If you’re planning a trip to Glasgow this year, then take a look at our handy guide to the Scottish city’s quirky highlights, including an unusual mechanical theatre, some quirky art in unexpected places and a retro gaming bar.
Watch captivating Kinemats in action at the Sharmanka
Fill yourself full of wonder at the quirky little Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. This hidden gem is full of interesting machines, made from wood and scrap, telling stories of communist struggle and Russian history, as well as mysterious creatures and magical worlds. The full show costs £10 and begins with a display of moving wooden machines, followed by a promenade performance of the other machines around the theatre. The machines move to music and are made from broken items such as old sewing machines and pram wheels.
Follow the City Centre Mural Trail
Glasgow boasts some really big and impressive murals dotted around the city, brightening up the sides of dull buildings. You can follow a trail that will take you around the locations of the artworks.
See the World’s Smallest Dinosaur Footprint and Joseph Lister’s wee at The Hunterian Museum
Yes, The Hunterian Museum, which is free to visit, holds an array of interesting artifacts including the World’s Smallest Dinosaur Footprint and a flask of Joseph Lister’s wee. The museum can be found at Glasgow University, housed in a rather lovely building. It’s definitely worth spending an hour exploring this gem.
Take a moment to relax at Glasgow University’s Beautiful Cloisters
Right outside The Hunterian Museum you will find the stunning University Cloisters. Although they are often overlooked when sightseeing around the city, these wonderful stone arches are worth taking a few minutes to appreciate.
Challenge friends with retro games at Super Bario
For entertainment and refreshment head to Super Bario on King Street, where you’ll find an array of retro arcade games and pinball machines to play on whilst you enjoy a drink or three. This little bar, opened with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, stocks decent beer and a changing roster of classic games such as Pac-Man and Tekken. Some games are free, others may cost you a quid or two but they’ll have you reliving your youth in no time!
Stroll around the Necropolis (with a pitstop at Drygate Brewery)
Nothing says ‘holiday’ like a walk amongst the dead, right? Glasgow’s Necropolis is situated on a hill near the Cathedral and features some interesting monuments and mausolea in a range of architectural styles, as well as a great view over the city. And after a stroll through the Necropolis you can head to the nearby Drygate Brewery for refreshments!
Take a closer look at the fountain at the People’s Palace
The Doulton Fountain outside the People’s Palace is fantastically ornate and the largest terracotta fountain in the world. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the different sides depict figure’s from countries in the Empire.
Check out the Templeton Building with its quirky architecture (and pop in for a stein)
This unusual and impressive building (rather handily) can be found next to the People’s Palace. Originally built as a carpet factory, it stands out for its distinctive architecture. It now houses, amongst other things, West Brewery. So why not pop in for a stein of Heidi-Weisse in the beer hall?
Hunt down the old blue Police Boxes
This one will suit the Dr Who fans out there the most, but Glasgow still has some of its old Police boxes scattered around the city. Once in abundance, the boxes are now quite rare, so it’s worth tracking them down whilst they are still around. Can you find them all?
Discover some unusual Blue Plaques
We’ve all seen those Blue Plaques on walls of notable houses but look around in Glasgow and you might find one or two rather quirky ones!
Find the World’s Oldest Bicycle (possibly)
Head to the Riverside Museum (which as the name suggests is situated by the river), and find the World’s Oldest Bicycle… or is it? Well possibly not, but there’s a good yarn behind it. There’s plenty of other stuff to check out while you are there (including a Tall Ship) and admission is free!
Visit a statue celebrating strong women
Also along the riverside (near Glasgow Bridge) you’ll find the ‘Passionate Flower’, a statue of Dolores Ibarruri which pays tribute to those who went to fight against fascism in Spain. There aren’t many statues featuring women, but this one is certainly a powerful statue with a great message.
Look up at the Floating Heads at Kelvingrove
You only need to look up to see one of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum’s quirkier installations. The Floating Heads installation by Sophie Cave features more than 50 heads showing a range of expressions and coloured lights highlight the faces.
And don’t rule out the Measurement Standards in George Square
Merchant City’s grand George Square is littered with pretty buildings and impressive statues, but less noticeable are the sets of measurement standards, which were once important to traders. Hunt around the square and see if you can find them!