With a fresh perspective and a makeover, Scotland’s largest city of Glasgow is adapting well to post-industrial life in the 21st century. A former powerhouse of industry, today the city is home to Scotland’s most popular museums and art galleries. Glasgow is also becoming a greener city and it could be argued that it is returning to its roots – the name Glasgow even means ‘green hollow’. To put it simply, Glasgow is a city reborn. What are its best attractions for curious visitors? Read on to find out more…
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is the city’s most popular visitor attraction. Housed inside a striking building fashioned out of red sandstone in the Spanish Baroque style, inside visitors will find everything from French Impressionism to an RAF Mark 21 Supermarine Spitfire. Entry is free and over 2 million people pass through its grand doors every year!
Glasgow School Of Art
Glasgow’s most famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh has contributed much to the city. Buildings such as the Glasgow School of Art, Queen’s Cross Church and the Willow Tea Rooms are all fine examples of Mackintosh’s legacy. Wander around the School of Art (known locally as ‘The Mac’) to truly appreciate his Art Nouveau sensiblities. A revolving lineup of installations and exhibitions at the school are also worth investigating.
Glasgow Science Center
After years of neglect following the decline of Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry, the banks of the River Clyde have recently been given an overhaul. The centerpiece of this regeneration is the titanium clad Glasgow Science Center. Designed to resemble the hull of a ship, this huge ‘science mall’ offers over 250 science based learning exhibits. As with many science attractions, the centre encourages interaction and informal education and there are exhibits aimed at all age groups.
Taking a tour of a cemetery might seem like an unusual recommendation, but Glasgow’s Necropolis Cemetery which lies to the east of the city has much to offer. Modelled on the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, the cemetery is the resting place of some 50,000 individuals. The stunning gothic monuments the stand stark against the (often) bleak Glaswegian sky create an intriguing atmosphere. Walking tours are organised by volunteers known as the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis who combine architecture, sculpture and historical themes.
Glasgow Green Park
Glasgow Green Park is the city’s oldest public park. Located in the Saltmarket neighbourhood, it is within walking distance of the city centre and is a great place to escape from the bustle of the city. The park is also home to the People’s Palace, where visitors can learn about the history of Glasgow. Many artefacts including photographs and paintings tell the story of city during the 19th, 19th and 20th centuries. Next door are the beautiful Winter Gardens which are home to many exotic plants and shrubs.
Glasgow’s West End has quickly acquired a reputation as being Glasgow’s main hub for the arts. Oran Mor is undoubtedly the beating heart of the city’s cultural scene and hosts many of the city’s major music and theatre performances. Housed in a refurbished Victorian church, Oran Mor is also famous for its A Play, A Pie and A Pint lunchtime performances. Glaswegians have been enjoying affordable midday culture since 2004 and today it is the UK’s most successful lunchtime theater series. This is just a small selection of the kind of exciting attractions Glasgow is famous for. For those looking for accommodation in the city, Wimdu have a range of holiday apartments that are perfect for short stays and holidays here. Cover image via Giuseppe Milo / FlickrCC