Straddling the River Clyde, the sprawling metropolis of Glasgow is one of Europe's most popular destinations. It is a lively centre of vitality and style, complemented by the backdrop of its rich history and outstanding Victorian architecture. The city's beginnings can be traced back to ancient times, when it was first settled as a convenient ford on the river. After its cathedral was established Glasgow was granted a 'burgh' status, meaning it could expand further with certain trading monopolies.
Glasgow continued to thrive for centuries, and with the Act of Union with England in 1707, Scotland gained trading access to the British Empire. The city was in an ideal position to capitalise on many types of freight, in particular the tobacco coming in from mainland Europe and America. A huge influx of wealth came to Glasgow; by the time of the Industrial Revolution it had overtaken Edinburgh as Scotland's largest city, and was amongst the largest and wealthiest in all of Europe.
More about Glasgow
Modern-day Glasgow has much to recommend it, and the following are just a few suggestions for what you can see during your time here:
Along with nearby Sauchiehall Street, this is the core of Glasgow's rich retail centre. The street is also noted for its impeccable Victorian architecture, and as a hub of lively street entertainers. Amongst the impressive buildings lining the sloping street is the popular Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Willow Tea Rooms
Situated on Sauchiehall Street, this pretty building is one of celebrated architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh's most popular works. The Glasgow-born designer had a great deal of input into the tea rooms - not just the mirrored friezes and silver furniture, but right down to the waitresses' uniforms. Opened in 1903, the tea rooms have been one of Glasgow's best-loved attractions ever since.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Boasting one of Europe's greatest art collections, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is the most popular free attraction in Scotland. Housed in a magnificent building, it includes pieces by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Dalí. It also features a fine collection of natural history exhibits and armour displays.