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Best things to do in Glasgow

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Where in the world: Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Glasgow
From countless concert events, to the restless nightlife offered by a slew of pubs, bars, and clubs, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Glasgow. Explore the vast collections of Scottish and European art housed at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, or head to The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel to see vintage cars, bicycles, and ship models. Nature lovers can admire a remarkable plant collection at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, known for its well-kept grounds.

Glasgow is best known for its Art Museums, Nightlife, and Specialty Museums.

Top 15 things to do in Glasgow

1. The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel

Exhibiting some of the world’s finest vintage automobiles, bicycles, ship models, trams, and steam locomotives, The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel features interactive displays and a historic Glasgow street scene, giving life to many of the objects presented here. Entertaining guided tours introduce the history of transportation in all of its many forms. Use one of 90 large touchscreens to browse through images and videos telling the stories behind the exhibits. Also explore interactive displays and access platforms that allow you to climb aboard some of the trams, trains, and buses.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

See one of Europe's best publicly owned art collections at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Tour the 22 galleries containing some 8,000 items, such as works from Scottish and European artists and ancient artifacts from around the world. Some of the highlights include one of the UK's best collections of paintings from the Dutch Old Masters and French Impressionists, galleries of Scottish art from the Glasgow Old Boys and Scottish Colourists, and artifacts from early Scottish settlements. You can download the museum's tour guide app to help make your visit more informative. The site has a cafe, coffee shop, and cloakroom.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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3. Glasgow Tigers Speedway

Feel the thrills and spills of live motorsports at Glasgow Tigers Speedway, where the local speedway motorcycle team competes. Watch the racers power-sliding and broad-sliding their machines into the bends, creating a roar and a rain of particles. Formed in 1928, this dirt and loosely packed shale oval track has long provided entertainment for Glaswegians, who previously held greyhound racing here. Roary the Tiger works the crowd during intermissions, and an onsite cafe and take-out vendor handle race-day hunger. Bring a cushion for seating in the stands.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Glasgow Science Centre

Unlock the mysteries of science in one of Glasgow's most futuristic-looking buildings at Glasgow Science Centre. The site includes three components: the Science Mall, an IMAX cinema, and the Glasgow Tower. In the first--which is meant to represent the canted hull of a ship--explore more than 250 exhibits across three floors. These exhibits, many of which are interactive, explore the themes of "Explore and Discover," "Science in Action," and "Science and You." Sit in on a presentation in the Science Show Theatre, and learn about the workings of our universe on the planetarium's 15-m (49-ft) projection ceiling. Check the schedule at the IMAX cinema--the first of its kind in Scotland--to see what's playing on its 25 by 18.9 m (82 by 62 ft) screen. As far as the site's third component goes, you'll likely have to settle for viewing it from the outside. The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes the Glasgow Tower as the world's tallest of its kind that rotates 360 degrees. Unfortunately, the 127-m (417-ft) tower's been mostly closed due to structural problems since construction finished in 2001. The Science Centre offers a restaurant in case your hunger for more knowledge also gives you hunger for actual food. Children under the age of three can visit for free.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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5. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park, a Sir Joseph Paxton-designed park, is a classic example of a Victorian Park and makes for a refreshing, breathtaking stop in your travels. You can discover the sunlight cottages, the Highland Light Infantry Monument, and the Tom John Honeyman Garden. Marvel at the elegant gardening, which includes five bowling greens, herbaceous borders, riverside walkways, and displays of azaleas and rhododendrons. Step over to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries while you’re there. For a more active day, visit the children’s play areas, croquet greens, skateboard parks, and four tennis courts. Special events are sometimes scheduled, so check ahead of time to plan accordingly.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Glasgow Cathedral

The historically rich Glasgow Cathedral is an exceptional example of gothic architecture that has served as a place of worship for over 800 years. Explore where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, is believed to have built his church in the 6th century, and venture into the crypt where his tomb stands. As you walk through the aisles, marvel at one of the finest post-war collections of stained-glass windows to be found in Britain. Cathedral guides, identifiable by their blue robes, are happy to answer any of your questions or provide a tour. With an active congregation, the cathedral holds regular services you are welcome to join.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Glasgow Botanic Gardens

A popular public park with several greenhouses containing an impressive plant collection, Glasgow Botanic Gardens offers a variety of fun and educational activities all year round. Explore the park’s many riverside walks, exotic tropical areas, and calm woodlands by yourself or on a free guided tour. Visit the main greenhouse, designed to look like a palace, to learn about the garden’s extensive collection of New Zealand and Australian ferns, some of which have lived here for over a century. These protected trees now form an important part of the national tree fern collection. End your visit with a refreshing stop at the garden’s tearoom, featuring outdoor and indoor seating, and serving breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. People's Palace and Winter Gardens

Originally opened in 1898 as a recreation space and museum, since the 1940s, People's Palace and Winter Gardens has been a museum for the social history of Glasgow. Inside the Victorian architecture, you'll find the stories of the city's people from 1750 to present day. Explore the winter gardens, where lush foliage thrives all year long protected from the damp weather outside. The main building's interior commemorates Glasgow's history in murals and panels. For example, the domed ceiling displays a series of panels by Ken Currie depicting the Calton Weavers’ Massacre of 1787. Outside you'll find the Doulton Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Pollok Country Park

Escape from the city at Pollok Country Park, a 146-hectare (360-acre) expanse of well-manicured green space, previously named the Best Park in Europe. Stretch your legs on miles of trails, and choose a quiet picnic spot to forget about urban life. Before the building of a highway in 1994, the park was the largest urban green space in Europe. Visit shaggy Scottish Highland cattle, and view the eclectic antique and art collection of shipping magnate William Burrell. If you want to go faster than your own two feet can carry you, the park has also opened three mountain-biking routes.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. The Burrell Collection

At The Burrell Collection, see one of the world's greatest individual accumulations of art. Wealthy shipping magnate Sir William Burrell acquired some 8,000 works during the 19th and 20th centuries and gave them to the city of Glasgow. View some of them--such as artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and paintings from 19th-century French artists--on one of the two daily themed tours. The collection is comprehensive, covering everything from ceramics and weapons to tapestries and stained glass. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits, so see what's on before you visit. You might also enjoy one of the scheduled talks or workshops.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Stirling Castle, Stirling

Stirling Castle was not only the home of Mary Queen of Scots, but also an important center of art and culture in the 16th century. Still dominating the region’s skyline, the castle remains one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture, with majestic halls, vaults, kitchens, and galleries. Climb the castle’s high stone walls to look over an area where medieval armies clashed and decided the fates of many European nations. Today, the site’s parade ground is often used for open-air concerts and other special events, with nearly 400,000 visitors dropping by the various attractions each year. Purchase your tickets online before stepping into the castle’s fascinating world of passion, political plots, and royal intrigue.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. The Necropolis

A Victorian cemetery resting on hallowed ground just east of Glasgow Cathedral, The Necropolis is a monument to the individuals who built Glasgow. Although over 50,000 people are buried in the cemetery, only 3,500 monuments stand. Some of these are large, detailed memorials that pay homage to the importance of the person interred, while other small gravestones mark the humble resting places of those less fortunate. You'll find three modern memorials: one in remembrance of those who fought in the Korean War, one to those who were awarded the Victorian Cross, and another for stillborn children. All of these tell a story of the city. Visit the cemetery for a stroll through the names that collectively created today's Glasgow.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Buchanan Street

The largest shopping street in Scotland, Buchanan Street is also known for its Victorian-era architecture. High-end, brand-name stores run along the street from north to south, but some local shops reside on the side streets. Begin at the south end of the street with the Princes Square Mall and the House of Fraser flagship store. At the north end of the street are the Buchanan Galleries and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Both cultural attractions are worth a visit after your shopping, but take your time getting there.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. The Kelpies & The Helix, Falkirk

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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