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Six Unique Ways to See Glasgow

Updated on July 17, 2020
EllieCampbell profile image

Ellie is a Glasgow-based writer who loves to write about a variety of topics, including travel, business, finance, DIY, beauty and fashion.

Edinburgh may be seen as the tourist hub of Scotland, but anyone who knows how to have a good time will tell you that visiting Glasgow is a must. Not only is it the largest city in Scotland, but it is home to some incredible attractions and activities. Even if you have just a day free in the calendar, you will be surprised to learn that there is more than enough to see and do in Glasgow. In fact, there are some genuinely unique ways you can get to know and experience what life in Glasgow is like.

Let me show you how with six truly unique ways of seeing Glasgow from top to bottom. Firstly, let's put on some life jackets.

1 – Water

When you’re in Glasgow for the first time, you will notice that it is a very industrial city. It was once home to major shipbuilding operations, and even though much of the city has changed since then, the River Clyde which runs through it, is still very much the heart of the city. While there are walking bridges that can take you back and forth along the River, one exhilarating way to see Glasgow is from a perspective most locals won't know they can try out: a powerboat tour.

Strapping on a life jacket and jumping on a high-speed boat, you'll be taken from the city centre right down Govan which is where much of the old shipyards existed. I recommend going for the hour-long tour as it is excellent to get your bearings and understand what made Glasgow such a famous city in terms of industrial growth.

2 – Bike

Glasgow is in the top five for UK cities which have the most cyclists commuting through town every day. With better cycling facilities than most other places, it makes sense to see the city by bike.

You can hire a bike from one of the many stations located around the city centre and make your own way about town, but I recommend finding a Glasgow bike tour which can take you from the East End to West End in no time at all.

If you're the kind of person to work up a thirst when on a bike, then a trip to the Tennent’s visitors centre is a must. They provide a 3 hour guided bike tour which shows some of the best sights in the city, including those now in the tour guides before the tour finishes at Tennent’s brewery where you will be taken on a guided tour of the facility and get to try Scotland's most famous beer.

Even if you're not a big cycling enthusiast, I can't think of a better way of earning a beer.

3 – Up High

Glasgow isn't a city which would be seen as being densely built up, especially when looking at taller buildings in the city centre. This provides us with some unique spaces to visit if we want unparalleled views. There are two in particular that I feel don't get much attention and should be on your itinerary.

The first is the Glasgow tower down by the Glasgow Science Centre. It is a one of a kind rotating tower which can move 360 degrees when you're standing on the viewing platform, which just so happens to be 127 metres above the ground. You'll get views up and down the river as well as see far into the Southside of the city.

The second is a location which I can't believe more people don't talk about or mention. Just off Buchanan St, the main shopping thoroughfare in Glasgow is The lighthouse on Mitchell Lane. It is a multi-floor museum which highlights some of the architectural wonders of Glasgow with a specific focus on the unique architectural works of Rennie Mackintosh. What makes it unique is hidden on the top floor of the museum. A small doorway leads to a winding staircase which will take you up to the top of a lighthouse right in the centre of town. You'll be able to get a view of Glasgow City centre which no other building can provide. It is usually quite quiet as well as not many people know about it.

4 - Underground

Glasgow is famous for a circular subway line which can see you make a loop of the circuit in less than 25 minutes, and you’ll often hear/ feel it if you’re walking above the subway line in town. There is part of the city centre though tucked away underground which has a hidden history. The only way you’ll get to see it is by taking a tour of Glasgow Central Station.

The central train station is the unofficial hub of the city centre and sees thousands of passengers commute in and out every day. Their tour takes guests around the station and shows the role it has played in the city's history. While the most exciting part is being able to go up on the glass roof on sunny days, the real magic lies just below the main platforms. Tours will take guests to a hidden section of the train station which shows abandoned platforms sitting right under the busiest part of town. Even if you don't have an interest in trains at all, this tour is going to take you places that were out of bounds for decades.

5 – Amongst the dead

Without ending on a creepy or spooky note, there is one spot in Glasgow which provides some fantastic views and a slice of history which showcases What life was like for the rich of Glasgow and time in times gone by.

The Necropolis Is a 37-acre Cemetery which sits on a steep hill in Glasgow’s East End. It was the first-ever for-profit cemetery in Scotland, where those who had enough money could buy their resting place and ensure that it has an unparalleled level of grandeur. You will find that some people have ornate tombstones while others have their own crypts and elaborate graves.

Even if a few hours in a graveyard doesn’t sound appealing, the hike up to the top is worth it for the view alone.

Get exploring!

I hope you enjoyed these unique ways of seeing a unique city and visit some of the spots to get an idea of what makes Glasgow a special place.


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