There’s plenty to see and do in Glasgow and after a trip to Edinburgh this year, it was of course next on my places to visit in Scotland.
Scotland’s largest city is world-renowned for its buzzing arts and culture scene, architectural heritage and class-leading shopping.
With long list of things to see and do this is a whistle stop tour of the city at its best. During the trip we focused on plenty of the buzzing music scene in Glasgow as we took our trip during the weekend of the MOBOs, which took place at the brand new SSE Hydro Arena. If you’re planning a trip to the city, try and book tickets to this amazing venue or at least ask a taxi driver to drive you past, it looks like a giant spaceship.
First up, the culture spots we visited.
The Kelvingrove Musuem Art and Gallery is a beautiful building with plenty to fawn over in just the lobby area. It’s one of Glasgow’s most visited attractions and it would be hard to not spend the whole day in there wondering around seeing the astonishing 8,000 objects. The collections are extensive and wide-ranging with natural history, arms and armour and art from plenty of different movements.
We saw the largest retrospective exhibition ever devoted to the world-famous Scottish artist, Jack Vettriano; an expansive collection of his most definitive and best-loved works.
Argyle Street, Glasgow. [email protected]
Glasgow School of Art is widely recognised as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s greatest architectural achievement, and after a tour around the building from staff who clearly admire his work, it’s hard to dispute that statement. Even the smallest details in the building will leave you astounded at his attention to detail. The Glasgow School of Art is a great starting off point for an insight into the architect and his work, but you can delve deeper with the Mackintosh Trial, the one-day ticket allows visitors unlimited travel on SPR Subway, First Bus Services and includes entry to all participating Mackintosh attractions – see here for more information. www.peoplemakeglasgow.com/guide-book/visitor-itineraries-full-day/mackintosh-trial
Don’t forget to download the app, The Walking Heads Tour too (available through iTunes and Google Play). An innovative idea which will allow you to see and discover the exciting places and guides you off-the-beaten track of Glasgow. The founder Dougal Perman will walk you through the hidden and overlooked music locations in the city’s streets, ensuring you get to know the real Glasgow music scene.
And if music is your thing, you have to visit these next few places.
The Arches is not only the place for the best club nights and live music, but has plenty of theatre and other culture activities taking place too. It’s an amazing venue for a bite to eat too. Held underneath Glasgow’s Central Station the vast space was founded by Andy Arnold in 1991, the venue is constantly re-investing money it makes from the popular club nights with some of the world’s best-known DJs performing there, into their cultural aspects. 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow www.thearches.co.uk
Voted BBC Radio 1 and NME’s ‘best small live venue in Britain’ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is must-see for any music lover. It’s renowned as the bar where iconic legend’s Oasis were discovered 20 years ago, some of the world’s biggest bands have performed there – as shows their extensive list on the stairs. 272a St Vincent St, Glasgow. www.kingtuts.co.uk
Don’t forget to check to see if there are any events at the SWG3 – the Studio Warehouse – whilst you’re visiting too. It houses artists’ studios, a gallery, a gig venue and an occasional bar so there is always plenty going on. We saw Kate Nash on our visit and it’s safe to say this was the perfect location for her new direction in music. Studio Warehouse, 100 Eastcale Place, Glasgow www.swg3.tv
The final place we saw on the music seen was one of the most iconic venues in Scotland, the Barrowlands Ballroom; which has hosted some of the biggest names in music – David Bowie being one of them. An incredible building with a rich history, this is a place you must visit and hope that there’s an event on whilst you’re there. And if you’re looking for a bargain or two then head to the market there on a Sunday morning, it’s bound to wake you up from the night before. 244 Gallowgate, Glasgow. Tel: 0141 522 4601
And finally, one of the best things about Glasgow – the amazing food on offer, we tried a few amazing places that I would definitely recommended you pop on your Glasgow list. First up, 29 Private Members Club where we dined in The Grill Room, a wide selection of starts, mains and desserts and where I tried my first ever Haggis – A delicious starter I would definitely recommend you try. 29 Royal Exchange Square www.29glasgow.com
The Gannet is an exciting new restaurant that is housed in a grade II listed, 108 year old tenement building. Placed on Argyle Street, this is an exciting part of Glasgow and a place I would highly recommend you visit, either for the food or the bars doted along the street. 115 Argyle Street
Café Gandolfi is known for their passionate promotion of local Scottish produce and that shines through in their delicious menu of a wide choice. 64 Albion Street www.cafegandolfi.com
The Citizen M hotel housed us for two nights in Glasgow, and it’s a hotel that I would whole-heartedly recommend. Whilst basic and compact, the rooms are clean, comfortable and the huge bed makes for an extra contended sleep – something you’ll need exploring Glasgow day and night. 60 Renfrew Street, Glasgow www.citizenm.com