We offer alternative tours to locals and tourists.
Invisible Cities is a social enterprise. We don’t believe in labels or stereotypes. We want to show that everyone has great potential, a fact reflected in our tour guides.
We train people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals.
Our training focuses on confidence building, public speaking and customer service. We partner with professional tour guides to build bespoke tours and practice our routes.
Glasgow is a big, vibrant city with no shortage of interesting things to do. However, with such an abundance of choice, visitors and locals looking to explore the city sometimes struggle to narrow their to-do list down. It’s a kind of choice paralysis and we want to help yo avoid by offering up some of Invisible Cities’ favourite things to do in Glasgow. This is not THE DEFINITIVE list, but it’s a brilliant wee collection of some of Glasgow’s best and most interesting activities! If you’d like more suggestions, check out our guide to the top attractions in Glasgow.
First off, we’d like to recommend… ourselves! Invisible Cities is a non-profit focusing on training people who have experienced homelessness, giving them the skills and confidence to be tour guides. Our tour guides are fascinating, intelligent people with a unique perspective. This makes our tours more interesting than your average tour and you have the added bonus of supporting a company dedicated to helping and offering opportunities and gainful employment to those who need it. While this is clearly a good cause, this isn’t charity as our tours are carefully designed to be fun and fascinating, offering maximum value. To find out more, take a look at ourGlasgow Walking Tours.
Completely changing gear (sorry), you can visit the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Scotland’s first indoor velodrome, named after the famous Scottish olympian Sir Chris Hoy. This velodrome is used for international cycling competitions but it is also available for the public to experience what it’s like to cycle in a velodrome. Cycle where some of the greatest cyclists in the world have cycled!
While we can’t officially recommend one of Glasgow’s Escape Rooms over others, we can say that Glasgow has several escape rooms spread throughout the city centre and that it’s a great way to spend an hour or two in the city. Flex your problem-solving and communication skills with a small group by solving a series of practical puzzles that let you escape the various devious escape rooms on offer in Glasgow. If in any doubt, consult customer reviews to see which escape room to try first.
This huge museum is the perfect day out for families and couples. It’s the second most visited museum in the UK and it’s packed with incredible art and artefacts from all over the world. There is a particularly impressive range of art and furniture from Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as artworks by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Lowry, and Salvador Dali. There is also an Egyptian section as well as an exhibition of animals, including several dinosaurs that are guaranteed to thrill children and adults alike.
The Purple Cat Café on High Street, in Merchant City, is Glasgow’s first cat café. While it may sound like a strange concept, cat cafés have become very popular in big cities all around the world. Originating in Taipei, Taiwan, cat cafés work because people love cats and they love coffee. Join these two activities together and you have a winner. The Purple Cat Café has a large number of cats and they take special care to ensure the welfare of their feline friends, also taking care to only ever rescue cats from sanctuaries.
This huge and imposing building near Merchant City is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland. It is also likely to be the oldest building in Glasgow. It is believed that Glasgow Cathedral is situated where the city’s patron saint, Saint Mungo, built his church and was buried in AD 612 And this means that the history of Glasgow can be brought all the way back to the history of the cathedral, although of course much of the cathedral we see today was built later, between the 13th and 15th centuries. Because of its connection to Saint Mungo, Glasgow Cathedral is sometimes called St Mungo’s Cathedral and it is, undoubtedly, one of the best places in the city for people interested in history.04 June 2021
Here at Invisible Cities, there are two stars of the show: the UK cities featured on ourlist of UK tours and our incredible tour guides — all of which have experienced homelessness. Invisible Cities is a social enterprise that trains people to be tour guides. Anyone who has been homeless at some point in their life has a unique perspective on their city and our tours are unlike anything else you’re likely to find. Previously, we wrote abeginner’s guide to visiting York and we’d like to follow it up with this first-time visitor’s guide to Manchester. If anything in this guide inspires you, check out ourManchester Walking Tours.
Given the scale of the city and how difficult it is to drive in a city you don’t know very well, we can’t recommend driving around Manchester on your first visit — or any visit, to be honest. But the good news is that Manchester’s trains and buses are incredibly well managed, making it one of the most accessible cities in the UK for visitors to get around. Check outVisit Manchester’s maps if you’d like to learn more.
There are plenty of things to do in Manchester, but if your budget is tight, then make sure you put some of the city’s free museums to the top of your list. We won’t go through all 35 free museums here, but here are the three most popular options for your consideration.
If you’re looking for a less conventional Manchester experience, then one of our tours is almost certainly for you. We train our guides but we also encourage them to bring their own personality and creativity to the tours they create. This means that our tours are very different from the more manufactured, manicured Manchester tours. You can read even more detail about ourManchester Tours, but here are brief overviews of why you might want to see Invisible Manchester.
Our guide, Andy, designed this excellent tour to explore Manchester’s rock music scene in the 80s. Visit the venues that epitomised the city’s legendary music scene. It’s not all history, however: you will learn about modern Manchester while, admiring the city’s skyline, as you learn about the people, places, and stories that shaped it.
This thoughtful tour was created by Danny, our adopted Mancunian tour guide who spent a portion of his life living on Manchester’s street. This tour offers a unique perspective on the city, showing you where Danny’s spent his time and teaching you about the grittier aspects of the city you won’t find on the more mainstream tours.
On this tour created by Laura — a transgender woman inspired by the city’s great women — you will learn about the inspirational women who have helped build and develop Manchester. The highlight for many on the tour is the discussion of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement, of which Manchester played a prominent role.
If Laura’s tour whets your appetite for Manchester’s suffragette past, you will almost certainly want to visit the Pankhurst Centre. While only a small museum, it is well worth visiting. Exhibiting the story and legacy of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement as a whole, this is the perfect place to pay your respects to one of the country’s biggest political activists and folk heroes. Entrance to the Pankhurst Centre is free, making it even more difficult to find a good reason not to visit!28 May 2021