The Best of Glasgow
Glasgow, on the banks of the river Clyde, is the largest city in Scotland. Many people come for the vibrant live-music scene—but if club-hopping isn’t your thing, the contemporary arts, theater, and revitalized cuisine will keep you occupied.
100 Pointhouse Rd, Glasgow G3 8RS, UK
Looking like the graph of a boom-and-bust financial market, the Riverside Museum’s jagged tooth–like facade, designed by the late Iraqi-British “starchitect” Zaha Hadid, is an iconic bit of development on the banks of the River Clyde. Inside, you’ll find Glasgow’s extensive collection of all things related to transportation, from skateboards and locomotives to prams, cars, and an Imperial Stormtrooper. Wander through the interactive displays to visit city shops, bars, and subway stops, then climb aboard a train, tram, or bus and get a feel for old public transportation. Visitors can also discover Glasgow’s rich shipbuilding history, explore the car and motorbike walls, and help put out a blaze with an interactive fire engine. Before leaving, head outdoors to the quayside to see the Tall Ship Glenlee—one of only five Clyde-built sailing ships that’s still afloat.
Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, UK
An ornate late-Victorian heap of red sandstone, the Kelvingrove (located within a lovely park of the same name) is Glasgow’s signature museum—and one of the most popular attractions in Scotland. Free to enter, it features a full house of historic exhibitions on everything from animals to Ancient Egypt and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, plus a wide range of important Scottish art (like Colourist Samuel John Peploe’s Roses), several French and Dutch works, and Salvador Dalí's iconic Christ of Saint John of the Cross. Visiting exhibitions, such as Leonardo da Vinci drawings, round out the offerings. There are also regular organ recitals and free tours on weekends, making the Kelvingrove a perfect family attraction.
64 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NY, UK
Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, Cafe Gandolfi is a bona fide dining landmark in the Merchant City district of central Glasgow. It’s aged remarkably well, thanks to its organic timber furniture by Tim Stead and simple but innovative cooking with mostly seasonal ingredients. Classics in the Gandolfi canon include the smoked haddock chowder known as Cullen skink and the Stornoway black pudding (from the Isle of Lewis), served with mushrooms and pancakes.