10 Famous Buildings In Glasgow, Scotland - Updated 2021

famous buildings in glasgow
Mariliz
Mariliz 
Updated
Sumit Passary
Endorsed by Local Expert
Sumit Passary

After watching a show on the top 10 architectural structures on television my fascination for unique and classic structures and buildings grew even more. So, I was ecstatic to find this city in Scotland. Glasgow showcases a number of impressive buildings that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland in terms of population. It is also the third-largest city in the United Kingdom. This beautiful Scottish city is located by the banks of the River Clyde. With it being the center of commerce and trade, numerous buildings were built in the center of the city like libraries, auditoriums, and museums. Planning your trip here? If you don’t know where to stay, there are plenty of options such as Airbnbs and hotels with pools. Keep reading to find out about the famous buildings in Glasgow, Scotland.

1. Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers
Source: Needpix

Glasgow City Chambers is ideally located in George Square, where other historic buildings and statues of notable figures reside. The Beaux Arts-style building is home to the Glasgow City Council. Visitors are welcome to join a tour of the City Chambers, where inside you’ll find an ornate banquet hall, a mosaic of Glasgow’s coat of arms, and an impressive marble staircase - the largest in Western Europe. The building is so impressive both inside and out that it has been used as a film set for various movies such as An Englishman Abroad and The House of Mirth.

Glasgow City Chambers

Address: 82 George Square, Glasgow G2 1DU, United Kingdom

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed from Sat - Sun)

2. The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse DSCN8991
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AlasdairW used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Lighthouse was once home to Scottish broadsheet paper Glasgow Herald. Today, it’s known as Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, which means you’ll find various events and exhibits taking place here. Admission is free, so if you’re planning to visit, be sure to check their website to find out about the latest exhibits. Guided tours are available every Saturday and follow a first-come, first-serve basis. Visitors can also enjoy light bites at the on-site Doocot Café Bar, which is located on the fifth level.

The Lighthouse

Address: 11 Mitchell Ln, Glasgow G1 3NU, United Kingdom

Website: The Lighthouse

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10:30am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm

3. SEC Armadillo

DSC_6974
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ross Goodman used under CC BY 2.0

The shape and location of SEC Armadillo might remind you of the Sydney Opera House, making it an easy building to spot. The architects wanted a design that would pay ode to River Clyde’s shipbuilding heritage, so the structure was modeled after the hulls of a ship. This famous auditorium has a seating capacity of 3,000 and has hosted well-known events such as the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.

SEC Armadillo

Address: SEC Armadillo, Exhibition Way, Glasgow G3 8YW, United Kingdom

Website: SEC Armadillo

4. People's Palace and Winter Gardens

People's Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow Green
Source: Photo by user Kim Traynor used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Looking forward to seeing beautiful Glasgow architecture? The People’ Palace and Winter Gardens is one of the most iconic buildings in Glasgow. It unfolds the stories of “Glaswegians” or “Weegies”, as what most people fondly call the locals of Glasgow. The People’s Palace features an exhibit that tells the history of the city and its people through paintings, artifacts, films, and photographs. On the other side of the People’s Palace is a winter garden that houses exotic plants and blooms. From the garden, you can lounge around the cafe and get a great view of Doulton Fountain, the oldest public park in Glasgow.

People's Palace and Winter Gardens

Address: Glasgow Green, Templeton Street, Glasgow, G40 1AT

Website: People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Opening hours: Mon - Thu, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm

Price: Free entry

5. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

One of the halls of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, UK
Source: Photo by user Osama Shukir Muha... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a favorite attraction for tourists and locals alike. It was refurbished in 2006 but was still able to retain the unique charm of the place. There are about 22 galleries you can explore in the whole complex. These galleries feature ancient architectures and literature as well as famous Scottish artists. You can even watch an organ recital or enjoy a free tour of the whole museum during weekends or special holidays.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Address: Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, UK

Website: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Thu, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm

Price: Free entry

Travel tip by Glasgow Local Expert - Sumit
Posted on: Jan 08, 2020

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery is a treasure trove of artifacts and travelers can marvel at the plethora of exhibits. Art lovers will be delighted to see Rembrandt's "A Man in Armour." Van Gogh's painting "Alexander Reid" is also on display here! Make sure you check out the enormous Kelvingrove Organ, as well as the  Spitfire LA198. This aircraft was built in 1944 and has a five-blade propeller. It also has a Rolls Royce Griffon 61 engine!

The Spitfire LA198 in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Spitfire LA198 in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

6. Gallery of Modern Art

Gallery of Modern Art - Glasgow
Source: Photo by user 3BRBS used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Gallery of Modern Art is where you’ll see the works of international and local contemporary artists. It has four galleries that showcase paintings, installations, and photographs about social issues that the artists wanted to convey. It is housed in a classic building in the heart of the city. The gallery has a cafe, a shop, and a library that you can also enjoy. It offers free entrance to tourists and locals alike.

Gallery of Modern Art

Address: Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH, UK

Website: Gallery of Modern Art

Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Thu: 10am - 8pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm

Price: Free entry

7. Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum Glasgow EC2018
Source: Photo by user Cutkiller2018 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Riverside Museum has a rather unique and distinct design. This modern building in Glasgow has jagged, zinc-covered roofing. The building is newly constructed and opened in June 2011. It houses the new location of the Glasgow Museum of Transport. It has more than 3,000 installations of different types of transportation from skateboards to trams and paintings of cars and other locomotives. Most of these have interactive features. You’ll get the real feel of boarding an old bus or train and explore Glasgow’s rich history of shipbuilding.

Riverside Museum

Address: 100 Pointhouse Rd, Glasgow G3 8RS, UK

Website: Riverside Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Thu, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm

Price: Free entry

8. Scotland Street School Museum

The Scotland Street School Museum (Glasgow)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user dalbera used under CC BY 2.0

Get the chance to dress up like a student during the 19th century when you visit the Scotland Street School Museum. Experience how it was like to walk the elegant halls and staircases of one of the first schools in Scotland. There are three renovated classrooms in the area where you can roam around and find references for historical events such as World War II and the reign of Queen Victoria. Built by the School Board of Glasgow between 1903 and 1906 for the youth of Southern Glasgow, the structure now serves as a museum that showcases the long yet vibrant history of education in Scotland. The first students of the school were mostly from the families of shipbuilders and engineers who were the main stakeholders of the city during that time. The building has a modern yet classic vibe to it and was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The design of the building was inspired by French Art Nouveau, Japanese Art, and Gothic Symbolism. The first students of the school were mostly from the families of shipbuilders and engineers who were the main stakeholders of the city during that time.

Scotland Street School Museum

Address: 225 Scotland St, Glasgow G5 8QB, UK

Website: Scotland Street School Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free entry

9. Provand's Lordship

Provands Lordship
Source: Photo by user RonAlmog used under CC BY 2.0

Considered as the oldest house in Glasgow, Provand’s Lordship was the residence of the “Lord of Prebend” (or Provand); thus the name of the structure. It was built by the Bishop of Glasgow around 1471, initially to house the clergy of the nearby Glasgow Cathedral. Upon entering the building, you’ll find an entire collection of furniture and art from the 17th century given by Sir William Burrell, a Scottish philanthropist. Just behind the building, you can sit back and relax at the St. Nicholas Garden, a garden full of herbs and plants that can soothe your tired senses.

Provand's Lordship

Address: 3 Castle St, Glasgow G4 0RH, UK

Website: Provand’s Lordship

Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free entry

Travel tip by Glasgow Local Expert - Sumit
Posted on: Jan 08, 2020

Provand's Lordship supposedly housed Mary Queen of Scots for a night when she came by to visit Lord Darnley, her second husband, here. You can walk down to the St. Mungo Museum and Glasgow Cathedral easily from here. There are no entry charges to the home. Since it has spiral staircases be careful when climbing up and down! The rooms are well-furnished and take you back to the medieval era!

Room inside Provand's Lordship
Room inside Provand's Lordship

10. St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art

St. Mungo's Museum, Glasgow - geograph.org.uk - 579045
Source: Photo by user wfmillar used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another medieval building found in the Cathedral Square, the museum just opened in 1993 and is considered as the only public museum in the world dedicated to Christian faith. The museum was named after the patron saint of Glasgow who introduced Christianity to the country in the 6th century. The design of the museum was made in the same style as the Bishop’s Castle. The main purpose of the museum was to provide a venue for events and family-focused activities that will promote the basic teaching of Christianity. There’s also a famous cafe near the museum where you can find the first Zen-inspired garden in the United Kingdom.

St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art

Address: 2 Castle St, Glasgow G4 0RH, UK

Website: St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art

Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sat: 10am - 5pm; Fri & Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free entry

A lot to see in Glasgow

Glasgow, Scotland
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michal Klajban used under CC BY-SA 4.0

These Glasgow iconic buildings are must-visits. They not only give you a peek into the architectural richness of Glasgow but also teaches you the history of the city to a great extent. When in Glasgow, do pay a visit.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.
This article has been endorsed by Glasgow local expert Sumit Passary

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Liz is xennial, female, solo traveler from one of the most beautiful countries on the map, the Philippines . She just started her travel quest but she believes that it's never too late to explore...Read more

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