These days Glasgow is renowned for its boundless cultural creativity. A Unesco City of Music and home to some of the country’s top museums too, a trip here is a feast for the mind and senses.
One of Scotland’s premier performance spaces, the Theatre Royal Glasgow is the oldest theatre in the city and one of the longest running in the country. It began as a music hall, became a cinema in the era of silent film and is now home to the Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet.
A night out at the Theatre Royal Glasgow is a stylish occasion, enhanced by its plush, tiered Victorian auditorium and the striking architecture of two modern foyers. Popular productions such as The Magic of Motown or the musical Mamma Mia! alternate with classics like La Traviata or The Nutcracker.
One of the city’s other most venerable stages, the King’s Theatre Glasgow is a key venue for travelling hit productions such as Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Jersey Boys and Evita, the King’s Theatre Glasgow boasts a magnificent interior with crimson seating and gold balconies decorated with elaborate designs.
One of Glasgow’s finest examples of modern architecture, the Riverside Museum is a bold statement of a building, with a soaring, all-glass facade and a dramatic zinc roof resembling the pulse readout of an excited heartbeat. Inside, the Riverside Museum displays a collection telling the story of transport in the city and beyond, with clever displays of trains, prams and automobiles – and pretty much anything else on wheels – stacked up the walls and suspended in mid-air.
A testament to the genius of Glasgow’s most celebrated architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who designed the building in 1895 – The Lighthouse Glasgow is now Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design. A permanent interpretation centre throws fascinating light on the work of this supremely creative Scot, who was also an artist, while the views of Glasgow from the Mackintosh Tower make The Lighthouse Glasgow worth a visit whether you’re an architecture fan or not.
A testament to the omnivorous hunger for knowledge that was the Scottish Enlightenment, the Hunterian Museum is an old-school collection of 1.3 million objects. Here, you’ll find everything from relics of Captain Cook’s voyages to bits of Emperor Hadrian’s defensive wall, colourful Scottish mineral samples and old medical instruments. Intriguing for kids and adults alike, the Hunterian Museum makes for an enchanting maze of wonder to while away any rainy afternoon.