10 Interesting Facts About Glasgow

  • Bunnik Tours
  • 08 Sep 21

Known for its down-to-earth charm, striking Victorian architecture and a legendary live music scene, Glasgow is a destination that is a must on your bucket list!

Glasgow City Chambers by Michael D Beckwith, Unsplash

Glasgow City Chambers by Michael D Beckwith, Unsplash

Whether you’re a history buff, an artistic admirer or just love a warm and friendly pub (yes please) there’s something for every traveller. Curious about Glasgow? Read on for some fun facts about Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city!



  1. Glasgow City Chambers
  2. Ancient fossil tree stumps
  3. Nicknamed the ‘green dear place’
  4. The Royal Exchange Building
  5. Glasgow’s underground railway system
  6. Glasgow’s Cathedral
  7. The first ultrasound machine
  8. Home to the bones of St Valentine
  9. The first ever football match
  10. The Tall Ship Glenlee


Hello Glasgow! 10 interesting facts about Glasgow


1. The Glasgow City Chambers contains more marble than Vatican City

Facts about Glasgow - Glasgow City ChambersGlasgow City Chambers by Miachael D Beckwith, Flickr

Overlooking George Square, Glasgow City Chambers is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings Scotland has to offer. In fact, the interior of the City Chambers has been used as a stand-in for the Vatican in films!  Officially opening in 1888, the city chambers have so much history to offer, not to mention the stunning opulent staircases. No trip to Glasgow is truly complete without a visit to this marble marvel!


2. Tree stumps are older than the dinosaurs in Glasgow

Eleven fossil tree stumps can be found in Glasgow’s Fossil Grove, which is believed to be around 330 million years old (making them older than the dinosaurs!). These fossilised tree stumps were uncovered in 1887, and a museum began managing them in 1889 for preservation. The Fossil Grove now acts as a popular tourist attraction in Scotland.


3. Glasgow is known as the ‘dear green place’ in Gaelic

Glasgow’s reputation as the ‘dear green place’ is pretty fitting considering the city has over 90 parks and gardens with rolling hills and lush woodland walks. Some of the top gardens and parks in Glasgow include Glasgow Botanic Gardens, The Hidden Park, Scottish Poetry Rose Garden, Kelvingrove Park and the Maxwell Park Pollokshields.


4. The Royal Exchange Building was originally a townhouse for a rich tobacco lord

Facts about Glasgow - Glasgow Gallery of Modern ArtGlasgow Gallery of Modern Art by Gordon McLean, Flickr

This iconic building located in Royal Exchange Square, from Queen Street, was constructed in 1778 and was home to Tobacco lord William Cunninhame. Later in 1817, the Royal Bank of Scotland acquired the building where architect David Hamilton added various features, including the double portico facade, a newsroom and a cupola. The Royal Exchange building now houses the Gallery of Modern Art and is certainly worth a visit!


5. Glasgow’s underground railway system is the third oldest in the world

Known as the ‘clockwork orange’ by locals, it’s also the only underground metro in the whole country. Opening in 1896, the Glasgow railway system is one of the oldest transit’s in the world that runs a 10.5 kilometre loop around the city. This is also one of the only metro systems in the world that hasn’t expanded beyond its original route.


6. Glasgow Cathedral is the only cathedral on the Scottish mainland to survive the Protestant Reformation of 1560

Facts about Glasgow - Glasgow CathedralGlasgow Cathedral by Rachel Footner

Built in the 1100s, this medieval cathedral is located on the tomb site of St Mungo and was luckily saved almost intact because the Protestants repurposed it for their own worship. With such interesting history and stunning architecture to offer, the Glasgow Cathedral is definitely worth a visit.


7. Glasgow is the birthplace of the world’s first ultrasound machine

This medical miracle was invented in 1956 by Professor Ian Donald, Dr John McVicar and Tom Brown. You can even see the original ultrasound machine that transformed medicine at the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow.


8. The bones of Saint Valentine reside in Glasgow

The 3rd century Roman saint, known as St. Valentine was believed to be executed on February 14th, 269 AD. His bones can be found at the Church of Blessed St John Duns Scotus in a small wooden box, which is decorated with flowers each Valentine’s Day. The exact identity of Saint Valentine is a mystery, and as such you can find purported relics of his body all over the world – with parts to spare!


9. The first ever match of international football was held in Glasgow

Scotland played England at the West of Scotland cricket ground on November 30th, 1872 and drew 0-0. With an entry fee of one shilling, the match had over 4,000 people watching. This match was officially recognised as the first full international game by FIFA.


10. The Tall Ship Glenlee is one of only five Clydebuilt sailing ships still floating

Facts about Glasgow - Tall Ship GlenleeTall Ship Glenlee by Leslie Barrie

In fact, Glenlee is the only ship of this type left in the UK! After sailing the seas since 1896, she has been restored to her former glory and is moored beside the Riverside Museum, where you can explore the ship.


Visit Glasgow today with Bunnik Tours

Have we convinced you yet? If you’ve been intrigued with these 10 facts about Glasgow and want to explore what this beautiful city has to offer, now is the perfect time to book a small group tour!  Start planning your Glasgow adventure with our Scotland Discovery short tour, or discover more of the UK on our England, Scotland & Wales small group tour. Let’s Glasgow! (Get it?) Contact our friendly Travel Specialists today.


Facts about Glasgow FAQs

How old is Glasgow?

Glasgow is one of the most historic cities in the United Kingdom, with a plethora of iconic architectural buildings. According to Local Historics, it is believed to be over 1,500 years old where the settlement began with the establishment of the 6th century channel, which is now known as the Glasgow Cathedral.


How did Glasgow get its name?

The name ‘Glasgow’ is believed to have been inspired by the Brythonic Celtic ‘Cleschi’, which means ‘dear green place’ in English. Dear green place is Glaschu in Gaelic, which is where the name originates from.


What is Glasgow famous for?

The city of Glasgow is famous for being one of the most diverse art scenes and is also known for its vibrant nightlife, Victorian architecture and music. It's also known as Scotland's largest city, meaning you will never run out of things to do. Here’s just a few reasons Glasgow is such a unique city.

  • UNESCO City of Music
  • Victorian-era architecture (Glasgow Cathedral, University of Glasgow, Riverside Museum)
  • Haggis
  • Scotch whisky
  • Uk ‘world city of friendship’
  • Shipbuilding


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