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Things to Do in Glasgow

Offering the best of cosmopolitan living, affordable housing options, a thriving economy and the outstanding natural beauty of the Highlands on its doorstep, Glasgow has become an increasingly desirable city for first-time homebuyers.

If you’re thinking of buying property in Glasgow – and you’d like to get a better idea of all the city has to offer – read on for the top things to see and do in Scotland’s largest city.

History
No matter what part of the city you choose to explore, it’s impossible to spend time in Glasgow without experiencing its rich history and heritage.

One of the city’s most imposing buildings, Glasgow’s City Chambers is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. It was opened by Queen Victoria in 1888 and has been the headquarters of successive councils for more than a century. Join one of the daily public tours to marvel at its magnificent interior, from the marble staircase to the intricately-detailed mosaic ceiling and grand banquet hall.

With its striking medieval façade, Glasgow Cathedral is one of the few churches in Scotland to survive the Reformation of 1560 intact – and it’s one of the city’s top historic attractions. A short walk from Glasgow Cathedral is the Necropolis, an incredibly atmospheric cemetery that dates back to 1833.

Merchant City, one of Glasgow’s oldest quarters, is another must-visit spot for history lovers. Once a thriving trade centre, this area is now brimming with lively restaurants, boutiques and galleries.

Culture
Glasgow has become a cultural and creative powerhouse in recent years, and the city boasts no shortage of cultural attractions to explore.

Hosting a year-round programme of exhibitions that span several genres, including printmaking, photography and digital media, Trongate 103 is a fantastic introduction to the city’s contemporary art scene.

Glasgow’s music scene is equally iconic — the city is teeming with renowned and historic venues ranging from the SSE Hydro to Barrowland Ballroom and King Tut’s.

Museums and galleries
A true icon, you simply cannot visit Glasgow without exploring the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Not only does it house 22 state-of-the-art galleries displaying more than 8,000 objects, but the building itself is an architectural masterpiece dating back to 1901. Delve into Scottish history or get lost amongst the world-famous collection of arms and armour – there’s something here for every taste.

Located within easy walking distance of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery is Scotland’s oldest public museum, The Hunterian. It’s home to a remarkable range of artefacts, along with a collection of the work of Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

If you’re keen to learn more about Glasgow’s history, don’t miss the Riverside Museum, an innovative building that houses over 3,000 objects – from trains to planes, skateboards and prams — which tell the story of Glasgow’s transport, shipbuilding and engineering heritage.

Food and drink
Glasgow’s culinary scene is vibrant, diverse and ever-expanding, offering everything from small independent eateries to artisanal cafes, high-end restaurants and an impressive range of international options.

Head to the West End to explore some of the city’s top culinary hotspots; the Ubiquitous Chip on Ashton Lane is a Glasgow institution, and there’s a new wave of acclaimed restaurants popping up in the Finnieston area. Street food markets like Big Feed and Dockyard Social are also great options if you want to sample a bit of everything.

The city’s drinking culture is one of the strongest in Europe, and a visit to Glasgow wouldn’t be complete without a dram or pint in one of its many pubs, bars and breweries.

Shopping
Often touted as the best shopping city in the UK outside London, Glasgow is a fantastic destination to engage in a bit of retail therapy.

Buchanan Street is at the heart of the ‘Style Mile,’ a retail hub encompassing hundreds of designer outlets, luxury shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques and major department stores. If you prefer independent outlets, the West End – particularly around Ashton Lane and Cresswell Lane – offers quirky and unique options for clothing, antique furniture and everything in between.

Outdoors
Despite its urban setting, Glasgow is an incredibly green city: you’ll find more than 90 parks, gardens and green spaces peppered throughout the city.

Whether you fancy a scenic woodland walk or a tranquil park to kick back and relax, there are plenty of places to enjoy the great outdoors in Glasgow.

Stroll through leafy Kelvingrove Park, take advantage of the cycle tracks at Pollok Country Park or enjoy the sweeping city views at Queen’s Park — the options are endless.
 

Getting Around Glasgow

Transport links in Glasgow are generally excellent; the city is well serviced by an extensive network of rail and road links, along with two international airports.

Thanks to its convenient underground system and efficient urban rail network – which is the largest in the UK outside of London – travelling around in and around the city centre is simple and affordable.

Bus and rail services run regular routes to and from Glasgow’s suburban areas, making them the preferred modes of transport for commuters.

The main motorway route is the M8, connecting the city centre to the M74, M77 and M80.

Glasgow Airport is roughly 20 minutes from the centre, and it offers flights to more than one hundred domestic and international destinations. Alternatively, you can easily jet off to popular European hotspots from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

 

Economy and Job Market

Boasting the largest economic centre in Scotland, Glasgow’s diverse economy means there are plenty of job opportunities and career progression prospects available in a wide range of industries.

A few of the city’s key sectors include health and social work, finance, retail and tourism. Manufacturing, engineering and education also add to the city’s thriving economy.

The city continues to see steady economic growth, and some of the biggest names in the UK – from Aggreko to Clydesdale Bank and BBC Scotland – along with an impressive range of international brands, have chosen to call Glasgow home.
 

Schools and Education

Home to several universities within 10 miles of the city centre – including the prestigious University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde – Glasgow provides some of the best higher education opportunities in the country.

There are also a number of specialist colleges and institutions, along with excellent primary, secondary and private schools in various regions throughout the city.

You can find a complete list and area-specific information on the Education Scotland website.

Have a question?

If you need advice for  first-time buying in Glasgow – or if you’re looking for a reliable mortgage broker in Glasgow – don’t hesitate to contact us today.

We’re experts on all things mortgage-related (and our services are always 100% free).

Merchant City

40 High Street, G1 1NL map

West End

280-282 Dumbarton Road, G11 6TD map

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