Glasgow might not yet enjoy the level of popularity that Edinburgh does, but it is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting cities. We have listed some suggestions of where to go, what to see, and do, in Scotland’s largest city. Whether you are going for business, or on a short weekend break, here are our top tips to make the most of 48 hours in Glasgow.
The bohemian West End is a true haven for those looking for picturesque cafés and tea rooms, quaint antique shops, trendy bars and clubs. Set in the backdrop of the Victorian Kelvingrove Park, the West End is home to Glasgow University, fine Victorian architecture as well as the exquisite Botanic Gardens.
Admission: Entry to the gardens is free.
Home to the Glasgow City Chambers, a Victorian masterpiece and one of the city’s most important and prestigious buildings. Free public guided tours of the chambers are available twice a day with no need to pre-book. Brochures on the City Chambers are available in the Loggia and are also free of charge.
Admission: Entry to the City Chambers is free.
Glasgow Science Centre
A true architectural icon, the futurist looking Science Centre is one of Glasgow’s top sights. Set on the banks of the River Clyde, the iconic building is home to three floors of fascinating exhibits showcasing science and life, a planetarium dome, and an IMAX 3D cinema.
Admission: Tickets cost £10.50 for adults and £8.50 for children aged 3-15 or adults over 60.
Arts and Culture
The fourth oldest University in the English speaking world, the University of Glasgow is home to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, housing a rich collection of rare and important objects, including masterpieces by Rembrandt or Rubens.
Admission: Entry to the Hunterian is free of charge, except on special exhibitions were tickets range from £3 to £5.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Charles Mackintosh (1868-1928) is a worldwide celebrated architect, designer and artist. His birthplace, Glasgow, is key to an understanding of his achievements for it is here that the most important of his work is to be found. You can visit the interiors of 6 Florentine Terrace, Glasgow – the former home of Charles and Margaret Mackintosh – carefully reassembled within the University’s Hunterian Art Gallery. For a complete list of Mackintosh’s Glasgow buildings and related attractions, such as House for an Art Lover (pictured below) or the Willow Tea Rooms, head here.
Admission: Adult tickets to the House for an Art Lover cost £4.50, Children £3.00. Family saver tickets are also available.
From paintings by Degas and Cézanne to Sir Roger the Elephant, Mackintosh furniture to a real Spitfire, fabulous arms and armour to cutting edge contemporary art, Glasgow Museums have objects and exhibits to suit all tastes.
It is located in a park roughly 3 miles south of Glasgow, but this fascinating art collection is one of the city’s top attractions. The eclectic collection, was acquired over many years by Sir William Burrell, a wealthy shipping magnate and art collector, who then gave it to the city in 1944; and includes everything from Chinese porcelain and medieval furniture to paintings by painting masters Degas and Cézanne.
Admission: Admission to many of the city’s museums, including the Burrell Collection, is free.
Located in the heart of Glasgow’s West End, Byres Road boasts an excellent choice of shops and has something to suit all tastes from boutique shopping to hidden vintage gems.
Where to Stay
On a Budget
Situated next to historic Queens Park in the South Side of Glasgow, and only three miles from the city centre, Number 10 Hotel is a four star boutique hotel offering a warm and friendly welcome. Each room offers a very high degree of comfort and elegance, including superior beds, 24 hour internet access, luxury toiletries, in room hospitality tray and much more. From £69.
Splurge a Little
Mar Hall is a luxury five-star resort located within a tranquil 240 acre woodland estate just 10 minutes from Glasgow International Airport. It combines 53 individual bedrooms, a championship golf course, Decleor Spa, with extensive dining, wedding, conference and banqueting facilities. Overlooking the River Clyde, this grand private residence enjoys views towards the Kilpatrick Hills. From £122.
For other Glasgow hotels, click here.
Glasgow Science Centre images by Wojtek Gurak via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Glasgow University Cloisters image by _skynet via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Glasgow street view image by schwa021 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Mackintosh’s “The Wassail” image by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Glasgow and River Clyde image by Eric Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Botanic Gardens image by Jon Ritchie via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Glasgow City Chambers image by Arnoud Boekhoorn via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Hunterian Museum image by Ianan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
House for an Art Lover image by Paul Coyne via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
The Burrell Collection image by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)