Updated: Oct 2
My wife Liat got invited to a fascinating conference about Dark Tourism in Glasgow. It was our first visit to Scotland, and we were both very excited about it. As always, on our trips, while Liat was locked up for most of the daytime, I explored the city. And what a great city to explore! With Beautiful buildings everywhere, friendly people, fascinating museums (in most of them, the visit is for free), lots of street art, and the great River Clyde split the city into two – Glasgow is an ideal city for vacation. All these provide an excellent and very satisfying cultural experience.
With 600K citizens, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the 4th largest city in the UK. The most respected celebrity of the city and a name you must know when visiting Glasgow is the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). His works – Buildings and Furniture he designed, can be found in several places around the city. Unfortunately, his masterwork - the Glasgow School of Art's Library-was burned in 2014 and is now being restored. However, you can still visit some other significant buildings designed by Macintosh: The Lighthouse, Mackintosh House in the Hunterian Museum, Mackintosh Queen's Cross, and more. You can check all Mackintosh buildings and exhibitions on their website. However, unless you are an architecture or Mackintosh fan, I would suggest skipping the Tours at the Glasgow School of Art - I found it a little annoying.
During my visit, the annual parade of the Orange Order took place:
We stayed in Holiday Inn Express Theatreland hotel in the city center, very close to Buchanan Street and The Buchanan Central station. The hotel is small and very functional. They serve an excellent breakfast, and the customer service was very satisfying.
Things you should do when visiting Glasgow:
Walk. If you don't have to, skip cars and public transportation - just walk. Glasgow is very flat, vast, and full of beautiful buildings. So even though there is a very efficient subway, it is most recommended to explore the city on foot. Bicycles are also a good choice. I must share that even though it was rainy, I enjoyed walking the town back and forth.
Visit the museums. Particularly those who allowed free entrance. They are adorable and fit for all ages.
Take an evening walk on the bank of River Clyde.
Go to Buchanan Street & Sauchiehall Street, both pedestrian-only streets just in the middle of the City center, with lots of shops, malls, restaurants, pubs, and street performances all day long.
Drink Whisky. The Scottish, like their Irish neighbors, are very proud of their Whisky. Try it.
Eat Haggis. It is a traditional Scottish dish that contains the inner parts of lamb mixed with onions, oatmeal flour, fat, and spices. Haggis traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" – mashed potatoes and a mash of Rutabaga, a kind of a root vegetable. All dressed with Whisky Sauce. Just make sure you are eating it in a decent place.
And if it wasn't clear enough - visit at least one building and one exhibition of Mackintosh's work.
Have a nice trip to Glasgow! I missed it already.