Formerly known as ‘Second City of the British Empire’, Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and is set to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Despite exaggerated reports about the bad weather, it offers a vibrant, cultural city experience. Architecturally, the city has much to offer: ‘just look up’ is the advice offered by proud Glaswegians. If you are visiting Glasgow in 2013, here are a few things you could do.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s biggest tourist draws and is the most-visited museum in the UK outside London. It is situated in a breathtaking red sandstone building in the city’s West End. It contains over 8,000 exhibits, including paintings such as Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross, relics of Scotland’s history, the natural history of Scotland, activities for youngsters and temporary exhibitions.
The city centre is home to most of Glasgow’s main cultural venues, including the Theatre Royal (performing home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet), the King’s Theatre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Film Theatre, Gallery of Modern Art and the Lighthouse Museum of Architecture. The world’s tallest cinema, the eighteen-screen Cineworld, is situated on Renfrew Street.
Glasgow Science Centre should offer something of interest for all ages. It is made up of three attractions: the Science Mall, with over 300 hands-on exhibits, live science shows, labs; the Planetarium, projecting the night sky for a more accessible viewing; and the only IMAX cinema in Scotland.
With over 70 parks, Glasgow is affectionately known as ‘The Dear Green Place’.
The oldest of the parks, Glasgow Green, is immortalised in Edwin Morgan’s dark poem of the same name. The Green houses the impressive People’s Palace museum. Here, you can find out Glasgow’s story through a wealth of historic artefacts, paintings, prints and photographs, film and interactive computer displays.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens is set in a public park. The gardens feature a series of linked glasshouses including the famous Kibble Palace, built in 1873 and one of the largest glasshouses in Britain. There are displays of tree ferns from Australia and New Zealand, and plants from Africa, the Americas and the Far East.
Eating out in Glasgow
If you’re looking for some Scottish cuisine, Arisaig restaurant is a smartly presented Scottish bar and restaurant, located within the impressive courtyard of the historic Merchant Square. Menus seek to offer the finest locally-sourced produce.
Ubiquitous Chip has grown to become something of a Glasgow icon. It houses the expansive mural by renowned Scottish writer and artist Alasdair Gray, while the courtyard dining room is undoubtedly a magical eating venue.
If you’re looking for something completely different, Khublai Khan Mongolian barbecue restaurant offers an exciting menu, including zebra and kangaroo.
Getting about Glasgow
The Glasgow Subway is the UK’s only completely underground metro system, and is generally recognised as the world’s third oldest underground railway after the London Underground and the Budapest Metro.
As you can imagine, this makes getting about much easier. Nevertheless, you would be well advised to carry a map with you on your travels. A-Z have created a choice of Glasgow map products, whether you are a resident or just visiting Glasgow.