Glasgow was once overlooked by visitors in favor of Edinburgh, but now the city of culture has firmly grabbed the reins as one of Britain’s most popular destinations. Boasting fabulous Georgian and Victorian architecture, a lively restaurant scene, and some world-class museums and galleries, Glasgow is a city to savor for at least a day or three.
Day 1: Glasgow Saunter
Downtown Glasgow is a foot-friendly grid of streets focusing on the pedestrian shopping thoroughfares of Buchanan Street and famous Sauchiehall. Walk through to the historic Merchant City district for grand Georgian architecture dating from Glasgow’s heyday as Britain’s premier port city, and check out the over-the-top grandeur of the Corinthian restaurant with its stained-glass dome. Follow Sauchiehall to the gentrified West End, with its bohemian shops and restaurants, or jump aboard a hop-on hop-off tour to combine Glasgow sightseeing with transport.
Day 2: Galleries Galore
From religious history to cutting-edge trends at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow’s cultural mix is perennially vibrant. The St. Mungo Museum at the cathedral explores religious customs over the centuries, while the oddly named Provand’s Lordship is Glasgow’s oldest house and medicinal herb garden. One of Glasgow’s most prized galleries is on the edge of the city at the Burrell Collection, surrounded by the woodlands of Pollok Park.
Day 3: Charles Rennie Mackintosh Tour
The architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of Glasgow’s most famous sons, whose Art Nouveau architecture and furnishings continue to be admired. Start the tour with a coffee at the white-on-white Willow Tearooms on Sauchiehall, with its lovely lead light glass and slender silver furnishings. Nearby, take a guided tour of the architect’s Glasgow School of Art building, with its furniture gallery and library. Then make your way to the acclaimed Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to see examples of the designer’s influential enamelwork, glassware and interior designs.