Scotland's largest city and a thriving capital of culture, Glasgow disarms and charms a growing number of visitors to the banks of the River Clyde each year. Long regarded a bleak industrial hub, Glasgow has transformed in recent years to become a vibrant tourist destination. Home to classic Victorian and Edwardian architecture, a buzzing music scene and named as the host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow holidays are understandably booming. It's now one of Scotland's most visited cities, so why not pack your suitcase and book your flights to Glasgow today?
As a city well designed for strolling, a leisurely perambulation around town is one of the most popular things to do in Glasgow. Such walks often start in the heart of the city on George Square and take in the hustle and bustle of the city's three major shopping thoroughfares, Argyle Street, Sauciehall Street and Buchanan Street. One of Glasgow's most recognisable buildings is the Gothic-inspired Glasgow Cathedral, dominated by its soaring spire and imposing stone facade. For a city synonymous with shipping, Glasgow is also surprisingly green. Glasgow Green is the city's most famous park and in summer it transforms into a popular open-air music venue.
With its sizeable Indian community, Glasgow is rightly renowned for the quality of its curry houses. Many are based around the Charing Cross area, although several more have moved into the vicinity of Merchant City, including award-winning The Dhabba. More traditional Glasgow restaurants come in the form of fish and chips shops, the most popular of which is arguably The Coronation near Gallowgate. The Ubiquitous Chip is another local institution serving fine food made from the best of Scottish produce. Glaswegians love to knock back a drink or two and one of the best ways to experience the city's atmospheric pubs is on a 'Subcrawl,' – using Glasgow's subway system to navigate your way to the nearest watering hole.
Where to Stay
As one of Britain's most visited cities, Glasgow offers a wide range of accommodation options. The city boasts plenty of budget hotels, including two Ibis hotels located close to the city centre. For a more grandiose option, the Glasgow Grand Central is a railway hotel recently restored to its former grandeur. The 5-star Hilton Glasgow is located in the heart of the financial district, while its namesake Hilton Grosvenor is in West End and close to many local nightlife attractions. The Radisson Blu Hotel is another of the city's 5-star options and is conveniently located next to Glasgow's Central Station.
Considered by many one of the premier shopping destinations in Europe, Glasgow is undoubtedly Scotland's shopping capital. Glasgow shopping is centred around three streets known as the 'Golden Z,' – Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Buchanan Street is Glasgow's most upscale retail avenue and houses the city's most prestigious outlets. Nearby Bath Street and Hope Street in the city centre is a great place to shop for souvenirs, with both streets housing an eclectic range of boutique stores selling artworks, Scottish produce and locally-made clothing.
Glasgow Like a Local
There's no more local an attraction in Glasgow than the city's world famous soccer clubs. Celtic and Rangers form the so-called 'Old Firm' and their bitter local rivalry is more than a century old. Glasgow has a third professional club, Partick Thistle, based in the north of the city. They play their matches at the picturesque Firhill Stadium, which offers a more convivial environment than the occasionally tense atmosphere at Celtic Park and Ibrox. So important is soccer to the city that Scotland's national stadium, Hampden Park, is located in Glasgow. Strictly amateur Queens Park FC call the cavernous venue home but Hampden Park is only full for major Cup finals or when Scotland plays.