Glasgow University

Built in a beautiful spot along the River Clyde, Glasgow was once one of the largest industrial cities in the world.  It has gotten a name as a dirty and industrial city with not much for tourists.  However, a large effort has been put into a rejuvenation of the city over the last decade.  The result is that Glasgow is becoming a beautiful city with many wonderful historical sites to visit and plenty of tourist sites to see. 

Things you MUST see/do:

Glasgow Cathedral – The first church built in this location was dedicated in 1136 and the current building was built in 1197.  The building has been standing and in use for more than 800 years, making it one of the oldest standing churches in Great Britain.  The church also contains a more modern twist as well.  The church has an amazing collection of post-war stained glass windows that are worth seeing.  The outside of the Cathedral is one of the best examples of gothic architecture we have seen.

Necropolis – This is on the grounds overlooking the Glasgow Cathedral.  It contains some of the most elaborate tombs anywhere in Europe.  Some of the most famous historical figures of Scotland are located in this Necropolis.  It is worth a tour around to see some of these great sights.  This also provides some of the best views that can be found in the city.

Glasgow University – Walking into the Glasgow University feels a lot like walking into Hogwarts in the famous Harry Potter Book Series by J. K. Rowling.  The gothic architecture is quite the sight to see.  It is one of the earliest universities in Britain and it is still functioning as a university to this day.  Perched up above the Kelvingrove Park area and the rest of Glasgow further below, it seems like the perfect location to study after high school!  While there it is a great idea to visit the Huntarian Museum and Art Gallery which contains some fascinating artifacts.

Riverside Transportation Museum – The Riverside Transportation Museum is located right on the River Clyde.  It is a beautiful location and a spectacular building and the contents of the museum are well worth a visit.  The museum contains a huge variety of the many forms of transportation over the years, including many cars, boats, bicycles and even some street cars/subways!  It could take a full day just to get around to all the different exhibits.  Entry into the museum is free, so it is a wonderful deal!

Kelvingrove Art Museum – Located in the shadow of Glasgow University, the Kelvingrove Art Museum is one of the best museums to visit in Glasgow.  It contains many art pieces, and artifacts from natural history.  There are many things to see, so leave lots of time to visit.  There is another great benefit to a visit to Kelvingrove Art Museum and that is that it is a free entry (like many of the other museums in Glasgow).

Kelvingrove Park – The area immediately surrounding the Kelvingrove Art Museum and below the University of Glasgow is a beautiful natural park called Kelvingrove Park.  This is a good place for a stroll in a park or even a great place for a picnic if you have the time and are looking for some romance.  The park also contains some nice tennis courts and a lawn bowling center that are enjoyable to watch for a while.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens – The Glasgow Botanic Garden is located around the area known to be more modern and trendy.  The stroll up to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens along Byrnes Road is nice as there are many shops and restaurants in this area.  The gardens themselves are very nice as well.  The park is quite large, with many nice quiet areas to sit and relax.  There are numerous greenhouses that are part of the Botanic Gardens, and seem to be overflowing with many types of lush flowers and other plants.

Tenement Museum – The museum was built in an actual tenement building.  It gives an insight to what life was like for many of the people living in Glasgow at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Glasgow Green – Glasgow green is oldest park area in Glasgow.  It is a beautiful park and very large, so take some time to wander through and is also home to the People’s Palace.  The Green is the current home of the World Pipe Band Championships.  The People’s Palace is home to some great popular culture artifacts from throughout the 20th century.  It is a trip down memory lane for many visitors!

Travels4Couples highly recommended EXPERIENCES:

A play, a pie and a pint – Oran Mor is a pub that was opened in 2004 inside the former Kelvinside Parish Church.  It is a great setting for a drink inside or out on the patio.  However, the best experience in the pub is “A Play, a pie and a pint.”  This is a lunch time theater show that involves, surprise, watching a show while getting a lunch meal of meat pie and a pint of beer.  It is supposed to be well worth a visit.  Be sure to check into it before going there, as there are times during the year when it is not running.

Checking out a Scottish Pub – It is a part of the culture in the United Kingdom to go to a pub after work or in the early evening.  Any neighbourhood pub will be packed between 4pm and 7pm, as locals unwind after a long day at work.  Make sure to check it out to get a good feeling of what British culture is all about!  Most pubs have very good food, so getting dinner while you are there is a great option.  Some good choices are Blackfriars, Scotia Bar or the Old College Bar.

Driving up to Loch Lomond – Loch Lomond is one of the largest Lochs (Scottish lake) in all of Scotland.  It provides a very picturesque sight that is breathtaking.  It is only a short drive (~1 hour) from Glasgow, so it is an easy trip to do in a day.  It is a nice way to experience the Scottish Countryside!

Dining at some of Glasgow’s great restaurants – There are many wonderful restaurants throughout Glasgow.  It would take multiple trips to the city to truly try them all!  It is best to try and have a varied experience in meals.  It is impossible to list all of the great choices in this guide, here are some highly recommended choices.  First and foremost, is Ubiquitous Chip.  The company is actually made up of 3 bars, a casual dining restaurant upstairs and a fine dining restaurant downstairs.  It is a fusion of modern and traditional Scottish cuisine.  The food is delicious and the setting (inside an old warehouse) is great!  It is one restaurant to absolutely put on the must try list, just like we did.  Glasgow is somewhat surprisingly a hub for traditional Indian Restaurants.  There are many good selections to choose from, but try the Dhabba.  It has very traditional meals and it is all very good!

Travels4Couples #1 ROMANTIC thing to do in Glasgow:

Do an overnight trip to the Isle of Skye – This is definitely a stretch to say it is IN Glasgow, but it would be a shame to miss out on seeing the Isle of Skye on a trip to Scotland and Glasgow is the closest big city to the Island.  It is too far to travel here for a day trip and a day trip would miss a lot of what there is to see on the Isle of Skye, so plan to stay at least one night.  The Isle of Skye is the prototypical Scottish countryside that is shown in movies and TV shows.  The rugged, yet grassy, mountains making their way down to the ocean are best exemplified on the smaller islands and it is the easiest Isle to get to from the main Island.  It is fantastic to see the views!  Another advantage of a road trip up to the Isle of Skye, is driving by the Eileen Donan Castle.  This is one of the most spectacular sights for a castle anywhere in the world.  It is perched out on a tiny peninsula in the middle of one of Scotland’s many lochs.  Such a spectacular sight!