Glasgow is often given a bad reputation compared to its elegant and sophisticated sister Edinburgh, being more industrial and gothic to the pretty and romantic capital city but for what it may lack in aesthetics it makes up for in charm and character. Glasgow was crowned the City of Architecture, Capital of Culture and Commonwealth Games Host in 2014. What was once a city of gangs and slums, now shines with tolerance and diversity.
George Square & Merchant City
George Square and the City Chambers is the grand space that forms the city centre (almost like Trafalgar Square in London). There are some prominent statues in the square and depending on the time of year depends on what else that is there. Giant G for the Commonwealth Games and a Winter Fun Fair at Christmas. Just south of George Square is the Merchant City, named after the prosperous years of the trade routes of tobacco, rum and sugar.
Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)
On Exchange Square, just down from George Square is the Gallery of Modern Art. Housed in a former bank, this has been open to the public since 1996, with some leading modern artists hosting exhibitions there. The gallery itself is not very big and does not take long to cover all the rooms.
Outside GoMA you will find a statue of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head. This has been removed numerous times, but always finds its way back!
SECC & Hydro
In 2008 Glasgow was appointed a City of Music by UNESCO. The SECC (affectionally named the Armadillo for its architecture) and the Hydro at the primary arenas in the city now. The venues are also used for exhibitions and sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games.
People’s Palace & Glasgow Green
The People’s Palace is a real collective memory of the economic, social and political past of Glasgow from its residents. It is situated in Glasgow Green which is Glasgow’s oldest public park
Glasgow Cathedral & Necropolis
Glasgow Cathedrals is one of the few remaining churches in Scotland that survived the Reformation, originally being built in 1136. The gothic architecture is representative of the city, with its compelling atmosphere. Behind the cathedral is the necropolis, a labyrinth of tombs with impressive vistas of the city.
Kelvingrove & Glasgow University
Glasgow University was founded in 1451, and the current gothic spires dominate the West End skyline. The University is amongst the oldest in the English speaking world and boasts an Alumni of 7 Nobel Laureates. Down the hill is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This free museum is one of the most visited in Scotland with 8000 objects to browse. The main hall has a massive pipe organ, and you can sit at the cafe there in the atrium. The Kelvingrove was shut for three years due to a considerable refurbishment, and although it does look different from when I used to visit here as a child, it is still a really interactive place to take the kids.
Weegies (Glasgewians) are warm, funny and open. Grab your waterproofs (you are going to need them) and walk around this fantastic city. Take a ride on the ‘Clockwork Orange’ Glasgow’s own metro system, drink Iru-Bru, eat fish-n-chips at 3 am (only place in the world I know that a chippy is always open) and live life as they do in Glasgow.
“In Glasgow, ‘how’ means ‘why’? You do not ponder why. You demand HOW?” Kevin Bridges