In George Square, you’ll find one of Glasgow’s most iconic and imposing buildings, the City Chambers. This grand edifice is a symbol of Glasgow’s historic wealth and has, for more than a century, been the headquarters of successive councils serving the City of Glasgow.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful civic buildings in all of UK, the City Chambers was designed in the Beaux Arts style. Be awed by the vast range of ornate decoration that was used to express the wealth and industrial export-led economic prosperity of the Second City of the British Empire.
Take the chance to walk up the largest marble staircase in Western Europe, made of imported Italian Carrara marble. At the top you’ll enter the magnificent Banqueting Hall where Nelson Mandela received his Freedom of the City award in 1993, and Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999.
Feel free to join one of their public tours on weekdays at 10.30am and 2.30pm. The tours last around 45 minutes, are completely free and you do not need to book in advance.
Barcelona has Gaudí, Guangzhou has I.M. Pei and Glasgow has Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Mackintosh (1868-1928) was one of the 20th century’s most creative and influential architect and artists as well as a leader in the European Art Nouveau movement.
Start your day from the heart of the city and head down Argyle St to Mackintosh’s first public commission The Lighthouse, which is also Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. Housed in the former offices of the Glasgow Herald newspaper, the building was designed and completed in 1895.
It’s free to visit all four floors, which house a visitor centre, exhibition space and events venue altogether. Aside from the changing exhibitions, The Lighthouse maintains a permanent display called the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre that charts the life and work of the artist.
Don’t miss the beautiful helical staircase at the Mackintosh Tower just north of the building and the superb views of Glasgow from the external viewing gallery. FYI: There is another modern viewing platform at the south of the building, on the sixth floor and is only accessible via a lift.
Foodie tip: Stop by Chaakoo Bombay Cafe for lunch. Go back in time and take in the classic flavours and atmosphere of this Iranian cafe. Just as Dishoom is Edinburgh’s Indian go-to, Chaakoo Bombay Cafe is Glasgow’s (in fact, locals argue this is better).
Whether you’re here for a business trip, gearing up for a big weekend out to the likes of The SECC or Hydro, or just want to see what Scotland’s biggest city has to offer, Fraser Suites Glasgow makes for an ideal location to kick back and relax after all that flurry of activities. Sitting in the heart of vibrant Merchant City, the serviced residence offers unparalleled accommodation in historic surroundings. In fact, you’ll be spending your days in a beautifully renovated 1850s Victorian building. How’s that for staying in somewhere special?