Glasgow tours

Best tours in Glasgow

The city of Glasgow charms visitors with its seamless blend of the traditional and contemporary. It’s a cultural powerhouse with an impressive art gallery, centuries-old university and sprawling Victorian gardens, but there’s still much fun to be had learning all things Scotland with the likes of numerous brewery tours and the legendary Hampden Park, where you can not only visit the Hall of Fame but head out onto the hallowed turf. So, whether it’s art, breweries or politics you’re looking to pack your Glasgow holidays with, it’s safe to say you’ll find it all here!

  1. Scottish Football Museum
  2. Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery
  3. City Chambers
  4. Gallery of Modern Art
  5. Kelvingrove Park
  6. University tour

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Scottish Football Museum

A tour of the Scottish Football Museum gives visitors a great insight into the history and legacy of football in Scotland. Start off by taking in the vast displays of memorabilia and video clips, then move onto the Hall of Fame, where you can read all about some of Scotland’s footballing legends, from Denis Law to Kenny Dalglish. A guided tour of the Hampden Park stadium is the centrepiece to any visit; check out the changing rooms and warm-up zones before walking through the tunnel and climb the stairs to lift the trophy cup.

Best for: Football heritage.

Top tip: Kick back and relax in the on-site Hampden Cafe.

2. Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery

Glasgow boasts a fair few breweries, but a guided tour of Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery is one not to be missed. The first thing you’ll spot as you approach are the huge steel tanks, indicating that this is a brewery operating on a colossal scale. As there’s so much to take in, it’s best to book onto a guided tour. Your expert guide will tell you all about the city’s beer of choice, from its on-site brewing history dating back centuries to a dedicated and informative exhibition space.

Best for: Beer lovers.

Top tip: Another popular tour is Drygate Brewery, a slightly smaller and more modern brewery.

3. City Chambers

The City Chambers, opened in the late 19th century, has an intricate facade of the four nations of the UK and other allegorical figures. Inside, the vaulted ceiling is covered with over a million Venetian mosaic tiles, but you can only view this impressive interior on a guided tour. The tours begins at the bottom of the Italian marble stairwell and culminates at the council chamber, which is covered in dark mahogany and leather furnishings. This is where the Lord Provost (the Scottish mayor) oversees city affairs, and there are seats for all of the 79 councillors.

Best for: Scottish politics and heritage.

Top tip: Book a place in the public gallery to attend a council meeting.

4. Gallery of Modern Art

Enjoy a guided tour of the Gallery of Modern Art, one of the most interesting Glasgow tours to take in the city. Free guided tours are held at the weekends and provide a great introduction to the exhibitions, so you can return at your own leisure to navigate the gallery in your own time. They also hold other talks throughout the week, from monthly Curator’s and Arts Talks to weekly Staff Picks. Divided into four galleries, you can take in the original classical columns and striking installations in the spacious ground floor, while the upper galleries concentrate on various challenging themes.

Best for: Contemporary art galleries.

Top tip: Free city walking tours commence outside of the entrance; an ideal segue into your next Glasgow tour!

5. Kelvingrove Park

Head out on a pleasant guided tour of Kelvingrove Park, a Victorian pleasure garden interwoven with memorials, winding paths and wide boulevards. An expert guide will talk you through the Stewart Memorial Fountain, a memorial to the fallen soldiers in the Boer War, and a bridge marked with four bronzes symbolising peace and war, commerce and industry, shipping and navigation, and prosperity and progress. This makes for a great way to swap the high street for a gentle stroll around an impressive park.

Best for: Pleasure gardens with points of interest.

Top tip: Two other great public parks are Alexandra Park in the east of the city and Queen’s Park in the south.

6. University tour

The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world, dating all the way back to 1451. If that doesn’t warrant a tour of the place, we’re not sure what does! Although the current site dates back to 1870 (when it was relocated from near the High Street), it’s well worth a guided tour of this fascinating university. Student-led tours depart from the University Visitor Centre and Shop, with the tour centering on the history of the university with explorations of its grounds, statues and tombstones. Nearby is the Hunterian Museum, which houses artefacts from throughout the ages: think dinosaur eggs, Roman funerary monuments and more.

Best for: One of the oldest (and most prestigious) universities in the English-speaking world.

Top tip: Your ticket gives you a 10% discount at the gift shop!

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