Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and is known for its style, culture and friendliness of its people. The city is vibrant, diverse, energetic and has a year round buzz.
Glasgow has, what many believe, the best shopping outside of London in the UK. With over 1500 shops, there is something for everyone whether it be high street labels or independent boutiques. The main shopping areas are the pedestrianised streets of Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street in the city centre also known as the Style Mile. There are a number of indoor shopping malls including Buchanan Galleries, St Enoch Centre and Princes Square. From luxury brands like Mulberry to vintage finds at Mr. Ben there truly is something for all tastes.
Scotland’s creative capital, Glasgow has a thriving creative scene including art, music and theatre. Glasgow is the home of the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) which is a must visit if you are interested in the Arts. Since 2005, the school has produced 30% of Turner Prize nominees and three recent Turner Prize winners. GSA offer a fantastic walking tours of Glasgow city centre which are a great way to see the city. If in the city centre, take some time to visit the centrally located Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Royal Exchange Square. Housed in an iconic building, GoMa is the centre of Glasgow’s modern art collection. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe’s great art collections with over 8000 objects and 22 themed galleries. Catch a film at Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street.
Glasgow has a reputation for showcasing and developing musical talent. Check out what is playing at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Mono, O2 and the Sub Club.
Glasgow also boasts great bars and restaurants. For an experience straight out of the 1930’s, check out Rogano in Royal Exchange Square. Crabshakk in Finnieston does great seafood. Burger Meets Bun on W. Regent Street is the place for a great burger and fries with a laid back atmosphere and if you want something healthy and delicious try Martha’s on St Vincent St.
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT
Arriving and Departing
Glasgow International Airport (GLA) is the city’s main airport and is about a 20 minute drive the city centre. From the airport there are regular bus services available into the city centre or there is a taxi rank directly outside arrivals which will cost £20 to £25 to the city centre. Glasgow Taxis is a reputable taxi company, simply call when you land on 0141 429 7070. Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK) is a secondary airport and is about 1 hour’s drive to the city centre or there is a train to Glasgow Central train station.
Glasgow has 2 major train stations in the city centre, Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central. Glasgow Central is the larger of the two stations and serves long distance routes to England, local commuter services and the Ayrshire coast including travel to Prestwick Airport. From Glasgow Queen Street, train travel to Edinburgh and the north of Scotland.
Glasgow is a relatively easy city to navigate with the city centre designed on a grid like US cities. Avoid driving in the city centre if at all possible as there are a number of one way streets and pedestrianized streets – it is easier to walk or take a taxi! If you need to get a taxi there are taxi ranks outside both Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street train stations. Normally it is easy to get a taxi, on Friday and Saturday nights there can often be a queue at the taxi rank but tends to move reasonably quickly.
If you are going to the West End you can the Subway and get off at Hillhead Station on Byres Road. At night I suggest getting a taxi and there are plenty of taxis on Byres Road.
If you have the time when visiting Glasgow, try to see Edinburgh as well! Direct trains run 4 times an hour from Glasgow Queen Street taking just under 1 hour.
dining and bars
Rogano, Royal Exchange Square
Burger Meets Bun, W. Regent Street
Martha’s, St Vincent St
safety and emergency services
Glasgow is like any other city with safe areas and some areas which are less safe. Use common sense and be street wise at all times. The city centre is well policed and during the day there are information officers who can assist you. Glasgow has wonderful green spaces and parks such as Kelvingrove Park. These are great to visit during the day but avoid visiting at night as they are not well lit. Glasgow also has a nice waterfront area along the Clyde which is great for walking along or cycling during the day. Avoid walking along alone at night.
ambassador: KRISTEN BENNIE
I am an American who has lived in Glasgow for over 10 years with my Scottish husband and love this city! There is so much to see and do, I never tire of living here. I love travelling around Scotland and some of my favourite places to visit are the Hebridean Islands on the west coast which are simply wonderful. I work in technology at the Royal Bank of Scotland and have spent most of my career developing digital solutions to create great experiences for customers. I love travelling, fashion, technology and design. Coming to Glasgow and have a question, feel free to email me! Contact me here or follow me on twitter
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