23 Incredible Things Glasgow Is Famous And Known For

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Situated on the West Central Lowlands, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland filled with opportunities. While it is not the country’s capital, this city on River Clyde actually has the highest population. And despite the progressive urban development, Glasgow is famous for its natural landmarks and historic architecture amongst other things.

What Is Glasgow Famous For? 

Glasgow is known for its industrial heritage, sports excellence, as well as a youthful and friendly vibes. On the daily, you will find students in the boho squares or trendy bars, drinking whisky or raging at a packed concert.

In addition, Glasgow is famous for its preserving its olden architecture, which is evident in the city’s churches and museums. The city is also a recognized UNESCO City of Music with its vibrant music scene.

History, Culture, And Traditions Glasgow Is Known For

Celtic Connections Festival

Glasgow has been voted the best city for millennials, because of its dynamic atmosphere and countless things to do. One of the main things Glasgow is famous for is its music scene, giving rise to talented performers. 

The Celtic Connections Festival focuses more on traditional music than the pop concerts it is also known for. Beginning in 1994 and lasting over two weeks, it includes folk, Gaelic, and indie artists. This event attracts visitors worldwide, encouraging them to connect to the Celtic roots of Glasgow. 



A sport that brings all Glaswegians together is undoubtedly soccer, or as British-speaking countries will call it, football. There have been a plethora of famous footballers from Glasgow, ranging from Dalglish to Robertson. 

A fun fact about Glasgow is that it hosted the first international football match in the world in 1872 when Scotland played against England. Although neither team won, this created a precedent. 

Similarly, Scotland is known for having the oldest trophy that is currently still in use, The Scottish Cup.

Grave Robbers

A spooky history and fact about Scotland lies in grave robbing. Like its counterpart Edinburgh, Glasgow was home to serial criminals who would dig up graves to practice their anatomical skills. This was especially prominent because of the competition in prestige medical schools.

Eerily, the east of the city was notorious for this activity, which was considered rougher and more working class. Granville Sharp, a famous scholar, and anatomist who attended the The University of Glasgow, was accused of this.



Originally, it is thought that whisky was invented in the Medieval Era by monks in Scotland. As grapes were scarce for wine, they began to use grains, combining them with yeast and water before fermenting them.

As a result, whisky is a popular drink that Glasgow is famous for perfecting. It is translated from Gaelic meaning ‘water of life’, and is said to have beneficial health benefits. Don’t miss out on the distillery tours in Glasgow.

Loch Ness Monster

The Highlands are located in North-West Scotland, consisting of a mountainous landscape peppered with towering hills. They surround Loch Ness, a body of fresh water. From this arises the legendary Loch Ness Monster, colloquially known as Nessie, that roams the loch and has had many sightings.

Join the popular tour from Glasgow to view the Scottish Highlands and the immense Loch Ness, as well as the surrounding Scottish castles. Whether the creature is real or not, it is undeniable that the lush scenery truly feels magical.

Districts And Areas Glasgow Is Known For

Merchant City

Merchant City in Glasgow is famous for being one of the oldest districts, presenting historical Victorian architecture. However, it is also considered the chicest and offers dynamic nightlife suitable for all ages and preferences. You can find trendy bars, welcoming cafes, and loud nightclubs. 

In the district, perhaps the most famous landmark is Merchant Square. Home to craft fairs, restaurants, and designer boutiques, the area is always buzzing with people. Aside from interactive fairs, there are also live events, so be sure to check the schedule!


Bearsden is located on the outskirts of Glasgow City Centre, a couple of miles west. In contrast, it is a quiet area with some of the most impressive natural landmarks in Scotland. An example of this is Kilmardinny Loch, known for its grassland, fishing, and trails.

Previously, Bearsden was a Roman settlement. The Antoine Wall is just one of the forts that were located here, along which the Bearsden Bath House was built along as early as 140 AD. These Roman ruins are characteristic of the time, giving you a chance to see a genuine historical treasure. 


Hillhead is an integral part of the West End, which is known for its student population, delicious foods, and fun things to do.

One of the main things that Hillhead is popular for is its pubs. Delicacies served include traditional dishes such as haggis, and unique desserts like deep-fried Mars bars! The rich cultural scene means that you can also visit French cafes and Mexican tapas bars all along the same street.

West End

The West End part of Glasgow is boho and vintage. It attracts visitors from across the globe because of its lively atmosphere and array of famous Glasgow landmarks. The Glasgow Botanic Gardens is just one of the picturesque natural landmarks, complete with 9000 species of plants.

In addition to Hillhead, West End includes three other prominent areas. The Woodlands is a family-friendly neighborhood, whilst Hyndland and Byres Road are known for food and retail.

East End

As opposed to the illustrious West End, the East End is recognized for its sense of community, nature, and history. It is more affordable and working class, containing the old-school charm that Glasgow is famous for. 

The oldest public park in the city, Glasgow Green, spans over 50 hectares and is located here. Similarly, the Barras Market was founded in 1928 by Margaret McIver after World War I, where she was left to trade whilst her husband served the county. 

Landmarks And Architecture Glasgow Is Known For

Celtic Park Stadium 

The largest football stadium in Scotland is Celtic Park, with a capacity of over 60,000. It is located in Parkhead which it is also sometimes called, as well as the nickname Paradise. As mentioned, Glasgow is famous for its football, hence why this attraction always brings in a surplus of visitors. 

Celtic Park Stadium is the home of Celtic F.C., a professional Scottish Football Club. If you are a fan, be sure to take the behind-the-scene tours which guide you through the dressing room and tunnel, as well as dining experiences in the restaurant.

Glengoyne Distillery

Glengoyne Distillery is one of the most important Glasgow landmarks in terms of culture and food. As whisky is considered to be the national drink of Scotland, it is worth visiting the whisky distillery that has been operating since 1833.

Using the water from the proximal Dumgoyne Hill, then distilling in three stills, the perfect single malt whiskey is created. It has a characteristic mild and sweet taste, ideal for cocktails such as the traditional whiskey sour, or decadent bobby burns. 

Sign up early for the insightful Glengoyne Distillery Tour if you want to join in the whiskey tasting fun and more.

Glasgow Cathedral


The oldest surviving cathedral in Scotland, as well as the oldest overall building in Glasgow, is the Glasgow Cathedral. Constructed in 1197, the parish church was built in devotion to Saint Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow. 

Despite the Reformation of 1560, which threatened the existing decoration and art pieces of churches at the time, the place of worship kept its Gothic architecture. Its most classic feature is undoubtedly the Great Bell, made in the 16th century.

This is a marquee destination for fun walking tours in Glasgow Center.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum 


The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are one of the best examples of famous Glasgow landmarks with Baroque architecture. First opening its doors in 1901, it underwent a huge restoration in 2006 to rejuvenate yet preserve the beauty of the building. 

Inside, you will find iconic art pieces such as Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali, and Kelvingrove Organ, which plays every day.

This is a popular location for the Glasgow Vintage Bus Tour.

Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum is a contemporary attraction home to a plethora of historic vehicles, displayed in an interactive and captivating way. To no surprise, the museum won the European Museum Of The Year Award in 2013 due to its innovative design and replacing the old Museum of Transport.

The collection includes cars, trams, ferries, and ships based in the United Kingdom. Additionally, it is a walk away from the Tall Ship Glenlee, a Victorian museum ship with its small movie theatre. 

Food Glasgow Is Known For



Scottish food is best known for being distinct and is an acquired taste for many. Nevertheless, it is worth trying the traditional delicacies at least once, as the taste may surprise you. Haggis is one of those unique flavors, a savory pudding. 

Haggis is made from sheep pluck, consisting of the heart and lungs, as well as the windpipe. For more flavor, the meat is spiced with onion and oatmeal. Traditionally, the dish is served inside a casing of sheep stomach, which you will find in traditional restaurants.

Cullen Skink


Cullen skink is a thick fish soup, that is ideal for warming you up on a chilly winter night. The fish of choice is smoked haddock, because of its smoky taste and hearty texture. Subsequently, root vegetables like potatoes and onions are added in and the mixture is blitzed. 

The authentic soup is named after Cullen, a quaint fishing village in North-East Scotland. It is often served as an appetizer at large banquets.

Deep Fried Mars Bars 

Perhaps the most modern dessert that is famous in Scotland is the deep-fried Mars bar. Invented in 1992 at a fish and chips bar, it was created on a whim as a one-off. However, the dish was unexpectedly popular and gained worldwide recognition, and spread as far as the United States.

Although subject to scrutiny because of its lack of nutrients, the sweet treat remains a favorite. Despite its reputation, the deep-fried Mars bar is offered at every corner and served with ice cream.



A trip to Glasgow is incomplete without sampling a delicious shortbread. The sweet biscuit is made with three simple ingredients: flour, butter, and sugar. However, the composition of ingredients creates a buttery texture that cannot be replicated. 

In Scotland, shortbread is dipped into a classic black tea. Moreover, there are several variations of the classic shortbread, like chocolate, toffee, and ginger. They also make for great souvenirs to bring home.

Famous People From Glasgow

Gerard Butler

One of the most famous people from Glasgow is Gerard Butler. Best known for his performances in romantic comedies such as The Ugly Truth and The Bounty Hunter, Butler is renowned for playing the heart-throb love interest. 

Before this, Butler had smaller roles in the musical Phantom of the Opera, and the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. 

Butler lives in Glasgow and is a Celtic F.C. fan, as well as owning a property in the US.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly, known otherwise as Sir William Connolly CBE is a prominent celebrity figure known for acting, presenting, and comedy. His presence is so admired that locals call him Big Yin, translating to Big One, making him one of the most famous people from Glasgow. 

Spanning his long career, Connolly has starred in X-Files, Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Hobbit. Similarly, he has hosted his documentaries and written three plays.

In 2017, Connolly was awarded a knighthood by Princes Charles.

James McAvoy

James McAvoy is a Scottish actor born in Glasgow. He has starred in both television and movies, as well as partaking in philanthropic work. In 2011, to raise awareness for a children’s charity from Uganda, McAvoy base jumped from the roof of Guy’s Hospital in London.

His extensive filmography includes The Chronicles of Narnia, IT Chapter II, and X-Men. Furthermore, McAvoy won Best Actor in the psychological horror Split, and romantic drama Atonement.

Alex Ferguson 

Sir Alexander Ferguson CBE is one of the most famous people from Glasgow in the sporting industry. He is widely considered to be the best manager in footballing history, receiving more awards than any other. This includes 13 Premier League titles and 5 FA Cups.

Ferguson is a now-retired football manager, who oversaw Manchester United for 27 years. He was knighted in 1999 for his dedication and contribution to the sport. As a result, his biographies are best sellers, as the world is keen to hear his story.

Discovering More Things Glasgow Is Known For

Despite their strong visual presence, Glasgow is more than its historical buildings, stunning castles, and top attractions. The real root of the city is found in the welcoming atmosphere, age-old dishes, and quirky villages. 

Whilst the impressive museums, distilleries, and squares are worth visiting, Glasgow is famous for its charm and homely feel.



Book Your Flight

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Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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