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Pocket Guide: Glasgow Westend

Glasgow might not be the capital of Scotland, but it is by far the country’s largest city, and as such it is home to a range of historical sites and attractions. You will find plenty of activities to enjoy, including a thriving nightlife, excellent shopping and lots of sporting events, all of which are located throughout many unique neighbourhoods.

Just as in most major cities, visitors to Glasgow will find plenty of opportunities to discover some of the nation's most important cultural connections. This could include taking in a show at the King’s Theatre, attending a film, literary, music, or art exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, or learning about the city's rich history at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

Explore the West End of Glasgow

The West End of Glasgow has long been considered the city’s bohemian district. It features a huge range of quaint places hidden along cobbled lanes and amongst the Victorian architecture. These include cafés, tea rooms, pubs, bars, boutiques, restaurants, clubs, and up-market hotels.

The West End also features a number of important institutions that play a major role in the life of Glasgow. Read on as we introduce you to some highlights, including the main campus of University of Glasgow, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Discover the Architecture of University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Founded in 1451, it is probably most famous for the role it played during the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th Century. The university’s main building in a major landmark of Glasgow, as it is considered to be one of the United Kingdom’s premier examples of Gothic Revival architecture, and its spire is widely visible across the city.

Visit the Glasgow Botanic Gardens

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens is an arboretum and public park located along the River Kelvin, which bisects the West End and it was first opened in 1817. The crowning achievement of the gardens is undoubtedly the remarkable Kibble Palace, a magnificent glasshouse designed by the Victorian entrepreneur and noted eccentric, John Kibble. It is home to the national collection of tree ferns. The nearby curator’s house is now home to the Botanic Gardens Tearoom, for those after a warm cup of tea or a snack.

Tour the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Since a refurbishment between 2003 and 2006, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has become the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside of London. The admission to this treasure trove of historical and artistic relics is free and features collections that include art by Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, Pissaro, Van Gogh, Cassat, and Dali. Visitors can also study world-renowned collections of natural history artefacts, including arms and armour.

While not everyone will be able to stay at the posh and prestigious One Devonshire Gardens, a notable celebrity haunt, there is a hotel for every budget and need in the West End of Glasgow. To start planning your visit to the largest city in Scotland, just use Expedia's helpful search tool.