Once named the European City of Culture, Glasgow is alive and kicking with things to do, see and explore. In Scotland’s biggest city you’ll find breathtaking historical monuments standing side by side with innovative architecture, and even Glasgow’s sporting venues have a thousand and one stories to tell about their Scottish heritage. But this town doesn’t hold back on the fun, either. There are theme parks, arenas and science centres to discover, too. And when you’ve had your fill of all the top-name attractions on offer, there’ll always be a friendly team waiting to look after you at one of our Glasgow hotels.
Attractions in Glasgow
If you want to learn more about the history of Glasgow or just want to take some envy-inducing snaps of some of the city’s coolest buildings, we can tell you where to start. With iconic establishments that have been around since the dawn of time, the city also plays homage to some of its most important figureheads, with statues dotted across town.
Named after King George III, George Square is regal in every way. Legends of the past including Sir Robert Peel, Robert Burns and Queen Victoria have been immortalised in statue form all across the square. So get those cameras ready! Not just a home for famous faces, it’s also the hub for the Glasgow City Council. And, come winter time, expect Scotland’s biggest ice rink to appear and the super festive event Glasgow Loves Christmas.
Glasgow Cathedral dates back to 1110, and this breathtaking medieval building was dedicated to St Kentigern, also known as St Mungo. Often titled ‘the birthplace of Glasgow’, it’s not a visit without tiptoeing down into the crypt to see St Mungo’s tomb or admiring the carved stone on the ceiling of the Blackadder Aisle. Coming out of the Scottish Reformation unscathed back around 1560, it is one of the city’s most-loved treasures as it holds so much of the country’s history. Fancy exploring? There’s a Premier Inn hotel near Glasgow Cathedral called Glasgow City George Square and booking here puts you right at the city's historic heart.
Nothing short of architectural brilliance, the Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery that tells the story of over 50,000 people. Sculptures and statues adorn the grounds depicting Scottish figureheads such as John Knox, Charles Tennant and William Miller, author of the famous nursery rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie”. We recommend taking a walking tour around the 37 acres of land to really delve into the history of this iconic area of Glasgow.
In Glasgow you’ll find that parks are more than just places to walk around - they’re awash with culture, sporting facilities and some of the best views of this beautiful city. So get ready to open your mind as well as your picnic basket.
Not content with being just a public park, at Bellahouston Park you can get your activity hat on, watch a concert or grab some culture. Excellent sporting facilities include a swimming and leisure centre, the Glasgow Ski Centre, bowling greens, cycling and even orienteering.
Little ones can play in one or all of the three play areas while culture vultures can visit the famous House for An Art Lover. Booking in to the Premier Inn hotel near Bellahouston Park means you’re within walking distance of all the fun, too.
Climb the dizzy heights to the top of Alexandra Park and you won’t be disappointed. The views of Ben Lomond and the Tinto Hills are unrivalled, so take a camera and a picnic! Back down on the ground, the Saracen Fountain is the showcase feature standing a whopping 40 feet high. A popular park for locals, facilities include the bowling green, golf course and playgrounds. With Alexandra Parade railway station just around the corner, seeing more of the city is made even easier.
Love to hike? Lace up your walking boots and head to Seven Lochs Wetland Park. As Scotland’s largest urban nature park, it’s the best place to get your fix of wildlife. Situated between Glasgow and Coatbridge, there’s 20 square kilometres of lakes, parks, nature reserves and woods to explore, and a network of walking and cycling trails that take you right into the heart of the action; all with lashings of fresh air to enjoy, too.
The official golden oldie of all of Glasgow’s parks, Glasgow Green is situated in the heart of the city. Highlights include social history museum the People’s Palace, which celebrates the lives of Glaswegian people dating back to 1750. Next door, an exotic collection of plants and shrubs makes up the Winter Gardens - the perfect place to unwind and soak up the atmosphere. Look out for the terracotta Doulton Fountain, too - it’s truly beautiful.
There’s a lot of fun to be had in Glasgow, but a few attractions will really put the cherry on the cake for your trip. Whether you want to learn interesting facts about the universe or feel the buzz of a theme park ride, you can do it all here.
Made up of the Science Mall, The Glasgow Tower and the IMAX Cinema, the Glasgow Science Centre will really make you feel inspired about science and technology. Look up at the stars in The Planetarium or learn about the power of your senses in the MindWorks area. Later, grab a film in 3D at the IMAX or climb the Glasgow Tower, the tallest, fully rotating freestanding structure in the world.
Get ready for all the fun at the fair and more! Just a 30-minute drive from Glasgow’s city centre, M&D's Scotland's Theme Park has loop-the-loop roller coasters, magic carpets, dodgems and disco boats to thrill you. And if that’s not enough, there’s Amazonia, an exotic indoor rainforest, glow in the dark bowling, gigantic soft play for the littluns plus a jam-packed events calendar full of thrills and spills. Is there anywhere to refuel, you say? Of course! There are a variety of food and drink options on site to keep all tummies satisfied.
If all of Glasgow’s many spectacular sightseeing options weren’t enough, it also has its own huge arena making it a mecca for fans of sport and entertainment.
Inspired by the shape of ancient Greek and Roman amphitheatres, the SSE Hydro is a distinctive music and sporting events venue. Opening its doors in September 2013, it holds up to 13,000 fans. Without a doubt Scotland’s largest entertainment venue, it has seen the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga and Muse take to the stage. Other events have included the BBC Sport Personality of the Year.
You can’t leave town without paying a visit to one of Glasgow’s sporting stadiums. And even if you wouldn’t watch a game of football played in your back garden, you may still enjoy taking a fascinating tour to soak up some history.
When you’ve been given the title ‘The National Stadium of Scotland’, you’ll be expected to impress. Hampden Park does exactly that. Opened in 1903, it once had a record attendance of a Scotland v England match of nearly 150,000 people. It now holds just a third of that capacity. The showstopping part of your visit will undoubtedly be the Hampden Experience which includes a stadium tour and visit to the Scottish Football Museum to learn all about the beautiful game via all its Scottish heritage.
Dating back to 1892, Celtic Park is affectionately known to fans as ‘Parkhead’ or ‘Paradise’. As the second largest club stadium in the UK, it has been through heaps of reconstruction over the years to make it bigger and better. Manning the stadium entrances, look out for past and present Celtic legends commemorated in statue form. Want to experience a match day? It’s all for the taking with a stadium tour with a visit to the dressing room and walk down the pre-match tunnel.
Home to Rangers FC and once a stage for a Frank Sinatra concert, Ibrox Stadium is new and improved. The great place to watch a match, it also allows access-all-areas stadium tours of its impressive trophy room, making it a must for avid fans and visitors who want a taste of the action.