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Reasons to visit Glasgow

Top 10 reasons to visit Glasgow

Top 10 reasons to visit Glasgow

Glasgow topped Condé Nast Traveller’s list of best cities to visit in 2021 and if that’s not enough to make you want to book a break, here are some more great reasons to visit.

1. World-class museums and attractions

The exterior of The Burrell Collection in Glasgow. A sign reading 'The Burrell Collection' stands in front of the museum with trees behind.

The city has world-class museums, galleries and attractions including The Burrell Collection (winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023) and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. There are also hidden gems like the Britannia Panopticon - the oldest surviving music hall in the world. Families will enjoy Glasgow Science Centre or Riverside Museum and if cutting-edge art is your scene then check out Tramway or the Gallery of Modern Art. Visit our attractions hub for info on museums, galleries and experiences.

2. Iconic music scene and live entertainment

The famous neon sign that reads Barrowlands with neon shooting stars. The Barrowland venue sits against a purple/pink sky at dusk.

Glasgow has it covered when it comes to entertainment. It has a legendary music scene with many iconic venues, including the Barrowland Ballroom, Time Out's Best Venue in the UK (2023). The city is an UNESCO City of Music, home to all but one of Scotland’s national performing arts organisations and an exciting calendar of world-class festivals and events. Visit our Glasgow for music lovers hub for everything you need to know about the music scene and visit our what's on section for event listings.

3. Dear Green Place

People sit on grass in a park on a sunny day in front of a bank of trees and a Victorian glasshouse.

Meaning ‘Dear Green Place’ in Gaelic, Glasgow has over 90 parks and gardens to enjoy. Discover Pollok Country Park and its fold of Highland cattle or Queen's Park and its cityscape viewpoint in the southside. Or head to the west end to Kelvingrove Park, set on the banks of the River Kelvin or Glasgow Botanic Gardens, known for its impressive glasshouses and tropical plant collections. Visit our parks and gardens page to find out more about the city’s green spaces in each of the neighbourhoods.

4. First for friendliness

A few people smiling and dancing in a dimly lit cosy bar. Musicians can be seen jamming at a table behind them.

Glasgow regularly tops the charts as ‘world’s friendliest city’, most recently in the Conde Nast Readers' Choice Awards (2022) and Time Out Index (2022). People really do make Glasgow! Whether chatting to taxi drivers or tour guides, creators at markets or locals in whisky bars – you'll discover a down-to-earth Scottish personality with a progressive urban outlook.

5. Scottish experiences

Musicians performing on stage at Celtic Connections festival

Credit: Gaelle Beri

2 ginger Highland Cows with horns stand still on a grassy field in a park setting.

Visit Glasgow for the ultimate urban Scottish experience. Enjoy a distillery tour, take a whirl at a ceilidh, get a photo with a Highland cow or tap your toes to some live traditional music at a world-renowned festival. You can also discover the taste of Scotland with a meal at a Scottish restaurant. Visit our Scottish experiences page for more info.

6. Ever-evolving food scene

Glasgow is known for its mix of cool, quality and affordable venues. From brunch to afternoon tea, street food to Michelin star dining, Scottish seafood to plant-based menus, the city has plenty of tasty options. Visit our eat & drink pages for inspiration.

7. History and heritage

4 cyclists cycle across a bridge in the city centre.

Glasgow is a city steeped in history and a great way to learn some fascinating facts is on a guided tour. There are lots of walking tours on offer, themed around everything from food and music to history and architecture. You can also take guided tours of many of the city’s venues, including Tennent's Brewery and Glasgow Central Railway Station. Check out our tours page for more details.

8. Architecture and design

A series of old stone archways called Cloisters with fairy lights around the columns.
Sunlight floods in through the stained glass window across the pews in Mackintosh Queen's Cross Church.

Walk around and be amazed by Glasgow's architecture. From the neo-Gothic University of Glasgow to the Art Nouveau wonders of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the city's heritage strides the centuries. Discover the city's flair for design through the work of amazing makers at markets and in creative hubs like The Hidden Lane. You'll also find stunning urban artworks wherever you go in the form of street murals. Find out more from our City Centre Mural Trail article and our Mackintosh Trail page.

9. Neighbourhoods

2 people wander down a cobbled lane which has colourful brick buildings to one side.

As Glasgow is a compact city and easy to get around, you can explore more than one neighbourhood in a day. From the buzz of the city centre to the laid-back vibes of the west end, each neighbourhood has its own distinct character. There is the historic east end and the leafy southside while the north is an urban playground. Visit our neighbourhoods pages to find out more.

10. Unmissable day trips

A pink sky reflects in a loch which is surrounded by undulating hills.

Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Glasgow is the gateway to Scotland's great outdoors, with beaches, castles and rugged coastlines to discover. Experience unmissable day trips less than the average daily commute away – from the historic Stirling to the breath-taking bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, there are legends and adventures to uncover. Visit our unmissable day trips page for ideas.

Article last updated: October 2023

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