What to Do in Glasgow's West End

Explore Scotland's urban playground    

Glasgow is a historic and hip city with a host of great museums, restaurants and bars, and a world-renowned live music scene—much of which is situated in city’s West End. Here's what to see, do and eat in this chic district.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Housed in a 20th-century Baroque red sandstone building, Kelvingrove is a work of art in itself. It is also one of Scotland’s most popular free-to-enter attractions, home to masterpieces from the likes of Rembrandt, van Gogh, Monet and Dali, as well as fine arms and armour and natural history collections. You can easily spend a day exploring the gallery and its surrounding park.

Vinyard 28 

A West End speakeasy and a pillar of Glasgow’s late-night scene, Vinyard 28 (formerly called Booly Mardy’s) has dozens of tasty cocktails to choose from, including its signature Bloody Mary. Vinyard 28 also serves delicious and innovative cuisine; try the wild mushroom gnocchi or monkfish cheeks with puy lentils. 

The Hunterian

The Hunterian is the oldest public museum in Scotland. Well, the oldest museums. It comprises five in all: The Hunterian Museum, The Hunterian Art Gallery, The Mackintosh House, The Zoology Museum (re-opening in September) and The Anatomy Museum. Highlights here range from Egyptian coffins to James McNeill Whistler paintings.

Ubiquitous Chip

Perhaps the most celebrated restaurant in Glasgow, the Ubiquitous Chip has been a city favourite since the early 1970s, yet it is also constantly evolving. The award-winning restaurant has gained a reputation for superb, seasonal Scottish fare, from Galloway roe deer to Aberdeen Angus steaks and more.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Founded in 1817, Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a lovely West End escape. You can easily spend an afternoon strolling the beautiful trails, admiring the exotic plants and flowers along the way. Make sure to head inside Kibble Palace, a vast 19th-century temperate glasshouse that contains the national collection of tree ferns and other plants from Australia and New Zealand. After, head to the tearoom for lunch or a delicious lemon tart on the garden patio.

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Although it’s located just outside the West End, King Tut’s is more than worth the 10-minute drive. This renowned music venue is where the band Oasis was discovered, and it has seen early gigs from other seminal ‘90s British bands like The Verve and Radiohead. More recently, it has championed Coldplay, The White Stripes and Franz Ferdinand. It still offers cutting-edge, indie-inflected live music every night of the week.