Why Glasgow Is A Scottish Must-See For Art Lovers

what to do in glasgow

Unsplash/Artur Kraft

Glasgow, Scotland is sometimes overshadowed by nearby fairytale Edinburgh. But Glasgow is actually Scotland’s largest city, and it’s full of charming gems with a young, artistic spirit around every corner.

You’ll likely gravitate toward The West End, Finnieston and the East End for all of your aesthetic travel wanders. We suggest heading straight from the main train station’s adjacent business-minded blocks into the neighborhoods with a bit more style for all of your artistic, eating and drinking needs.


Yes, Edinburgh has the Fringe Festival, but Glasgow has an enormous offering of contemporary art housed within a more modern-feeling city. Starting with the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, you can see a fabulous collection of fine art before hitting up some less polished spots.

Then it’s on to the galleries, performance venues and gathering spaces. There’s Transmission, House For An Art Lover, Glue Factory, Pipe Factory, Queens Park Railway Club and the Tramway, all created in post-industrial, warehouse-type spaces.

what to do in glasgow

Flickr CC/Magnus Hagdorn

If street art is more your style, you should follow the City Centre Mural Trail for views of the best designs the city has to offer. Looking for a funky vintage piece to make your own art or spice up your home decor? Check out The Barras, a giant weekend flea market.

To end your artistic Glasgow experience, head to The Art School. No, it’s not an actual place of education. It’s a bar and club filled with art students and other music fans in need of a drink and a good time.


Getting hungry while perusing this cultural feast? Head to the Center for Contemporary Arts and eat some yummy, healthy fare at Saramago before viewing the collection.

If you want to try some Scottish food with a hipster spin, we like Ox and Finch for the creative small plates of local specialties (think venison carpaccio and smoked haddock). The Gannet is award-winning and great for up-styled, hearty Scottish dishes, although it’s slightly more pricey. Craving more pub food than a traditional dinner? Try Stravaigin for your classic bar snacks. (You can also order off the restaurant menu for less basic food).

what to do in glasgow

Flickr CC/Reading Tom


You’re either drinking beer or whisky in Scotland; sometimes, you’re even served a small bit of whisky with your pint. At Drygate Brewery, you can find beers served in a cozily adapted former factory. WEST Brewery combines German-style beers with Scottish pub traditions, creating a cool beer garden feel with intriguing snacks. We hope you like sausages!

If you want to sip whisky, go to Ben Nevis Bar (live music!), The Good Spirits Co (tastings!) and Bon Accord (350 bottles to choose from!). If you’re unsure where to start, ask your bartenders for some tips and a wee taste of their favorites.

Feeling a little cultured out? Grab a train into the Highlands right from Glasgow’s central train station. But don’t forget to grab a nice third-wave coffee at Riverhill Coffee Bar or Cafe Wander on your way. Gotta get that caffeine before heading into the wild.


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