Why is Glasgow a nice city and deserves more credit?

A question people often ask about Glasgow is whether the city is nice. Not only Glasgow is a nice city, this place also deserves more credit for what it is and can offer. 

Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city, and like Birmingham in England, the city seems to have a rather poor reputation. One of the most visited cities in the region is Edinburgh-the capital city of Scotland. However, should we give Glasgow a chance to shine too? 

Despite its poor reputation, Glasgow is a nice city and deserves more credit. Glasgow is a vibrant city with a cosmopolitan vibe. The city is tourist-friendly and offers a great selection of free museums, international restaurants, wonderful architecture and affordable accommodation options.

Since we agreed it’s time to make Glasgow shine, let’s have a closer look at why you should visit the biggest city in Scotland. Like me, I’m sure you will fall for this Scottish hidden gem. 

Why is Glasgow a nice city and deserves more credit?

Glasgow is home to a dozen of museums and most of them are free of charge, so why isn’t the city getting the credit it deserves?

With over 20 museums and galleries, Glasgow offers a wide variety of options for museum aficionados. If you are in Glasgow for a few days just like I was, make sure you do not miss the GALLERY OF MODERN ART and the KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM. These are the top museum recommendations I would make to anyone visiting Glasgow. While the GALLERY OF MODERN ART takes less time to visit, you should allocate a good few hours to the KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM

When I visited the KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM, the main exhibitions covered ancient history, biology, paintings and modern art. The museum’s main attraction at the time was The Jesus Painting, one of Dali’s famous artworks. 

At the GALLERY OF MODERN ART, the focus was on modern art and the history of the building where the gallery is hosted nowadays. If you are interested in modern art, this is a museum I would recommend visiting.

Other museum recommendations: If you have more time in Glasgow, I would also encourage you to visit the Riverside Museum. The Riverside Museum does not only attracts visitors thanks to its modern look, but also thanks to its valuable exhibitions.  

Admire the city’s massive graffiti collection and you will see that Glasgow is a nice city and deserves more credit for this.

If you enjoy walking tours and at the same time are looking for something different to do, why not walk around Glasgow while admiring the city’s impressive graffiti collection. The graffiti drawings are spread across the city, so they are a marvellous way to visit the most iconic places in Glasgow. Some of the spots I would not miss are: 

For some shopping experience, head to Buchanan Galleries, one of the biggest shopping areas in Glasgow. For a more Victorian vibe head to Buchanan Street, the most famous street in Glasgow for eating out and shopping. St. Enoch Street is another good place for eating out and window shopping. 

For a more Victorian vibe head towards Glasgow Central. I found the train station extremely beautiful. The entire area is full of amazing architecture.

For more Victorian architecture, make sure you do not miss visiting George Square. St. Andrew’s in the square is another spot I would recommend checking out if you like these types of places. 

The Cathedral is another place you do not want to miss if you visit Glasgow. Not that I’m a religious person, but this impressive 12th-century old masterpiece takes anyone’s breath away. If you have time, next to it is the Museum of Religious Life and Art.   

In my opinion, one of the best viewpoints in Glasgow is Glasgow Necropolis. Glasgow Necropolis is essentially a cemetery where the Victorian aristocracy was buried. If you are a Braveheart fan, there is also a monument dedicated to William Wallace. Make sure you don’t miss Glasgow Necropolis for a breathtaking view of the gothic cathedral and a panoramic view over Glasgow.

The remaining pieces of the old town are still visible throughout Glasgow like this tower here. I enjoyed discovering every piece of the old town architecture as I walked through Glasgow hunting down the graffiti drawings.

The graffiti walking tour is an excellent way to discover Glasgow at your pace and admire the beautiful architecture of the city. While there is plenty of modernisation work going on in Glasgow, especially in the financial district, the city centre still maintains its old vibe. I simply adored the architecture in the city centre. 

Head to the river for a lovely riverside walk!

An alternative to the museums and city walks is the rather long river Clyde promenade. There are bicycle and walking paths which can take you as far away from Glasgow city centre as you want to walk. The view is lovely and is just another way to discover Glasgow on foot. 

Take your time to admire some of the most beautiful bridges in Glasgow. While some of them are pedestrian-only, some of them are used by cars too. They look lovely at sunset, so an evening walk is a must, more so if the weather is nice. Some of the bridges I liked and recommend checking out were Squiggly Bridge, The Clyde Arc and Millenium Bridge

If you prefer walks in the park, I would suggest looking up the Botanic Garden or the Kelvingrove Park. These parks are wonderful for a stroll in nature. 

No matter which of these walks you choose, I can bet you won’t get disappointed.

Did you know Glasgow has a building similar to Sydney Oprea House? I discovered it while walking along the river. I wonder who copied whom? 

Glasgow is also relatively close to the Scottish Highlands, arguably the most popular place for hiking in Scotland. From Glasgow, we’ve headed to the Highlands and found the train connections quite good. Several trains depart daily from Glasgow to the main towns in the Highlands. Therefore, Glasgow is a good starting point if you are heading to the Highlands afterwards.  

Glasgow is well connected with the rest of the country

The benefit of visiting Glasgow is that is well served by trains. You can easily reach Edinburgh in around 1h and travel to London in under 6h. While this might sound long to you, I must say the train journey is rather pleasant with some spectacular scenery on the way. I don’t know how other people are, but train trips are my favourite. That’s when I’m the most productive and focused. Plus, you help the environment since trains are much more environmentally friendly than planes are. 

Therefore, don’t forget next time you are about to complete a long train journey, plan to have some work done. You might be surprised how some instrumental music and a moving train can work in your favour. Do you get work done on the train?  

However, if you need to fly, Glasgow it’s served by an airport that operates international flights too. 

Glasgow has a good range of budget accommodation and restaurants

You can visit Glasgow on a tight budget. There are affordable accommodation options even in the middle of the city. OK, you might have to give up on some luxuries like extra space. However, you will still be able to enjoy Glasgow from the comfort of a private room that’s only 10 minutes away on foot from the main attractions. 

What I enjoyed about Glasgow is how culinary diverse the city is. You can have anything from traditional Scottish food to the more exotic Turkish dishes. Whatever you choose to have, please make sure you book the place in advance. On a weekend day is almost impossible to find something available. Believe me, I experienced this the hard way.  

Glasgow is a university city

Glasgow is home to an impressive number of 5 universities. This means that a significant percentage of its population is composed of students. Apart from contributing to the city’s multicultural diversity, the student population is also an important component of the economy. While studying, most students visit places, buy gifts, eat out and go out. In a word, they are a good source of income for the local economy. Through their work, students also contribute to academic research and the body of knowledge. 

As one of the most popular university cities in the UK, Glasgow got shaped by its impressive student population. Therefore, you can spot around the city, all sorts of places aimed at students. These kinds of places give Glasgow its youthful vibe. 

I always enjoyed visiting university cities, they feel more dynamic than regular cities, don’t you think so? 

Visiting Glasgow is not all roses

While Glasgow is a lovely city I look forward to revisiting it one day, some places in Glasgow can feel rough. Almost everyone I asked for help, directions etc. has been lovely. I could never say a bad thing about that. However, some places in Glasgow did look rough. By no means I felt unsafe in Glasgow, however, there were times when I felt uncomfortable. 

But as the song says, what does not kill you makes you stronger. And while I acknowledge the roughness of this city, I  also admit that I fell for Glasgow. Despite this ugly part, Glasgow is by no means the BAD BOY OF SCOTLAND. On the contrary, it was less crowded and felt less touristy than Edinburgh. And this is a bonus to me because I always look for authentic experiences in my travels.  

You know what they say about the weather in the UK. Let me say that after visiting Glasgow, you will find the weather in England excellent. In some regards, the weather in Glasgow does remind me of Birmingham. Both cities seem to have the same type of climate. The day I arrived in Glasgow it rained, the sun came out again, then a proper storm started, and finally the day finished on a cloudy note. Therefore, be prepared for sudden changes and be prepared for more, violent rain than in the rest of the country.  

You must be mad not to love the Scottish accent!

The first thing you will notice in Scotland is the local accent. The Glasgowgean accent is a very thick one, but similar to the Birmingham accent it brings joy to the listener. After all my travels in the UK, I have the feeling that the more you get up north, the thicker the accent becomes. And the worse the weather gets, the friendlier people are. This is by no means intended to offend other regions of this beautiful country. It’s merely a personal observation I can make after my few trips to the North of England and Scotland lately. 

With so many positives to consider, it is not difficult to see why Glasgow is a nice city and deserves more credit. Would you visit the biggest city in Scotland? What would be the first thing you would do on your first trip to Glasgow? 

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