glasgow’s multifaceted character. Each visit will provide enriching experiences, leaving you with lasting memories of this dynamic city.

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Amanda A

Amanda is a vibrant and adventurous spirit who has a passion for exploring new destinations and embracing diverse cultures. With a background in journalism, she possesses a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling.

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