A city that is both grounded and sophisticated
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Glasgow has been reborn in recent decades and is shedding its image as a gritty northern city, and instead is being recognised as the buzzing modern metropolis that it is. Without the tourist hordes of Edinburgh, Glasgow still retains some of its gruff character, meaning that visitors can really get a feel for the city and its history. Scotland’s biggest city is a delight to explore, whether you’re here for business or pleasure, the city will unfold its charms as you wander round its streets.
Glasgow Central train station is, as the name would suggest, right in the heart of the city, allowing you to step right into the action as soon as you arrive.
Glasgow is an underappreciated shopping destination, and is one of our favourite places to indulge in some retail therapy;with not one but three good sized shopping centres right on your doorstep once you’ve arrived in the city by train. Each offers high street favourites, independent boutiques, and a good range of cafés and eateries for when you’ve exhausted your shopping legs.
Fashionistas will love to visit Glasgow’s Style Mile, right in the city centre, here you will find over 200 of your favourite shops as well as unique fashion brands. With everything from high end to high street, this is the perfect place to pick up a bargain or splash some cash depending on how the mood takes you. With most shops in the area open until 7pm, and even later on Thursday nights, you can quite literally shop until you drop.
Alternatively head out of the city centre to the West End, where the cobbled streets are a treasure trove of quirky shops, selling everything from vintage and retro, to handmade one of a kind pieces. If this seems like your ideal shopping experience then you won’t want to miss out on Dowanside Lane and Ruthven Lane, which have the highest concentration of these kinds of finds. Perfect for picking up an unusual gift or a collectable item.
Glasgow has a pretty impressive gastronomic scene. The city is able to make the most of its unique location, with its proximity to some of the very best local produce the UK has on offer, with everything fromseafood and shellfish to game and vegetables to cheeses, and much, much more. Whether you want to sample local favourites or some of the dishes brought to the city by the many cultures which now make up the diverse fabric of Glasgow, you’re sure to leave wanting more.
The recent trend for craft gins and beers has hit a deep vein of tradition in Glasgow, and as you explore the city, you’ll find many specialist gin and whisky bars serving up the very best in local tipples. National favourite BrewDog was originally born in Eilon, Scotland, and has found a spiritual home in Glasgow, serving up a range of delicious beers to visitors. Of course, if you fancy something a little less strong, Glasgow’s thriving café scene has you covered with great coffee and truly excellent cakes.
Another trend which fits right in in this busy and thriving city is the pop-up street food scene. Of course, with a rotating cast as varied and changing as the city, we’d struggle to recommend a favourite, but keep your eye out for stalls in edgy venues or beat up old trucks on street corners. Here you can often find some of the best one-of-a-kind bites, and the on-the-go mentality is perfect for a busy day in a busy city.
Visitors to Glasgow are often surprised to discover that the city is home to Europe’s largest civic arts collection. Here you can visit works by some of the greatest painters of all time, including Van Gogh, Degas and Money free of charge. With over 20 museums to explore, many hosting regular talks and events, you will find plenty to capture the interest no matter how long you plan on spending in the city.
Glasgow was named city of culture in 1990 and in the nearly 3 decades since it achieved this accolade the city has gone from strength to strength, having also been named a UNESCO City of Music. Home to Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, but also a whole host of modern music venues, culture vultures are sure to find music to get your toes tapping. Alternatively, if theatre is more your speed, there’s a choice of venues ranging from the ultra-modern to the traditional, sure to keep everyone entertained.
Glasgow translates from “dear green place” in Gaelic, and the modern city definitely lives up to this moniker – you’ll find over 90 parks and gardens in the city. There’s plenty of space for kids to explore, green fingered gardeners to find inspiration, or visitors to escape the busy town. From the traditional Kelvingrove Park with its Victorian Era layout, to the exciting modernity of Cunningar Loop which is complete with adventure play area, and Bouldering Park, the parks of Glasgow are as varied as they are numerous.
Glasgow train station has step-free access throughout and is fully accessible to those with a range of needs. Accessible ticket machines as well as ticket counters are available in the station. A Mobility Assistance point can be found in the main concourse and is open between 7am and 10pm.
Glasgow is serviced by an excellent subway system which covers a 10km circuit of the city, meaning you can reach most of the city quickly and easily. For anything not covered by the subway, including the wider urban area, a reliable bus service is available. Of course, should you prefer, taxis are also available throughout the city.
For further information about Glasgow Station, check out our station guide.
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If you want to explore Glasgow and all it has to offer, you’ll want to stay longer than a day! So, make sure you book a great value hotel in Glasgow before you arrive.