I’m sure you’ve already bookmarked Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, in your travel to-do list. But have you really considered its west coast alternative, Glasgow? Forget about the bad press you’ll hear about Scotland’s biggest city — it’s totally misleading. Glasgow is a hubbub of culture, cracking architecture and awesome chat — there’s so much to discover here. Find out my five favourites below!
Wander in the West End
Students, professionals and artists mingle in Byres Road’s bohemian quarter. It’s a hub of chic second-hand shops, refined restaurants and quintessential Glasgow architecture. Don’t miss Glasgow University’s gothic spire and the Victorian glasshouses of the nearby Botanic Gardens.
Breathe in the culture
A short sprint from Byres Road is Kelvingrove Art Gallery, an impressive sandstone building surrounded by its own landscaped park. Housing Egyptian relics, European artwork plus Salvador Dalí’s ‘Christ of St John on the Cross,’ it’s one of Scotland’s top attractions. Love museums? Try Riverside and the Burrell Collection too.
Eat up the history
As the second city of the British Empire, Glasgow has a complex history with the slave trade. This summer, local thinkers and artists will host events, discussions and exhibitions at the Empire Café (along with colonial inspired food of course!) See the brilliant line-up here (the Merchant City tour will be a highlight).
Run the style mile
Reckoned to be the UK’s second largest shopping destination outside London, you’ll be browsing for hours in Glasgow’s city centre. Pedestrianised Buchanan Street, which is topped and tailed by two malls, is also home to big names such as Forever 21, Hard Rock Café and the legendary House of Fraser. Throw on your comfiest trainers – your feet might be sore after this!
Set sail for the shore
Glasgow’s great transport links make it easy to see the city from a different perspective. Forget the car and step aboard the Waverley, the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer. Sail from Glasgow Science Centre or join the ship further south to explore the west coast’s rolling hills and glittering sea lochs.