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20 Things Glasgow is Famous For

Glasgow is most renowned for its grit, edge, and down-to-earth people, but what else is there? What distinguishes it from other Scottish treasures such as Edinburgh and the Highlands? You may not have heard of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, but keep reading and you will!

Glasgow is known as one of the friendliest cities in the world, as well as a UNESCO City of Music. Glasgow is a cultural center with a thriving nightlife, as well as a thriving arts scene, 19th-century Victorian architecture, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland’s most famous architect of all time.

UNESCO’s City of Music

glasgow music festival
glasgow music festival

Glasgow is well-known for producing amazing bands such as Franz Ferdinand and the Fratellis, but did you know its music scene is legendary? Glasgow gets an official stamp of achievement to commemorate its musical excellence after being named a ‘City of Music’ by UNESCO.

Musicians of many genres and backgrounds are invited to collaborate and perform. Unlike in many other parts of the world, their art is not underappreciated, and they are almost never underpaid.

There are apparently 130+ live music shows hosted weekly in the city, ensuring that everyone will find a live gig that meets their musical tastes. Some of Glasgow’s top music venues include the Barrowland Ballroom, Mono, and the 13th Note.

Glaswegians are friendly people.

glasgow residents
glasgow residents

Glaswegians are Glasgow residents, and they are one-of-a-kind. Glaswegians are distinguished by a strong sense of community, a down-to-earth approach, and a welcoming attitude toward outsiders, among other characteristics.

Although they can come across as extremely blunt at times, this is normally in good humor as Glaswegians enjoy bantering and making fun of one another. Expect strangers to strike up discussions with you at the bus stop or the store; regardless of where you’re from, they’ll treat you as if you’re one of their own.

In 2021, Glasgow was named ‘the friendliest city in the world,’ according to a public poll conducted on Twitter and Facebook, beating out other major cities such as Melbourne and Vancouver. With the city tagline ‘People make Glasgow,’ it’s no surprise that Glaswegians are one-of-a-kind.

Accents that stand out

As beautiful as the people are, some newcomers may find it difficult to adjust to their accents! The Glaswegian accent, commonly known as the Glasgow Patter, is distinct and significantly stronger than the accents of other Scottish dialects.

One explanation for this is because Glasgow was formerly an important port city. Due to a huge stream of immigration over the last few centuries, various different accents have greatly influenced the local vernacular.

Believe it or not, the Glaswegian accent has piqued the interest of academics. It’s a mystery: accents are believed to fade over time, so why is the Glasgow Patter still so strong? One thing is certain: you will remember it!



You don’t have to be a professional architect to appreciate Glasgow’s stunning architecture. Walking through Glasgow is like taking a journey through time.

The city’s determined endeavor to maintain its historical buildings has resulted in historic structures dispersed throughout the modern environment.

This eclectic city has a little bit of everything, from Gothic Revival and Art Nouveau to more modern architectural styles.

Scotland’s Most Famous Architect

Charles Rennie Mackintosh is the creative force behind most of Glasgow’s eye-catching architecture. Mackintosh is still universally considered as Scotland’s greatest architect and designer of all time.

As a native Glaswegian, he studied at the Glasgow School of Art, a university that is still in operation and is regarded as one of the world’s top art schools.

Some of his best work can be found at Queen’s Cross Church, Glasgow School of Art, and Mackintosh House. Only in Glasgow can you experience the complete range of Mackintosh’s aesthetic approaches.

Appearances in Films

Glasgow’s atmosphere is both gloomy and lovely, thanks to its distinctive architecture and scenery. As a result, it frequently serves as the metropolitan backdrop in action blockbusters such as World War Z and Avengers: End Game.

Glasgow is a popular filming site for movies and TV shows set in the Batman universe due to its striking resemblance to the artistic ideas of Gotham. Keep an eye out for Glasgow in both the upcoming Batman and Batgirl films!


Haggis, Scotland’s national dish, is cooked from sheep organs (often the heart, lungs, and liver) combined with onions, oats, suet, and spices. Believe me, it tastes way better than it sounds!

While it was previously cooked in the stomach of a sheep, you’ll be happy to know that an artificial casing is now used instead.

Serve Haggis with neeps and tatties (mashed potatoes and turnips to the Scots!). or put it on a burger.

If you’re wondering where to find haggis, don’t worry; you can find it almost anywhere. For the best haggis in Glasgow, go to Ubiquitous Chip in the West End, or try the haggis pakora at the Record Factory.

It is never dull.

Glasgow is a thriving cultural and artistic melting pot, frequently referred to as a “smaller and wetter London.” Photographer: Lucrezia Carnelos / Unsplash
A popular saying in the United Kingdom is that you’ll have more fun at a funeral in Glasgow than at a wedding in Edinburgh. That may be a dig at its rival city, but most people who have lived here can agree that Glasgow is never, ever boring.

In comparison to other cities of similar size, Glasgow is brimming with exciting activities and events. There’s something for almost every interest and pastime, whether it’s a social event, an exhibition, or a workshop.

Glasgow is the most popular destination to reside for young people in Scotland, owing to its vibrant nightlife and crowded calendar.

The Cathedral and Necropolis of Glasgow

The Glasgow Cathedral, located in the East End, is a work of expansive Gothic architecture. It is not just Glasgow’s oldest edifice, but also the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland. The Scottish Reformation destroyed most of the country’s cathedrals, but Glasgow Cathedral is one of two that has survived.

The medieval cathedral is dedicated to St. Mungo, the city’s patron saint, whose grave is hidden deep within the crypt.

The Glasgow Necropolis, a sacred burial area that is extremely gorgeous for a cemetery, is situated close on a hill. Over 50,000 people were buried here, and it was even dubbed a ‘city of the dead.’

The Very First International Football Match

The first international football match took place right here in Glasgow, long before the World Cup was even a notion.

In 1872, teams from Scotland and England fought well and hard on a surface that had been soaked by three days of rain at a local cricket club. Over 4000 people watched the game. Despite the fact that both teams tied, the match was said to be thrilling.

Today, the city’s passion for football is as strong as it has always been.

The Old Firm

Celtic and Rangers are two of Scotland’s most successful football clubs. They are known together as the Old Firm, and they are both headquartered in Glasgow.

The animosity between the two teams is so strong that it has become ingrained in Scottish society. These fanbases are especially fervent in Glasgow, where the city center is packed with football supporters on game evenings.

Art on the Street

Walk around the main streets and you’ll discover why Glasgow is known as a creative hotspot. Many great Glaswegian artists have brightened up the streets with colorful murals over the years. The mural showing a modern-day St. Mungo, the patron saint and founder of Glasgow, is shown above.

Follow the mural path through the city center and prepare to take countless shots of these incredible installations.

The World’s Oldest Music Hall

Glasgow has a long history of supporting the arts and entertainment. Music halls were modest rooms in the back of taverns where working-class people might be entertained during the Victorian era. However, as Glasgow’s population grew, the city wanted a larger, grander space.

The Britannia Panopticon was born, and it went on to host freak shows, carnivals, plays, musical concerts, you name it! This historic facility still hosts entertainment, including popular events like sing-a-longs, comedy performances, and burlesque shows.

Many people believe that this old theatre is haunted, and it conducts ‘haunted sleepovers’ in its atmospheric auditorium every Halloween.

There are numerous museums and art galleries to choose from.

One of Glasgow’s most popular attractions is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, but it’s merely the beginning of a long list of museums and galleries.
This affluent city has an abundance of art and history. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is Glasgow’s most well-known museum, but it’s only the beginning.

There is a museum or art gallery for almost every mood or interest.

Visit St. Mungo’s Museum for religious art. Visit the Gallery of Modern Art for modern art, which is dedicated to highlighting the city’s present talent. For a more historical experience, go to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Scotland’s oldest museum and absolutely free to enter.

A Prominent Drinking Culture

Scots are notorious for being heavy drinkers, and Glaswegians are no exception. If you enjoy a good drink, you’ll find it easy to make new acquaintances in Glasgow. The city is filled with vibrant taverns and bars, some of which date back to the Victorian era.

Visit the famous Horse Shoe Bar to witness the world’s second-longest bar counter. Another national asset is the Old Toll Bar in Glasgow’s south end, which has one of the country’s most stunning antique interiors.

It has a sense of humour.

The cone-headed statue represents Glasgow’s irreverent sense of humour.
We just said that Glasgow is known for its friendliness, but did you know Glaswegians are also extremely funny? Consider the photograph above.

This renowned statue of the first Duke of Wellington is one of Glasgow’s most well-known landmarks, however he constantly has a traffic cone on his head.

Glaswegians will always find a way to put it back on, no matter how many times it is removed. The type of cone and layout also change frequently!

The Glasgow City Council contemplated lifting the statue to avoid this hoax, but tens of thousands of people spoke out against it. This cone-headed statue is now seen as a symbol of Glasgow’s sense of humour and a part of the city’s unique heritage.

Unsurprisingly, Glasgow is home to a number of well-known comedians, including Billy Connolly, Kevin Bridges, and Frankie Boyle. You’ll have no trouble making friends in this humorous city if you can laugh at yourself and appreciate the odd.


Scotland was once home to the world’s greatest shipbuilders, with Glasglow serving as the industry’s hub. Glasgow’s ships were so common that before World War I, one-fifth of the world’s ships were manufactured there.

Because production was centered on the River Clyde, the term ‘Clydebuilt’ was invented to denote a ship that was built in Glasgow and was hence of exceptionally high quality.

Visit the Tall Ship Glenlee, a museum ship on the river, for a voyage through Glasgow’s maritime history. It’s one of only three three-masted ships still sailing on this side of the globe.

More marble than the Vatican itself

You may believe that there is no location more luxurious than Vatican City, but one structure in Glasgow has it beat.

The Glasgow City Chambers alone have more marble than the Vatican. This magnificent and costly structure has even appeared in films as the Vatican.

It is available to the public, so anyone can swing by and marvel at this opulent municipal building. It also has the largest marble staircase in Western Europe.

The Women’s Library

The Women’s Library is one of just a few libraries in the world dedicated entirely to the stories, histories, and achievements of women.

This fascinating library, however, is more than simply a location to borrow books. It houses several significant feminist artifacts, such as Suffragette memorabilia and old newsletters from the Women’s Liberation groups.

This feminist education powerhouse also assists thousands of women around the country through numerous social initiatives and services. Every year, it organizes hundreds of public events and activities to promote awareness and spark discussion on critical progressive topics.

Authentic Scottish Charm

So, what distinguishes Glasgow from Edinburgh? I’ve posed this question to numerous Glaswegians, and they never miss a beat in responding.

For Scotland’s upscale, polished, and tourist-oriented side? Go to Edinburgh. Looking for genuine, unadulterated Scottish charm? The city of Glasgow is the place to be.

Edinburgh has diamonds from Scotland’s past, and Glasgow has a bright future. This city has no pretenses, and you’ll get to know the Scottish people better here than anywhere else.

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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