6 best must-see sights in Glasgow

Travel advice from Cheap Flights

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. Sitting on the banks of the river Clyde, it is a beautiful settlement with a rich history and culture. And now, with flights to Glasgow from destinations such as Malaga, Paris, London and Berlin, so reasonable and frequent, there’s no reason not to visit this wonderful city. You’re sure to have a great time no matter what you choose to do on your trip, but in case you’re stuck for ideas, here are just a few helpful suggestions to whet the appetite.

See a Scottish National Opera production

Scottish Opera is Scotland’s national opera company. Glasgow’s Theatre Royal has been its home since 1975, and it was also Scotland’s first national opera house. Scottish Opera aims to make opera accessible to all, and has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Barclays TMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera four times; twice in 1994 for Der Rosenkavalier and Macbethand twice again in 2002 for Siegfried and Die Walküre, as well as the Herald Angel Award in 2008 for The Two Widows.

Try your hand at curling

Curling has been popular in Scotland since at least the 1500s, but recently achieved more widespread popularity after becoming an official sport of the 1998 Winter Olympics. The game is a bit like bowls but is played on ice, and it has really taken off in places like Braehead Curling Rink and Giffnock Curling Club. If you like the idea of Curling but prefer not to get cold and wet you could pop into the Curler’s Rest pub for a drink instead.

Visit an art gallery

Glasgow has an especially vigorous art scene, with numerous first rate galleries displaying a wide variety of different types of art.

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery has one of the best collections of painting by Whistler in the world

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses a comprehensive collection of old masters.

If your tastes run more towards the modern and avant garde, head for the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) instead.

Attend a festival

Throughout the year Glasgow hosts a great variety of festivals celebrating all aspects of Scottish life and culture. Personal recommendations would definitely include the Celtic Connections Festival in January, which is all about traditional Scottish music. The Glasgow Film Festival in February attracts visitors from around the world and features both local and international productions in a variety of traditional and cutting edge genres, with workshops and retrospectives thrown in for a very lively few days of culture and entertainment. Musically, of course, Scotland is most famous for its bagpipes, and the International Piping Festival in August is a celebration of everything to do with an instrument you either love or hate.

Drop into a museum

As you’d expect from this city of high culture, there are plenty of museums in Glasgow and you’re sure to find something of interest whatever your tastes.

The Lighthouse is a national centre for art and design where visitors can see permanent exhibitions of cultural trends in furniture, architecture and other aspects of popular modern culture, and there’s a viewing gallery on the top floor for great views across the city.

Riverside Museum, or the Glasgow Museum of Transport as it’s also known, houses a large collection of railway carriages, ships and road vehicles to illustrate transport trending down the years. The largest single item is a South African locomotive, and visitors can climb aboard many of the exhibits to get a real feel for vintage transport.

Have a cuppa in the famous Willow Tearooms

Mackintosh, the great Scottish designer and architect, created these elegant tearooms in the early 20th century for Kate Cranston, a local restaurateur. After being closed since 1926, the tearooms were reopened in 1980 to reveal the full splendour of Mackintosh’s vivid imagination – the perfect setting for a nice cup of tea and a sit down with a cream cake!