Uncover Glaswegian Gems: Your Guide to Glasgow

Advisor - Bijoy Shah
Curated By

Bijoy Shah

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  • Glasgow

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • History

  • Architecture

  • Local Culture

  • Sightseeing

Vintage house with a beautiful garden can be found at Pollok Country Park.
Curator’s statement

Glasgow's charm lies in its perfect blend of tradition and modernity. With its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture and friendly locals, Glasgow has something for the history enthusiast, the art lover, the foodie, the outdoor adventurer and everyone else! Let me show you some of my favorite attractions, places to eat and drink, shopping experiences, outdoor activities and more.

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Where to stay in Glasgow

Crossbasket Castle

A 17th-century castle turned into a luxurious hotel with Victorian-style design and amenities worthy of a royal.

Fora Perks
  • Welcome amenity

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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.

  • Welcome amenities.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.


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

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Things to do in Glasgow

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum showcases diverse collections of art, artifacts and natural history.

Glasgow is home to a plethora of must-visit attractions and landmarks that showcase its rich history and cultural heritage. Start your exploration at the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral, a masterpiece of medieval architecture. Admire the stunning stained glass windows and take a moment to soak in the serenity of this spiritual place.

Next, head to the iconic Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery that offers panoramic views of the city. Take a leisurely stroll among the elaborate tombstones and monuments, and learn about the famous individuals buried here. For art enthusiasts, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must-visit. Housing an extensive collection of art and artifacts, this museum will take you on a journey through different periods of history.

The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is a hub for contemporary art, showcasing thought-provoking exhibitions and installations. The Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera are also worth checking out, offering world-class performances that will leave you spellbound.

One of Glasgow's most famous attractions is its vibrant street art scene. Embark on the Mural Trail to admire the urban artworks that embellish walls and corners throughout the city center. Discover standout pieces by acclaimed street artists like Ali Wyllie, Art Pistol and Ejek.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is like stepping into a treasure trove with over 8,000 fascinating exhibits in a beautiful building. From a World War II Spitfire to Salvador Dalí's mind-blowing Christ of St John of the Cross, there's something jaw-dropping at every turn. Check out dinosaur skeletons, medieval armor and stunning masterpieces by famous artists like the Dutch Old Masters, French Impressionists and the Scottish Colourists. Plus, don't miss meeting Sir Roger the Elephant, a towering taxidermy that's a huge hit with visitors. It's easy to spend hours here, so plan accordingly!

A place that some people don't immediately consider is the Riverside Museum for an immersive journey through the city's rich transportation history. From vintage cars and bicycles to locomotives and even a tall ship, the museum offers a captivating glimpse into the evolution of travel both within and out of Scotland. No matter your specific interests, the Riverside Museum delivers an unforgettable experience that showcases Glasgow's vibrant heritage in a dynamic and engaging way.

If you need a break from the hustle, step into the vibrant expanse of Pollok Country Park, spanning over 360 acres on the southern outskirts of the city. As soon as you enter, you're greeted by the majestic herds of Highland cattle, a living legacy since 1830. Follow the winding paths through lush woodlands, peaceful glades and manicured gardens. Each corner a discovery waiting to delight. Make sure you explore the acclaimed Burrell Collection, a treasure trove boasting masterpieces by Rodin, Degas, and Cézanne, alongside exquisite late medieval, Chinese, and Islamic art.

If you need to get out of the city, go see some waterfalls. Nestled between the majestic Campsie Fells and the scenic Fintry Hills, the Loup of Fintry stands as a breathtaking testament to Scotland's natural beauty. Situated along the River Endrick, just a few hops from the charming village of Fintry. This remarkable waterfall plunges multiple tiers of rugged rock before gracefully cascading into the valley below. It's like watching nature paint, in real time. The name "Loup" originates from the Scottish word for "leap," a fitting descriptor for the mesmerizing spectacle of water leaping over the rocks.

When it comes to shopping, Glasgow offers a unique blend of high-end boutiques, independent stores and bustling markets. The Style Mile, located in the city center, is a shopper's paradise, with a wide range of high street and designer stores. Buchanan Street, the main shopping street, is lined with upscale shops and department stores, making it the perfect place to indulge in some serious, doctor-approved retail therapy.

Places to eat & drink in Glasgow

Cail Bruich is a fine dining restaurant serving seasonal, locally sourced produce.

Glasgow is a food lover's paradise, with a wide range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. From traditional Scottish cuisine to international flavors, you'll find it all in this city. For a true taste of Scotland, try the storied haggis, a traditional dish made from sheep's offal, oats and spices. Pair it with a glass of Scotch whisky for the ultimate dining experience.

If you're looking for a fine dining experience, head to one of Glasgow's Michelin-starred restaurants. The Gannet and Cail Bruich are two exceptional choices that offer innovative menus using locally-sourced ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, explore the city's vibrant street food scene.

If you like history with your meal, step into The Scotia Bar, Glasgow's oldest surviving pub dating back to 1792, where history and legend intertwine. This pub, nestled on one of the city's original streets, has welcomed a diverse array of patrons over the centuries, from sailors and merchants to theater performers. Notably, it shares a storied past with the adjacent Metropole Theatre, where comedy legend Stan Laurel began his illustrious career. Today, The Scotia Bar remains a cherished gathering place for artists and writers, preserving its rich heritage while continuing to inspire creativity and camaraderie. Some people believe that it's haunted, as well.

Located at the bottom west corner of Kelvingrove Park, Five March brings a burst of vitality to Glasgow. Indulge in weekend brunch delights paired with freshly-juiced cocktails. From reimagined British classics to colorful vegetarian dishes bursting with flavor, every plate at Five March is a culinary masterpiece.

A’Challtainn, Scottish Gaelic for "the hazel wood," is renowned for its focus on Scottish seafood delicacies. The daily specials are always a hit, but the risotto (as an accompaniment or something on the plate with your main) is a revelation, boasting a rich and creamy texture that is spectacular.

Now, a personal favorite of mine is Mowgli. Dining at Mowgli is an absolute must for anyone seeking an unforgettable culinary experience. Mowgli offers a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere that perfectly complements its innovative Indian cuisine. The curries are fragrant and wonderful, but the tantalizing street food bites burst with bold flavors and fresh ingredients, creating a culinary journey that delights the senses. The restaurant's commitment to authenticity and quality shines brilliantly. Whether you're craving a cozy dinner for two or a lively gathering with friends, Mowgli is one of my top recommendations.

I'd be terribly amiss if I didn't add a spot to get some great dessert. Head to Loop & Scoop, the UK's first ice cream and churro bar. Yes, you read that correctly, and I wouldn't blame you if you set off on a daydream for a moment. Let's be real folks, I don't really need to go on.

Now for some drinks!

August House kicked open its doors in August 2022 and has quickly become the spot for gin cocktails in Glasgow. Did you know Scottish gin is beloved, much like Scotch whisky. For example, try the Blackberry Rose Negroni — it's a twist on the classic, mixing up Blackberry Gin, Campari and Cocchini Rosa, topped off with a juicy orange slice. It's like summer in a glass.

Also, try out Celentano's! Nestled in the vibrant Cathedral Square of Glasgow, Celentano's seduces you inside with its chic ambiance and Italian flair. Celebrated for its inventive twists on traditional Italian fare, they've earned the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand. But I suggest taking a dive into their drink menu, where homemade liqueurs and cordials infused with herbs from their very own garden and honey from their resident bees take center stage. Yes, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN BEES. For a twist on the expected, try the Tequila White Negroni, a blend of tequila, homemade white vermouth and zesty orange peel, topped with a splash of blood orange. Like nothing you've had, but something you'll want again.

Need to Know

To most outsiders, Glasgow is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Now I don't think it's hidden, but it surely is a gem. From its rich history and stunning architecture to its vibrant culture, this city has something for everyone. No matter your interests, Glasgow will captivate you with its charm and leave you wanting more. Trust me, you'll love it.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Discover the Best of the Cotswolds: A 4-Day Itinerary for Unforgettable Adventures. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Glasgow.

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

Travel Advisor

Bijoy Shah

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