GlasgowGlasgow is the 21st-century magnet of Great Britain, with an energetic yet sophisticated vibe. Formerly Britain's major centre of industrial prowess, it has transformed into a booming hub for art and culture in the past decades. The city prides itself on a never-ending stream of up-and-coming musicians and a thriving nightlife. Glasgow is also home to many excellent modern Scottish restaurants dedicated to preserving their Scottish heritage. Some of the best shopping in the country can be found here, too.
The CityGlasgow is the largest Scottish city, fourth in the United Kingdom, the Scottish economic capital and, most of all, preserves some of the richest historic heritage in the country. The city is crossed by the Clyde River, around which the Roman general Gneus Julius Agricola - who played the main role during the Roman conquest of Britain - led the construction of some fortresses in 80 AD. Remains of those can still be seen in modern Glasgow. As the legend goes, hundreds of years later, the Christian missionary Saint Mungo founded the city and built a small wooden church close to Molendinar Burn, which centuries later will turn into the splendid Glasgow Cathedral. Formally a major industrial and commercial centre, modern Glasgow is a flourishing centre for arts and culture. Over the past couple of decades, it has been named City of Culture, Capital of Sport, UNESCO City of Music and City of Architecture and Design. The latter is, perhaps, partly due to the abundance of unique buildings designed by legendary Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh that dot the city. The areas of most interest to visitors are, of course, the City Centre - containing some of the city's major attractions - and the West End, a hip area with some of Glasgow's coolest cafes and bars, also home to the University of Glasgow and the well-known Kelvingrove Museum. West of the city centre, on the banks of River Clyde, sit the Science Centre and the Riverside Museum, both a must for tourists.
Do & See
Glasgow has a wide selection of museums and galleries, many of which are free of charge to enter. In a way, the city itself is an open-air museum for architecture with a special focus on the works of the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. To get a good view of the city from above, climb one of the many hills Glasgow was built upon: some of the best bird's-eye views uncover from the Necropolis.
Scottish cuisine is all about simplicity and locally-sourced ingredients, reason why so many restaurants pride themselves in serving seafood fished in Scottish waters. When in Glasgow, try the iconic Scottish haggis - a meat, turnips ("neeps") and potatoes ("tatties") dish traditionally prepared in sheep's stomach (today mostly replaced by artificial sausage casing). For dessert, try the shortbread - a biscuit with rather high butter and sugar content. The choice of eateries can get overwhelming, as there is an infinite number of good restaurants in the city. Most of the trendy and stylish restaurants are located in the elegant West End or in the neo-hip Merchant City.
Glasgow boasts a vast array of bohemian cafés with quirky interiors - ideal spots to while away an hour or two. Vegan food is "in" these days, and while some establishments are completely meat-free, others will at least have several vegan options on the menu. Like many other large European cities, Glasgow has been overrun by coffee shop chains, and locating a place for a coffee break shouldn't present much difficulty.
Bars & Nightlife
One of Glasgow's main draws is its vibrant music scene, and young collectives never seem to rest. Nightlife in the city can be anything you want it to be - from elegant drinks at high-class establishments of Sauchiehall Street to sticky floors of grungy underground clubs in the West End or the Merchant City. Many venues host regular live music sessions and DJ sets.
Glasgow has three main shopping districts: the Merchant City, Buchanan Street, and the West End. The Merchant City’s beautiful old buildings now house street fashion shops, but also make room for luxury boutiques. The gigantic Buchanan Galleries and the pricey Princess Square are good for efficient shopping. West End is the place to go for those looking to shop around for artisan items in some of the local independent boutiques. One souvenir to be brought from Glasgow is a bottle of quality Scottish whisky.