19 Things to Do in Glasgow for Students
If you’re planning on studying in Glasgow and want to know more about what’s on offer in the city, look no further. We’ve compiled an extensive list of the best things to see and do in Scotland’s second city.
1. George Square
Located in the centre of the city, close to Queen Street and Central Station, the Square is a must see for fans of history.
Here you can find 12 statues of famous Scottish figures including Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Queen Victoria also makes an appearance, and it was she who opened the iconic City Chambers on the Square in 1888.
You can get a free guided tour of the Chambers and see the stunning Victorian architecture and decor. The building’s marble staircase and mosaic ceilings are truly beautiful and well worthy of an Instagram post.
2. Merchant City
Close to George Square you can also visit Merchant City, one of Europe’s busiest shopping destinations. Bustling with gin bars, cocktail lounges and a plethora of restaurants serving international and Scottish cuisine, this is a must-visit place!
Once 18th century industrial warehouses, now it’s a shopper’s paradise, full of designer boutiques and an elegant shopping block looking out onto a courtyard.
City Halls and the Old Fruitmarket also host classical and pop concerts here.
3. Go on a Shopping Spree!
If you love shopping but prefer high street brands rather than the designer labels found in Merchant City, then head to Argyle Street.
Along with Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street, it’s the main shopping street in the city, with shops lining its 2.1 mile distance!
The shops on Buchanan Street are a little more upmarket than those found on the surrounding streets, so there’s something for everyone.
Shops, offices, cafes and restaurants are close at hand in the nearby Royal Exchange Square. Get your camera ready for this one - it’s a real landmark thanks to its distinguished architecture and history.
4. Glasgow Cathedral
Any visit to Glasgow would not be complete without stepping into Glasgow Cathedral.
It is the only medieval building in Scotland to have survived the Protestant Reformation intact and is built on the site where Saint Kentigern is buried.
Make sure you check out the fine stained glass windows and the carved stone bosses.
5. Gallery of Modern Art
The GoMA is a must see for any visit to Glasgow. It’s the most visited modern art gallery in Scotland and displays colourful artwork and thought-provoking contemporary art exhibitions.
Outside the gallery you’ll find one of Glasgow’s most famous attractions - the statue of the Duke of Wellington which almost ALWAYS wears a traffic cone!
6. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Another art gallery that’s well worth a visit is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
It’s easy to lose yourself for hours within the extensive range of remarkable exhibitions here.
The Kelvingrove hosts artwork, historical objects and interactive exhibits. On top of that there’s a skate park, bandstand, children’s area, waterfall and the surrounding Kelvingrove Park.
It is home to the original iconic Salvador Dali painting ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’. Amongst its 22 galleries you can also see fossils, dinosaur bones, minerals and furniture from around the world.
Chances are you’ll need to visit more than once to be able to see everything!
7. Glasgow Botanic Gardens
This beautiful attraction is situated just 10 minutes away from the University of Glasgow and is the perfect place for a day out.
The Kibble Palace, a glasshouse designed by John Kibble, James Boucher and James Cousland, is home to an array of orchids, carnivorous plants, and tree ferns.
Makes a great photo opportunity for your Instagram account!
8. The West End
The West End of Glasgow is one of the most beautiful parts of the city and is full to the brim with shops and restaurants. Ashton Lane hosts a number of bars with deals on cocktails while the Grosvenor Cinema screens new films and cult classics.
Eating out here is easy with options like Ramen Dayo and Ubiquitous Chip.
Make sure you pay a visit to Byers Road, often described as ‘the main artery flowing through the heart’ of the West End!
9. The Architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Glasgow is proud of its many architectural gems, several of which were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The Lighthouse on Mitchell Lane was his first public commission and was once owned by the Glasgow Herald.
Now it’s an exhibition centre and events space. You can go inside and climb the spiral staircase to the tower and enjoy views over the city.
The recently-restored Willow Tea Rooms in the city centre is worth a visit too, as is Queen’s Cross Church. Both are masterpieces made by Mackintosh, as is the Glasgow School of Art.
10. Riverside Museum
Don’t rush your visit to the Riverside Museum - it’s absolutely packed with 3,000 objects on display.
You can board trams, walk down cobbled streets and enter shops from the early 1900s in this favourite for tourists and locals alike.
11. The River Clyde
Glasgow is built around Scotland’s most famous river, the River Clyde. It stretches over 100 miles and is an ideal location for a morning walk or cycle.
What’s more, it is lined with numerous attractions such as the Glasgow Science Centre, The Tall Ship, Springfield Quay, and Intu Braehead.
12. Glasgow Science Centre
Open since 2001, the Glasgow Science Centre is one of Scotland’s most popular paid-for visitor attractions.
Located on the south bank of the River Clyde in the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration area, this isn’t just a place for families and children.
On the last Wednesday of every month, it hosts adults-only ‘Science Lates’ events where guests can drink, dance in a silent disco and explore the museum after hours.
13. The People’s Palace
This is a place which tells the story of the development of Glasgow and its people. The Palace is situated in the historic Glasgow Green.
Here you can learn about lots of different topics which have shaped the Glaswegian people over the centuries, from tobacco lords to Trade Unions.
After enjoying the permanent exhibitions, you can have a cuppa in the cafe or see the tropical plants in the winter gardens and Victorian glasshouse.
14. Follow the Mural Trail
Art in Glasgow isn’t only to be found in galleries and museums. It’s also very present in the streets in the form of murals.
On the sides of walls and buildings in the city centre you’ll witness a floating taxi, the Hip Hop Marionettes and Strathclyde University’s Wonderwall.
15. Barrowlands Park
A slightly more unique place to visit is the Barrowlands Park in the East End of Glasgow.
It was commissioned for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and at first sight appears just like any other park.
If you look more closely you’ll see that it is decorated with a long rainbow-coloured path which cuts through the park.
This piece of street art is a chronological record of all the artists that have played at the nearby, iconic Barrowlands music venue.
16. Barras Market
While you’re in the area of the East End, you could also check out the Barras Market which opens on Saturdays and is one of the UK’s oldest markets.
The name refers to wheelbarrows (the Glaswegians pronounce ‘barrow’ as ‘barra’), which was the old traditional way of carting wares to the markets.
Nowadays this authentically Glaswegian market consists of indoor covered stalls as well as street stalls.
Everything is on sale from fresh fruit and vegetables, to boots, kilts, antiques and collectable items.
17. Live Music
Glasgow is famous for being a very musical city and is home to many iconic live music venues.
One of the most famous is King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, which has housed many famous artists such as Coldplay, Snow Patrol, the White Stripes and Radiohead.
It was here that Oasis were discovered and signed to a record label in 1993.
You’ll definitely have an amazing time here, and who knows - you could be watching the next big thing!
18. Pollok House
This elegant stately home was formerly the family seat of the Stirling-Maxwell family and is now protected by the National Trust for Scotland.
It’s located just outside of Glasgow City, on the outskirts, and is surrounded by the tranquil greenery of Pollok Country Park.
You’ll feel like royalty as you walk through the passages of this grand, beautiful building.
Its luxurious rooms, art collection, servants’ quarters and cedar-panelled smoking room look like they belong in Downton Abbey!
Once you’ve taken in the vast array of wonders within, you can take a stroll through the Pollok Country Park or have a bite to eat in the Edwardian Kitchen Cafe.
19. The Hunterian Museum
This is the University of Glasgow’s museum dedicated to William Hunter and is the oldest museum in Scotland.
It looks like it could be an inspiration for Hogwarts with its delightful architecture.
It consists of various buildings on the main campus of the University of Glasgow, in the West End of the city.
It covers the Hunterian Museum, the Hunterian Art Gallery, the Mackintosh House, the Zoology Museum and the Anatomy Museum.
There’s plenty to take in, so make sure you have lots of time to see everything!
With so much to do in Glasgow, you’ll never get tired of exploring. Yugo’s new, impressive Glasgow residences provide the perfect base from which to explore the sights and sounds of Glasgow!