Charm by the Clyde: Glasgow, Scotland

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Curated By

Amanda Nelson

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  • Glasgow

  • Arts & Culture

  • Family Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Solo Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • History

  • Architecture

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Curator’s statement

Glasgow holds an irreplaceable spot in my heart, having been the backdrop to a chapter in my life where I lived and met my husband. Behind its unassuming façade lies a tapestry of charm and character, woven together by the warmth and authenticity of its Glaswegian residents. While it can sometimes be overlooked for Edinburgh or the Highlands, Glasgow's allure lies in its unpretentious beauty, rich history and the genuine hospitality of its people.

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Where to stay in Glasgow

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Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel

Glasgow’s most stylish stay, with wood-lined guestrooms, a prized Afternoon Tea service and distinctive heartfelt service.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel

A historic stay steps away from iconic West End sights featuring elegant suites for relaxation after a day of exploring.

Dakota

Contemporary property in a brick building in downtown Glasgow with inviting rooms and suites.

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Things to do in Glasgow

A mural of a man holding a bird on a building surrounded by trees and cars.

Nestled along the River Clyde in Scotland, Glasgow seamlessly blends its rich history with a contemporary spirit, creating a captivating urban landscape. Begin your exploration of the city in the West End at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where a rich cultural tapestry unfolds amidst masterpieces and historical artifacts. Marvel at the renowned artworks, diverse exhibits and the stunning architecture of this iconic Glasgow institution. Head across the road to embrace the outdoors at Kelvingrove Park, a sprawling green oasis offering a rejuvenating escape with leisurely walks, riverside picnics and a charming bandstand.

Continue your journey through the West End and visit the historic University of Glasgow, where architectural marvels and iconic cloisters reflect the academic ambiance of one of the world's oldest universities. Experience the charm of Ashton Lane, a cobbled street illuminated by fairy lights, offering an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and boutiques.

Across Great Western Road, find tranquility in the heart of the city at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, where vibrant botanical displays and exotic plants create a horticultural haven.

Along the River Clyde, you can visit the Riverside Museum, an award-winning destination that immerses you in the evolution of transportation and technology. With over 3,000 objects on display, including vintage cars and interactive exhibits, it offers an engaging glimpse into Glasgow's industrial heritage.

In the town center, embark on a creative journey through the city's streets with the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail, admiring vibrant street art that highlights Glasgow's dynamic and artistic spirit.

Step back in time at Glasgow Cathedral, a breathtaking medieval masterpiece showcasing intricate stained glass windows and a sacred history. After, uncover intriguing tales at the Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery perched atop a hill with atmospheric pathways adorned by ornate gravestones.

On the south side of the city, Immerse yourself in nature at Pollok Country Park, where woodlands, gardens and meadows house the elegant Pollok House and the renowned Burrell Collection, combining natural beauty with cultural treasures. Keep an eye out for Highland Cows in the pastures around the park.

Places to eat & drink in Glasgow

A gourmet meal plated on a white plate next to a bread basket and glass of white wine on a restaurant table with two hands nearby.

There are a number of establishments which embody Glasgow's diverse and dynamic food and drink culture, offering a range of experiences from traditional to contemporary. These handpicked establishments showcase the diversity and character of Glasgow, inviting you to explore the city's culture one bite, or sip, at a time.

The Bothy Glasgow: Immerse yourself in a cozy Scottish ambiance at The Bothy Glasgow. Known for its warm hospitality and hearty Scottish fare, indulge in classic dishes with a modern twist. The rustic charm and extensive whisky selection make it an ideal spot to savor traditional flavors in a welcoming setting.

Stravaigin: Embark on a culinary adventure at Stravaigin, where global influences meet Scottish ingredients. With a commitment to innovation, this restaurant offers an eclectic menu featuring creative dishes that showcase the best of local and international flavors. The stylish yet relaxed atmosphere makes it a perfect choice for a memorable dining experience.

Cail Bruich: Elevate your dining experience at Cail Bruich, a Michelin-star gem in Glasgow. With a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant presents a refined and contemporary Scottish menu. Impeccable service and a thoughtfully curated wine list complement the sophisticated yet approachable atmosphere.

The Buttery: Step into elegance at The Buttery, housed in a historic building with a timeless charm. This restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a menu highlighting Scottish produce. From sumptuous steaks to seafood delicacies, The Buttery is an iconic choice for those seeking classic cuisine in a sophisticated setting.

Glaschu: Experience modern Scottish cuisine at its finest at Glaschu. This chic restaurant emphasizes seasonality and showcases the creativity of its chefs through innovative dishes. With a stylish interior and an emphasis on culinary artistry, Glaschu promises a gastronomic journey that reflects the vibrant spirit of Glasgow's dining scene.

Oran Mor: Raise your glass to Oran Mor, a multifaceted venue nestled in the heart of Glasgow's West End. Whether enjoying a dram in the Whisky Bar, savoring craft beers in the Brasserie or catching live entertainment in the Auditorium, Oran Mor offers a spirited and culturally rich atmosphere for an unforgettable night out.

The Ben Nevis Bar: Discover the warmth of a true Scottish pub at The Ben Nevis Bar. Nestled in the vibrant Finnieston neighborhood, this traditional pub boasts a vast selection of whiskies, ales and hearty pub fare. With live music adding to the convivial ambiance, The Ben Nevis Bar is a quintessential Glasgow watering hole.

West Brewery: Immerse yourself in the unique experience of West Brewery, housed in the iconic Templeton Building. This German-style brewery offers a selection of precision-crafted lagers and hearty Bavarian dishes. The beer garden overlooking Glasgow Green provides a scenic backdrop for enjoying your brew in a relaxed setting.

Drygate Brewing Co: Elevate your craft beer experience at Drygate Brewing Co, one of Glasgow's pioneering craft breweries. With a diverse range of beers brewed on-site, a vibrant bar atmosphere, and a spacious beer garden, Drygate is a haven for beer enthusiasts seeking innovative flavors and a lively social scene.

The Clydeside Distillery: Indulge in the rich history of Glasgow's maritime heritage at The Clydeside Distillery. Perched on the River Clyde, this distillery offers guided tours, tastings, and a stylish whisky bar. Enjoy panoramic views of the river as you savor a dram of their meticulously crafted single malt whiskies.

Need to Know

Getting There: Glasgow is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Glasgow International Airport (GLA) serves as a major entry point for international travelers, offering direct flights from major cities worldwide. Additionally, Glasgow is well-connected by train, via Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Queen Street Station, providing excellent rail links to major cities in the UK. The city is also accessible by bus and car, with well-maintained road networks connecting Glasgow to other parts of Scotland and beyond.

When to Visit: Glasgow welcomes visitors throughout the year, each season offering a unique charm. Summer (June to August) brings mild temperatures and longer days, ideal for exploring parks, gardens and outdoor attractions. Autumn (September to November) paints the city in warm hues, creating a picturesque setting for cultural events and festivals. Winter (December to February) transforms Glasgow into a festive wonderland, with holiday markets and seasonal activities. Spring (March to May) brings blooming flowers and a sense of renewal, making it an excellent time to enjoy the city's parks and cultural offerings. For those seeking vibrant festivals and events, consider planning a visit during the Glasgow International Comedy Festival in March or the Glasgow Film Festival in February.

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Bijoy Shah’s guide, Off-The-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Glasgow.

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Travel Advisor

Amanda Nelson

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