Four big reasons to visit Glasgow

by Kim on June 27, 2013

When thinking of Scotland, it’s often the country’s capital Edinburgh that springs to mind – with its fancy ‘largest arts festival in the world’ and reputation for ‘beautiful historic architecture’. Be that as it may, but Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland – third biggest in the UK – was European city of culture in 1990, and has an incredible amount to offer. Here are four big reasons to check it out.

Music

Glasgow has long had an illustrious music scene (generating such artists as Franz Ferdinand and Dire Strait’s Mark Knopfler) and this legacy continues in the wealth of venues to choose from of an evening. The more daring should check out The Sub Club (the world’s longest running underground club) which boasts such acts as LCD Soundsystem and The Kills, as well as hosting Primal Scream’s first ever gig. If you can only pick one, get yourself to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the venue where Oasis were first signed, by Creation Records founder Alan McGee. It’s cramped and sweaty, but legendary; the gents even has a “Wonderwall”, but we’ll leave that as a discovery for you to make.

Architecture

Glasgow is home to a plethora of Victorian architecture from its time as an industrial powerhouse in the late 19th century. The University of Glasgow, founded in 1451 and the 4th oldest university in the English-speaking world is a gorgeous site, and don’t forget to go on a free tour of the City Chambers (built in 1888, designed by William Young) which run at 10:30am and 2:30pm every day. Finally, the Glasgow Necropolis, situation behind the equally beautiful Glasgow Cathedral, is a stunning Victorian Cemetery, where wealthy merchants have indulged in some serious posthumous one-upmanship.

Museums 

The Riverside Museum should be top of your list. Formerly known as the Transport Museum, its new location on the river Clyde (on a former shipyard) is very picturesque, and the exhibits detail Glasgow’s (and Scotland’s) contributions to world travel and transport – a legacy very few cities can match. It won European Museum of The Year award, 2013, so get your tickets now (actually, no need; it’s free). Also consider the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (free) which houses a fantastic international art collection, with particular focus on French impressionists and the Dutch Renaissance.

Food 

Glasgow has a wealth of culinary options. Special mention must go to its curry scene, which stands on a par with Bradford and Brick Lane’s. Mother India on Argyle Street comes highly recommended. Fans of Chinese and Malaysian food are equally well served – try Asia Style on St. George’s Road. Lastly Rogano, on Exchange Place, is a seafood restaurant of much renown, as well as being Glasgow’s oldest surviving restaurant, replete with 1930s art deco glamour.

Vivienne Egan writes for travel extras company FHR.

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