You may think you know your own city like the back of your hand, but the reality is that Glasgow is a place full of surprises, many of which are hidden amongst the nooks and crannies of Scotland’s most cosmopolitan city. It’s very easy to become set in your own ways, mostly frequenting the venues that you already know and love, but there is a lot more out there for those who take the time to look. Whether you’re visiting Glasgow for the first time, or are a local tired of your old haunts you’ve known for years, this guide will enlighten you on 10 hidden gems and secret spots in Glasgow completely worth checking out!
1.The Hidden Lane Tearooms
I first visited the Hidden Lane Tearooms a few weeks ago, in spite of being an afternoon tea lover who’s lived in Glasgow their whole life. The hint is in the name, as this venue really is hidden (down a lane – and a very picturesque one at that!), nestled amongst its colour popping small business neighbours. The definition of a hidden gem, here you can enjoy vintage-style tea and cakes served on mismatched cups and saucers – it’s all part of the charm! With over 30 loose-leaf teas to select from, the Hidden Lane Tearooms also offer gluten free and vegan afternoon teas, but be wary to book in advance as the staff need time to prepare the goods!
Located in the West End of Glasgow, La Bodega has earned a name for itself as the city’s most hidden fiesta, offering authentic tapas accompanied by live music and dancing – they even have their own dance studios upstairs! La Bodega are the proud hosts of weekly Tango, Salsa and Jazz nights to name a few, some of which are ticketed and others being free entry. From the outside setting you really wouldn’t expect what you’re truly in for with the Bodega, and that’s one of the things that grant it the title as one of Glasgow’s greatest hidden gems.
Glasgow’s answer to the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, this hidden graveyard continues to be one of my favourite places to wander around in the city (I’m not morbid, I swear). Established all the way back in 1832, the Necropolis is located on a low hill just east to the Glasgow Cathedral (another must-visit) and consists of 3,500 monuments, many of which were designed by some of Glasgow’s great architects. With 50,000 individuals having been buried there, the cemetery has been described as a literal “city of the dead”. This hidden gem is definitely worth a wander for an insight into Glasgow’s historical past! This is one of the most historic secret spots in Glasgow!
4.The Women’s Library
The Glasgow Women’s Library is the only official museum in the UK dedicated to the lives, histories and achievements of women. Not only does the institution function as a lending library, but they also host archive collections, as well as organise events and learning opportunities for the general public. Having recently undergone a major renovation project, it’s definitely worth taking a visit to this Bridgeton-based hidden gem to celebrate the successes of women around the world, at just a 25 minute walk from the centre of Glasgow.
Each time I visit the West Brewery I’m equally as impressed by the extensive interior and exterior of this hidden Glasgow institution. Located in the iconic Templeton Building on Glasgow Green, the West Brewery is more than just the producer of a wide array of local beers, also boasting a bar and restaurant where you can sample favourites such as St Mungo Lager and Munich Red, accompanied by their German-style food menu. The space is so vast that they even offer it as a private venue for functions and events.
6.Tchai-Ovna House Of Tea
Described as Scotland’s original speciality tea house, Tchai-Ovna is “an Aladdin’s Cave of teas”, with an impressive some 100 flavours to choose from! Just a short walk from Kelvinbridge Subway station and hidden down a wee cobble lane, the House of Tea is situated in an old stables where you will find yourself faced with a tranquil setting to enjoy alone with a book or enjoy games with company. The vegetarian menu is ideal for lunch time, with this hidden gem even hosting events from live music to exhibitions.
7.Young’s Interesting Books
Hidden in Glasgow’s Southside in Shawlands, Young’s Interesting Books has been acclaimed for its ability to offer a different experience each time you enter the shop. In the modestly sized second-hand book shop, which focuses on quality rather than quantity, you will find everything from art, history, philosophy and Scottish interest titles, to just plain old fiction. Give this wee book shop a visit if you’re after some interesting finds not normally available in your standard Waterstones.
8.The Mackintosh House
Everyone in Glasgow knows about Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as his timeless heritage remains alive all across the city, but not everyone knows about the Mackintosh House, a museum where you can find the principle interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home. With the original house being demolished in the 1960’s, the Mackintosh House represents a preservation of the original interiors, finished with the Mackintoshes’ own furniture. Unmissable for anyone keen to gain a deeper insight into the famous Glasgow architect’s life and work. This is one of the secret spots in Glasgow for the design lover!
9.The Partick Charity Shops
From the outside, the Charity Shops of Partick appear to be of the same calibre of any other based in Glasgow, but this up-and-coming neighbourhood is earning a name for itself as the home of enviable charity shop finds. They’ve been known to host second-hand vintage designer gems at low prices, and retro clothes lovers are quickly catching on! Get in on the action and take a visit to Dumbarton Road to these hidden gem Charity Shops to see for yourself if the rumours match the reality. This is one of the best secret spots in Glasgow!
10.The Hidden Gardens
A sanctuary devoted to peace, the Hidden Gardens, founded by NVA public arts organisation, is a unique public green space situated in one of Scotland’s most diverse communities in Pollokshields, with the aim to promote community development. As well as being a tranquil setting for the public to enjoy and relax, the Hidden Gardens are viewed as a place for exchanging knowledge amongst visitors, such as stories, skills and histories. This is a hidden gem definitely worth a wander, with a great cause and outcome for the community. This is one of the top secret spots in Glasgow!
Which of these secret spots in Glasgow have you checked out before? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image: weheartit
A 22 year old foreign languages enthusiast from Glasgow. Lover of all things latino with a passion for travel, writing and photography.