Once known primarily as a shipbuilding hub in western Scotland on the River Clyde, the city of Glasgow is now one of the most charming places to visit in the UK. Rich cultural heritage and a vibrant modern atmosphere make it fascinating and enjoyable for just about any visitor, and for the sightseers, there’s always plenty to see.
Glasgow also happens to be the biggest city in Scotland, even larger than neighboring Edinburgh to its east, and as such it’s very accessible for international travelers. There are three international airports within 40 miles of the city centre, and for those who won’t be flying indirectly, it’s only about an hour’s flight from London - and about a seven-hour drive, for that matter. Meanwhile, those who might find better rates flying into Edinburgh at any given time (which is not necessarily likely, but can always happen) only have to drive about an extra hour to reach Glasgow.
Once there though, what should you see and do? It’s a city packed with good options, so you’ll likely need to prioritize to some extent unless you’re there for a very extended to stay. Our list of the top places to visit in town, though, would look something like this….
Really, it wouldn’t be a proper major European city without an incredible cathedral or chapel to visit. Such constructions are dotted throughout the UK in particular as stunning remnants to the religious and political history of the region. And the 12th century Glasgow Cathedral certainly fits the billing. It’s simply a gorgeous building that one can explore for an hour or more, and it also happens to be the site of the crypt of St. Mungo, a famous religious figure from the sixth century (who may now be best known via the Harry Potter series, for which his name was used in the naming of a fictional hospital).
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
If you were to hear that one of the most beautiful buildings in the biggest city in Scotland happened to housework by the likes of Salvador Dali and Vincent Van Gogh, you’d likely include it on your list of priorities. Well, as you can guess, that’s exactly the case with the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum! It’s a large, wondrous exhibit of art from throughout Europe’s history, and it also happens to be located along Sauchiehall Street, which is one of the most vibrant areas of the city for general exploration and recreation.
Hamilton Park Racecourse
This is technically a short distance south of the Glasgow city limits, but it can always be fun to see a bit of sporting activity when abroad, and it’s a gorgeous horse racecourse. As exemplified by major events and a constantly thriving betting market, horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the UK, and Glasgow is no exception. Hamilton Park hosts numerous events throughout the year, but the park itself is really the main draw. First opened in 1782 and reopened in something approximating its current form in the 1920s, it is a stunning, flawlessly kept outdoor venue that’s simply a treat to behold.
The Glasgow Necropolis
word “necropolis” always carries a morbid feel to it, but don’t get the wrong idea here. Yes, this is effectively a cemetery, and one with upwards of 50,000 burials no less, but it’s also one of the most beautiful places in the city. It’s situated on a hill near Glasgow Cathedral with beautiful views of the surrounding city, and monuments of every architectural style to observe. It’s a quiet, respectful place, and as such not your average tourist attraction. But it is worth visiting for its history, beauty, and a general sense of wonder.
This post has been written by a guest writer