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A restored building which now houses the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA).For many years Glasgow suffered from the image of a mean hard place terrorised by razor gangs and full of slums portrayed in the 1920's novel 'No Mean City' .

But the slums have now gone, the city has undergone a renaisance and the once run down docks and riverside are now being modernised to make Glasgow one of the coolest cities on Earth.



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Entrance is free to all the city museums.

More information: VisitScotland Glasgow

11 George Sq
Glasgow, G2 1DY

Tel: 0141 204 4400. . Web: 

Stretch your city break by visiting other easily-reached sightseeing highlights - Loch Lomond, Clyde Valley, Biggar and Edinburgh.

Information and brochures on Scotland: VisitScotland, Ocean Point One
94 Ocean Drive
Tel: 0845 22 55 121 Web:

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The change has come especially during the past 15 or 20 years. In 1990 Glasgow served a year as Cultural Capital of Europe. 

It seemed hard then to credit that Glasgow could be in that league. But in fact the event was a stunning success, and has led to the city's onward march from that milestone. 

Glasgow has enough attractions to keep even the most discerning of visitors occupied for months.

One of the highlights is the Tenement House at 145 Buccleuch Street. It's a time warp of Glasgow tenement living of the late 19th early 20th century. It's not the typical slum dwellings of the Gorbals though. This is more an example of a middle-class tenement, filled with everyday Late Victorian household items.The owner, Miss Agnes Toward, lived here all her life and never threw anything away. Not even a newspaper.

The old-time Gorbals which gave Glasgow such a lurid reputation has long since gone: totally demolished, everything rebuilt, and not even a museum sample remaining as a corner of social history. 

Likewise, miles of derelict shipyards have been converted to green-field sites, or rebuilt with modern housing, offices or new-style industry.

Memories of life among the under-dogs are recorded in the People's Palace on Glasgow Green. It's a museum of Glasgow history from 12th century onwards, but especially strong in the political and social life of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It's fascinating stuff!

Alongside is an elegant Victorian glasshouse - the Winter Gardens - where you can look for banana and coconut trees and enjoy a coffee. On Glasgow Green is a memorial stone marking the spot where James Watt had his inspiration in 1765 on how to make steam engines more efficient. Glasgow claims that here's where the industrial revolution really began.

The Italian-style City Hall, opened in 1898 In Victorian times, Glasgow was a world-class engineering and trade centre - reflected in the wealth of its public buildings, which have been totally restored in recent years. The City Chambers are typical. Opened by Queen Victoria in 1898, the building is more like an Italian renaissance palace than a town hall. There are free guided tours every weekday at 10.30 and 14.30 hrs. Just walk in..

Glasgow had already begun to amass a considerable civic museum and art collection, housed in the building opened for the Great International Exhibition of 1901. Following a three-year revamp, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum re-opened in 2006 and is now Scotland's top visitor attraction.

The famous Burrell Collection is located on the city outskirts, in the idyllic setting of Pollock Country Park. You can wander round displays of medieval art, tapestries, stained glass and English oak furniture. There are paintings by Degas and Cezanne, and sculptures by Epstein and Rodin. Ming vases, exquisite tapestries and even part of Burrel's old home re-built within the collection.

The superb glass-walled gallery looks out onto woodland which reaches right up to the windows. During winter, wild deer and birds come close. Glasgow, with its 70 parks and gardens, claims more parkland than any other city in Britain.

Opened in 1996, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA for short) displays work by local and international artists. GoMA is well established as the second most visited contemporary art gallery outside London, with a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions and workshops. 

Outside a statue of the Duke of Wellington on horseback has become a Glasgow icon. It usually sports a bright orange traffic cone on his head and features on posters and postcards.

The Hunterian Art Gallery - part of Glasgow University - is rich in paintings by Whistler. 

A bedroom in Charles Rennie Mackintosh styleThe work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh - the pioneer Art Nouveau designer and architect - was a major style-setter in early 20th-century Glasgow. He led a group that founded 'the Glasgow Style'. You can see his work in a dozen locations - at the 1904 Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street, The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland Street School Museum, The Glasgow Lighthouse and the Martys Church  

The Hunterian museum houses reconstructed interiors from the architect's Glasgow home, fitted with highly original furniture and decor which owed much to Japanese influence.

Close by is the Transport Museum, rated among the best general transport collections in the world. There's everything from magnificent steam engines to trams, buses, vintage cars, horse drawn vehicles, fire engines and commercial vehicles. And - obviously for the Clyde - the museum is very strong on the ship-building industry. A glasgow street of the late 1940's - early 1950's has been reconsructed complete with shops,a cinema and a subway station.

In the performing arts, Glasgow is home to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Opera and Ballet, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Citizens' Theatre. 

The Royals Scottish Academy of Drama and Music is responsible for producing many fine actors and classical musicians. More recently they have been running a degree course in traditional music. Glasgow is renowned for it's traditional musicians and they can be heard playing in sessions in bars like Babbity Bowster and the Scotia. Each January the three week extraveganza of Celtic Connections attracts thousands of visitors from throughout the world to attend it's concerts, sessions, workshops and recitals.
Princes Square shopping centre - a prime example of urban renewal.
Glasgow is second only to London as the UK's top shopping experience. The Golden Z which comprises Buchanan Street, Argyll Street and Sauchiehall Street is jam packed with shops, boutiques, malls and arcades. Top spots are the Buchanan Centre,  theItalian Centre and Princess Square.

At the other shopping extreme, in the Barras open-air weekend market every stallholder claims to have the cheapest prices for trash and treasure, 'handy bits' and 'naughty knicknacks.' Whatever your interest, Glasgow is where to go for a stylish short break.

Check out these other destinations in Scotland

EDINBURGH - Look ahead for the big dates

HEBRIDES - Hopscotch to the Western Isles

SCOTLAND - Explore the wild Highlands

SCOTLAND-NORTH - coach tour from Dornoch

"Books to read - click on cover pictures" or click on the links below

The Glasgow Pub Companion  by Rudolph Kenna - Compile your own version of 'Saturday night belongs to be' with guidance from this works which describes 200 varieties of Glasgow's choice of pubs and coffeebars.

"Time Out" Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lothian and Fife - A round-up of what the two great cities have to offer,  with additional guidance to distillery tours etc.

50 Walks in Glasgow and South West Scotland - by Automobile Association - a useful guide for both the serious and the casual walker, mapping out routes for Glasgow itself and selected regional routes. Written by Laterlife Travel Editor Hugh Taylor and Moira McCrossan

Glasgow Insight Compact Guide - gives reliable descriptions of what to see and do during a brief visit. Latest update written by Laterlife Travel Editor Hugh Taylor and Moira McCrossan

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